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Lismore News

Celebrating resilience in relationships

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Celebrating resilience in relationships (800 words) Story by Lara Leahy Community groups in Lismore are coming together to promote healthy relationships and to celebrate resilience in people that have experienced domestic abuse, family violence and sexual assault. There is a greater need for us all to be aware of language, situations and what we can do to contribute to a kinder, more understanding and safer community.

Celebrating resilience in relationships

Story by Lara Leahy

Community groups in Lismore are coming together to promote healthy relationships and to celebrate resilience in people that have experienced domestic abuse, family violence and sexual assault.  There is a greater need for us all to be aware of language, situations and what we can do to contribute to a kinder, more understanding and safer community.

A spokesperson for the Lismore Domestic Violence Liaison Committee (LDVLC), Jillian Knightsmith said, “Our committee acknowledges that domestic and family violence has escalated in communities across Australia and around the world this year in the wake of COVID-19 and is now at risk of further escalation due to the impact of the recent natural disaster.”

 

About 20 organisations come together to form the committee (LDVLC).  This includes services helping women, men and children as well as whole family and gender support.

 

Ms Knightsmith talks of the nature of aggression at home saying there is a wide spectrum of types and severity of abuse, “Domestic and family violence is often a pattern of controlling or coercive behaviour.

 

“Where it often begins is with controlling behaviours that may involuntarily take away your freedoms to be with others, or control finances or monitor your social and communication avenues.  This can also look like threats to the safety of pets or other family members and the person being coercive can even manipulate the situation by speaking of self harm.  If you don’t feel comfortable with a situation, it is good to address it, as over time, the severity can become more serious.”

 

Healthy relationships provide autonomy over decisions about your body, mind and life. Discomfort in a decision or undue pressure over determining what is best for yourself can be an indicator that it is time to address what is really needed.

 

Responsibility for this kind of safety is the same as taking precautions when driving on the roads or working with tools. Ms Knightsmith says, “Organisations like ours play only a small part of the response to abuse and neglect.  Family, friends and neighbours are the unsung heros – those that are there before, in the middle of a crisis or situation, and afterwards.

 

“The national initiative “Stop it at the Start” says it all.  We need to be more aware of our own mannerisms that may be contributing to the problem, as well as how to talk to people when you see something concerning in others.” Like anything that doesn’t go right – it is best to address it before it takes too serious a turn and breaks up a family. Or worse

 

The community is the front line – they are the ones that have the capacity to stop it before it starts.  The best way is to be alert to language – behaviours, patterns, prejudices or preferences towards negative bias can become automatic.  Bringing it up in conversation by drawing attention to it, “You often say that, whatever made you feel that way?” Or perhaps call out behaviour, “That’s not respectful” or “there is another way to discuss this.”  You may be able to say, “Wow, they are some strong opinions, have you spoken to a counsellor about that?”

 

If we consider the way we interact, Ms Knightsmith draws attention to the probability that we have made a choice and helped.  She hopes that, “ everyone that reads this can think of something that they can do or have done to make us a more resilient and kind community.

 

“Kindness is about not just going through the motions – It’s about doing the best things for others because you want to – rather than just because you have to.  It’s about being genuine. Having compassion, respect and empathy for a situation.  We all deserve and need kindness.”

 

Breaking these habits are key to making changes in our communities.  “Children are learning from us all the time – they learn these negative traits .  It’s about adults -the decision makers breaking the mould setting a better example.”

 

When considering your own situation, sometimes we need to put ourselves in anothers shoes – if a friend came to you and told the story that you are living, what advice would you give them?

 

Now has never been a better time to acknowledge awareness and cause change.

 

The Lismore digital campaign is designed to share stories on the website that celebrates the resilience of individuals and families who have experienced domestic and family violence.. You are invited to get involved, help share stories, celebrate resilience and healthy relationships as well as build awareness.

 

  Lismoredomesticviolencecommittee.org.au

 

The images with this story are from the Love Bites initiative at secondary schools.  A program designed to  promote healthy relationships in young people.  “After covid and floods interruptions, the program is hoping to be back in schools by the end of the year.”

 

 

Lismore Domestic Violence Liaison Committee

NSW Temporary Accommodation                             1800 152152

NSW DV Response                                                   1800 656 463

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Lismore News

Lismore City Council Approves Historic $301 Million Budget

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NSW-Northern-Rivers-Breaking-News

Lismore City Council Approves Historic $301 Million Budget

In a landmark decision, Lismore City Council has passed an unprecedented $301 million budget, focusing on operational efficiency, liveability, and prudent investment to service the community while promoting sustainability and growth.

Commitment to Sustainable Growth and Operational Efficiency

Mayor Steve Krieg emphasized that the budget, part of the council’s long-term financial plan, is designed to foster economic and social responsibility, ensuring Lismore’s prosperity. “This budget represents our plan for continuing to deliver on the sustainable rebuild of Lismore. It sets a strong plan to ensure we take strides toward growing as a prosperous, connected, and thriving regional hub of the Northern Rivers,” he stated.

Focus on Essential Services and Community Needs

A significant portion of the budget, $209.9 million, is allocated to essential services including water, waste, sewer, roads, and bridges. Mayor Krieg highlighted the community’s mandate for financially sustainable operations with responsible use of ratepayer funds. “A majority of our budget is invested in the essential services our community cares about the most,” he said.

The budget also includes a $18 million investment in city asset maintenance, featuring a 30.7% increase in drain and stormwater management. Additionally, the council is investing in a vast road network, extensive sewer and water pipes, and maintaining numerous parks and open spaces.

Investing in Liveability and Community Services

Beyond essential services, the council is investing $19.8 million into facilities and services that enhance Lismore’s liveability. This includes pools, libraries, parks, sporting clubs, walking trails, galleries, dog parks, and community events. Nearly $7 million is earmarked for community services and assets that support a safer city, with $2.5 million allocated to affordable housing initiatives.

Support for Vulnerable Residents and Community Projects

The budget also provides $1.43 million in discounts and concessions to ease financial burdens for those in need. Councillors approved additional funds for various community projects, including $25,000 for sharps disposal bins, $20,000 in cash and $20,000 in-kind support for the Lismore Lantern Parade, $1,100 for Magpie Centre administration, and $30,000 for the Eltham Public School safety project. They also amended the Delivery Program to seek funding for a footpath/cycleway between Dunoon and Modanville.

Budget Highlights:

Total Budget: $301 million – Backing Lismore

  • Capital Investment: $134.5 million – Building Lismore
  • Increase in Drain and Stormwater Investment: 30.7% – Investing in what matters
  • Borrowings: $0 – Limiting burden on ratepayers
  • Roads and Bridges Investment: $74.2 million – Repairing and reconstructing our transport network
  • Sewer Charges: $0 increase
  • Rate Increase: 4.7% – Maintaining rate peg set by the State Government
  • Affordable Housing: $2.5 million investment
  • Natural Disaster Restoration Works: $107.3 million total investment
  • Lismore Urban Sports Precinct: $1.3 million to complete
  • Basic Services Investment: $209.9 million – Water, waste, sewer, roads, bridges (including funded capital works)
  • Liveability Investment: $19.81 million – Sports facilities, galleries, libraries, events, pools, dog parks, community assets, playgrounds
  • Community Support: $4.8 million direct investment – Concessions, free events, affordable housing, waiver of leasing fees, free grounds maintenance for community sporting clubs

The 2024-2025 budget underscores Lismore City Council’s commitment to balancing essential services with the amenities that make Lismore a vibrant and sustainable community.

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Lismore News

Richmond Hill Rd upgrade reflects commitment to safety

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Richmond Hill Road upgrade

Richmond Hill Rd upgrade reflects commitment to safety

 

Lismore City Council’s road crews are currently engaged in the reconstruction of a 560-metre segment of road between Roy Place and Laihaina Crescent. This project is part of the Council’s ongoing commitment to enhancing the safety and quality of Lismore’s local road network.

The Richmond Hill Road upgrade, which began in September 2023, has already seen the successful reconstruction of a 1.8km section, significantly improving both safety and the longevity of the roadway.

Mayor Steve Krieg announced that the final phase of the Richmond Hill Road reconstruction will extend from the current endpoint to approximately 300 metres beyond the Laihaina Crescent intersection.

“This phase is in its final planning stages and is expected to employ the same methodologies and treatments as previous stages. Upon completion, the total length of reconstructed road will reach 2.7km,” Mayor Krieg stated.

In early June, work commenced on removing the old road surface over the 560-metre stretch. This was followed by in-situ stabilisation of the lower sub-base pavement layer, which involves incorporating a binder to enhance the performance characteristics of the sub-base, allowing for the reuse of existing materials in the new pavement design.

The stabilisation process uses a large reclaimer machine to mix the existing pavement material with the binder to the required depth. This mixture is then compacted and shaped to achieve the necessary geometry. A new base layer is subsequently laid and compacted to the finished surface height.

Additionally, the project includes adjustments to adjoining driveways, which may involve replacing pipe crossings and installing grates or concrete dish drains for improved stormwater management.

Mayor Krieg emphasised that the Richmond Hill Road reconstruction aims to enhance the road’s structural integrity, geometry, stormwater infrastructure, and overall ride quality. He acknowledged the challenges faced by regional councils in maintaining local road networks.

“Lismore City Council is responsible for 1215km of sealed and unsealed roads within our LGA. The extensive investment needed for such reconstructions and repairs would be unattainable without the continued funding support from our State and Federal partners,” he said.

The Richmond Hill Road project is jointly funded by the State Government’s Regional and Local Roads Repair Program and Fixing Local Roads Program, along with Lismore City Council.

For updates on the Richmond Hill Road upgrade, visit Council’s Your Say page at Lismore Your Say.

 

For more local Lismore news, click here.

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Lismore News

Koala Funding Insufficient to Protect Species, Says Conservation Group

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Friends of the Koala

Koala Funding Insufficient to Protect Species, Says Conservation Group

 

By Rob Heyward

The leading koala conservation and rehabilitation organisation in the Northern Rivers region has expressed concern that the NSW State Budget does not provide adequate funding to protect the iconic koala species from extinction, despite the allocation for the Koala Strategy.

Friends of the Koala had requested an annual investment of $500,000 for its Northern Rivers Koala Hospital. This funding was intended to cover equipment costs, veterinary staff, and the implementation of critical Chlamydia vaccination projects. Additionally, they sought $200,000 to support the operation of their koala rescue and rehabilitation teams, including enhancing their capacity to respond during natural disasters.

The organisation also asked for a $750,000 capital investment to upgrade and extend its hospital and rehabilitation facilities. Friends of the Koala treats and rehabilitates more than 350 koalas annually, with the number of koalas entering care increasing by 20% in the past financial year.

General Manager Silva Everaers highlighted the urgent need for funds: “Research continues to show that koala populations in the Northern Rivers are of state significance. We are deeply concerned that delays in funding will jeopardise our ability to continue our vital work effectively.”

Everaers noted that while the Environment Minister acknowledged the need to review the NSW Koala Strategy and appreciated their participation in the NSW Koala Summit and the Koala Strategy Discussion Paper, the Budget fails to provide the necessary funding to implement these commitments.

“The necessity to fund the vital work done by koala hospitals and rehabilitates cannot wait. The survival of our organisation, and koalas, depends on it. We need the resources to continue saving koalas every single day – and we need them now,” Everaers emphasised.

Friends of the Koala is supported by 300 volunteers contributing approximately 75,500 hours of unpaid work annually, representing over $3.5 million saved on service costs. This allows the organisation to allocate all revenue towards the support, care, and conservation of koalas.

President Allison Kelly highlighted the organisations long history of conservation efforts: “For almost four decades, we have worked to conserve koala habitat and protect koalas, rescuing over 6,000 koalas and releasing more than 2,000 back into the wild.”

Kelly also mentioned their collaboration within the Northern Rivers Koala Network and the formation of the NSW Koala Hospital Alliance with Port Stephens Koala Hospital and Koala Conservation Australia Ltd to support each other’s work and advocate for change across the sector.

“We are frustrated that our efforts and those of the whole sector are not acknowledged in this budget. The wildlife sector across the state provides the government and the people of NSW with an army of passionate individuals working to save and protect our wildlife for future generations. It’s time this is recognized, applauded, and funded properly,” Kelly said.

 

For more local Lismore news, click here.

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