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Northern Rivers Local News

Social and affordable rental housing: time for all levels of government to invest in this transformational social infrastructure

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Federal Government’s COVID-19 Disaster Payments

Social and affordable rental housing: time for all levels of government to invest in this transformational social infrastructure

The Community Housing Industry Association (CHIA) applauds the 2021 Australian Infrastructure Plan’s break through call for all levels of government to invest in social and affordable rental housing. The Plan recognises that ‘well-maintained and designed social housing provides many community benefits, supporting individual and societal wellbeing and productivity, and reducing costs in health and justice services’ and recommends the design and implementation of programs to increase supply’.

“Infrastructure Australia is to be commended for the focus on social infrastructure in this plan. Too often Australian governments have viewed social and affordable rental housing investment solely as an impost and overlooked its positive impacts, not just for the individual who gets a home but for other service budgets.” said Wendy Hayhurst, CHIA’s CEO. “Only last week, for example the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI) published research showing that helping ex-prisoners through social housing typically cuts re-offending and saves the tax payer thousands of dollars.”

She pointed out that, “Social housing as a proportion of Australia’s total dwellings has steadily declined to 4.2%, way below the OECD country average of 7.1%.” While some recent state initiatives will slow the decline in certain parts of the country, to address the current national shortfall and meet future demand she said, “Australia needs to be adding at least 20,000 social and affordable rental homes every year. That is do-able but it needs the Federal Government as an active participant too; they’re the ones with the fiscal fire power.”

“Coming hard on the heels of the recent OECD endorsement for social housing investment, these new recommendations are especially powerful” said Ms Hayhurst. “Here we have two highly respected economic planning bodies both supporting the case that adequate social rental provision is a vital part of a balanced housing system. By all means let’s look at how to make the market work more smoothly, but that will never provide an affordable solution for the lowest income Australians”.

Andrew Hannan, CHIA’s chair also welcomed the Plan and praised Infrastructure Australia’s engagement with stakeholders during its production. “We’re delighted to see the community housing sector recognised in the Plan as being key to delivering new social and affordable rental homes for Australians locked out of the private rental market, or home ownership. Our members have demonstrated the capability, capacity and financial sophistication to deliver thousands of additional dwellings in recent years. But an ongoing national funding program that brings certainty and attracts the big institutional investors is needed”. He noted that CHIA’s Pre-Budget Submission had proposed a cost-effective funding model that leveraged the existing NHFIC arrangements, and could make a major dent in Australia’s social and affordable housing shortage.

He went on to say “the Federal Government has recently launched an Inquiry on Housing Affordability and Supply. The committee must put the undersupply of social and affordable rental housing front and centre of their deliberations. Social and affordable rental housing can be a haven for women escaping violence, provide stability to help people recover from illness and act as a springboard into home ownership. The community housing industry is ready to lead in delivering the national program Australia badly needs”

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Northern Rivers Local News

Richmond Valley Council Australia Day Awards recipients

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Richmond Valley Australia Day Awards recipients

Richmond Valley Council Australia Day Awards recipients

Each year our nation celebrates the achievement and contribution of Australians through the Australian of the Year Awards.

They inspire us through their achievements and challenge us to make our own contribution to creating a better Australia and for us, a better Richmond Valley.

The efforts made by these individuals to excel in sports, to volunteer, to lead, educate or inspire the Richmond Valley community is to be commended.

All nominations were assessed and judged by an Australia Day selection panel consisting of five members of the Richmond Valley community.

The first category is Young Sportsperson of the Year. I would like to call on Mayor Robert Mustow to come forward and announce the winner and to present a gift.

MAYOR ROBERT MUSTOW
This was a difficult decision to make and we received some wonderful nominations. However, the sporting talent and commitment of this young individual goes far beyond their years. I have the pleasure to announce the Young Sportsperson of the Year Award goes to:

Abbie Yourell

Richmond Valley Australia Day Awards recipients

Abbie Yourell

Abbie is a dedicated young lady who trains hard, swims hard and gives everything to the sport of Open Water Swimming. She loves competing and representing the sport at a local, State and National level.

Abbie started training and competing at swim club when she was four years old. At the age of 10, she started competing in Mini Ocean swims at Yamba and Byron Bay, and also competing for the Evans Head Casino Surf Lifesaving Club at Nipper Carnivals.

Abbie is a keen member of the Evans Head Casino Surf Life Saving Club and has been the Evans Head Casino Niperette of the Year for the past three years for her sporting abilities, volunteering and contribution to the club.

Last year was a long and difficult year for athletes – training was interrupted, events were cancelled, but through it all Abbie has shown tremendous resilience.

In early January of 2021, Abbie competed and came second at the Yamba Ocean Swim in the 12-15 year old girls 2km race and 10th overall female competitor.

After competing at NSW State Open Water 5m race in Sydney in late January, where she did a massive seven minute personal best and finished 11th place, Abbie’s training increased to nine sessions a week to be ready for the rescheduled Swimming Australia National Open Water Championships, which were held on the Sunshine Coast.

Abbie is a quiet but determined young woman who strives to be the best she can be at everything she does. She is a high achiever in all aspects of life and is always striving to improve and help others achieve their goals.

Richmond Valley Council congratulates you. This award is recognition of your invaluable contribution to our community.

We will now move on to the Richmond Valley Australia Day Sportsperson of the Year Award.

MAYOR ROBERT MUSTOW
We only received one nomination in this category, yet it was for a very worthy sportsman. The winner for Sportsperson of the Year is:

Noah King

Richmond Valley Australia Day Awards recipients

Noah King

Noah has been the Casino Cougars most consistent player for the past three seasons. His is dedicated, leads by example and has the respect of his teammates.

Noah is a committed club person who puts his hand up to assist whenever he can. His performance on the field is outstanding and was awarded all major awards for the Casino RSM Cougars in 2021.

Noah was selected in the Northern Rivers Titan Opens Representative Side and was rewarded with a train and trial contract with the Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs.

Noah is a dedicated and good role model for the Casino RSM Cougars Juniors and is respected by his teammates and opposition.
Richmond Valley Council congratulates you. This award is recognition of your invaluable contribution to our community.

Our next award is for Young Volunteer of the Year.

MAYOR ROBERT MUSTOW
Volunteering at such a young age is a credit to youth in our community. It is generally a thankless service which helps the people in our Valley greatly and contributes in making this area one of the greatest to be part of. The recipient has not only given invaluable time to the community but to those younger than him within the volunteer organisation.

The winner of Young Volunteer of the Year is:

Jacob Yourell

Richmond Valley Australia Day Awards recipients

Jacob Yourell

Jacob is an outstanding young volunteer in all aspects of the Evans Head Casino Surf Life Saving Club. He is an active patrol member, provides water safety at Nippers and carnivals and helps with fundraising.

Jacob has been a member of Evans Head Casino Surf Club since 2007. He began as a Nipper, and then continued to gain his Surf Rescue Certificate and Bronze Medallion and became a patrolling member of the club.

Jacob is a well-mannered, polite, and a respectful young man with great family values.

Jacob has been patrolling now for six seasons and has matured into a highly valued member of his patrol team. He is a strong swimmer, excels on the rescue board and has courage in the surf.

To ease the burden on its members, Evans Head Casino SLSC has a structure of voluntary patrols throughout the season and top of his normal patrols, Jacob committed to a third of those patrols, including a good part of Christmas Day, amassing 69 hours of patrol.
On patrol, Jacob is always looking at being engaged in the water, communicating effectively with his Patrol Captain and other team members.

He has a sense of wanting to give back to Nippers and regularly provides water safety to ensure their activities are not only safe, but fun for all involved.

Despite having many of his own personal barriers, Jacob’s steadfast commitment to the success of Evans Head Casino Surf Life Saving Club is apparent to all members, and he is a valued asset to the Surf Club and the community he lives in.

Richmond Valley Council congratulates you on your nomination, which is recognition of your invaluable contribution to our community.

Our next award is for Volunteer of the Year

MAYOR ROBERT MUSTOW
Again, this was a difficult category and these individuals have contributed significantly to the community through volunteering. The amount of time and effort these individuals put in across a wide variety of needs is astonishing. You are all worthy of this award. The winner for Volunteer of the Year is:

Dorothy Sullivan

Richmond Valley Australia Day Awards recipients

Dorothy Sullivan

Dorothy is a long standing and highly motivated local volunteer with a drive and capacity to help and support other organisations and local formal and informal groups. Dorothy’s volunteering commitment is to be commended as it spans more than 50 years in the Richmond Valley.

For the past eight years Dorothy has been a volunteer at the Casino Historical Society, where she is the Bulletin Editor and administrator of the Facebook page promoting the museum.

Along with her many volunteer hours on the roster she also fundraises through raffles and barbecues, as well as researching history.

Dorothy has written three books, two family and one published on The Mayors of Casino from 1880 to present, which resides in the museum.

Dorothy has had many volunteer roles over the 50+ years, including P&C committees, school canteens, Casino Show Society, of which she is a life member, the Anglican Op Show for more than 30 years, Westpac Rescue Helicopter for 10 years, Casino Beef Week for more than 30 years and Friends of Windara for more than 20 years.

She assists organisations in a wide variety of ways, including administration of Facebook pages for Casino and District Historical Society, Northern Rivers Military Museum and Good Old Days in and Around Casino.

Dorothy is a highly respected, reliable, hardworking, and trusted member of the community.

Richmond Valley Council congratulates you on your nomination, which is recognition of your invaluable contribution to our community.

Our next award is for Young Citizen of the Year.

MAYOR ROBERT MUSTOW
This person, although young, has shown leadership and commitment to our country. Their achievements are outstanding and beyond their years. This person is an amazing representative for our youth in rural NSW and looks to have an amazing career ahead of them. The winner for Young Citizen of the Year is:

Isabella Ennever

Richmond Valley Australia Day Awards recipients

Isabella Ennever

Isabella has exhibited excellence and outstanding dedications to her passions of education, gender equality, community involvement and STEM over many years.

She has been an enthusiastic representative of the Richmond Valley through sporting, cultural and science pursuits. After overcoming many personal hardships, Isabella’s perseverance and continued application to her educational goals and aspirations should be acknowledged and recognised.

Isabella has been recognised locally through the Southern Cross University Deputy Vice Chancellor’s Award for Academic Excellence and the Casino High School’s P&C Student of the Year Award.
Her academic success eventuated in her obtaining the Malala Yousafzai Scholarship with the Public Education Foundation, a scholarship with the Harding Miller Education Foundation, a scholarship with the Youth of the Streets Foundation and, most recently, a Susan and Isaac Wakil Scholarship.

Her academic awards illustrate her hard work, but also demonstrates the many available pathways for other young rural people to fulfil their potential.

Isabella has been a positive ambassador for the Richmond Valley through participation in the National Youth Science Forum and Professor Henry Messel International Science School, providing a role model to encourage other young, rural individuals to strive for excellence in education. Within these prestigious programs, Isabella has represented the Richmond Valley with integrity and excellence.

Through adversity and challenges, Isabella has excelled in many facets of her adolescent life, proving her endurance and determination to achieve her goals. She demonstrates the resilient, adaptable character of the Richmond Valley and shares the community values central to the organisations she is involved in.

Richmond Valley Council congratulates you on your nomination, which is recognition of your invaluable contribution to our community.

Our last but by no means least award to be presented is Citizen of the Year.

MAYOR ROBERT MUSTOW
Nominees in this category lead from in front and are evidently passionate about the place they live and we, as a community thank them. This was an extremely difficult decision to make and this year there are two winners. The first winner of Citizen of the Year is:

Michael Pontefract

Richmond Valley Australia Day Awards recipients

Michael Pontefract

Michael gives unselfishly to the community through many organisations in the Richmond Valley. He is someone who embodies community values, spirit and civic pride.

This award is to recognise Michael’s long-term and sustained commitment to the communities he has lived in over the past 40 years and, in particular, the communities of Casino and Evans Head for the past 15 years.

Last year was Michael’s 40th year as an active patrolling lifesaver. Michael is a trainer and assessor across all awards within surf life saving and 2021 was Michael’s 30th year as a Training Officer and 32nd year as an assessor. He is as passionate today about providing quality training, particularly power craft, as what he was when he first started.
For the past eight years Michael has been the Captain of Evans Head Casino Surf Life Saving Club. He is a member of the Surf Life Saving Far North Coast Board of Education, a position he has retained for 15 years.

He is the only Rescue Jet Ski workplace trainer and assessor north of Woolgoolga, training every operator in the region from Yamba to Kingscliff.

For the past nine years Michael has been the Carnival and Competition Coordinator for Casino Swimming Club and before this was treasurer for seven years.

Michael is also the Coordinator and Treasurer of the Charcoal Inn Charity Club, a role he has undertaken for the past 14 years.

Michael has been recognised over the past three years as the Far North Coast Life Saver of the Year, Facilitator of the Year and the prestigious President’s Medal. He was most recently recognised as Surf Life Saving’s NSW Patrol Captain of the Year.

Michael is someone who embodies what community service is all about and lives these principles and values every day. Ultimately, he ensures everybody feels included, has a role to play and feels like they belong.

Richmond Valley Council congratulates you. This award is recognition of your invaluable contribution to our community. Your can-do attitude, professionalism and commitment to the people of the Richmond Valley makes you a worthy recipient of the Richmond Valley Citizen of the Year.

MAYOR ROBERT MUSTOW
The second winner for Citizen of the Year is:

Patrick Power

Richmond Valley Australia Day Awards recipients

Patrick Power

Pat has given outstanding service to the community of Casino as a school teacher, serving as a medical officer for Casino Rugby for 43 years, acting as a mentor for young players, supporting the Casino Women’s Rugby team, as well as also playing rugby for many years.

In 1978, Pat began as a project officer with the then Casino Youth Group at the El Gronda Theatre site. This operated after school hours and Pat was working full time as a school teacher at Casino Public School at the time.
As a teacher at Casino Public School, Pat introduced junior rugby to the sporting curriculum and coached the team for seven years. He was an educational leader in personal development and a curriculum innovator. Pat was playing rugby for Casino at the time and continued to play for many years.

In 1980 Pat introduced the award for the Casino Junior Rugby Player of the Year, that award still exists, and Pat presents the trophy each year at the Casino Rugby Union Club end of year presentations. Pat still encourages young men to rise above themselves in giving back to the community.

For his service to the club in Casino, Pat was honored with a testimonial dinner in 2010.

Pat has also been a fundraiser for the Heart Foundation, St Vincent’s De Paul and the Red Shield Appeal.

Pat has given numerous motivational talks to younger rugby players and has taken a great interest in their personal development and character training, encouraging them to be the best player they can be and as a result, many young players – both male and female – have gone on to represent the Far North Coast. Pat is proud of the young men and women he has mentored and still attends all home games of the club.

Richmond Valley Council congratulates you. This award is recognition of your invaluable contribution to our community. Your can-do attitude, professionalism and commitment to the people of the Richmond Valley makes you a worthy recipient of the Richmond Valley Citizen of the Year.

Richmond Valley Australia Day Awards recipients

Richmond Valley Australia Day Awards recipients

We would like to acknowledge all the wonderful nominees who we received as part of the Richmond Valley Australia Day Awards and ask as your name is called to please come up and accept your certificates.

• Hayden Griffen
• Travis Dhu
• Graeme Rooney
• Teena Redman
• Terry Smith
• Iris Hobbins
• Jackson Whitney
• Mark Scofield and
• Fiona White

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Byron Bay News

BYRON SHIRE AUSTRALIA DAY AWARD WINNERS

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BYRON SHIRE AUSTRALIA DAY AWARD WINNERS

BYRON SHIRE AUSTRALIA DAY AWARD WINNERS

Jacqui Boyett is Byron Shire’s 2022 Citizen of the Year

Jacqui Boyett, founder of the not-for-profit Global Ripple charity and op shop is the Byron Shire 2022 Citizen of the Year.

The announcement was made at Byron Shire Council’s Australia Day awards that were held virtually on 25 January.

Ms Boyett is well known in the community, and further afield, making true her organisation’s name, Global Ripple.

Global Ripple raises money through an op shop in the Byron Arts and Industry Estate with proceeds used to support people in need locally and in places including India and Bali.

Ms Boyett’s Global Ripple charity has supported the Hot Showers project in partnership with the Byron Community Centre and the Women’s Collective.

It has also helped people in India cope with COVID-19 and provided funds to help rebuild a family home on Savu Island in Indonesia after it was destroyed by a cyclone.

Byron Shire Mayor, Michael Lyon, said people like Jacqui Boyett are the true heroes in the community, always putting others ahead of themselves.

“The Australia Day Awards are our way of thanking and honouring the incredible people in our Shire who make such a difference to the lives of so many,” Mayor Lyon said.

“We all have such busy lives and still there are these incredible people who have such a passion for the Byron Shire that they donate countless hours to look out for the needs of others, to improve things where they can, however they can and these acts of kindness have the ability to transform communities both locally and abroad,” he said.

“On behalf of our community and the Council congratulations to all our Australia Day award winners.

“Your contribution to our Shire is very much valued and appreciated,” Mayor Lyon said.

Byron Shire Council’s Australia Day awards recognised the outstanding efforts of people in eight categories:

Citizen of the Year – Jacqui Boyett
Jacqui Boyett is the founder of the not-for-profit Global Ripple charity.

Global Ripple raises money through an op shop in the Byron Arts and Industry Estate with proceeds used to support people in need locally and in places further afield including India and Bali.

Ms Boyett’s Global Ripple charity has supported the Hot Showers project in partnership with the Byron Community Centre and the Women’s’ Collective.

It has also helped people in India cope with COVID-19 and provided funds to help rebuild a family home on Savu Island in Indonesia after it was destroyed by a cyclone.

Senior Citizen of the Year – Kathy Norley
Kathy Norley has worked tireless for many years for the South Golden Beach community, including serving as President of the South Golden Beach Community Association.

Kathy was instrumental in helping to design and secure money for a major renovation of the South Golden Beach Community Centre and was the driving force behind a playground, exercise area and skatepark in the area.

She maintains a Facebook page with regular updates on events that concern local residents and visitors.

Young Citizen of the Year – Ella Whan
Ellla Whan, who finished her HSC last year, has already notched up many years of community work, taking on the challenge of raising awareness of the importance of the environment in 2017, working with two other young women to organise the Climate Strikes in the Byron Shire.

As School Captain of Byron Bay High School in 2021, Ella worked with the P&C committee to represent the needs of the student body and was instrumental in lobbying for funds to get a dedicated Senior study and recreation area.

Ella was a Rural Ambassador for the Northern Rivers and received the Academic Excellence Award, the Principal’s Award and the Long Tan Citizenship Award.

Volunteer of the Year – Narelle Anderton
Narelle Anderton has provided outstanding service to the sport of netball in the Byron Shire for 31 years, particularly with the Brunswick Byron Netball Association and the Mullumbimby Netball Club.

She averages more than 20 hours each week volunteering for the netball community in various roles including coaching, administration/organisation, umpiring, meetings and the canteen.

Through her efforts to keep the canteen functioning for the past 10 years, it has raised more than $150,000. She is a tireless worker, arranging and participating in working bees to clean the courts and maintain the clubhouse.

She has also worked with many players at all levels to help them reach their potential including coaching several teams to win State Championships, coaching players who were accepted into the North Coast Academy and working with other coaches and umpires.

Creative Artist of the Year – Kiahn Ladkin

BYRON SHIRE AUSTRALIA DAY AWARD WINNERS

Kiahn Ladkin

Dancer Kiahn Ladkin is a proud Awabakal woman who has danced on Arakwal land for seven years. Kiahn has been involved in the Secondary Aboriginal Dance Company for five years and has also been selected to dance with Bangarra Dance.

She was a valued student at Byron Bay High School and was a mentor and volunteer tutor for the ATSI homework club.

Kiahn has been involved in teaching indigenous dance and culture across a variety of platforms including mentoring Indigenous primary and high school students in dance and culture. She represented her people and culture at school assemblies for seven years and promoted justice and celebrated the achievements of First Nations People.

Kiahn achieved academic excellence in 2021 and was received a Year Advisor’s Award as well as an Indigenous Excellence Award in recognition of her commitment to culture, study and friendship.

 

Community Event of the Year – Nina’s 100th Birthday Celebration
One of Byron Bay’s most popular residents, Nina Mazri, celebrated her 100th birthday last year and the event was a true community celebration.

More than 200 people turned out to honour Nina and celebrate the joy of living, the benefits of engaging with your community, acknowledging the contribution of the elderly and the importance of remaining connected with family and friends, especially through the pandemic.

As Nina would say “Why walk through life when you can dance.”

Community Initiative of the Year – the Library of Stuff
The Library of Stuff is a community operation that shares infrequently needed items with its members who are mainly households and local not-for-profit groups.

The library’s aim is to reduce consumption and waste and help create a sharing culture in the community. It does this by encouraging people to “borrow” not “buy” and advocates for good maintenance and repair of items rather than throwing them out.

The range of items in the inventory has grown to include non-fiction books, sporting equipment, camping gear, games, kitchen appliances, power and hand tools.

Environmental Project of the Year – Bangalow Koalas Community Wildlife Corridor

BYRON SHIRE AUSTRALIA DAY AWARD WINNERS

Linda Sparrow

Bangalow Koalas’ community wildlife corridor strengthens the connection between community and wildlife by enhancing koala habitat/rainforest remnants in a wildlife corridor that will connect to existing habitat in the Byron Shire, west to Tenterfield, north to the Queensland border and south towards Grafton.

What started as a handful of concerned neighbours wanting to protect a 400m stretch of 30-year-old koala food trees has grown into a community group with more than 120 members.

Led by Bangalow’s Linda Sparrow, Bangalow Koalas has planted 157,000 trees in three years. The original goal of planting 250,000 trees by the end of 2025 will be achieved early next year and it has set a new target of 500,000 trees by 2025.

The Bangalow Koalas’ Wildlife Corridor project, whilst aiming to protect and enhance koala habitat, has brought the community together through planting days, recording sightings and workshops.

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Byron Bay News

FUNDING FOR BYRON BAY FC A GAME CHANGER

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FUNDING FOR BYRON BAY FC A GAME CHANGER

FUNDING FOR BYRON BAY FC A GAME CHANGER

Byron Bay Football Club will soon be able to begin a full renovation of their clubhouse thanks to $414,943 from the NSW Government’s Stronger Country Communities Fund.

A brand new second story will be added to the Clubhouse to provide the best possible experience to members, visitors and the wider community.

The renovations will also focus on ensuring more women have the opportunity to play for the Club.

Minister for Regional Youth Ben Franklin said the renovations would be a game-changer for the Club.

“Junior, youth and men’s and women’s teams will soon have a brand new, modern and fit for purpose sports facility to enjoy and make the Byron Bay FC and even better club to be a part of,” Mr Franklin said.

“The add-on will be more accommodating to all teams and will have dedicated facilities for women to encourage more female players to get involved in the game.

“The funding will also mean the Clubhouse can be FFA & FIFA compliant to be a ‘live site’ which will allow streaming of all games in the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup to be held right here in Australia.

“As Minister for Regional Youth, I am excited about the possibilities and opportunities this will open up for more young people, especially young women.”

Dedicated and modern change room and bathroom facilities for women helps remove the barriers women may face to getting involved in local sport and opens up the opportunity for growth at a local and higher competition level.

Byron Bay Football Club said this project supported the Club’s ethos and would make them stronger moving into the future.

“The football game we play in the Bay is all about the team, and the club we run is the same; amazing individuals coming together to create a hub for the local community to be as one. The NSW Government and this grant are now part of this great team.

“We are an inclusive club open to all and our future clubhouse will only make us stronger.”

Byron Bay FC also intends to make the renovated venue available to other community groups and organisations for hire to help support local events and fundraisers.

The Stronger Country Communities Fund is delivering new and upgraded facilities, infrastructure and programs that make a big difference to everyday life for people in coastal and country towns across the state.

Since 2017, the Stronger Country Communities Fund has invested over $500 million into regional NSW to support upwards of 1,900 local projects.

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