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Local News

Veteran nurse debunks claims Tweed Hospital is ‘Falling over in a screaming heap.’

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Veteran nurse debunks claims Tweed Hospital is ‘Falling over in a screaming heap.’

Veteran nurse debunks claims Tweed Hospital is ‘Falling over in a screaming heap.’

Speaking to The Northern Rivers Times on the condition of anonymity, an experienced nurse at Tweed Hospital has moved to counter some media claims the hospital is falling apart.

The nurse said the belief “Tweed Hospital has no Covid diagnosis equipment” is simply not true with Rapid Antigen Tests continuing this week for patients.  Hospital staff were also being tested at Tweed hospital.

“They still do ‘rapids’, definitely, and the results are back in half an hour,” the nurse said.

The nurse was concerned media hype did not tell the everyday story of life on hospital wards, which the nurse said were generally well-staffed and if quiet, saw some nurses redeployed to other wards.  The nurse said it was not unusual to have staff shortages anyway at this time of year or staff doing paid overtime.

“Hospital administration is still allowing people to go on annual leave, if it was in dire straits, why aren’t all the hierarchy back, they would be back if it was so bad.”

“A & E (Accident and Emergency) is certainly stretched with Covid admissions who should be staying home .. but it certainly isn’t falling apart.”

The nurse said managers and nurse unions have had ‘plenty of time’ to prepare for covid emergencies like now, including ensuring fit-testing of N95 or P2 respirators, mandatory for all frontline staff and an area lagging at Tweed Hospital.

“They could’ve planned better for this,” the nurse observed, “ .. it should’ve been done earlier.”

The experienced nurse was quick to add that negative commentary was not helpful for staff morale at a time like this.

“What we need to do is boost people up, encourage them to keep going, that we will get through this.  It’s all too easy to criticise,” the veteran nurse said.

Business News NSW Northern Rivers

RENT RELIEF CONTINUES FOR SMALL BUSINESSES IMPACTED BY COVID-19

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RENT RELIEF CONTINUES FOR SMALL BUSINESSES IMPACTED BY COVID-19

RENT RELIEF CONTINUES FOR SMALL BUSINESSES IMPACTED BY COVID-19

Small businesses who are still doing it tough across the State will continue to benefit from rent relief until 13 January 2022, ensuring ongoing support for small businesses over the Christmas and New Year’s Period.
Treasurer Matt Kean said as the economic recovery continues, many small businesses are still not back at their pre-COVID turnover and rent is still one of their biggest fixed costs.

“Small business is the engine room of our economy and as we recover from the pandemic we need to make sure we leave no one behind and support impacted businesses as they continue to recover,” Mr Kean said.
“Continuing rent relief measures for impacted small businesses will provide a necessary buffer to allow businesses time to get back on their feet and begin to thrive again.”

The Retail and Other Commercial Leases (COVID-19) Regulation 2021 rent relief provisions will continue for eligible businesses with a turnover of less than $5 million, a more targeted level of support from the previous turnover threshold of $50 million.
Minister for Finance and Small Business Damien Tudehope said landlords will still be required to negotiate rent relief with eligible commercial and retail tenants that are experiencing a turnover decline of 30 per cent or more.

“Lockdown may be over but there are still small businesses, particularly in our CBDs, that are facing a slower recovery and are continuing to do it tough,” Mr Tudehope said.

“As the State continues to transition out of lockdown, 97 per cent of NSW businesses will retain access to COVID-19 rent relief provisions if they continue to experience a significant decline in turnover.”

Small commercial and retail tenants that would have continued to meet the eligibility criteria for JobSaver or the Micro-business Grant, after ending on 30 November, will remain eligible for rent relief negotiations with their landlords.
Under the Regulation, landlords are required to negotiate rent relief having regard to National Cabinet’s Code of Conduct. As a starting point, rent relief should be proportionate with eligible tenant’s decline in turnover, with at least 50 per cent in the form a waiver, and the balance a deferral.
Landlords can access the Commercial Landlord Hardship Fund, which currently provides small commercial or retail landlords with a monthly grant up to the value of any rental relief provided, to a maximum of $3,000 per month per property.
Alternatively, land tax relief is available for eligible commercial landowners who have reduced their tenants’ rent due to COVID-19, between 1 July 2021 and 31 December 2021. The reduction in land tax payable is the lesser of:

  • the amount of rent reduction provided to an eligible tenant for any period between 1 July 2021 and 31 December 2021, or
  • 100 per cent of the land tax attributable to the parcel of land leased to that tenant.

For more information on rent relief visit: Commercial leases https://www.smallbusiness.nsw.gov.au/get-help/covid-19/commercial-leases-and-covid-19-faqs
For more information on COVID-19 assistance for commercial and residential landlords visit: https://www.service.nsw.gov.au/campaign/covid-19-help-businesses/covid-19-assistance-commercial-and-residential-landlords

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Health News

Pharmacists ready with Moderna boosters but services must be sustainable

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The Northern Rivers own newspaper

Pharmacists ready with Moderna boosters but services must be sustainable

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) welcomes the announcement that Moderna’s SPIKEVAX vaccine has been provisionally approved as a booster dose for Australians aged 18 years and above.

Yesterday, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) confirmed that a second vaccine will be available for the National Booster Program.

PSA National President, A/Prof Chris Freeman, acknowledged further enablement of the pharmacist workforce.

“With the National Booster Program well underway, this move is timely – one that provides Australians with greater vaccine choice in the lead up to early 2022 when the majority of the population becomes eligible for their booster dose.

“This announcement, coupled with Monday’s provisional approval of Pfizer for Australians aged 5-11 years, marks a week of significant progress in the pandemic response and PSA commends the Government’s approach to making these decisions.

“This development now means that the potential number of pharmacists offering booster vaccinations across Australia has more than doubled, accounting for those already participating in the Moderna program.

“However, it is imperative that pharmacists are paid fairly, and at least equally to other providers, otherwise the provision of this critical service is not sustainable. With 2.3 million children becoming eligible for vaccination, extra consultation time will be required to undertake appropriate assessment and consenting, placing further strain on service sustainability.

“Pharmacists have already administered over 2.5 million vaccinations to Australians, and as mass vaccination hubs continue to downscale their operations over the coming months, pharmacists will become an even more critical part of the vaccination strategy,” he said.

PSA is dedicated to supporting Australian pharmacist immunisers through the National Booster Program and will continue to work closely with the TGA and ATAGI to ensure pharmacists are equipped with the most up-to-date advice regarding vaccine safety and effectiveness.

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Local News

MORE WAYS TO PARK’NPAY AS CHARGEFOX AND PARKHOUND JOIN APP

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PARK’NPAY

MORE WAYS TO PARK’NPAY AS CHARGEFOX AND PARKHOUND JOIN APP

The NSW government continues to make life easier for drivers across the State with the latest update to the Park’nPay app.

The Park’nPay app, already supported by the NRMA, has now partnered with Australia’s largest EV charging network Chargefox and parking marketplace Parkhound to provide a single seamless platform for drivers looking to plan their trips.

Minister for Digital and Customer Service Victor Dominello said while Park’nPay already made it easier to locate and pay for parking across 10 Local Government Areas these new partnerships took the customer experience to the next level.

“This is a smart solution for a smart State,” Mr Dominello said.

“Now with just a tap of their phone, motorists can easily find and rent a privately owned carpark or search for a charging station convenient to them.

“Alongside the real-time parking availability, money saving pay-as-you-go technology and remote topping-up facility, having all this information accessible in the one place is a big win for the drivers of NSW.”

Minister for Transport and Roads Rob Stokes said the Park’nPay app will connect drivers with more than 18,000 Parkhound hosts, who are renting out their private driveways and parking spaces.

“The Parkhound feature can be used by drivers to find the perfect spot when street parking isn’t available, while giving hosts the chance to make some extra cash when their car spots would otherwise sit empty,” Mr Stokes said

“The NSW Government’s $490 million Electric Vehicle Strategy is leading the nation in the uptake of electric vehicles, and the partnership with Chargefox is a great way for EV drivers to find a parking spot and charge their vehicles at the same time.”

NRMA CEO Membership & Motoring Emma Harrington said: “Technology can play an important role in improving the driving experience for electric vehicle owners and this App supports the work NRMA is doing in making it easier to find charging stations on your journey.”

Parkhound CEO Mike Rosenbaum said he was pleased to collaborate with the NSW Government on this innovative parking solution.

“There are 100,000’s of underutilised driveways and car spaces that sit idle right across the state. Both commuters and local residents can now easily make use of these otherwise wasted spaces via the real-time data in the Park’nPay app. This will significantly ease parking congestion and save drivers from circling the block.”

CEO and Co-Founder of Chargefox Marty Andrews welcomed the opportunity to keep motorists informed about their growing network of NSW charging stations.
“The Collaboration with ParknPay means that motorists will have more visibility about EV charging infrastructure, which has been a barrier to EV uptake in the past. We look forward to adding more station locations to the app in the future as we work towards our goal of a 5,000 plug EV charging network by 2025.”

EV drivers can now locate 130 charging stations with almost 240 plugs across NSW via the map in the app, making it easier to plan trips, compare prices and identify the type of charging plug.

The Park’nPay app has a link which will direct users to Chargefox when it is time to pay.

More than 71,400 people have downloaded the Park’nPay app since its launch, with almost 94 per cent giving it a thumbs up.

For parking, the Park’nPay app is currently available in the following locations: The Rocks​, Liverpool​, Mosman​, Central Coast​, Hunters Hill​, Burwood, The Northern Beaches, Port Stephens​, Willoughby​, Armidale, and Transport for NSW Customer Carparks.

For more information, visit parknpay.nsw.gov.au

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