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News and Reviews

Be prepared for vaping law changes



Federal Government’s COVID-19 Disaster Payments

Be prepared for vaping law changes

The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) is urging GPs to be prepared for changes to vaping laws coming into effect on 1 October.

Under the changes nicotine vaping products, such as nicotine e-cigarettes, nicotine pods and liquid nicotine, will be available only by prescription as a smoking cessation tool. People will no longer be able to buy these products or import them from overseas websites without a valid prescription.

GPs can prescribe nicotine vaping products by becoming an Authorised Prescriber (only takes a few minutes and is free), through the Special Access Scheme or providing a prescription for three months’ supply via the Personal Importation Scheme.

The RACGP has produced evidence-based guidance for health professionals to support smoking cessation. The guidance covers the evidence on effectiveness of nicotine vaping products for supporting smoking cessation, their place in therapy and the practicalities of prescribing them. In the absence of an evidence base for how to prescribe these products for therapeutic use, practice points have been developed to minimise risk to prescribers and patients, including:

· nicotine vaping products are currently not approved therapeutic products, and it is valid and reasonable for medical practitioners to opt not to prescribe them

· if prescribing, use the Authorised Prescriber or Special Access Scheme prescribing pathways instead of the Personal Importation Scheme to minimise the risk of the patient receiving imported products that do not meet the TGO 110 requirements. These include requirements on labelling, child-resistant packaging, and the prohibition of other active ingredients beside nicotine

· avoid prescribing free-base nicotine at concentrations over 20mg/mL and limit the quantity of nicotine vaping products per prescription to a maximum of three months’ supply (and align the duration of supply with the timing of follow-up)

· avoid the use of flavours or limit these to just tobacco flavour since flavouring chemicals are not standardised and their safety for inhalation into the lung is not known.

· provide follow up as well as behavioural support.

RACGP President Dr Karen Price encouraged all GPs to familiarise themselves with the changes.

“GPs have a lot on their plate right now but it’s important that they are aware of what these changes to vaping laws mean for them and their patients,” she said.

“Prescriptions for nicotine vaping products are not a first-line treatment for smoking cessation and should only be tried when other measures, such as nicotine replacement therapy with behavioural support, have failed.

“It will be the job of GPs in communities across Australia to apply discretion and judgment when considering the patient’s individual circumstances.

“Those who do have a prescription will be able to obtain nicotine vaping products by filling the prescription via a pharmacy.”

The RACGP President said that there were resources available to help bring GPs up to speed with the changes.

“Any GP keen to learn more about these changes can take part in a webinar organised by Quitline and accredited by the RACGP on 5 October, which includes clinical guidance for nicotine vaping products,” she said.

“The webinar will describe the process for prescribing nicotine vaping products and outline all the clinical considerations involved. I encourage all GPs to sign up and learn about these changes that are coming into effect.

“It’s important that GPs are wary of being pressured into prescribing these nicotine vaping products. The laws governing these products are in place for a reason – the long-term health effects of using e-cigarettes or ‘vaping’ are unknown and the evidence base for their efficacy as a smoking cessation tool remains uncertain.

“A prescription for these products should only be used as a last resort, vaping is not a risk-free, harmless version of smoking cigarettes. These are addictive and harmful products that can prove fatal if ingested in certain amounts.”

Dr Price also urged people seeking access to nicotine vaping products to be patient and respectful of GPs and practice staff.

“I understand that these changes will take some people by surprise. Please don’t take your frustrations out on GPs, practice managers, nurses, receptionists or administrative workers,” she said.

“They are not the ones who made these rules and GPs will only be able to prescribe these products as a last line treatment for smoking cessation.

“I encourage anyone who smokes or vapes to consult with their GP about quitting and explore the pharmacotherapy and behavioural treatments and supports available. This includes nicotine replacement therapy in the form of a patch, spray, gum or lozenge. There are also several effective drugs that are available such as varenicline, which blocks the pleasure and reward response to smoking, as well as bupropion hydrochloride, which reduces the urge to smoke.

“Many people see quitting as just too difficult but with the right approach, including the support and guidance of a GP and having strong strategies in place, it is possible. It could be the best health decision you ever make.”

Details about the webinar on 5 October and registration can be found here.

The RACGP was selected as one of the recipients of the 2020 World No Tobacco Day awards for our valuable work including the release of new Smoking Cessation Guidelines 2020. Note: The smoking cessation guideline’s conditional recommendation 15 concerning vaping can be found here on the RACGP website.

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News and Reviews

Greyhound runt wins maiden race




Butcher as a puppy Contributed

Greyhound runt wins maiden race


By Samantha Elley

Australians love nothing more than a good underdog story and the life of Butcher is definitely that.

Butcher had a tough beginning when he was born the runt of the greyhound litter belonging to Lyndall Beaumont and Brad Northfield of Backmede.

“He was the runt but also his mother rolled over and lied on him,” said Lyndall.

“We thought he was dead as he was lifeless.

“(Brad) was going to the greyhound committee and he said, ‘He’s dead. Throw him in the bin.’ He was used to it.”

But Lyndall knew she couldn’t do that, so she wrapped the puppy up warm and started massaging him.

“He came back to life!” she said

“I got an eye dropper and got special milk from the vet and I took him to bed for the next two weeks and got up every few hours, like a baby, and gave him a few drops of milk.”

Butcher with his owners Courtesy Casino Greyhound Racing Club Facebook page

Butcher with his owners Courtesy Casino Greyhound Racing Club Facebook page

Lyndall said Butcher was so tiny he fit in the palm of her hand.

“Brad told me to put him back with his mother, and she rolled on him again,” said Lyndall.

“So from then on I said I was keeping him inside.”

Butcher, which is his racing name, is now a normal size for a greyhound.

He was named after David ‘Butcher’ McLeod, for all his help during trialling at the race track.

“(Butch) goes above and beyond with the trials,” said Lyndall.

“He always wanted someone to call a dog after him, so we called ours Butcher.”

Earlier this month, Butcher showed what he was made of when he won his maiden race at the Casino Greyhound races.

Brad has admitted to the Casino Greyhound Racing Club that none of that would have been possible if not for Lyndall nursing Butcher back to life and willing the puppy to survive.

“(Butcher is) special,” said Lyndall.

“It is like he is human.”

Lyndall knows there is more to come in Butcher’s racing career.


For more local news, click here.

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News and Reviews

Northern Rivers Careers Expo Returns




Northern Rivers Careers Expo

Northern Rivers Careers Expo Returns


The Northern Rivers Careers Expo is back! Join us at the Lismore Showgrounds on Tuesday, July 30, 2024, from 9 am to 2 pm. Hosted by Connect Northern Rivers, this year’s free event promises to be as exciting as ever, welcoming over 3,000 students from across the North Coast of NSW.

Open to all ages, the Expo offers job opportunities, career advice, and further study options. Highlights include a job vacancy board sponsored by Real Futures, two pavilions with businesses offering jobs, apprenticeships, and traineeships, and numerous universities from across Australia. TAFE NSW and Greg Clark Building sponsor the “Try a Trade” pavilion, providing hands-on experiences in fields like Aviation, Early Childhood, Hair & Beauty, Construction, and more.

Key participants include:

  • Southern Cross University (Expo Partner)
  • SAE Creative Media Institute (Performance Stage Sponsor)
  • Local councils
  • Byron Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Coles
  • Casino Food Co-op
  • Jobs Northern Rivers
  • Australian Defence Force Careers
  • Essential Energy
  • Frizelle Sunshine Automotive Group
  • Multiple universities
  • Marine Rescue NSW
  • Sydney Actors School and Sydney Film School
  • Headspace
  • NSW Police
  • Ballina RSL
  • Your Local Club (Ready Steady Cook Sponsor)
  • Major Training Group
  • O’Brien Electrical and Plumbing

Event highlights include:

  • Defence Force vehicles and simulators
  • Animals
  • Speedway cars and go-karts
  • SCU’s electric kombi van and solar Sunflower
  • Ready Steady Cook competition
  • Student performances from six schools
  • CPR demonstrations
  • Fancy cars from Frizelle’s
  • Food and coffee vans
  • Virtual Reality experiences
  • “Try a Trade” activities

The North Coast Community College will host their annual North Coast Junior Barista Championship, featuring live music by Bodhi Action and a 40 Year Footloose Dance Extravaganza at 12:20 pm.

Through the ABC Takeover initiative, local high school students will interview attendees and stakeholders, film the event, and explore career opportunities in the Film and Television industry, empowering them to share their ideas for regional improvement.

For more information, contact Connect Northern Rivers at 1300 183 352 or Ingrid Johansen at 0447 185 428.

Special thanks to our Expo Partners TAFE NSW and Southern Cross University, our Try a Trade Sponsor Greg Clark Building, Your Local Club our Ready, Steady, Cook Sponsor, SAE our Performance Stage Sponsor, and Real Futures our Jobs Board Sponsor.


For more local news, click here.

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News and Reviews

Would American Truck Campers be a Perfect Fit for Australia?




An example of an American Truck Camper Australia - Photo by Ecocampor

Would American Truck Campers be a Perfect Fit for Australia?


Truck campers have long been a popular choice for adventurers seeking the perfect blend of mobility and comfort. In the United States, these versatile vehicles have carved out a significant niche in the camping and RV market. However, as their popularity grows, many Australians are beginning to wonder if these American truck campers would be a good fit Down Under. With a huge market for travelling and vehicle modifications, it might be an answer to what a lot of people are after.

What Are Truck Campers?

Truck campers are a type of recreational vehicle (RV) that can be loaded onto the bed of a pickup truck. They offer a compact and self-contained living space, including sleeping quarters, a kitchen, and often a small bathroom. This design allows for greater flexibility compared to traditional caravans or motorhomes, as the camper can be detached when not in use, leaving the truck free for other purposes and by not having to tow a massive load.

An example of an American Truck Camper Australia - Photo by Ecocampor

An example of an American Truck Camper – Photo by Ecocampor

Key Features of American Truck Campers

  1. Compact Size and Versatility: American truck campers are known for their compact yet efficient design. They are ideal for travellers who prefer to navigate narrow roads and remote areas that might be challenging for larger RVs.
  2. Off-Road Capability: Many American truck campers are built with off-road capabilities in mind. They are often paired with heavy-duty trucks that can handle rough terrains, making them suitable for Australia’s diverse environments.
  3. Luxury and Comfort: Despite their compact size, these campers are equipped with modern amenities. Features such as full kitchens, bathrooms, air conditioning, and solar panels for off-grid camping make them a comfortable option for extended trips.
  4. Durability: American truck campers are designed to withstand a variety of weather conditions, which is essential for Australia’s unpredictable climate. Their robust construction ensures they can handle the sun, rain, and even snow in the high country.

Suitability for Australia

  1. Terrain and Environment: Australia’s varied landscape poses a challenge for many types of RVs. However, the off-road capabilities and rugged design of American truck campers make them well-suited for these conditions. Their ability to easily navigate rough terrain and remote areas is a significant advantage for those seeking to explore Australia’s more secluded spots without having a massive vehicle.
  2. Accessibility and Convenience: The compact size of truck campers makes them ideal for accessing areas that larger caravans and motorhomes cannot. This includes narrow coastal roads, national parks with size restrictions, and urban areas where parking can be a challenge. For those who enjoy spontaneous travel and off-the-beaten-path adventures, this flexibility is invaluable.
  3. Self-Sufficiency: One of the primary appeals of truck campers is their self-contained nature. With built-in kitchens, bathrooms, and power sources, travellers can be self-sufficient for extended periods. This is particularly useful in Australia, where remote camping is a popular choice, and amenities can be scarce.
  4. Cost Considerations: While the initial cost of a truck camper and a suitable truck may be higher than some other RV options, the long-term benefits can outweigh this. The ability to detach the camper and use the truck independently offers greater utility and can save on the cost of maintaining two separate vehicles.
Lance 650 Truck Camper Interior - Photo by Lance Camper

Lance 650 Truck Camper Interior – Photo by Lance Camper

Potential for Local Manufacturing in Australia

Whilst there is some manufacturers making truck campers (or called slide on campers in Australia), there isn’t a whole lot of options out there.

  1. Adapting to Local Conditions: Manufacturing truck campers in Australia offers the opportunity to tailor designs specifically to local conditions. This includes considering the unique demands of the Australian outback, coastal environments, and tropical regions. Local manufacturers can incorporate materials and construction techniques best suited to withstand the harsh Australian climate.
  2. Supporting the Local Economy: Establishing a truck camper manufacturing industry in Australia would provide economic benefits, including job creation and support for local businesses. By sourcing materials and components locally, manufacturers can reduce reliance on imports and contribute to the growth of the domestic economy.
  3. Customization and Innovation: Local manufacturing would allow for greater customization options, catering to the specific needs and preferences of Australian consumers. This could include integrating advanced off-road capabilities, enhanced solar power systems, and innovative storage solutions. Australian manufacturers could lead the way in developing cutting-edge features that set their products apart in the global market.
  4. Compliance and Standards: Producing truck campers locally ensures that all units meet Australian safety and regulatory standards from the outset. This eliminates the complexities associated with importing vehicles and retrofitting them to comply with local requirements. Manufacturers can focus on building campers that are fully compliant and ready for the Australian market.
  5. After-Sales Support and Service: Local manufacturing enhances the availability of after-sales support and service. Customers can benefit from readily accessible maintenance and repair services, as well as a reliable supply of replacement parts. This improves the overall ownership experience and ensures that any issues can be quickly and efficiently addressed.

American truck campers offer a unique blend of versatility, comfort, and rugged capability that make them an appealing choice for Australian adventurers. Their compact size, off-road performance, and self-sufficient design align well with the needs of those exploring Australia’s diverse landscapes. The potential for manufacturing these campers locally presents numerous advantages.

With the right investments and innovations, Australia could develop a thriving truck camper manufacturing industry that meets the demands of its adventurous population. By embracing this opportunity, Australians can enjoy the best of both worlds – the freedom and flexibility of American truck campers, tailored to the unique beauty and challenges of Australia.


For more travel news, click here.

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