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NSW Breaking News

More questions than answers for HSC teachers

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More questions than answers for HSC teachers
More questions than answers for HSC teachers

More questions than answers for HSC teachers

Teachers affected by the Covid lockdown in the Sydney region are already doing all they can to reassure and ready their students for the HSC exams. But today’s announcement by the NSW Government that HSC students will return to school on August 16 raises more questions than it answers.

The IEU calls for greater clarity as teachers once again adapt to fast-changing, complex circumstances to ensure their students can take on the HSC with confidence.

“How will rapid-antigen testing be administered and how quickly will results be available? Will vaccinations be administered at individual schools? Will the local government areas under the tightest restrictions (including the three announced today) be prioritised?” asked Independent Education Union of Australia NSW/ACT Branch Secretary Mark Northam.

The IEU, which represents 32,000 teachers and support staff in the non-government sector throughout NSW and the ACT, anticipates close consultation from NSW Health so the union can support members’ safety and provide them with accurate detail to allay their concerns. “We expect the buffer of time between now and 16 August to be used to iron out every last detail and contingency,” Northam said.

Since January, the IEU has been calling for school staff to be included in priority groups for vaccination. What we foresaw months ago is now absolutely upon us. “We now call for urgent priority access to vaccinations for all teachers, but in particular teachers in the Parramatta, Campbelltown, Georges River, Blacktown and Cumberland local government areas,” Northam said.

“We also call for paid vaccination leave for all school staff as case numbers are still rising and the HSC is rapidly approaching.”

The IEU supports priority vaccination for essential workers, and for school staff to be included in this category. “The health and safety of teachers and support staff is our greatest concern,” Northam said. “Between now and August 16 we will consult with our members and ask that the NSW Government address their concerns.”

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The Northern Rivers Times Edition 164

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2022 Floods

‘Don’t Forget Us!’ say Bungawalbyn, Woodburn and Coraki Residents.

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Protestor holding a sign at Woodburn Bridge

‘Don’t Forget Us!’ say Bungawalbyn, Woodburn and Coraki Residents.

 

By Kate Coxwell.

The Resilient Homes Program, which was created to provide assistance to home owners to restore and flood protect their homes and lives from future events has rejected over 5000 of the applicants out of just over 6000 in total, resulting in a rally which last weekend saw the Clarence electorate, Woodburn, Coraki, Bungawalbin, Broadwater, Wardell and surrounding rural townships came out in force, back to the bridge where National media had filmed them stranded, in the floods, nearly 18 months ago.

$750 million dollars of promised flood recovery funds seemingly disappeared the week prior, and over 5000 residents affected by floods were called by Service NSW staff to say “you are ineligible” as the NRRC also released new flood zone maps excluding the 2022 data and itself dissolved within days in the same week, the buck now stopping with the Northern Rivers Reconstruction Authority.

The Resilient Homes Program, which was created to provide assistance to home owners to restore and flood protect their homes and lives from future events has rejected over 5000 of the applicants out of just over 6000 in total, resulting in a rally which last weekend saw the Clarence electorate, Woodburn, Coraki, Bungawalbin, Broadwater, Wardell and surrounding rural townships came out in force, back to the bridge where National media had filmed them stranded, in the floods, nearly 18 months ago.

Arguably, these communities were the hardest hit, with some residents being stranded for over 3 weeks with no access in or out, some stranded for 6 in the worst hit areas of Bungawalbyn, and no one other than their own community, coming to provide life saving medical and supply runs of food and water. This community says it is still feeling forgotten, as many homes, being classed as rural, have been made automatically ineligible, while some others, where water reached the ceiling fans, due to the new mapping, deemed ‘safe’.

With over 300 people attending the rally, standing across the span of the Woodburn Bridge, it was very well attended. Local MP’s Janelle Saffin (State for Lismore) and Richie Williamson (State for Clarence) as well as Mayor Robert Mustow.

Protestors rallying on the Woodburn bridge holding signs.

In an address to the crowd MP Richie Williamson said “This is a humanitarian crisis we are dealing with, the Premier agreed. We need to do better- the Government, the politicians-everyone in the decision-making chain needs to do better.”

Whilst MP Janelle Saffin said “You say you feel forgotten. I have not forgotten you. It was an inland tsunami. Despite not representing Woodburn, you are in my heart!”

Both MP’s and the Mayor were supportive of the Tranch 2 funding proposed, and had recently attended Sydney, speaking to Parliament as a group, about the needs of the community.

One member of the Coraki community recalled “how even in the second major 2022 flood, there was only 2 SES on that day, despite all warnings and extra support sent from around the State, we were forgotten, and the community who had been helping us with supplies, people who live among us who had also lost everything, they were the ones who came, with emergency medical supplies, food and assistance for those trapped again.”

Lyndall Murray from the Hands and Hearts Project, a project which has come together to do what the Government simply hasn’t, and that is to restore 100 homes, with their small team of 16 volunteers, said “The Hands and Hearts Project is doing what the Government won’t. The NRRC decision broke my heart.”

This time, the community is coming together to say “We count- Don’t Forget us!” and has formed a petition, asking for all who care about them to sign it. The petition can be found here: www.dontforgetus.com.au

 

To see more news on the 2022 floods, please see our other recent posts.

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