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Terania Street reopening to light vehicles this Friday
Terania Street reopening to light vehicles this Friday

17 June 2024, 2:25 AM

After being closed for more than four months, Lismore’s Terania Street will reopen to light vehicles from late Friday, 21 June, weather permitting. With the Bureau of Meteorology forecasting sunny and partly cloudy days, there should be no delays.This follows the installation of traffic calming measures, designed to prevent the recurrence of damage caused to the rail-over-road bridge by oversized vehicles, which resulted in its closure between Tweed and Peate streets from 7 February.That was the third time, Terania Street had been closed since September 2023, when it was closed for two months due to safety issues for the Terania Street Bridge after repeat collisions by overheight vehicles.Transport for NSW Director Region North Anna Zycki thanked residents and businesses affected by the closure for their patience while work continues on a permanent solution for the bridge.“Our specialist engineers have designed and installed temporary road treatments to slow down light vehicles and restrict heavy vehicles from using this route, so we can prevent any further damage,” Ms Zycki said.“Terania Street is now equipped with speed humps, a reduced 25 km/h speed limit, restricted lane width, traffic islands and a surveillance camera.“We’ll be monitoring vehicles on the east and west approaches to the bridge, ensuring those weighing more than 4.5 tonnes don’t enter the restricted road approaching the rail bridge.”“New ‘No right turn’ signs have also been installed for vehicles entering and exiting Peate Street and Transport urges all road users to respect the new traffic conditions, which are designed to prevent the bridge from further damage.”The NSW Heritage Council has approved the application by Transport for NSW to remove the Terania Street rail-over-road bridge. Transport is working through the heritage approval consent conditions and will notify the community when work is due to start.A detour for heavy vehicles is available via Wilson Street, Elliott Road and Ballina Road. Residents wishing to enter or exit Peate Street need to detour via Pine, Crane and Tweed streets.

Lismore named as possible location for boost to regional health worker accommodation
Lismore named as possible location for boost to regional health worker accommodation

16 June 2024, 11:19 PM

The NSW Government has committed an additional $200.1 million to increase key health worker accommodation across rural and regional areas of the state as part of the 2024-25 NSW Budget. The funding is intended to support the recruitment and retention of over 500 health workers and their families in regional NSW by providing a range of new worker accommodation. Housing is the single largest cost of living issue people are facing. The NSW Government will continue to address the housing crisis, so additional accommodation will be made available for people who require it, including key health workers.   Early assessment has identified a number of possible future locations, such as Lismore, Lake Cargelligo, Tweed Heads and the Eurobodalla. The Government will prioritise providing housing options in areas that most need to attract workers and deliver healthcare accessibility. The Government will secure approximately 120 dwellings, which may include the building of new accommodation, refurbishment of existing living quarters, and possible purchase of suitable properties such as motels.   NSW Health will work with local health districts, NSW Ambulance, Homes NSW, and the NSW Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development to understand key health worker accommodation requirements.  The extensive planning and design process of the units will be developed in close consultation with health workers to ensure comfort and suitability to their needs, allowing them to securely establish themselves in the area and connect with the community. The accommodation will be delivered over the next four years. This investment builds on the $45.3 million in accommodation for key healthcare workers in the Murrumbidgee, Southern NSW and Far West Local Health Districts, which commenced in 2024 and will continue to be rolled out through 2025.Member for Lismore Janelle Saffin said, “The plan to provide some housing for our health workers in Lismore and other areas is fantastic and very welcome. “We have long lobbied for housing to be provided for our frontline workers, and the fact that the NSW Minns Labor Government is doing it is the start of good policy. This, along with the other housing measures, will fill a void long neglected and will, over time, address rent affordability. “I thank the Minister for Health Ryan Park and say bring it on.” Treasurer Daniel Mookhey said, “This is a must-have investment in the state’s regional and rural health workforce. “This additional $200.1 million investment will build on the NSW Government’s commitment to recruit and retain health workers in regional and remote parts of the state. “We can afford to do this because cutting the state’s debt means we’ve cut the state’s interest bill. And we’re using those savings to make a difference for health workers and the communities they live in.” Minister for Health Ryan Park said, “Investing in affordable and accessible accommodation is a key factor in attracting and retaining health workers and ultimately enhancing the delivery of care across rural and regional hospitals. “Our Budget is focused on strengthening and supporting our highly skilled health workforce to ensure NSW’s regional and rural communities have access to high quality healthcare close to home.  “Based on early mapping and surveying of key worker accommodation requirements, we know that it is ‘not a one-size-fits-all’ approach. There will be a variety of solutions for each selected location. This is about tailoring solutions to the needs of the specific communities.”

Lifeblood celebrates 16 locals for over 300 blood and plasma donations each
Lifeblood celebrates 16 locals for over 300 blood and plasma donations each

16 June 2024, 9:00 PM

Last week was National Blood Donor Week. The Lismore Blood Donor Centre staff on Bounty Street were all smiles as blood and plasma donors poured in through the doors.On Friday, they celebrated local donors who reached the 300 and 400 clubs as part of an annual recognition milestone celebration.That's right. 16 donors have donated blood and plasma over 300 times, for a total of over 4,500 donations. Of those donations, they helped save the lives of over 13,500 recipients.Local legends like Ken Clarke, Jeff East, Duncan Raymont, Jeffrey Phillips, Jarvis Ben-Allan and Mark Youngberry.(Jeff East and Ken Clark have over 700 blood and plasma donations between them)Ken Clarke started donating blood when he was 18 and has amassed 425 donations in the last 42 years. His father was a blood donor; that was Ken's initial motivation, but then his father died of a heart attack at 48."I thought I'd try and kind of carry on from what he was doing," Ken said. Ken donates plasma every two weeks.Jeff East has a similar story. He started donating at 18 because his mother was a donor. She also died at a young age, 42. Jeff's donated blood and plasma 366 times."I was working all the time in the early days, so I have donated about 60 odd bloods and 300 odd plasmas."Most of the people who were being celebrated are older, say 50 plus. To demonstrate that age is not a factor in reaching the 300 donation milestone, 32 year old Jarvis Ben-Allan told his story."I started at 16 (the age limit has since increased to 18). I was in high school, and they said who wants to come and donate blood? A couple of mates thought we could get out of school, so that's how we started. Some continued, some didn't, and some fainted. It's been a bit of a habit ever since."Jarvis has reached 312 donations at his young age. Apparently, the national record is just over 1,000 donations, something that Jarvis and the staff at Lismore joke about him reaching and surpassing because of his age."I think I worked out by my mid-60's I should get there if I continue the way I am going," Jarvis said.(Jarvis Ben-Allan has chalked up over 300 donations at the age of 32)As mentioned at the start of this story, these sixteen people have helped save the lives of over 13,500 recipients. One of those recipients is young Archer Birmingham.Matt and Claire Birmingham bravely shared their story about Archer, who was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia a week after his third birthday. Archer went through almost three years of treatment, which coincided with Covid.Claire said that Archer received nineteen transfusions of blood products, seven packed cells (red blood cells) and 12 platelets (for clotting) before they even had a confirmed diagnosis."He had multiple transfusions before he was able to be transported to hospital," Claire explained, "And they actually told us at the time of diagnosis that had we taken him home and put him to bed that night, he probably would have passed away because his hemoglobin was so low that his heart would have stopped."(Claire and Matt Birmingham share their story at Lismore Lifeblood last Friday)Unfortunately, both Matt and Claire did not match Archer's blood type. Archer was a universal O-negative blood type, and during this time, there were often shortages of blood supply due to the fact that type O blood groups are used by the majority of the population. O-negative blood can be used in transfusions for any blood type.  'He would often have to wait longer than we would have liked or longer than they advised to have blood transfusions. Normally, they transfused kids at around 70 hemoglobin, they'd often leave him to the 50s because he has a more universal blood type, and that was often less available for him.""It's a really awful feeling to be so helpless and not be able to help your kid, not that we could ever directly donate to him anyway, but to not be able to contribute to restocking those supplies was really confronting," Claire said.In response, Matt and Claire set up an Archer Lifeblood team to recruit as many family, friends and acquaintances to donate blood and plasma."Thank you all, because you probably, at some point, very directly helped save our boy's life. And that is huge for us, so thank you," Claire told the donor milestone celebrants.Matt added, "I know you've probably got your own reasons for doing it (donating), a family member is sick or a friend or you know someone or you're just genuinely nice people who care for the community. On behalf of us, thank you so much."It is incredible to watch your son pale, not being able to move and not being able to talk. As soon as that blood hits him, it's a light; it changes him in a second." Claire chimes in with, "Actually, 59 minutes," to much laughter."He would be grumpy, grizzly and scream at everyone, and then the blood would hit him, and he sparks back to life. Then you just face the next challenge."Matt and Claire explained that Archer, who is turning 8 in November, is a typical 7-year-old boy. Four weeks after starting chemotherapy treatment, Archer was in remission. His last blood transfusion was in 2021, and he has not had any treatment since 2022.Life has changed a great deal from Archer's first diagnosis for Matt and Claire. However, statistically, the chance of a relapse is high, which means a constant worry that a secondary cancer may form."I personally struggle to trust it. I have to consciously remind myself to expect the best because we've watched so many people around us relapse. It's a self-preservation thing, where you know you get caught off guard once, and it rocks you like you can't imagine. I don't really want to feel like that again. It's a terrible mindset to have, but if you expect the worst, it's not going to hit you as badly."We make a really conscious effort to appreciate every day that we have with him, but we are by no means under the illusion that it's all over. He has ongoing medical challenges, and the harsh reality is that childhood cancer survivors are 80% more likely than the rest of us to develop secondary cancer before they're 40. So, we feel that we are preparing ourselves for potential future complications. But we obviously appreciate everything we've got."Hearing Matt and Claire's story about their journey with Archer and the constant worry that is ahead of them makes you appreciate what the sixteen milestone donors have achieved and the lives that they have saved.(Lismore's leading donor is Duncan Raymont, with 450 donations. Each donor over the 300 mark received a small award from Claire and Matt Birmingham)The Lismore App is a supporter of Lifeblood for the very reason you have read from Matt and Claire. Helen Sager, who hosted the event, and spokesperson Scott Morrison said the need for new donors and more blood and plasma donations continues.If you can spare one hour a month, you can donate blood. If you can spare 90 minutes, you can donate plasma. If you have more time, you can donate plasma every two weeks. One donor even said she uses the time as 'me time'. Time to get some quiet, get a milkshake and rest for an hour.Visit the website at www.lifeblood.com.au or pop in and talk to Helen and the team at Level 1/26 Bounty Street, Lismore (just down from the Town Hall) if you have questions about whether you can be a donor.

Record crowd at the Turf Club for LisAmore!
Record crowd at the Turf Club for LisAmore!

16 June 2024, 8:00 PM

A record crowd flocked to the Lismore Turf Club yesterday under clear blue skies for the annual Italian festival LisAmore!It is always difficult to estimate the size of a crowd at a free event; however, if 2023 was said to have been between 3,000 and 4,000 people, 2024 would have been between 5,000 and 6,000 people.Cars were parked along Winterton Parade, down to the old Richmond River High School, as well as the thousands parked inside the Turf Club.Mayor Steve Krieg told the Lismore App, "It was absolutely fantastic for the town. And the best thing is we haven’t had the weather hanging over our heads. We had a nice run of sunshine, and that put a bit more optimism into the community. This was a fantastic showcase of everything our regional city has to offer and also pays tribute to its heritage."The Italian Moretti beer sold out, the red and white wine was close to running dry, the gelato queue had about 30 people in it all day, as did the pizza truck and the much-loved cannoli sold at about 1pm. People could not get enough of any Italian cuisine.There were plenty of admirers of the Ferraris all day, and the children's enclosed section was kept busy with games and activities, so much so the crowds spilled out onto the grass in front of the track-winning post.The most pleasing aspect of LisAmore! 2024 was seeing the smiles on everyone's faces—people from Lismore, the Northern Rivers, and visitors from as far as Brisbane let their hair down. The Domenico and the Latin Mafia Band not only entertained the record crowd but also had them on their feet on the stage dancing.Aliison Kelly, one of the amazing LisAmore! organising committee, said, "We've been flat out all day, so that's been wonderful. The atmosphere is just exactly what we wanted, a celebration, a party, people to get together and just enjoy each other's company."This is Lismore going, hey, the Italians have something going for him, so let's do it too," Aliison laughs.The annual Summerland Bank Tug-Of-War event drew a big crowd and was won by a team put together by Mayor Steve Krieg and Councillor Andrew Gordon."We put a team together and we called it 'Rebuild Lismore'. We looked amongst the crowd and looked at the guys who were the most energetic and the most excited about being here today, and we enlisted them to join our team. There were no muscles, a little bit of fat involved, but nonetheless, we had the strength, and we just had the enthusiasm, and I guess, the desire to win," smiled Andrew Gordon.Lismore's Week of Winter Wonder continues this Saturday with the 2024 Lismore Lantern Parade.With the Bureau of Meteorology forecasting another perfect winter's day, another large crowd can be expected to enjoy another of Lismore's major events on the calendar.

$15 million to increase vaccination coverage across NSW
$15 million to increase vaccination coverage across NSW

16 June 2024, 12:52 AM

The NSW Government is boosting awareness of and access to vaccinations for priority populations to build healthier communities across the state. This includes people from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities and people with chronic illnesses who are more likely to develop severe disease.   The $15 million vaccination initiative will focus on improving vaccination rates for target groups which have been identified as having low vaccination coverage or facing barriers to vaccination. Evidence of differences in vaccination rates across community groups was obtained from the Australian Immunisation Register and the Australian Bureau of Statistics Multi-Agency Data Integration Project.  The program will aim to improve uptake of a range of vaccines, including influenza, shingles and pneumococcal vaccination for eligible cohorts. The investment will fund more NSW Health staff to administer vaccines, and training for existing NSW Health clinical services staff, as well as health promotion, education and community engagement activities.  A community grants program will engage local community leaders and champions to raise awareness of the importance and effectiveness of vaccination, and identify barriers to accessing vaccination.   The vaccine champions will work closely with local health districts to increase knowledge and understanding of vaccination and how to access immunisation services. This investment delivers on the NSW Government’s plan to rebuild essential services that people of NSW rely on. NSW Minister for Health Ryan Park said, “Funding to increase vaccination access and uptake across the state will support better health and wellbeing outcomes for some of our priority population groups, including high risk and hard to reach cohorts. “The NSW Government is committed to improving vaccination rates and equity in knowledge, access, and uptake across the state to maximise the benefits of vaccination for everyone. “Vaccination is safe and effective. It is the best way to protect ourselves and the broader community from serious illness and hospitalisation from a range of diseases.”

65 and over urged to book in for free flu vaccine as cases surge
65 and over urged to book in for free flu vaccine as cases surge

15 June 2024, 10:00 PM

Lismore and Northern Rivers residents aged 65 and over are again being urged to book in now for their free flu vaccine, as the virus continues to surge across the state. Dr Valerie Delpech, Director of North Coast Population and Public Health said the latest NSW Health Respiratory Surveillance Report shows in the week ending 8 June 2024, there was an increase of more than 25 per cent in people diagnosed with influenza compared with the previous week. “Flu is rapidly increasing across the state. In the past week alone, presentations to NSW emergency departments increased by almost 22 per cent for people with influenza-like illness.” Dr Delpech said. “We are expecting the flu season will be around for several weeks to come, so now is the time to book in for your free flu vaccine to get the vital protection you need. “This is particularly important for people aged 65 and over who are at higher risk of severe illness from influenza, and unfortunately, our vaccination rates for this group still aren’t where we need them to be. “At present, just half of people 65 and over (52.4 per cent) in NSW have received their flu vaccine.” With influenza, COVID-19 and RSV all circulating in the community, we continue to remind the community to avoid visiting high-risk settings, including hospitals and aged care facilities, if they are experiencing symptoms of respiratory illness. Vaccination is the best protection against infection and severe disease. Everyone, but particularly those at increased risk of severe disease, is urged to get vaccinated now. By getting vaccinated, you also help protect those around you. The influenza vaccine is free and readily available for those at higher risk of severe illness from influenza. It is available through GPs for any age group, as well as through pharmacies for everyone aged five years and over. Those considered to be at higher risk of severe illness from influenza who are eligible for free vaccination include:•      people aged 65 and over•      children aged six months to under five years•      Aboriginal people from six months of age•      pregnant women•      those with serious health conditions such as diabetes, cancer, immune disorders, severe asthma, kidney, heart, and lung disease. There are some simple steps you can take to help protect yourself and your loved ones from respiratory viruses like COVID-19, influenza and RSV, including:•      Stay up to date with your recommended influenza and COVID-19 vaccinations•      Stay home if you are sick and wear a mask if you need to leave home•      Get together outdoors or in large, well-ventilated spaces with open doors and windows•      Avoid crowded spaces•      Consider doing a rapid antigen test (RAT) before visiting people at higher risk of severe illness•      Talk with your doctor now if you are at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19 or influenza to make a plan about what to do if you get sick, including what test to take, and discussing if you are eligible for antiviral medicines•      Don't visit people who are at higher risk of severe illness if you are sick or have tested positive to COVID-19 or influenza•      Practice good hand hygiene, including handwashing.

SCU Dean of Law has different response to increasing lawyers in Lismore
SCU Dean of Law has different response to increasing lawyers in Lismore

15 June 2024, 9:00 PM

On Friday, the Lismore revealed that the number of private practice lawyers in the 2480 postcode has dropped 14.1% (74 down from 92) since the floods in 2022, and experienced practitioners has dropped 9.7% (121 down from 134).The Dean of Law at SCU, David Heilpern, has a differing opinion to the Law Council of Australia (LCA) and Law Society of NSW (LSNSW) when it comes to promoting lawyers in regional areas.Southern Cross University (SCU) has a large law department, 1200 students over three campuses, including Lismore. Dean Heilpern gets regular requests for knowledgeable graduates in Lismore.“Every week, I get calls from law firms asking if there are any good graduates and if we can get a law student loan law placement.”Of the considerable number of students studying law at SCU, the majority of those are not in Lismore. Since the 2022 floods, Lismore students have been learning online. “The total number of students in our faculty is about 1200, but we also offer some sub-law degrees,” Dean Heilpern said, “So things like a Conveyancing Diploma, Associate Degree in Law Paralegal Studies and a Bachelor of Legal and Justice Studies. But the majority are law students.”The requirement for law students to resume face-to-face law classes would be at least 20 or 30 students. “The ones we do have would rather be online, so it's pretty tough for us to reopen," Dean Heilpern said. The LCA and the LSNSW held a press conference this week in which they called on the government to provide “Forgiveness” to law graduates who meet obligations by practising in country areas.“Their proposal is that HECS (or HELP) be abolished for people who move to the country and practice law as an incentive to increase the number of lawyers who are willing to practise in regional areas,” Dean Heilpern said. To comply, graduate lawyers need to stay for a 5-year stint in the country.“I really don't think that it will happen and I think there's way better solutions to it than that.”Dean Heilpern was a country magistrate for many years and said, “I have good connections with law firms all over the central west and south coast, north coast and Sydney region. “Rural and regional areas are really suffering from a lack of lawyers, and that makes a difference. But I think there are some other ways that could also increase that number. “Firstly, I think fees should be much lower. It's in the very highest bracket. It's not expensive to teach. It's not like you need labs and medical things and dentistry setups and clinics and all the rest of it. It's actually a very cheap subject to teach because it's all books, and it's possible to be completely online.”It isn’t so much a matter of lawyers being paid equivalent amounts to practise or teach. “Lawyers don't get paid any more to teach law. The rates to actually teach law are reasonably competitive.” Dean Heilpern said it has not been a struggle to find lawyers who want to teach, either.The LCA and LCNSW plan would encourage graduate lawyers; however, it seems to make country areas a “training” ground for working in the city.“I would encourage increasing Legal Aid rates for country lawyers. “At the moment, it's $120 for doing legal aid work as a private practitioner. For those with overheads (such as exorbitant HECS debt), they end up getting very little.”There is a problem with those who are eligible for Legal Aid, also. Dean Heilpern indicates a gap where many people in the country aren’t able to afford a full fee lawyer, but don’t have the situation to be awarded Legal Aid.“The people in the middle, say, a school teacher, a single mum with three kids, she's not going to be eligible for legal aid. If she runs into a legal problem, be it a traffic issue, family law or a civil matter, whatever, there's no way she's going to afford $350 an hour for a lawyer to help her out. “So there's all these people who fall through the gaps and then they have to represent themselves that can be disastrous.”The concern for those who experience a situation where they need a lawyer is tangible. “The shortage really does impact on people's lives because the lawyers that are there are overwhelmed with work and simply can't see people for nothing. “The legal profession has always had a real commitment to helping the disadvantaged people in our community, but it's very hard to do that.“The whole idea of pro bono, which is doing work for nothing, has always been part of the culture of the legal profession in Australia.”Dean Heilpern thinks those two factors will make a big difference to country practise.  “HECS is just way too severe; it was never meant to be a yoke around people's necks for years to come. And, of course, it's indexed as well. So, people end up getting bigger and bigger debt.Everyone acknowledges that Lismore and the Northern Rivers need more lawyers. The solution to the problem lies, once again, with government to provide the right incentives.If you are interested in studying law, have a look at what SCU offers to study a law degree.

Cameron Arnold has been awarded an Order of Australia Medal
Cameron Arnold has been awarded an Order of Australia Medal

15 June 2024, 8:00 PM

Cameron Arnold was awarded the Order of Australia this week on the King Charles Birthday honours list for his service to tourism, and conservation.Cameron Arnold OAM was not expecting it, he has no idea who nominated him, but Cameron has been in the tourism industry for over 35 years. He says, “I've had a really hard time talking about any one aspect because I have been involved in multiple areas.”The Order of Australia recognises Australians who have demonstrated outstanding service or exceptional achievement. The Governor General's office sent out a notification of the nomination about 6 weeks ago. “They asked if I would accept it or not. I was pretty thrilled, but I thought it could have been a scam at the time,” laughs Cameron.Two weeks ago, he was told that it was official and the nominations would be announced on the King's Birthday holiday.“There’s been a lot of people reach out with congratulations. From all parts of my career, friends and family - even some long lost aunts and uncles!”The actual medal will be given in a ceremony some time around September. There will be a couple of recipients from the area. Cameron speaks of Diana Roberts, who has also been awarded an OAM.“I know Diana Roberts. She is a wonderful lady. I did a bit of work with her when she was trying for funding for some tourism products. She really deserves her medal as well as she has done some amazing stuff.”I asked Cameron about another 2024 OAM recipient, Hamish Blake. Cameron is aware of the award, he is a fan. "Our paths have crossed in the tourism space when he was working with Tourism Australia." Literally. Cameron said of Hamish, "He has done some great work in the "Fatherhood" space amongst many other areas. Using his following to promote open conversations with men is so well deserved."There are a string of facets of tourism that Cameron has worked in, but there has been some highlights.At one point, Cameron, “ended up working with the regional tourism body for a couple of years. Regional tourism merged with the mid north coast creating an area that ran from the Tweed North Coast, right down to just above Port Stephen.  “It became the third largest overnight visitation destination in Australia behind Sydney and Melbourne.”Later, Cameron said, “I got invited to join the Cape Byron Trust, which is a joint venture between the Arakwal people and the national parks. “That was about conservation of the Cape, and traditional owners are really pleased by what happened in that recognition. I developed a great relationship with both of those parties. And just giving them advice on how to better perform commercially. It was really interesting to be a part of.”The next “big” thing was joining the board of the Big Banana at Coffs Harbour, “Which is another iconic tourism product on the North Coast. Again, that's really interesting working with them. They're really successful; it's not just the banana that’s the icon, it's a really successful business.”More recently, Cameron has been involved with the development of the Rail Trail since its inception.“That was 2012 when we started lobbying for the creation of the Rail Trail. The organisation was a volunteer organisation called Rail Trailing Incorporated. “We've got about 30 or 40 people involved in that, but there is a really core group of about eight of us. We've been driving the development, lobbying for funding with all the different councils and putting ourselves out there to be really heavily criticised at times to try to create something of a public asset.”Cameron could foresee the popularity and success of the rail trail, “We needed to create a project that took people away from the ocean and to draw people to the villages and reinvigorate that space. The number of people using it has outweighed our expectations.”The Rail Trail, which is still under development, has not seen Cameron's involvement wane. The planned legs of the Rail Trail are only part of it. Places like Ballina and Kyogle, which are off the iron track, are planning to connect to the Rail Trail to widen their communities' access and usage.On reflection of the people he has been working with, Cameron says, “Pat Greir and the rest of the team at the Rail Trail have been amazing. The Arakwal people have been awesome working with them, the Kelly family and others on those committees and the National Parks as well.”Cameron is still involved with the Big Banana, Cape Byron and Rail Trail boards, “but I've actually just taken a corporate role - the first time in my life. Working for Australia's largest short-term holiday accommodation company.”Asking Cameron if he could describe a typical day in his life. He just laughed and said, “Nup!“My wife was saying, I don’t know how you do it; you just keep switching hats!” When it comes to deciding how long he should be involved with a board or on a project, he offers some sage wisdom. “There have been core projects that I can’t let go of; there is still a lot for me to do. But I have stepped back from boards when there has been too much reliance on me. “And at times, you just know, if you get too entrenched in it, you don’t get fresh eyes on things. At times I have had to step away as my tenure was up. It was disappointing, but it is good to hand it over to someone new and fresh and see what they can add to it.  “It also frees you up to go onto something new and different and grow in another direction.”Cameron laughs when he thinks about the current new direction - his first corporate job - at this end of his career. He is happy about the place where he is, an empty nester after bringing up four children who have gone their own ways. Cameron thinks he has some time to apply himself to his new career before he takes on the role of grandfather!

More money to get housing approvals moving
More money to get housing approvals moving

15 June 2024, 4:38 AM

The Minns Labor Government will inject $253.7 million to pay for planners and technology to speed up the assessment of development applications and deliver on the Government’s commitment to build more homes and rebalance housing around existing infrastructure. This will provide planners and other critical staff to assess housing, job creation and infrastructure proposals that are being turbocharged by the NSW Government’s planning reforms. These planning reforms will play a critical role in addressing the housing crisis that has led to NSW losing a generation of young people and families – the future of our state. This new funding addresses years of budget uncertainty in the planning system under the former government and will refocus resources within the planning system to deliver better outcomes for local communities by:Putting downward pressure on planning approval timeframes delivering faster State rezonings and assessments.Investing in planning reforms to support the Government’s transition to a renewable energy future and meet our 2050 goals of Net Zero.Bringing the planning system into the 21st century with upgrades to the Planning Portal and the integration of artificial intelligence.Supporting the delivery of the NSW Government signature planning reforms such as the Transport Oriented Developments and the Low and Mid-Rise program. These measures build on the Government's earlier commitments to help train more planners and paraplanners through the Strong Start cadetship program and development of a new TAFE Diploma in Local Government (Planning) that opened for enrolment this year. Treasurer Daniel Mookhey said, “Every step this government can take to get housing approvals moving is a must-have investment. “This $253.7 million investment puts certainty into the planning system and will deliver better outcomes for a better NSW. “NSW can afford to do this. By cutting the state’s debt, we have cut the state’s interest bill – which means we can use those savings to get on with delivering the homes people need. Paul Scully, Minister for Planning and Public Spaces said, “We’ve introduced some of the biggest program of planning reforms in NSW history to allow and approve more homes. “This increased funding will also allow the assessment of more housing and major projects within the Department of Planning, Housing and Infrastructure, so assessments are faster, more coordinated and efficient. “We are also investing in the Planning Portal to address concerns users have identified and to continue to introduce artificial intelligence to assist in faster and more reliable assessment processes. “Under the former government, the end of this financial year meant uncertainty for everyone in the development and construction industry. No one knew if there would be budget for planners and other staff to assess applications. “A good planning system supports all parts of society, by not only creating homes, supporting job creation and building better communities. “That’s why we have provided funding certainty for future years to assess homes, and job generating projects which will in turn provide jobs in construction, manufacturing and renewables.” 

7-Day Countdown: It's frantic at Lismore Lantern Parade HQ
7-Day Countdown: It's frantic at Lismore Lantern Parade HQ

14 June 2024, 11:00 PM

This time next week, the Lismore CBD will be filled with family and friends enjoying a sunny winter day and enjoying the start of the 2024 Lismore Lantern Parade.The winter solstice (the shortest amount of daylight) is typically celebrated on June 22, this year that happens to be on the very day when Jyllie Jackson and her team will be celebrating the 30th Lismore Lantern Parade.A quick visit to headquarters found a tired (but not yet exhausted) team frantically trying to put the final touches to this year's event.As it is the 30th anniversary, some lanterns have been resurrected (after they were damaged by flood), given a makeover and will make their first appearance in a decade."There's a few," CEO and Creative Director of Lightnup Inc Jyllie Jackson told the Lismore App, "We would have loved to have had more, but time, people and resources have been against us.""But, we've got the wild and wicked Septimus stepping out for the first time in 15 years, maybe more. He's a monster. In our story, he represents greed, and selfishness, and the entitlement of people these days, so, he works. He will be walking in the parade and he will also be in the finale as well.""We also have the babushkas, who were made by one of our longtime artists, Kathy McCormack who now lives in Melbourne. There's a lot of transfer of energy between Lismore and Melbourne. There is three of them and they will be carried by one of the schools.""Then there's the Frog Prince, who was made many years ago by Martin Pedder, who is now an upholsterer supreme. He'd been through several floods over time, and he survived. He was made out of metal, so he's been stripped and sanded back and refurbished by Junia Wolfe, who's one of our main artists here now."While some old lanterns are making a return, there are some new businesses who will be making their first appearance at the 2024 Lismore Lantern Parade."We've got Magenta Community Services, who are took over from the wonderful Northern Rivers Conservatorium, to whom we are amazingly grateful, as sponsors of the Heartbeat Festival Stage along with Southern Cross University. They provide support services for people with disabilities and have offices in northern NSW and southern Queensland.""Magenta have also refurbished one of the big hearts and they've collected participants from all over the region and have made hearts. I don't know the exact number, but I think it's in the vicinity of 500 paper hearts which they will stick on their big heart. That's really lovely.""Lifeblood will be carrying a red heart lantern. If we had more resources and staff we would have made something a little more unique. Our biggest problem is we lost so many lanterns in the flood and we need to buy more materials, and a lot of the materials we can't get anymore. So, we're having to be very resourceful and rebuilding slowly, slowly while not burning everybody out, which we're doing quite a good job of.""We've got Lismore Pride for the first time, spearheaded by Alex from The Boy's Hair and Makeup and his crew. He's made a big Q, and they've made a whole bunch of little Q's.If you have ever wanted to see firsthand what goes into making a lantern, Jyllie has some workshops coming up in the next week."We've got workshops at Lismore Square this weekend and during the week where people and children get to decorate lanterns. "Jyllie said that so far, her team has made over 1,700 lanterns because students are so time-poor due to their education, they don't have time for art.They are free but you do have to book in for them.The lantern workshop schedule is:Saturday 15 June 10am – 11amSaturday 15 June 2.30pm – 3.30pmWednesday 19 June 3.30pm – 4.30pmWednesday 19 June 4.30pm – 5.30pmThursday 20 June 3.30pm – 4.30pmThursday 20 June 4.30pm – 5.30pmIt is free, but you do have to register, which can be done here.The workshop area won't be difficult to spot as Micu Chan, a sister city mascot from Yamato Takada, will be on display.There will also be workshops at LisAmore! and at the Lantern Parade thanks to Summerland Bank. Just look out for the orange marquee.The 2024 Lismore Lantern Parade will be held in the Lismore CBD next Saturday, June 22 from 12 midday.You will find more information through the Lismore Lantern Parade button on the front page of the Lismore App or go to the website www.lismorelanternparade.com.au.

Attending local events strengthens neighbourhood bonds
Attending local events strengthens neighbourhood bonds

14 June 2024, 10:00 PM

Lismore has long been a city that loves events and it is often said that events, like farmers markets, art exhibitions, tomorrow's Italian festival LisAmore! and next Saturday's Lismore Lantern Parade are the lifeblood of a thriving community. While ours is not quite a thriving community as it is in rebuild mode, residents always turn out for a fun, social day/night to make the event hugely successful.Researchers at the University of South Australia have investigated how often people visit and actively participate in local events and how this affects their sense of place or their connection to their community. The research is not local; however, the findings are universal.A survey of almost 400 households in the state’s coastal council area of the City of Holdfast Bay found that people who frequently attend local events or participate as volunteers, organisers or exhibitors, have a stronger sense of place, meaning their neighbourhood is important to them and they feel connected to the area.Those who regularly attend local events are also likely to be more satisfied with their neighbourhood and are more willing to live there longer. While owning a home or living there for a long time are influential factors in a person developing a sense of place, this study found that regularly attending local events had a greater impact on fostering a sense of place than length of residency and home ownership.More than half (61%) of survey respondents had attended at least one local event in the three years between 2017 and 2019, while almost a third (32%) had attended at least six events in that time.UniSA tourism and event management expert Dr Sunny Son says local events can be particularly useful for loosely connected communities or newly developed neighbourhoods.“Local event attendance can be particularly meaningful for multicultural societies such as in Australia where events can provide an important means of engaging all residents, including those more established as well as newcomers who are wanting to make new connections,” she says.“Events provide positive experiences for people to participate in and socialise, build trust, create networks, and promote intercultural learning. These are all major contributors to cultural sustainability, and they can help break down prejudices and promote social harmony by generating a community of acceptance and diversity.”UniSA’s Dr Chris Krolikowski, an expert in urban tourism, says the findings validate the importance of events not only as economic tools but as crucial components to the social structure of local communities.“These social benefits are particularly important to rebuilding local communities after the pandemic, during which social connections and broader community life were affected by lockdowns and social distancing measures,” he says.“On a broader level, popular local events can also become attractions for visitors by showcasing the culture of the area. By contributing to the uniqueness of places, events are well-positioned to play an essential role in developing the tourism sector of urban and regional destinations.“We still need to further our understanding of the role that events play in social sustainability. Understanding how events can help build socially sustainable communities is vital in justifying government investment in local events.”While we physically rebuild our city over the next eight to ten years, we have already begun to rebuild the fabric of our community through the wonderful events that are created regularly in Lismore. Let LisAmore! and the 2024 Lantern Parade be a testament to that.

More support needed in the disability community to address the housing crisis
More support needed in the disability community to address the housing crisis

14 June 2024, 9:00 PM

Amidst the current housing crisis, individuals within the disability community are facing significant challenges in accessing suitable accommodation options. In response to this pressing issue, REDinc, in collaboration with Housing Hub, is proud to announce an Accommodation Information Session aimed at providing clarity and support to those navigating the complex landscape of independent living.Scheduled for Monday, June 24th, 2024, at the Red Dove in Lismore, this information session promises to offer invaluable insights and guidance to attendees. The event will run from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., with a light lunch provided.Distinguished speakers, including Deb Hinchsliff from Housing Hub, Occupational Therapists Karlye Williamson and Danielle Brown, REDinc Support Coordinator Berneece Winterbon, and Lyn Ramsay, will address housing needs, NDIS reports, support coordination, and transitioning to independent living."We understand the additional challenges individuals with disabilities face in accessing suitable accommodation," said Marie Gale, CEO at REDinc. "Through this session, we aim to equip attendees with the knowledge and support needed to navigate the process with confidence."This event is open to individuals with disabilities, families, carers, and anyone interested in accommodation options. RSVP by contacting REDinc at 02 6622 3400. Don't miss this opportunity to support you in your journey towards accessible and suitable accommodation options.Date: Monday 24th June, 2024Time: 11am – 2pmAddress: Red Dove in Lismore, 80 Keen Street, Lismore, NSW, 2480.RSVP: 02 6622 3400Light refreshments provided About REDincREDinc is a local for purpose organisation servicing the Northern Rivers providing a comprehensive range of personalised and group disability services. These include disability support, employment support, creative arts, and social and recreation activities. With centres located in Casino, Lismore and Mullumbimby, REDinc caters to the specific needs of each individual in through its programs, empowering them to achieve their goals and reach their full potential.About Housing HubHousing Hub is a pioneering initiative dedicated to connecting individuals with disabilities to accessible and suitable housing options. By collaborating with housing providers and offering comprehensive support services, Housing Hub strives to address the housing needs of the disability community and promote independence and choice.

Ballina is the next council to receive money for the Resilient Lands Program
Ballina is the next council to receive money for the Resilient Lands Program

14 June 2024, 8:00 PM

Ballina Shire Council is the next LGA to receive support for the Resilient Lands Program. $210,000 was received from the New South Wales government's $100 million resilient lands programme to help support the delivery of a range of housing options.The urgent need for housing in Ballina was exacerbated by housing located in floodplain areas. Ballina Mayor, Sharon Cadwallader said, “This funding will help us address some of the housing needs that have existed in Ballina since before the floods.”The grant will be used to accelerate the planning and design of the projects identified above. “The grant funding for Ballina Shire supports the overall housing supply pipeline beyond the immediate term, and importantly, the funding is directed towards diversity of housing.” Mayor Cadwallader said.“The three projects funded are distinct, and all relate to Council’s recently adopted housing strategy, being:Progression of planning and design for medium-density style development on council-owned land at Lennox Head. That may include duplexes, terraces and manor houses, which can contain up to 4 dwellings in a single block.Enabling increased housing supply in the CBD area (including dwelling diversity and locating people in areas well-serviced with infrastructure and facilities),Supporting engagement between Council and Homes NSW to examine housing options on Homes NSW-owned land in Ballina.”Mayor Cadwallader would like to encourage Homes NSW to deliver more social housing.(Looking south east from the Hutley Drive site for development.)Parliamentary Secretary for Disaster Recovery Janelle Saffin said, “Flood-affected communities across the Northern Rivers region have been waiting for safer Land and Housing options to be identified. I'm pleased to see another LGA added to the council's receiving support under the resilient lands program.”Mayor Cadwallader is content that “Council can now get on with the important job of planning for this site on Hutley Drive at Lennox and explore options in the CBD for medium density housing.”This is the fifth announcement under the New South Wales Reconstruction Authority Resilient Lands Program, which is wholly funded by the New South Wales Government. Acting CEO of the Reconstruction Authority, Mal Lanyon, indicated that there would be many more land releases all over the Northern Rivers in the not too distant future. Janelle Saffin fervently indicated that "Yes," that will include more land releases in Lismore, it is a matter of time.Mr Lanyon confirmed, “The resilient land programme is about giving options to families to gain access to affordable land where they want to live. “It is a significant part of recovery, which builds on the resilient home program. The program is also helping councils to scope out what infrastructure it needs to support really significant housing developments.”Other Resilient Lands Programs announced so far include; East Lismore Mount Pleasant Estate, GoonellabahSaddle Road, Brunswick heads and theSummerland estate in Casino. Member for Ballina Tamara Smith said, “It is my hope that any council that comes under the Resilient Lands Program has a significant portion dedicated to either social or affordable housing. We need genuine affordable housing for residents in our community, not expensive housing stock that is of more interest to property investors.”The Resilient Land Program aims to accelerate the delivery of new Land and Housing Options, linking with the $700 million Resilient Homes Program to give flood impacted homeowners a pathway to move to a safer location. For more information, visit the New South Wales Reconstruction Authority.

The Weekend Wrap
The Weekend Wrap

14 June 2024, 7:05 AM

The forecast is for another dry weekend, but with less sunshine than we have had this week.There is a 50% chance of rain late Saturday afternoon/evening with up to 1mm the forecast, so it shouldn't affect anyone's plans. Sunday is similar, with a 30% chance of rain and a partly cloudy. 19 degrees is the expected maximum temperature with 5 or 6 degrees to start the day.LisAmore! is the big event on the weekend.LisAmore! is a celebration of the Italian community in our region and the contribution they have made since the 1880s. It will be on full display on Sunday at the Lismore Turf Club between 10am and 3pm with Italian food, wine, music, dancing, cars, motorbikes and more.(Thousands enjoying LisAmore! 2023 under blue skies)It is $3 to park your car (to cover costs) and feel free to take your own picnic set and water bottle. There is a kids activity area, an egg and spoon race and the traditional tug-of-war.Before Sunday, don't forget the Lismore Farmers Markets are at the Lismore Showgrounds from 7:30 tomorrow (Saturday) until 11:30am.The CWA ladies will be back raising money through their handmade items. Dog blankets, bandanas and treats for your furry family member are on offer. Tapestry Road will provide the music plus there will be a dance performance by We Will Thrive Lismore at 10am, which you are welcome to participate in.Tomorrow is a week until the 2024 Lismore Lantern Parade takes to the streets of the CBD. Make sure that it is added to your calendar.In Sport, it is round 11 of the NRRRL with the Rams back in action against Evans Head in a 6 v 5 clash at Crozier Field tomorrow afternoon at 2:45. On Sunday at midday, Northern United travel to the Tweed to take on the Raiders after a defeat last long weekend when they were missing a few players.It is round 9 for the Football Far North Coast Premier League season. However, some teams have only played four matches due to the very wet start.Tonight, it is 4 v 3 when Lennox Head take on Richmond Rovers at 8pm at Lennox. Then tomorrow, second-placed South Lismore travel to Ballina, Goonellabah are at home to Alstonville and Bangalow are on the road to Maclean. All matches at 3pm.Sunday's game sees Byron Bay at home to Mullumbimby Brunswick at 2:30pm.In the Women's Premier League, it is a top of the table clash when Richmond Rovers are at home to Byron Bay tonight at 7pm. On Sunday, Alstonville are at home to Lennox and Ballina host Bangalow, both games at 12:30.Fuel prices remained steady during the last week. Lismore is once again the most expensive town to buy fuel, with Casino and Ballina up to 20 cents a litre cheaper. Diesel is the only exception.Here are the latest prices in each town:E10 is 193.9 at all Lismore CBD and Goonellabah E10 locations, 177.9 at The United on Johnston Street and the EG Ampol on Canterbury Street in Casino, with the new Mobil (485 River Street) and The Metro in Ballina the cheapest at 173.5.Unleaded 91 is 194.9 at the new Astron on Ballina Road, 179.9 at the United, Casino Roadhouse and NightOwl Puma on Johnston Street and the Liberty's on Hare Street and Centre Street in Casino and 175.5 at The Metro and the new Mobil in Ballina.U95 is 203.9 at the Independent on Wyrallah Road, East Lismore, Northside Liberty and Bakers Corner at North Lismore, 194.9 at the EG Ampol on Canterbury Street, Casino and 186.5 at The Metro in Ballina.U98 is 209.9 at the new Astron on Ballina Road, 197.9 at the Liberty's on Hare Street and Centre Street in Casino and 195.5 at the new Mobil and The Metro in Ballina.Diesel is 186.9 at the new Astron on Ballina Road, the Caltext on Leycester Street near the old Trinity site and the Ampol on Union Street in South Lismore, 188.7 at the United in Casino and a cheap 185.5 at the new Mobil at 485 River Street.A new Lismore Podcast will be released on Sunday; this time, Member for Lismore Janelle Saffin joins me on Talking Lismore.Have a great weekend or 'Buon fine settimana' in Italian!

NSW Govt commits $946 million for biosecurity protection in budget
NSW Govt commits $946 million for biosecurity protection in budget

14 June 2024, 12:06 AM

The Minns Labor Government is committing $945.7 million in the upcoming state budget to support regional communities and the state’s agricultural industry for the critical role of prevention and protection against biosecurity threats. This includes an additional $13.1 million to build on the success of the Feral Pig Program, which has controlled more than 100,000 pigs since it began eight months ago.Feral pigs cause significant damage to pastoral land and crops, and carry diseases that can impact livestock and native animals.This new funding will ensure there is a concerted and ongoing campaign over the next year to reduce pest populations, benefit farmers and landholders, minimise biosecurity risks to livestock, and lower the risk of environmental and ecological damage.  Since October 2023, the state-wide program has:Appointed the state’s first Feral Pig coordinator.Culled 102,141 pigs - 15,141 above the original target of 87,000.Had over 5,400 properties participate in aerial and ground control programs.Held 93 information and training sessions.Completed 8465 one-on-one consultations with landholders.In addition to this, the NSW Government’s biosecurity program includes significant investments in responses to major threats to the state’s agricultural industry, with:$55.3 million for the eradication of red imported fire ants.  $36.2 million to increase the resilience and capacity of beekeepers, and other industries manage Varroa mite.  $25 million to support specialist scientific skills to boost the State’s frontline surveillance and preventative capabilities to defend against biosecurity risks.  $6.2 million to target White Spot disease, supporting prawn fishers, farmers and businesses.  $5.8 million to continue implementing the Good Neighbour Program to tackle weed and pest infestations between neighbouring public and private lands.The government is focused on responsible investments which will support the long term prosperity of NSW communities, no matter where in the state they are. Biosecurity vigilance is foundational to protecting the state’s environmental assets, agriculture and tourism industries, which is why the 2024-25 Budget will invest:$217.2 for prevention preparation of future biosecurity threats including Weeds Action Plans, the first Biosecurity Commissioner and the Bio Lab Defence - key advancements in laboratory defences for diagnostics, pathology, virology, and entomology activities. $250.9 million to invest in major biosecurity programs covering active surveillance, rapid diagnostics, traceability investigations and responses for Varroa Mite, White Spot and Red Imported Fire Ant threats.$62.4 million investment to contain pests, weeds, and disease outbreaks to minimise adverse impacts on primary industries and the environment. Including the Sheep and Goat eID program to enable tracking and identification during any outbreaks.$415.1 million to address existing plant, animal and invasive biosecurity threats including $13.1m for Feral Pigs in 2024-25, the Good Neighbour program, the independent Agriculture Commissioner, plus Emergency Management Capability in response to natural disasters.Minister for Agriculture NSW, Tara Moriarty said, “Agriculture and our farming communities are the lifeblood of our state and this $945 million investment in biosecurity over the coming four years will ensure our primary producers continue to have the support they need to thrive.“Strong biosecurity protections are not just about keeping pest and weeds out – it is about protecting the state’s $22 billion agriculture industries and ensuring families across the state have access to the worlds best produce at the world’s best prices.“We have been busy implementing our comprehensive biosecurity plan, from feral pig management to tackling weeds and pests on public lands and fighting the threat of red fire ants.“Biosecurity is an ongoing challenge, but we are a government who are committed to prioritising the wellbeing of our farmers, regional communities and environments.“The success of the feral pig program speaks for itself, but there’s still more to do, which this essential funding will enable.”

Fee-Free Training to deliver almost 40,000 new apprentices and trainees
Fee-Free Training to deliver almost 40,000 new apprentices and trainees

13 June 2024, 11:00 PM

The Minns Labor Government will invest $16.3 million to continue fee-free training for apprentices and trainees across the State, which will fund more than 20,000 new apprentices and 19,000 trainees. The investment covers student fees of up to $2,000 for apprentices and up to $1,000 for trainees, removing any up-front costs for those taking up apprenticeship and traineeship opportunities. This ensures that anyone who wants to access vocational training and education can afford to do so.The program is critical to build a future workforce in areas such as carpentry, plumbing and electrical – all critical skills to the delivery of the NSW Government’s housing supply strategy.The most popular traineeships are also in high-demand areas such as early childhood education and care, aged care, disability care and other sectors of the economy such as retail, hospitality and administration.Importantly, the program reduces administrative red tape and business costs for employers, and addresses cost of living pressures on our emerging skilled workforce, who are predominantly young people. The places will be available to all new apprentices and trainees starting their courses during the next financial year.Additionally, the government will invest $190.2 million to undertake urgent repairs at TAFE NSW campuses across the State.This will help to address chronic underfunding by the former government which resulted in dilapidated buildings, outdated digital devices, and unreliable Wi-Fi. The new funding builds on a record $300 million capital investment in last year’s budget, which has gone towards building repairs and updating Wi-Fi systems at 28 of our regional campuses.This investment sits alongside the joint Commonwealth and NSW Government Fee-Free TAFE initiative which has delivered over 156,000 enrolments in vocational education since April 2023. The Minns Labor Government says this announcement is part of their commitment to addressing skills shortages in critical sectors, delivering apprentices and trainees across housing, construction, manufacturing, childcare, disability, and aged care and their plan to build a better NSW.Minister for Skills, TAFE and Tertiary Education, Steve Whan said, “The 2024-25 Budget continues to demonstrate the Minns Labor Government’s commitment to addressing skills shortages in critical sectors supported by apprentices and trainees including housing, construction, manufacturing, childcare, disability and aged care. “We are reducing costs to employers and removing financial barriers for those wanting to move into the skills workforce in highly paid, highly skilled jobs.“The Minns Labor Government also has an absolute focus on trying to overcome the shortage that we have in residential accommodation in NSW and developing the skills to build those houses is a key part of delivering on that commitment.“In order to attract and retain a skilled workforce in NSW, we know we have to deliver world-class educational facilities. We have over 1700 TAFE buildings in the State and know that they were left to ruin after the neglect of the Liberal and National Government.“We’ll invest in fixing our TAFE NSW infrastructure and expanding the access to Wi-F across our regional campuses in order to give our apprentices and trainees the best possible starts to their careers”. 

Lantern Parade announces new enhanced accessibility features for 2024
Lantern Parade announces new enhanced accessibility features for 2024

13 June 2024, 10:02 PM

One of Lismore's 'must do' events is only eight (8) days away. The much-anticipated Lismore Lantern Parade is set to light up the CBD with its mesmerising lantern parade, Fiery Finale performance and vibrant display of community spirit.This year, the event organisers are thrilled to announce new accessibility features, ensuring that more people can enjoy the magic of the Fiery Finale in Riverside Park.For the first time, the Lismore Lantern Parade will feature a dedicated accessible viewing space at the Fiery Finale. Located at the town end of the Riverside Park car park, this 10x12 metre area is designed to accommodate those who cannot access the grassy areas of Riverside Park. The space includes:10 wheelchair user places20 regular seatsStanding room for 20 peopleNearby accessible bathroom facilitiesThe accessible viewing space will directly face a large screen which will show the events of the main stage of the Fiery Finale. Please note that you can’t directly view the main stage from the accessible space, it is only the screen. We are unable to provide captioning on the screen. An Auslan interpreter will be signing next to the screen.A vehicle drop off point is located approx. 50 metres from the accessible space. It is drop-off only for those with tickets to the accessible space. All drop-offs need to be before 5.45pm or after 6.30pm.People in the parade or walking behind the parade can access the area by turning right into the car park instead of going onto the grassy area of Riverside Park. ACCESSIBLE TOILETS Riverside Park, CarparkThere is an accessible toilet located in the car park area of Riverside Park. The bathroom space is large and equipped with grab rails behind and on one side of the toilet. The toilet is of standard height and has no back cistern. A cold-water basin is available with a round tap handle. The door opens outwards and is quite heavy. The outside of the door has a round handle and on the inside there is a lever handle. There is no adult or child change table facilities. The toilets will be open and do not have a MLAK key entry.Other accessible toilets can be found at Lismore Central – 44 Carrington Street.AUSLAN INTERPRETERTwo Auslan interpreters will be at the Fiery Finale. One at the side of the main stage and the other beside the screen in the Accessible Viewing Space in the car park.The Accessible Viewing Space is ticketed, however it would be possible to still view the Auslan interpreter from the grassed area behind the Accessible Viewing Space.SENSORYThere will be fireworks display as part of the Fiery Finale between 6.30pm-7.30pm and a cultural burn. Whilst the fireworks are low-key they are still loud, bright and smokey.There will be large crowds watching the parade and the Fiery Finale, personal space will be limited, and it will be noisy and busy.There are no designated sensory tents or spaces planned for 2024.BOOKING INFORMATIONBookings are essential for the accessible viewing space. Secure your spot via Humanitix or by scanning the QR code below. Only ticket holders will be permitted entry to the area.(If viewing this on your phone, click to go to the website, www.lismoreapp.com.au, then scan the QR Code)FEEDBACKWe are trying to improve the accessibility of the Parade and The Fiery Finale so that it is suitable for everyone. We welcome your feedback regarding what has worked well and what can be improved for next year. Please email [email protected] or call 02 6622 6333Join the 2,500 participants and the 15,000+ people in celebrating the 2024 Lismore Lantern Parade, where inclusivity and community shine as brightly as the lanterns themselves.

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