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Terania Street, North Lismore, reopened to light vehicles
Terania Street, North Lismore, reopened to light vehicles

21 June 2024, 3:18 AM

It has taken four months and two previous closures, but Terania Street has reopened to light vehicles only between Tweed and Peate streets this afternoon, following the installation of temporary safety treatments.This is celebratory news for the businesses along Terania Street and Macaulay Street after months of struggling due to lower car numbers.Maria Butler is working at the Liberty Service Station. Maria said for owner Sharon Madden, it will feel like Christmas."It's been atrocious what's going on here? The trade has been so bad. She's not even covering costs. So, this is going to be bloody great.""It's not just for Sharon and for here, it's for the whole town because this is the main road out of town. The police and ambulance needed to use this road the other day and they couldn't. An ambulance came down here and had to turn around. When I was talking to a customer later, they were working on somebody coming back from Dunoon.""I feel for Sharon. I said to her, I get to go home and forget about it. She gets to go home and pull her hair out looking at the books. It's not good."Now that the end is here, until the bridge is pulled down, there will be some celebrations."Well, I think when she's finished at six o'clock, we could end up at a local pub somewhere having a beer."The wait for vehicles over 4.5 tonne will remain in place at the rail bridge.A heavy vehicle detour is available via Wilson Street, Elliott Road and Ballina Road. Temporary ‘No Right Turn’ restrictions apply for entering and exiting Peate Street. A detour is available via Pine, Crane and Tweed streets. Transport for NSW thanks motorists for their patience during this time. For the latest traffic updates download the Live Traffic NSW app, visit livetraffic.com or call 132 701. 

The race for Hamish's house relocation
The race for Hamish's house relocation

21 June 2024, 2:36 AM

At the time of writing this story, Hamish Webster waits with bated breath to confirm another step in his journey to cut links with the Lismore floodplain. He is relocating his cottage, over 100 years old, to a new destination in Nimbin. Before the relocation can happen, his construction certificate needs to be approved. Lismore City Council has been doing what it can to help award the approval in time. However, if it is not awarded in the next 24 hours, the booking for Hamish’s house relocation will be postponed from next week to an unknown date in the future. (The house as it currently stands. Stripped bare, isolated from easy access and ready for its traumatic exit from the flood plain.)Hamish bought his house in December 2020 for $250,000. It required some work, and after some renovations were completed, he found it required more. But, he was resolved to save this quaint, quirky cottage and make it his own.The first major step was to get the cottage raised above the 1-in-100-year flood level. That was completed in August 2001. Then, it was a process of getting stuck into the rest of the renovation, restoring the hardwood cottage, stripping paint, replacing timbers that needed it and finding some interesting maintenance practices on the way.(The front verandah had several layers of decking)Hamish had a budget to build with, often making big decisions costing time and money.“I had to buy these 10-metre beams at full length. We were told if we cut them off at the end, you're still paying for the whole beam anyway. So, okay, we'll keep the beams the full length and I'll put a veranda with access on it. I got plans and the DA approved for all of that. And then the flood happened.”In the 2022 floods, Hamish found that the new raised height of the house was not enough. In fact, the flood waters went over the expected height by at least 1.7 metres. This required a rethink in strategy. “I was not going to invest more in the house now. It would be over-capitalising for something that's just been demolished, essentially.”(Hamish indicates how high the flood water rose to at the cottage.)“It was months of umming and ahing about what I should do. Then the buyback offers became a thing, and I had to think about what to do if I was offered one.”Hamish was offered a buyback. However, he wasn't offered what he was hoping for. “I paid $250k for the house. I spent $60k to raise it alone." There was much more time and money spent on the cottage at that point, but Hamish did the rough maths. "So that was $310k, and my buyback offer was $380k. And whilst I'm eternally grateful that I got something, because a lot of people didn't get anything. It was only enough for me to get a piece of land, which is what I did. I've had to borrow more money to finance the move.”When we went inside, Hamish showed me the work that had been done, and the plans he had drawn up. A wall had been removed, opening up the inside. A large beam had been put up to support the roof where the wall had been.“I got the beam from Nimbin. It is an old piece of hardwood timber from a bridge,” Hamish said. The layout had been revised to a much more efficient design. with a laundry, larger bathroom, fireplace, and part of the kitchen were evidence of the work he had done so far. The finishes are rustic yet modern, showing attention to detail and care.“I guess there was that tendency back in the day to have compartmentalised little rooms inside a small box, and I wanted to have that open space, but still keep the heritage of the place. That's why I've splashed out on a nice new door.“It's funny, you know, when you get an old house, you get a century's worth of people living in it, and changing it, and altering it,” as Hamish points out some other changes that he surmises have occurred for one reason or another.Growing up in Lismore, Hamish knows people who have lived in the house, and had friends here over time. “My next-door neighbour's dad was born in the house. It's cool to have that bit of local history.”Hamish explained what he was offered with the buyback from the NSW Reconstruction Authority (RA), “If you accept the buyback, one of the options was if you wanted to relocate your house, you keep your house.”(Ready for relocation - outside, the beams are numbered for reassembling, and inside, a single screw indicates where the house will be cut in two.)This provided some relief that he had not lost his house entirely. But, the end of Hamish's journey was still a long way off.  To date, Hamish has been staying in a caravan at the back of the property.“I did dig into my savings a bit and buy that caravan - it was meant to be like an interim place. I couldn't even find anyone that had a caravan to loan because there is such a housing crisis.”(Hamish's current digs. He admits to it being chilly.)“There were those schemes (NSWRA caravan scheme), but by the time I really seriously needed to start getting one organised, it was a month away from the due date. I just didn't basically trust that I was going to be able to navigate all the bureaucracy for a program like that and get it through quickly enough. “I had burnout, dealing with different agencies after going through the process to get to where I am now. I just didn't have it in me to apply for things and go and do all the paperwork. I just couldn't do it.“I was actually the first person to get a ‘licensed to occupy’ post buyback. I fought for months and months and months to get that concession from the RA.” That allowed Hamish to stay on the land after he had settled his buyback.“So up until then, you get your money, and then you get out of the house the next day. I was wondering about that. I was asked why I should have to move out of my house if I'm keeping it, and I'm going to relocate it. Shouldn't I be able to live in it until it gets relocated? “I had to fight really, really hard to get that. I was on the blower to Janelle Saffin's office every other day. On the blower to the RA every other day. “At the end, it was all very close, and on the exact same day of the settlement for the block of land at Nimbin, my buyback settlement came through. The money went straight into the account of the vendor that I was buying from, and then my licence to occupy also came through - all on that exact same day.“It was such a roller coaster. It left me very stressed.”The solicitor Hamish hired to assist him with the buyback sale, asked Hamish what he expected. “When I told him, “I want to get my buyback, but I want to also keep living in my house until I relocate it.’ "And he said to me, straight up, ‘Well, you're not going to get that. So you might have to manage your expectations.’ He was meant to be my solicitor, working for my interests, and that's the attitude that I got. I had to fight and advocate for myself really hard.”After Hamish’s win, his efforts left a legacy for others in his situation.“I was stoked because even though it was really hard, that set a new precedent. I've got friends who are now able to utilise that same concession for their own situations.”“It just seemed mad to have this role. I didn't understand why there was this agency that was created purely for the purpose of helping people recover from the floods, and it kind of seemed ridiculous to me that they had rules that weren't in the interest of helping people.”I asked if Hamish had a plan B that could be enacted in all of this turmoil. “I would have had to move out and find someplace to rent. I’d still be paying my mortgage and paying for rent at the same time - it just wasn't an option. I can't afford them. I had to get it to come through.”Even if everything works out for Hamish in the next week and his house is relocated, it will take some time until the occupation certificate is awarded. Hamish said, “If I could get my occupation certificate by the end of August. I'd be stoked. But yeah, we'll see how it goes.“As soon as I've got some sort of on-site power out there, I'll likely take the caravan out there so I can be on site.”The requirements for what happens at this stage are a little vague, but Hamish will be expected to have the block cleared for handover completion. There are still a lot of building materials on site to be sold or relocated, but there is a risk of leaving these on an empty block, so the transition will need to be quick.(Everything moved out from under the house, ready for its removal.)Until we know what happens next, Hamish needs to touch base with his engineer, council, and keep the removalists informed. Again for Hamish, things are coming down to the wire.“I just don't want to have it dragging on and on and on. I just want to get it done. Get it out there. I want to be sitting on my new veranda by the summertime. Then, have some friends over for a big party.”Hamish is the third house relocation story covered by the Lismore App. Stacey and Ben Walder and Jo and Brendan Kilburn's story was told in early June. You can read their stories by clicking on the two links.

NSW Government changes laws to reduce cost of living for land lease communities
NSW Government changes laws to reduce cost of living for land lease communities

20 June 2024, 11:22 PM

More than 40 thousand people living in residential land lease communities in NSW will be better off after changes to how these communities are regulated, making it fairer for residents. The majority live in regional and rural NSW.The Minns Labor Government has today passed new laws to fix some of the biggest and most pressing challenges for these communities, including changes to fees and charges. Residential land lease communities include caravan parks or manufactured home estates with permanent residents who own their home but lease the land on which the home sits from the community operator.Residential land lease communities play an important part in NSW’s housing diversity, with many communities providing lower cost and affordable homes for people - especially older Australians.The changes include:Improving transparency of fees and charges: with rules to require operators to make it clear to prospective residents how much fees and charges will be and to make future increases more predictable.Fairer electricity pricing:  protection from excessive price rises in communities with embedded networks so residents and operators have more certainty about energy prices.Letting residents make a house a home: with a right to make minor changes like adding window locks or screens without seeking approval.There are more than 500 residential land lease communities in NSW, with 95 per cent of them located in rural and regional NSW.The statutory review of the Residential (Land Lease) Communities Act 2013 was completed in 2021. While the report was tabled in Parliament, the previous government did not act on its recommendations. One of those recommendations was allowing three years for land lease community providers to transition to the fairer fee structure.To ensure relief earlier for these residents, the Minns Labor Government supported a key amendment to reduce the transition period from three years to 12 months – ensuring greater clarity sooner for people living in these communities.  Minister for Better Regulation and Fair Trading Anoulack Chanthivong said, “Residents in these communities have been crying out for change for years. “We’ve heard the community, and we know they’re dealing with uncertainty and cost of living pressure, so we’re getting on with it. "These changes make fee increases clearer and ensure electricity charges are fair and equitable. “I am proud that we have been able to pass this legislation during our first term in government, ending the inaction of the previous government that sat on its hands for nearly a decade.” ARPRA CEO Gary Martin said, “We are delighted with the Minns Labor Government's commitment to making real, impactful changes for the residents of Residential Land Lease Communities.“These new laws will provide much-needed clarity and fairness, particularly regarding fees, charges, and electricity pricing.“The reduction of the transition period for fixed term agreements from three years to 12 months is a significant victory for residents, who have long faced uncertainty and financial pressure.“This legislation demonstrates a strong commitment to improving the quality of life for some of the most vulnerable members of our state.”

Tough new Industrial Manslaughter laws send strong message
Tough new Industrial Manslaughter laws send strong message

20 June 2024, 10:01 PM

After 20 years of campaigning by families, friends, and unions whose members have been killed at work, today the Industrial Manslaughter Bill passed NSW Parliament.NSW is the last mainland state to make industrial manslaughter an offence.The Minns Government has fulfilled its promise to legislate industrial manslaughter.Since 2019, more than 300 workers have been killed in NSW. The new Industrial Manslaughter law will give prosecutors the ability to hold a business or individual responsible for the death of a person due to gross negligence in the workplace.The maximum penalty will be 25 years jail for an individual, which is consistent with the existing maximum penalty for manslaughter in the NSW Crimes Act. There will be a maximum penalty of $20 million in fines for a body corporate, the highest in Australia.It will be supported by a new unit established in the NSW Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions.The new law does not create new work health and safety obligations or duties for employers but creates a strong new offence to deter unsafe practices and strengthen accountability.The Government consulted widely before introducing the bill and the bill was supported by an overwhelming majority of the Parliament.A review is to be undertaken 18 months after the commencement of the provisions. Minister for Work Health and Safety Sophie Cotsis said, “This is an historic moment for worker safety in New South Wales.“These are not laws we ever want to use. We want them to act as a deterrent and a reminder that this government takes worker safety seriously.“We want those responsible for workplace safety – who are responsible for the lives of their workers - to take that role with utmost seriousness.“The message sent today is clear - unsafe practices will not be tolerated.“It is a fundamental right of every worker to go to work and come home safely to their loved ones.” Co-Chair of the SafeWork Families and Injured Workers Support and Advisory Group (FIWSAG) Jacqueline Quinlivan said, “This has been such a long time coming, but we can now say we have the industrial manslaughter laws that are required.“On behalf of the Family and Injured Workers Support and Advisory Group (FIWSAG) and all those who are injured or have lost a loved one through industrial death, we would like to say, ’this is for them’.“This is a step forward for NSW as a jurisdiction, and I want to thank absolutely everyone who made this possible.” FIWSAG member Dave White said, “The passing of the industrial manslaughter bill is a milestone that the FIWSAG has been working towards over the past five years.“This bill introduces an additional and significant deterrent for those individuals in the workplace who continue to risk the health and safety of workers.“Whilst this won’t bring back our loved ones who’ve been lost in workplace incidents, this passing of the bill may save other families from having to endure the grief and pain of losing someone who never came home from work.”

Pets and Saddles owner Lucinda Dyason is leaving Lismore after 26 years
Pets and Saddles owner Lucinda Dyason is leaving Lismore after 26 years

20 June 2024, 9:00 PM

Lismore is losing one of its biggest defenders of feline friends. Lucinda Dyason, until very recently the owner of Pets and Saddles and pet rescue advocate, is moving to a cottage near Wynyard in Tasmania.After visiting 26 years ago, Lucinda always planned to go back. The plan for now is semi-retirement and enjoying the cooler climate and beautiful Tasmania coastline.“I'm going to miss it up here, and it hurts that I can't keep helping the Lismore animals," Lucinda told the Lismore App.“I've bought three acres that's all fenced. I’m currently having a cattery built for my cats because there are about 15 cats coming with me."“I don't have any set plans. Apart from spending a couple of months contemplating my navel and getting over 24 years of seven-day-a-week work and intensive rescue.”Lucinda always had an interest in animals, but formally changed careers 24 years ago when she bought Pets and Saddles. “I immediately started rescue work along with the shop, so we didn't sell purpose bred animals. “We always did rescue animals right down to guinea pigs, rabbits, birds and a lot of fish as well. Fish that none of the other shops would accept, and people would dump in the river or put down the toilet.”This will change now that Pets and Saddles is under new ownership. Natasha Johnson, the new shop owner, will have some birds and fish for sale but is not equipped to take on unwanted animals. They will be able to get pet owners in contact with organisations that can help people with rescue animals.  Natasha says, “I'll be a pickup drop-off point. So when it’s organised, an animal can be dropped off, or a rescue adopted from here, but we don’t take animals for the shop any longer.” Pets and Saddles will still scan microchips on lost animals if it is arranged and they are brought in. Call the shop directly to confirm the timing is good.The work that Lucinda has done can be understood when she talks about how many cats alone she has saved. “We were accepting about 300 cats a year before the flood. And I was probably saying no to over 2000. And I'm just one rescue.”Lucinda imparts some important advice on getting a pet, “I think there is very little excuse to give up your animal. You should think very carefully before you take in an animal. Always make sure there's a Plan B because no rental is ever secure. “And if you're an older person, please don't take a young animal. I won't take a young animal now because I'm not going to be here in 20 years to look after it. I hope I'm here, but I don't know. And cats and dogs can live up to 20, a lot of mine have and been older. “So be sensible. Keep cats inside. Be respectful to wildlife and your neighbours. Have a Plan B.”Despite the work's difficult aspects, Lucinda describes her years at Pets and Saddles as “Wonderful.”“You know, there were very few mornings where I got up and didn’t want to go to work. There were many mornings in other jobs where I didn't want to go to work - I did, but I didn't want to. I think I've had two sick days in 24 years where I couldn't get up and come to work.”Lucinda appreciates the people she has met who have added to her experience. “Thank you for the coffees, the lunches, the support, and thank you for not being grumpy when I'm grumpy,” she says. Lucinda qualifies that frustrations can sometimes linger after the reasons have left the shop.Two of the Pets and Saddles resident workers will be staying in Lismore. Fred, the ginger CEO and Rhonda the tabby Quality Assurance Manager, who Lucinda says, “Tastes all the meat that comes in.” These two are very good at making customers feel welcome and will be staying with Natasha at the shop. Undoubtedly, they will be reporting back to Lucinda on occasion.(Pets and Saddles board meeting hosted by Fred (CEO) and Rhonda (Quality Assurance))The board have decided to take things as they come with their new partner, Natasha. She has just transitioned from 26 years in childcare and says, “I'm just really excited. I've actually sort of taken over as of Wednesday. “It's been really good, and there are some great customers. It's been great working with Lucinda - we're all going to miss her very much, but she's always on the other end of the line. So that's great.”Lucinda says, “I'll still be keeping in touch with the customers. You make a lot of friends in 24 years of business.” Lucinda will be assisting Natasha with the Facebook page, and she will be working at Pets and Saddles to assist her with the transition.  Feedback from pet owners is always welcome. Lucinda says, “It's an absolute joy when you get nice updates on rescues that we have helped with homes. Some go off, and you never hear about them. You don't know if they've had a long and happy life. It's like a big black hole they disappear into. So when people actually contact you and say ‘I've just lost my cat. It's 19,’ or ‘I want to show you photos of the dog I adopted from you,’ it's just absolutely beautiful. Yeah. It's one of the rewards we get from rescue work.”Lucinda fears she will be working with her rescues right up until she leaves, “I've got about three months to rehome 20 cats and 4 dogs - 3 small ones, and one shepherd husky cross.”If you have considered having a pet and have decided it is right for you, contact Lucinda to see if she can provide you with your four legged forever friend.Contact Lucinda on 0412 966 748 or via the Facebook page, Pets and Saddles and Kats in Traumatic Times Emergency Network, - the longest established pet and aquarium in Lismore, combining K.I.T.T.E.N. Cat rescue!If you would like to share one of Lucinda’s great cat rescue yarns or want to see her before she leaves, you can catch her at the shop on Thursdays and Fridays until the end of July. Pets and Saddles is open:Mondays - 10am til 3pmTuesday to Friday - 10am til 5pmSaturdays - 10am til 1pmPh 02 6622 2571 or 0451 548 664

Bentley Art Prize gearing up for huge July with $13,000 prizemoney
Bentley Art Prize gearing up for huge July with $13,000 prizemoney

20 June 2024, 8:00 PM

The 37th annual Bentley Art Prize is only three weeks away, with artists sharing in $13,000 prizemoney in 2024.The event is growing in popularity and reputation and is increasingly simply known as The Bentley. It supports young emerging artists using oils, water colours, pencil/crayon, photography and sculpting.This year has seen a few changes under the new BAP Committee, most notably the event date change to July 12 to 14. As a result of that change, the deadline for entries to be submitted has been brought forward to next Friday, June 28.The Bentley usually receives around 600 entries each year. (BAP Committee, l-r, Janelle Claydon, Gordon Serone, Wendy Harris, Rosemary Joseph, Peter Nielsen, Liz Stops, Ted Hoddinott, Meg Nielsen. Photo: supplied) Entry forms can be downloaded from Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/BentleyArtPrize/ or contact [email protected] if you’d like one emailed to you. Hard copy forms are also available through:Arts Northern RiversLismore RegionalSerpentineElevator ARI galleriesFlourish Gallery Lismore LibrarySheila Turner Picture Framing (Strand Arcade)Lismore Art & Framing (Wyrallah Road)South Lismore Post OfficeLismore Trophies (Union St)Oak Tree Community Centre (Mackellar Place, Goonellabah).Other venues can be found in Casino and Kyogle via the Facebook link above.BAP Committee member Meg Nielson told the Lismore App, entries can be anything at all."Any style and any subject," Meg said, "The main landscape prize is worth $2,000 to the winner, and we have four Bentley landscape prizes worth $1,000 each. There is a sculpture section sponsored by Janelle Saffin worth another $1,000, plus we have prizes for school-aged children""There is a Primary School section where the champion boy and girl receive $50 each and there are lesser prizes of $25 each. For High School children, Years 7 to 9, it is $300 for the winner, second $100 and $50 for highly commended. For Years 10 to 12, first prize is $350, second $200 and highly commended $100.""We are encouraging art pieces from all all ages. The $13,000 prize pool is all thanks to our very generous sponsors."(One of the first entries received from artist Luke Close. Photo: supplied)The judge for The Bentley this year is well-known and highly respected artist Harry Westera. Harry trained in drawing and painting at the Julian Ashton Art School and under the Tonal Impressionist portrait painter Graeme Inson. He has studied watercolour under well known watercolourists David Taylor and Ross Paterson and has an honours degree in Art History and Theory. To view the artworks, you need to diarise the three days they are on exhibition at the Bentley Public Hall.Opening night is a wine and cheese event on Friday, July 12 between 7 and 9pm with live music from Jamie Sullivan.Saturday, July 13 is the official opening and when the prizes will be awarded with live music by Luke Vassella along with market stalls and a coffee van."Judge Harry Westera will also give the artist an explantion as to why they were chosen," Meg said.Then, on Sunday, July 14 the exhibition will be open for viewing from 9am to 2pm with live music by Croaker and the Honeybee (9-11:30am and Sylvia Nowlan (12-2pm).The Bentley Public Hall is a short 20-minute drive from Lismore at 2150 Bentley Road, Bentley.

Two ways to get into the Lismore Lantern Parade spirit
Two ways to get into the Lismore Lantern Parade spirit

20 June 2024, 6:01 AM

Two days and counting until the 2024 Lismore Lantern Parade hits the CBD this Saturday from 12 midday.There are two ways to get you and your family into the Lantern Parade spirit. One is the memorabilia exhibition at the pop-up museum at 106 Molesworth Street that celebrates 30 years of the Lismore Lantern Parade."There's a whole lot of amazing memorabilia from the years," said CEO/Creative Director Lightnup Inc Jyllie Jackson, "It's really, really cool, and really interesting if you think what's all this lantern parade stuff made out of? It's also got quite a lot of old posters and clothes and old lanterns.""The audio/visual display of Lantern Parade memories will be on display at the museum."The pop-up museum is open until 4pm today, 10am to 1pm tomorrow (Friday) and 9:30am to 12:30pm on Saturday.The second way to get into the Lismore Lantern Parade spirit is to rug up and walk the CBD block at night to view the Enchanted Window displays.There has been a record number of entries this year as local businesses got into the spirit themselves to create a wonderful experience for families to enjoy. The list is:Keen Street——————BunyipsThe Kitchen ShelfMary G’sPlanet MusicAdornmentsThe Artisans TableThe Book Warehouse Woodlark Street————————-Hanging Rock FlowersToy World LismoreThe Boys Hair and BeautyLismore Chempro Magellan Street————————-The Professionals LismoreThe Enchanted FloristLittle Polli and the BlackbirdLifelineMusic BizarreLeo’s Food Bar Carrington Street—————————Peppertree Kitchen Molesworth Street—————————KidsnestBrands PharmacyPRD Northern RiversBe Seen EyewearOne Woman Lismore (Millers)Multitask Club Lane—————-Multitask Casino Street, South Lismore———————Flourish ArtFlourish Art is the first South Lismore business to be part of the Enchanted Windows.The Enchanted Windows map is below:Each Enchanted Window is judged and the top three winners were announced today!1st Place: The Book Warehouse(The winner of the 2024 Enchanted Windows was The Bookwarehouse. Photo: Natsky)2nd Place: Be Seen Eyewear and The Kitchen Shelf (shared)3rd Place: Leo's Food BarThe judges honourable mention went to the Historical Society for their windows celebrating 30 years of the Lismore Lantern Parade.(The Enchanted Florist window. Photo: Natsky)Apparently, the judging was tight, with little points between the place-getters and those close, like Planet Music, Multitask, Kidsnest and One Woman (Millers).Congratulations to all the CBD businesses that went to such efforts this year.For those with a disability who are unable to access Riverside Park on Saturday night, Jyllie and the team have organised a Fiery Finale viewing site, which includes a large screen to view proceedings.The space is approximately 10 x 12 metres and is located at the town end of the car park at the top of Riverside Park.Bookings are essential for the space and can be done via this link https://events.humanitix.com/accessible-space-lismore-lantern-parade-2024.For further information, click here.

NSW Government’s Biosecurity plan launched after Avian Influenza detected
NSW Government’s Biosecurity plan launched after Avian Influenza detected

20 June 2024, 3:14 AM

The NSW Government on Wednesday 19 June enacted its emergency biosecurity incident plan to contain the detection of avian influenza in the Hawkesbury district on a poultry egg farm.NSW consumers should not be concerned about eggs and poultry products from the supermarkets, because this detection does not pose a risk to consumer health and the products are safe to consume. As always people should handle and cook using the standard procedures.Following testing by the CSIRO national research laboratory it was confirmed that Avian Influenza H7N8 has been detected in a mixed barnyard and free-range poultry farm in the Hawkesbury.This is a highly contagious and deadly virus and that’s why the NSW Government has acted swiftly and decisively in response to this detection. 8,000 birds died from the flu over the last 48 hours.We have acted and are rolling out our biosecurity incident plan, developed in line with the national approach for avian influenza.The following actions have been undertaken over the last 24 hours:Tested samples with CSIRO to detect the bird flu typeLocked down the affected egg farm Issued a control order to depopulate the farm of its birds and to dispose of the remains in a biosecure manner, working with the EPA on disposalLast night we started depopulating the farm, in a humanely manner, following Australian Veterinary guidelines. This process will take up to 5-7 days to depopulate 240,000 birds.We have activated the funding agreement with the Commonwealth government, egg industry, and other states, to release compensation funds for directly impacted producersWe have spoken with surrounding chicken industry farms and they have activated their bird flu plans and have locked down their businesses.Today we will be issuing another control order to legally lock down movement of machinery, materials, animals and transport within a radius of 2 kilometres of the affected egg farm.The localised lock down order will cover 3 large commercial poultry farms and impacts up to 355,000 birds that we will monitor for any signs of the virus. There will be no movement of eggs or birds or machinery out of the zone during the control order.This morning the NSW Chief veterinary Officer, who is leading the incident response, met with key industry organisations to discuss next steps and align how we all work together.We are acting on this bird flu outbreak and will do everything to work through this challenging time for the egg and chicken meat industry. We have their backs.

Saffin welcomes 'responsible NSW Budget'
Saffin welcomes 'responsible NSW Budget'

20 June 2024, 1:10 AM

LISMORE MP Janelle Saffin welcomed a responsible NSW Budget, that importantly addressed the historic neglect of social housing supply and frontline health worker accommodation, and which incentivised GP clinics to bulk bill more than 70 per cent of patients. “Lismore has been identified as a possible future location for some of the 120 new health worker dwellings, which may include building new accommodation, refurbishment of existing living quarters and possible purchase of suitable properties such as motels,” Ms Saffin said. “In Opposition, I successfully lobbied to keep the former Laurel Lodge in Lismore in public ownership, and had it repurposed as social housing units, so in Government, I’ll strongly advocate for our fair share of this Budget’s record investment in new housing, including public housing. “If GP clinics across our electorate take up the Government’s new Bulk Billing Support Initiative (once legislated) it will help keep them viable, help reduce cost-of-living pressures on patients and take the pressure off hospital emergency departments.” Ms Saffin said she was pleased to see that the Budget had allocated funding to help deliver on some of her key election commitments. These included: $3 million towards her $5-million election commitment supporting Resilient Lismore’s ‘Repair to Return’ program, formerly known as the ‘Two Rooms Project’.$5.5 million to continue safety improvements on the Bruxner Highway.$1 million to start planning for a major upgrade of the Alphadale Crossroads intersection on the Bruxner in Lismore City LGA.A $3.1 million grant to Tenterfield Shire Council to complete the Mount Lindesay Road upgrade between Legume and Woodenbong.$4 million in grants to Kyogle Council towards improving flood immunity of the Clarence Way between Sandilands and Bonalbo.$2.55 million in grants to Kyogle Council towards a major program to replace the LGA’s remaining 30 timber and composite bridges. “I look forward to seeing these much-needed projects, among many others, roll out,” Ms Saffin said.

Labor names seven candidates for September's Local Government Election
Labor names seven candidates for September's Local Government Election

19 June 2024, 10:30 PM

Lismore Labor held its candidate launch for the September Local Government Election at the Lismore City Bowling Club last night.Seven candidates will run on the Lismore Labor ticket headed by South Lismore resident Harper Dalton, who will run for Mayor.Harper is a social worker who has a Masters of Social Work degree (after doing his Bachelor degree through SCU). He also briefly worked for Janelle Saffin in 2023.Harper has been championing house relocations since the February 28 2022 flood destroyed his South Lismore home.The Lismore App published Harper's Sunday Profile in December 2023. You can read his life story here.There are a couple of familiar faces on the Lismore Labor ticket: Jasmine Knight-Smith, Kevin Bell and Glenys Ritchie plus a couple of new faces in William Harrison and Lewis Taylor.Jasmine has a law degree, is a mother of two and Booerie Creek resident who ran in the 2021 election. She also volunteers at Women Up North Housing.Glenys Ritchie is a former Lismore City Councilor who was elected in 2012 under the Country Labor ticket. She is a part-time volunteer at the Northern Rivers Historical Society and a former Teacher of Business at TAFE NSW. GleJoy Knight-Smith also ran in the 2021 election. Joy is a lawyer. She has a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Arts majoring in governance and society.William Harrison would have to be the youngest candidate running in the 2024 Local Council Elections. William is an 18-year-old Year 12 student at Trinity Catholic College.Kevin Bell joined the Labor Party twenty seven years ago and is a former teacher of mathematics and religious studies.Lewis Taylor: not much is known about Lewis Taylor at this early stage of the campaign. The Lismore App understands he was born in Alstonville and is teaching.The Lismore Local Government Elections will be held on Saturday, September 14.

Friends of the Koala not happy with NSW Budget: funding is inadequate
Friends of the Koala not happy with NSW Budget: funding is inadequate

19 June 2024, 9:00 PM

The leading koala conservation and rehabilitation organisation in the Northern Rivers says despite the funding of the Koala Strategy, the NSW State Budget doesn’t go far enough to protect the iconic species from extinction. Friends of the Koala had called for an annual investment of $500,000 to fund its Northern Rivers Koala Hospital to cover equipment costs, veterinary staff and the implementation of critical Chlamydia vaccination projects, and $200,000 to fund the operation of their koala rescue and rehabilitation teams including increasing their capacity to respond during natural disasters.It had also asked for a $750,000 capital investment that would allow it to upgrade and extend its hospital and rehabilitation facilities, where the organisation treats and rehabilitates more than 350 koalas each year. The number of koalas entering care has increased by 20% in the past financial year. General Manager at Friends of the Koala, Silva Everaers, said the Northern Rivers Koala Hospital tended to more sick, orphaned and injured koalas than any other koala hospital on the East Coast of Australia and funds were vital to continuing its work. “Research continues to show that koala populations in the Northern Rivers are of state significance, and we are deeply concerned that delays in funding will jeopardise our ability to continue our vital work effectively. “The Environment Minister acknowledged that the NSW Koala Strategy needs a review, and we appreciated the opportunity to attend the NSW Koala Summit and respond to the NSW Koala Strategy Discussion Paper to inform this review. But despite this public commitment to protecting koalas, this Budget fails to put these words into action with adequate funding,” she said. “The necessity to fund the vital work done by koala hospitals and rehabilitators cannot wait. The survival of our organisation, and koalas, depends on it. We need the resources to continue the work we do to save koalas every single day – and we need them now. “Given our significant contribution to koala rescue and rehabilitation efforts and meetings with the Minister, we had hoped for more immediate action. Our koalas can’t wait another 12 months for funding to help ensure their survival.” Ms Everaers said it was time for the government to bolster the collective efforts of the community by funding critical koala conservation efforts.“We couldn’t do what we do without the tireless efforts of our volunteers, but the reality is that we can’t expect generous individuals and businesses to fix this problem alone. It is so inspiring to see our volunteers and veterinary team’s incredible commitment 24/7 to save koalas, but heartbreaking not to be able to provide them with the equipment and support they so desperately need.” As a not-for-profit organisation, Friends of the Koala is supported by 300 volunteers who contribute approximately 75,500 hours of unpaid volunteer work each year. This represents over $3.5 million saved on the cost of services, allowing the organisation to keep its running costs low and put all revenue towards the support, care, and conservation of koalas.President of Friends of the Koala, Aliison Kelly, said Friends of the Koala had worked for almost four decades to conserve koala habitat and protect koalas individually and as a species, rescuing more than 6000 koalas and releasing more than 2000 back into the wild to date.“We founded and run the Northern Rivers Koala Network which is a collection of 23 different organisations including local councils, DCCEEW and other not-for-profits to liaise, inform and work together to save koalas across the Northern Rivers region,” Ms Kelly said. “This year we joined forces with Port Stephens Koala Hospital and Koala Conservation Australia Ltd to form the NSW Koala Hospital Alliance to support each other’s work and advocate for change across the sector.  “We are frustrated that our efforts and those of the whole sector are not acknowledged in this budget. The wildlife sector across the state gives the government and the people of NSW an army of passionate people working on Country who want to save and protect our wildlife for future generations. It’s time this is recognised, applauded and funded properly.” 

Lismore is preparing for first Freedom of Entry Parade in 52 years
Lismore is preparing for first Freedom of Entry Parade in 52 years

19 June 2024, 8:02 PM

An armed (and highly polished) army battalion will be taking Lismore by storm this weekend in the biggest and finest mix of medieval and modern pageantry. In the name of respect, honour and trust, the Freedom of Entry parade - an age-old defence tradition - will be happening on our streets this Saturday as part of the 2024 Lismore Lantern parade.The 41st Battalion, our local battalion since the Great War, has only ever marched in a Freedom of Entry ceremony, one other time in Lismore, 1972. “Having Freedom of Entry and being issued a scroll like this (above) from council is regarded as one of one of the highest military honours a unit can receive.” Lieutenant Colonel Danial Healy, the head of the 41st Battalion, says.“It demonstrates the strong connection and bond the unit has with the community. The ability to actually walk through and bear arms within the community demonstrates the trust that the community has in the unit.“What we're enacting on Saturday will be what happened back in 1972.”That was the only other time this significant event has occurred in Lismore. There was one other event of an army parading in Lismore - for the Changing of the Colours in the mid-1990s. This is not a common occasion.The event is timed to be in conjunction with the Lismore Lantern Parade. Jyllie Jackson OAM, said, “It's such an enormous honour for us in the Lantern Parade to have the 41st Battalion join us on our special day. And it'll be such an amazing experience for everybody who comes along to see the soldiers marching through our streets.”As part of the parade and pageantry, the army will be challenged by the Richmond PD Superintendent, Scott Tanner, to which the ADF has to prove it has a right of entry.  “It's a great honour for New South Wales Police to be able to challenge the ADF on their Freedom of Entry to the city. We have a very strong working relationship, certainly no more than during the 2022 Floods, where we stood side by side with the community in support.”With a smile, Supt Tanner said, “I hope that they're presented well because it will dictate whether they are allowed entry into the city. It's not a given right! Certainly the challenge will be something that is a good experience for everyone. I do encourage everyone to come down and be part of the day.”The ADF will need to impress more than the Superintendent of Police on the day. Mayor of Lismore Steve Krieg will inspect the troops, and it’s fair to say, he is looking forward to it.Mayor Krieg acknowledges the importance of the right bestowed on Lismore with a Freedom of Entry.“It's pretty significant for a whole troop of soldiers to walk through your city ready for combat. And that's why the superintendent's got to give them the pass mark or not. “It’s a really exciting event for me personally as the mayor of the city to be able to participate. You see these things on the news all the time where Prime Ministers and Presidents inspect the troops… Well, the humble little old mayor of Lismore gets to do that on Saturday. So very exciting, for me personally, but also for the city.”This event has been seven months in the making. But everyone involved sees the worth and importance of the reasons behind it. The value of a close relationship with the ADF proved invaluable after the 2022 floods.Lieutenant Colonel Healy was not present at the floods, but he spoke of his force’s efforts. “The battalion responded to the floods quite quickly and provided immediate response with helping local members of the community that were in need.“We are an infantry battalion, but we also have drivers and cooks and stewards and vehicle mechanics and as well as our soldiers getting out there - knocking on doors, assisting the community and also assisting with rescue efforts. 76 members that responded quickly were awarded a gold commendation from Defence for their efforts.”As Ms Jackson relates, “Some were impacted themselves, and many were helping us afterwards. I think it's a great connection between the 41st battalion and the Lantern Parade and our community.”At 1.30pm on Saturday, up to 200 ADF will parade down Magellan Street towards the Memorial Baths. There will be a challenge along the way, and the inspection of the troops will occur at the Memorial Baths. Pipes and drums from the Australian Army Band in Newcastle will be playing as part of the parade, and into the night for the 2024 Lismore Lantern Festival. “This is really significant, just to be able to say thank you for all the work that they've done,” says Mayor Krieg, “There's going to be heavy army vehicles to block the streets, it's going to be a real military show. The more people we can get to line the streets and see the troops marching through, the better. They will be bearing arms!”Speaking to Regimental Sergeant Major Michael Dowling, “It's one of the highest honours that a unit within a community can receive. It’s granting our freedom to march through the city of Lismore. We will have our swords drawn, band playing drums beating and colours flying.”(RSM Michael Dowling)RSM Dowling said the soldiers have been drilling for a significant ceremonial event. They will be wearing their ceremonial uniform, which includes medals and their regular-use guns.“So the officers will be carrying swords, our traditional infantry swords. We will be carrying our normal infantry rifles, EF88. These are our (issued) weapons that we use and train with.”This is a rare spectacle, the 41st Battalion has paraded for Freedom of entry in other places from Tweed to Taree, but they are not performed often - the last was in 2008. Don’t be late! It starts at 1.30pm and the larger part of the pageantry will be at the Lismore War Memorial on Molesworth Street, concluding at 2pm.

Rural Land Use up for discussion: Have your say
Rural Land Use up for discussion: Have your say

18 June 2024, 10:01 PM

Lismore City Council has initiated a plan to assess Rural Land use in the LGA. They are asking for feedback from the community to understand its needs and how we see our region. A spokesperson for Lismore City Council said, “The Rural Land Use Discussion Paper is the first step in developing a Rural Land Use Strategy, which will provide direction on how Council manages our rural areas into the future. “The Discussion Paper explains the strength, challenges, opportunities and threats facing our rural lands, and provides some options Council could investigate to strengthen how our rural lands function.”Agriculture is listed as a strength in the paper and contains a snapshot of various industries, such as macadamias, nurseries and sugar cane. Other strengths covered are our climate and education, our biodiversity, including wildlife.Some of the challenges nominated include land use discrepancies, the need for housing, the floodplain and road infrastructure.Opportunities include rice, hemp, and agritourism, as well as sustainable and nature-based solutions.Threats outlined include climate change, an ageing workforce and biosecurity, amongst others.“This work is important because our rural lands make up more than 85% of the Lismore local government area and are host to many uses, including productive agriculture, forestry, natural resource extraction, environmental conservation, housing and tourism. While this presents numerous opportunities, without careful management there is also potential for conflict.”(Some facts as they are laid out in the discussion paper)Council is looking to get a clear picture of what the community expectations are. The information the community provides will go into a draft strategy that Council will consider for progression.“There are several actions that Council could take to improve how our rural lands function, including changes to planning controls, development of educational resources, additional staff to assist rural landowners, and a greater focus on advocacy and partnerships. “However, it’s important to note that Council has not made any decisions on what changes should be pursued. The point of the Discussion Paper is to explain the issues, hear from the community, then respond through the development of a draft Strategy. No options will be progressed until a final Strategy is adopted by Council.”The process is not just open to rural landowners and workers. Everyone has a right to provide input, the factors undergoing consideration will affect people in the city in some part of their lives. “At this stage, Council wants to understand what our community values about our rural lands, what is working well, and what could be improved. While Council is particularly interested to hear from those who live and/or work on rural land, including our villages, we are also interested in hearing from any Lismore resident with ideas about rural land use. “Even if someone doesn’t live on rural land, how these lands function can have wider impacts on issues like housing availability, tourism opportunities, scenic amenity and environmental management.”There are a lot of interesting considerations for Lismore laid out in the paper. Identifying land without dwelling entitlements and assessing them for development is one proposal, land use and reviewing minimum lot sizes as well as multiple occupancy locations and the potential for village expansion are just a few of the ideas up for consideration.You can find the Discussion Paper on the council's website. A hard copy is available at the Lismore and Goonellabah libraries. You can provide feedback via a guided survey or submission on the same webpage.You can also contact the team handling the discussion paper by phone (02 6625 0500) or email ([email protected]).

The Fiery Finale theme has been revealed for Saturday's Lismore Lantern Parade
The Fiery Finale theme has been revealed for Saturday's Lismore Lantern Parade

18 June 2024, 9:01 PM

The countdown is definitely on for the 2024 Lismore Lantern Parade; three days to go.Just like LisAmore! last Sunday, the weather looks to be an ideal winter day, with blue skies and a forecast of 19 degrees from the Bureau of Meteorology. However, it will be cold once the sun goes down, so 'layering up' will be the order of the day.The Fiery Finale is always a special way to end the Lismore Lantern Parade at Riverside Park. CEO and Creative Director Jyllie Jackson gave some insight into what we can expect between 6:30pm and 7:30pm."It is under wraps at the moment, but it works on many, many levels," Jyllie carefully explained, "It's called Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow. It's a little bit about the beginning of time. It's a little bit about First Nations creation stories, and it's a little bit about the beginning of the Lantern Parade.""So, that's one part. Then it comes through time, and because you need to have some strong contrasts in theatre and ceremony, the middle part is a little bit dark. We've been through some pretty dark times, so we need to acknowledge that. It's a recognition of the fact that things have been pretty awful. And then tomorrow is a lovely day, and the sun will shine.""Andrew Downer, who works at The Conservatorium, has been doing our music for the last few years, is collaborating with Dr. Fred Cole, who has been the Lismore Lantern Parade composer for many years for the Fiery Finale. This year, we've brought the two highly talented men together. We're bringing quite a lot of Fred's music from the past into this year's event.""Sprung, an integrated dance company for people with and without disabilities, will participate in the show, as will students from the Living School and the children from Wyrallah Road Public School. I went to see their end-of-year performance last year, and I was so impressed that I talked to Emma Hart, who is their music teacher, and I said I'd love for them to be involved."As the Lismore Lantern Parade is celebrating 30 years of wowing Lismore and Northern Rivers residents, Jyllie has been inviting people who have been involved previously to return for night only. This includes the Heartbeat Festival Stage with artists like Jimmy Willing and the Real Gone Hiccups All-Star Band."He'll be bringing back all his pictures that he's done over the years of the Lantern Parade. He is just such a joyous entertainer," Jyllie said.​12:00  Soul Good Band12:30  Youth Jazz Orchestra - Northern Rivers Conservatorium of Music 1:30  Rubber Duck Salad - The Living School 2:30  The D-Tension Band 2:50  Isabella a Capella 3:30  Southern Cross University Contemporary Music Showcase featuring: Leo Hooker and Kaliya Edwards 4:40  WELCOME - Uncle Roy Gordon and Mayor Steve Krieg 4:50  Bella Frankie 5:30  Mocri$ and Triple 6:15  Luke Vassella 7:00  Ulysses Bow 7:45  Jimmy Willing and the Real Gone Hiccups All-Star Band with the Buffalo Girls You can view all activities for Saturday's 2024 Lismore Lantern Parade on the Lismore App front page, through their special button Lismore Lantern Parade or through the Lismore Lantern Parade website.

What did the NSW Budget do for Lismore?
What did the NSW Budget do for Lismore?

18 June 2024, 8:00 PM

What did Lismore receive in yesterday's NSW Budget? That depends on your viewpoint.Were there high expectations for 2024/25 following significant investment in our city in the past two years?When you look at the North Coast page of the NSW Budget - Our Plan for Regional NSW, Lismore does not receive any further funding directly.There was no new funding for the Resilient Homes Program or the Resilient Lands Program.Confusingly, the document says "Continuation of: $485 million for the Resilient Homes Program - Northern Rivers to enable flood tolerance for existing houses including house raisings, repairs, retrofits, and voluntary buybacks."It then says: $87.4 million for the Resilient Lands Program to identify flood-safe land suitable for redevelopment to help relocate Northern Rivers residents impacted by the 2022 floods."The Lismore App understands that both amounts reflect what will be spent on the relevant programs in the coming 12 months and are not additional funding for each program, which will disappoint most of the community.The Resilient Homes Program received an initial $700 million from the previous government, and a further $100 million when Treasurer Daniel Mookhey announced the establishment of a new $150 million Community Restoration Flood Fund in the 2023-24 Budget to support disaster-impacted communities in the Northern Rivers and Central West. The Northern Rivers allocation was $100 million.Yesterday's budget papers in the Our Plan for Regional NSW had allocations in for 2024/25 for North Coast hospitals, including Port Macquarie, Tweed, Grafton and a small $2 million for Ballina.In education, money will be spent on Lennox Head Primary School and Wollongbar Public School this financial year, with 1,594 education staff made permanent.$926 million will be spent in 2024/25 on the Coffs Harbour Bypass construction.$5.5 million was allocated to continue safety improvements on the Bruxner Highway and $1 million to commence planning for The Alphadale crossroads intersection on the Bruxner Highway. This is part of a $7.5 million election promise to build a roundabout at the notorious blackspot.Lismore and the Northern Rivers will benefit from the broader state government announcements, like the $5.1 billion to deliver new public housing, which will prioritise at least half of the homes built for victim-survivors of family and domestic violence. The program will build 8,400 public homes.$200.1 million will be spent on health worker accommodation across rural and regional areas of NSW. A significant issue for Lismore Base Hospital, which has been identified as a recipient.$189 million for a bulk billing initiative with the aim of making a GP visit affordable.$30.4 million to expand Community Mental Health Teams across targeted areas, including regional NSW.$200 million in grants for councils to meet and beat their housing targets, including the delivery of new homes.At first glance, it appears as though Lismore has not benefitted from the 2024/25 NSW Budget. There may be more details to be revealed in the coming days.You can argue that we have had a large share of funding in the last two years because of the 2022 flood. Think of the significant funding to Lismore City Council to rebuild council assets, estimated to be $350 million in 2022. However, there is no doubt that the Lismore LGA will need a lot more funding in the future when the CSIRO flood mitigation scenarios are revealed.

What does business want to see in today's State Budget?
What does business want to see in today's State Budget?

17 June 2024, 10:00 PM

The NSW State Budget is due to be released at midday today. Pre-budget submissions have stated their needs. We have a look at Local Government NSW and Business NSW interests and what they see as important for the Northern Rivers region.  Business NSW has “called on the NSW Government to prioritise the needs of business in the upcoming State Budget".Regional Director for the Northern Rivers, Jane Laverty, said, “Recognising that we have both a cost of living crisis and a cost of doing business crisis, we need to support regional communities to sustain jobs which means supporting our local businesses.  “We have called on the NSW Government to - lower the payroll tax rate in line with Queensland, so we do not lose growing Northern Rivers businesses across the border and prioritise housing in the region so we maintain and grow the future workforce for the region.”(Business cost concerns ranked)Business NSW listed 40 recommendations for the State Governemnt to consider. These include, “Payroll tax reform, a need for greater investment in our Vocational Education & Training system, insurance reform, incentives for businesses to convert from gas to electric heat pump systems and venture capital reform.”(Barriers to business expansion)“Business NSW has five key pillars representing the collective ambitions of businesses across the state of NSW: 1. Make doing business easier in NSW through lower taxes and red tape 2. Make business smarter in NSW by future-proofing the workforce with a pipeline of quality workers 3. Make NSW businesses confident to face the future through balanced and agile energy and infrastructure policy 4. Make NSW a better place to grow start-ups and set up businesses by doing more to attract investment and remain competitive 5. Make NSW thrive by improving and rewarding safety in the workplace, revitalising our CBDs, increasing our housing supply and building affordable housing so our state can continue to be the best place to live and work. This budget represents a major opportunity for the new government to orient policy to deliver on these pillars.” (Business NSW says these policy areas require attention)In regards to making a difference locally in the retail sector, Ms Laverty reflects on some of these pillars. Namely, “An interest rate cut.” The other big one for this region is “investment in CBD revitalisation and place-making, promoting people spending time in retail areas. "This is where the public sector can help. However, it generally has a different set of priorities.LGNSW (Local Government NSW) states, “The 2024-25 economic landscape presents unique challenges for local government, compounded by the significance of this year as it is an election year for the sector that may result in realignments of council policies and priorities. “All levels of Government are expected to address pressing issues, including the rising cost of living, ongoing skills shortages, and the supply of affordable housing, underscoring the importance of making strategic budgetary and fiscal decisions to effectively tackle these challenges.”The LGNSW appeal discusses;LG finances requests abolishing the Emergency Services Levee from their remit; as well as addressing election and audit costs.The continuing need for resilience and betterment of infrastructure as well as added costs for Local Emergency Management Officers.Bolstering services like water security and buses for transport options.Housing costs, including infrastructure, Planning Portal support and the need for public and social housing all require attention.Environmental concerns like the waste levy, asbestos concerns and costs associated with climate change and biosecurity need fiduciary support.Community issues like companion animal care, building stronger communities and health care, skills and labour shortage, domestic and family violence play a big role in securing a better future.Specialist community care such as closing the gap for Indigenous communities, crime prevention, early childhood support and centres as well as those with disabilities and supporting the arts are vital to lifestyle.LGNSW stresses the importance of the link between State and Local Governments working together.“LGNSW urges the government against winding down existing support and recovery programs. Instead, the NSW Budget should continue focusing on bolstering community resilience and strengthening local economies, which will pave the way for a robust and sustainable local government sector. “By investing in key sectors, supporting essential services, and preparing for future disruptions, the NSW Government can ensure the well-being of its citizens and position the state for long-term economic success.“Lismore residents will also be looking for an increase in funding for the Resilient Homes Program (RHP). $700 million was initially allocated and called Tranche 1, and a further $100 million was added as Tranche 2. When the NRRC (now NSWRA) tabled the forecast costings of the RHP in parliament, the amount was $1.4 billion to be delivered in two Tranches of $700 million. Will Lismore and the Northern Rivers see additional money for House Buybacks, House Raisings and Retro-fits?

17-year-old youth charged following police pursuits in Nimbin and Lismore
17-year-old youth charged following police pursuits in Nimbin and Lismore

17 June 2024, 9:36 PM

A 17-year-old youth will appear in Lismore Children's Court today (18 June 2024) charged following several alleged pursuit incidents in Richmond Police Command last night (Monday night 17 June 2024).Between 16 June 2024 and 17 June 2024, a Grey Land Rover Station Wagon was stolen from a rural property at Nimbin. About 8.15pm Monday, 17 June 2024, Police received information that the stolen vehicle was been driven around Nimbin in a dangerous manner. Police attended and began patrolling for the vehicle. The stolen vehicle was located, and an attempt was made to have the vehicle stop. The vehicle has failed to stop for Police and a pursuit was initiated.Shortly after the pursuit commenced it was self-terminated by Police due to the potential dangers posed by the speed and manner of driving of the suspect.Police remained patrolling the Nimbin area and shortly after the vehicle was again sighted by Police. A second attempt was made to have the vehicle stop, and again after it failed to stop for Police, a pursuit was initiated. This pursuit was also self-terminated by Police due to the potential dangers posed by the speed and manner of driving of the suspect.Approximately 30 minutes later, the stolen vehicle was sighted by Police in Goonellabah, and a third attempt was made by Police to have the vehicle stop. Again, the vehicle failed to stop, and a pursuit was initiated before it too was self-terminated by Police.Shortly after this pursuit was terminated other Police who had successfully anticipated the movements of the offending vehicle were able to successfully deploy a tyre deflation device (road spikes) in Lismore.Although the road spikes were effective, and this ultimately led to the stolen vehicle slowing the driver has failed to stop and albeit at a slower speed with Police following he was pursued for approximately a further 30 kilometres before the vehicle’s condition deteriorated to such an extent it became undriveable and came to a halt. At this time, Police have approached the offending vehicle and the driver was removed from the vehicle and placed under arrest.The driver has since been charged by Police with offences Police pursuit not stop, Drive motor vehicle whilst disqualified, Drive conveyance without consent of owner (stolen motor vehicle) and Breach of bail.The young male was bail refused by Police and will appear before the Lismore Children’s Court today (18 June 2024).

Freeloaders or fulfilling legitimate housing needs using empty buyback homes?
Freeloaders or fulfilling legitimate housing needs using empty buyback homes?

17 June 2024, 9:00 PM

At 10 o'clock yesterday morning, Reclaim Our Recovery and House You, a grassroots Housing First movement dedicated to getting everybody a house, held a peaceful community meeting on Pine Street, North Lismore, to protest against an eviction notice issued by the NSW Reconstruction Authority (NSWRA) last week.In a statement released today, the two groups said, "For more than 2 years, the Lismore community has been grappling with the complex challenge of relocating residents off the floodplain, as originally advised by the Widjabul Wia-bal peoples before the town was even established. However, since the 2022 flood, the relocation process has crawled at a painfully slow pace, with barely any of the bought-back homes successfully moved to higher ground.""In the meantime, these vacant properties have been left to sit empty and deteriorate. "We need people living here now to help care for the land and homes; and support the environment to return to its natural state as a floodplain," explains local resident Roisin, who is currently occupying one of the abandoned homes on Pine Street. "Rather than allow these homes to waste away, a community of locals, artists, travellers and land carers are taking peaceful action - occupying and protecting the properties to prevent them from being boarded up. However, the New South Wales Reconstruction Authority (NSWRA) is attempting to forcibly evict these current occupants.""It is unconscionable to leave people without a roof over their heads in the middle of a housing crisis," says Chels Hood Withey, a founding member of local housing first campaign, House You. The NSWRA claims it will only grant "licences to occupy" (LTOs) to the original homeowners, not the caretakers, due to safety and liability concerns. However, the community argues these are the same people who disconnected the services when the homes were first boarded up.""Any house that has been bought back has been inspected for safety multiple times...These homes were safe when they were boarded up; they are still safe," counters Mim Torzillo of Reclaim Our Recovery (ROR). Refusing to comply with the eviction orders, the community is now calling on the NSWRA to grant LTOs to current occupants and prioritise relocating these homes to higher ground for public housing.""We have been trying to negotiate with NRRC, now the NSWRA, since January 2023 to find a solution and ensure these homes were not abandoned. It's time for the government to start prioritising community over bureaucracy," says Mim.Echoing this sentiment, Andrew George of Reclaim Our Recovery states, "Aussie taxpayers are paying at least $2500 per year per buyback home on boarding them up, disconnecting utilities, fencing, security and lawn mowing. This is ridiculous when, if they were lived in as public housing, they could be saving the taxpayer money, by generating a revenue for the government."The community is urging the NSWRA to engage in transparent, community-led direct and deliberative democratic processes and fulfil promises of truly affordable housing through the Resilient Homes and Resilient Lands programs. "We want to see these homes moved to higher ground to provide urgently needed public housing," says Chels."These homes are perfectly liveable, yet they'll be left empty for up to 4 years while people are desperately in need of shelter. How hard can it be for the NSWRA to simply connect these empty homes with the community members who want to live in them?" said Mim from Reclaim our Recovery.During the Lismore App's story on May 30, the majority of people living in or using the empty buyback homes were overseas travellers who were using Lismore as a stepping stone to move north into Queensland.During her first Talking Lismore podcast, Member for Lismore Janelle Saffin said the homeless are not living in the empty properties and there is a social media network recommending that people come to Lismore and live in the vacant properties."I get it, we've got a lot of homeless, but I don't see our homeless over there, I still see our homeless people where they are. I do get around a lot and see them and know who a lot of them are, with DCJ Housing and Homes NSW trying to help them," Ms Saffin said in the podcast Podcasts.Mayor Steve Krieg told the Lismore App, "They are living illegally and anytime that people choose to break the law they deserve to face the consequences. There is a reason those houses are empty, that is because they are either uninhabitable or earmarked for relocation."People come to us from out of our area to get free accommodation, and they are using resources that are supposed to help genuine flood vicitims in the recovery process."Freeloaders or fulfilling legitimate housing needs for empty buyback homes?

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