The Lismore App
The Lismore App
Your local digital newspaper
Flood RebuildAutomotiveHome ImprovementsFarming/AgWeddingsGames/PuzzlesBecome a Supporter
The Lismore App

News


MAFS Lucinda lights up the Coastal Charity Walk
MAFS Lucinda lights up the Coastal Charity Walk

15 April 2024, 10:24 PM

Australia fell in love with Lucinda Light on the 2024 season of Married at First Sight, where her warmth and kindness were a breath of fresh air. It will come as no surprise to anyone that she is using her newfound fame for a good cause by bringing her sparkle to the Byron Coastal Charity Walk, on Saturday, 4 May.As a Byron Bay local for many years, and after living through the devastating Lismore Floods of 2022, Lucinda has embraced the opportunity to support the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service by joining the walk.Alongside her mum, Lucinda will tackle the 12km walk along the stunning Byron coastline, while raising money for a great cause.Lucinda said, “I'm delighted to be part of this inspiring charity event with all of you! Returning to Byron, my heart's home, is always a joy, especially for such a wonderful cause. My mum and I will be joining you for 12km of the walk, and I invite you to join me for a sunset yoga class the night before! Expect a blend of gentle hatha with a sprinkling of comedy, philosophy, and free flow. I can't wait to see you all there and give you a big hug!”As a bonus, participants registered in the Byron Coastal Charity Walk will be treated to a sunset stretch session with Lucinda on the evening before the event.This is the perfect opportunity to get together with your friends and raise money for a great cause. “Get your walking shoes, your most fabulous earrings, your best friends and register for an extraordinary adventure today”.  About the Byron Coastal Charity Walk:The walk starts at Dening Park, Byron Bay, with participants choosing from three distances 12km from Byron Bay to Broken Head; 24km from Byron Bay to Lennox Head or 36km from Byron Bay to Ballina. As a social and non-competitive walk, participants can walk or run at any pace and choose to enter individually or in teams. The event is fully supported with snacks, marshals on track, medical assistance and lots of great entertainment.There are currently 455 registered walkers who have raised over $26,900 for the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service.Click here to find out more or to register.

LTC next production - A comedy about sex, money, art and respectability
LTC next production - A comedy about sex, money, art and respectability

15 April 2024, 9:00 PM

Lismore Theatre Company’s next show will be Lexie Turns to Stone, written by Patrick Carr, award-winning North Coast playwright and screenwriter.It has been in rehearsal for the last two months and will be performed at the Rochdale Theatre in Goonellabah from Friday, May 3rd, until Sunday, May 12th.Lismore Theatre Company is particularly excited to premiere this play and bring together some local theatre favourites.Many audience members will remember Elyse Dallinger and Gray Wilson in 'Educating Rita' by Willy Russell and we have brought them together again in this witty satire. Also reuniting in this play are Sarah-Jane Loxton, John McPherson and Elyse Dallinger who most recently appeared together in Hungry Ghosts at LTC in 2023.The play explores the life of Chris, a Gold Coast sculptor who has given up on art and makes a nice living carving statues of wealthy Gold Coast identities (or their wives) to adorn their canal-front mansions. He was commissioned by his old mate, Lonny, to make a statue of Lonny’s wife, Lexie. Inevitably, unresolved passions surface. Chris doesn’t mind, but Lexie’s thrown by developments. Trouble is, Lonny’s a crook gone respectable and not to be trifled with. Meantime, Chris’ intrusive daughter Angelica turns up and proceeds to wreak havoc with all around her, including Lonny. By the time she’s ready to leave, no one’s life will be the same. A comedy about sex, money, art and respectability.We also introduce a new actor to our theatre company, Jane Carr, who will play Lexie in the title role. Jane says, 'People should come and see the show because live theatre has a unique magic, because the energy and skill of my fellow cast members is uplifting, because it is a hilarious ride through the delights and power of language.'We also welcome back regular actors such as Anna Ludvik from the 2023 show 'Dead White Males' by David Williamson. Anna Ludvik who plays Lola says 'Lola is sassy, sure of herself and sexy. She’s fun to play. Getting on stage is such fun, as an adult, it’s a rare opportunity to actually “play”, make believe and explore concepts. The cast and crew are great.'Elyse Dallinger, who plays Angelica, said, 'When I read the script and saw how witty it was and how intriguing the character dynamics were, I knew it was a show I wanted to be part of. The more I read and work with the script, the more I see in it, which is a true joy for an actor."John McPherson, who plays Lonny, said of the play, "This is an outstandingly witty comedy that revolves around superbly crafted characters. That, plus the motivation of working alongside a highly talented cast who have the capacity to give full expression to each of the characters." When asked about the play, Gray Wilson, who plays the lead role of Chris, said, "It's a lot of fun. It puts the magnifying glass onto a section of society most of us will never know. Verbal jousting, hidden barbs, outright insults, ... what's not to love. Rehearsals are going swimmingly, and I think this one will join the long line of successes that Lismore Theatre Company keep bringing us, year after year."Tickets are now on sale and can be purchased from https://www.trybooking.com/CPWFS or follow the link on the Lismore Theatre Company website.There will be a fundraiser night on Saturday, the 11th of May for the Northern Rivers Suicide Prevention and Awareness Group which is a small registered charity supporting projects and programs that prevent suicide and build resilience and wellbeing throughout our region.The money raised goes to training programs to provide mental health first aid, education on how to talk to suicide-affected people, and equipment for projects that bring communities together in and after traumatic times. They work closely with Lifeline and StandBy to support their programs too.

Varroa mite has been detected in Lismore and the NRs
Varroa mite has been detected in Lismore and the NRs

15 April 2024, 8:00 PM

The dreaded varroa mite was detected in Lismore and the Northern Rivers last week. While the impact may not be felt immediately, Jackie Morrison, owner of Honeyvale Farm at Boat Harbour, said it will really hit us in five to ten years.Since varroa mite was detected at the Port of Newcastle in June 2022, the response was funded by the Commonwealth and the state and territory governments. Initially, the thought was to eradicate varroa mites from Australia. However, that plan of attack has changed to varroa mite management.A NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) spokesperson said, "On 19 September 2023, the National Management Group (NMG) determined it was no longer technically feasible to eradicate Varroa mite, and the response is now working on a national transition to management plan.""The mite is expected to spread over time, and beekeeper reporting of monitoring results is key to understanding where the mite is currently active. These results are available on the Varroa heat map https://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/emergencies/biosecurity/current-situation/varroa-mite-emergency-response."Jackie Morrison told the Lismore App, she is not exactly sure where the infected bee hives are because the DPI don't give that information out."It just says the Lismore area. There was a case found between Ballina and Lennox, and then there was a case found in the Lismore area, which will populate very quickly.""It's very hard to find varroa mite. This is why it was in the country for so long before we knew it was here. But now that people are starting to get a bit better at looking for it, we realise how far it's spread."The impact will not be felt immediately by local beekeepers, garden enthusiasts, and hobby farmers growing fruit and vegetables."If they weren't looking for it, they wouldn't know it was there. But then it breeds exponentially as the bees breed up. And then, when the bees naturally taper off over winter and don't breed as much, that's when the varroa mites start to accumulate more and more. Probably by next year or the year after, people will start to see hives badly affected by mites, and they might start seeing hives start to die off from it."Jackie explained that the mite affects the bee and not the honey."The mites feed on the bee's fatty tissue, basically their immune system. So, because their immune system is affected by the varroa mite, and something the size of a basketball (in human terms) is feeding off them, the viruses that are normally knocked out naturally now accumulate and kill the bees. They are then less likely to be able to breed.""The baby bees are less likely to be able to come out and be able to fly at all. They're less likely to be able to bring in stores, and they're less likely to be able to process the right nutrition. So, it's just a knock from all directions for the bees."Jackie said the Northern Rivers has one of the highest concentrations of backyard beekeepers in the country, and we could lose 30 to 60% of bee-related companies going out of business. "A lot of those beekeepers will not be able to manage the mites, and they will just get out of beekeeping. But the biggest impact I think we will see is to people who grow their own fruit and veg. This is the most fantastic area for gardens. Everybody's growing their own veggies or works in a market garden. There are heaps of really good quality market gardens in the area. A lot of these rely on feral honey bees, the same as macadamia orchards, they don't need to get beekeepers in to pollinate their crops because there are just so many feral bees in the area. It's such a perfect area for honey bees.""It won't happen quickly, but over the next 10 years, pretty much 99.99% of all those feral honey bees will die out from varroa mite because it's not a native pest on honey bees. They just don't have any natural defences against it. Breeding bees that can fight it (varroa mite) naturally is really hard work.""People with market gardens and people with veggies in their backyard and people with macadamia orchards and Citrus orchards, anything that's being pollinated by honeybees, will either need to get a commercial beekeeper in who's managing their hives for mite so keeping their hives alive, or they will need to be very good at making good habitat for native bees to be able to pollinate for them."Jackie said the answer lies in providing a good habitat for native bees and good support for European honey bees."We have thousands of native bees that nest in the soil, and they're all great garden pollinators. They're not as good as European honey bees, that's why we use European honey bees, because you turn up with a box of 10,000 of them, and they do a fantastic job. But, people can put native bee hotels in and things like that.""I don't really recommend the very cheap ones that you can just go and buy. I would recommend contacting your local Landcare Group. They would know exactly what size the bees can go through and what wood to use. Some of your very cheap ones are imported from China, and they've got timber that may have been sprayed, so it might not be very good, or it might be the wrong size for our native honey bees.""We have a lot of native bees in the area, and the best thing people can do for their garden is support the native bees that are there and not not use pesticides in their gardens at all."According to Jackie, Australia's issue is that no one has managed varroa mite before, so there are no experts in this field. That book is still being written.Jackie warns locals about getting your advice from Youtube or the internet because they are more likely to be based in North America or Europe, which is not relevant to to Australia's problems in this climate."It's very tempting to just go down the chemical route that the USA and New Zealand went with, just throwing chemicals in your hive. But you can't do that; it affects the honey. Mites don't affect honey, but putting chemicals in your hive will affect your honey.""People in this area, I guess, have to be very careful. If they keep their hives in the backyard, they'd be very well advised to get good-quality expert help on how to manage varroa mite."Jackie may well become that local expert, as she has embarked on overseas trips to Hawaii, Fiji, the U.S. and New Zealand to learn as much as she can as part of a Nuffield Scholarship."In a couple of months, we're going to Europe to see what they're doing. Europe. is a lot colder than here, but they're also very restrictive on their chemical use, so they've been good at coming up with things like splitting hives to make brood breaks to knock varroa mite down."While the immediate news is a bit doom and gloom and will have a medium-term impact for a lot of beekeepers and gardeners, the long term must be promising as Jackie and her husband, Luke Edwards, have just purchased Ballina Honey.

22 year old charged following Police pursuit ending at North Lismore
22 year old charged following Police pursuit ending at North Lismore

15 April 2024, 4:43 AM

A 22-year-old man will appear in Court today (15 April 2024) charged following an alleged incident that started in Uki on Saturday and in North Lismore.About 11.20pm Saturday (13 April 2024) Police from Tweed/Byron Police Command attempted to stop a Subaru Impreza sedan on Kyogle Road Uki. The vehicle has failed to stop for Police and a pursuit was initiated.After a short time, the pursuit was self-terminated by Police due to the potential dangers posed by the speed and manner of driving of the suspect.A short time after the termination of the pursuit the vehicle was again sighted by Police from Richmond PD in the Tuntable Falls area of Richmond PD. By this time, a NSW Police Air wing aircraft which was operating on the north coast and airborne arrived overhead; it quickly located the suspect vehicle and began to monitor the vehicles movements whilst assisting in the directing of Police vehicles to intercept the suspect’s vehicle.However, prior to any interception by ground-based Police vehicles, the driver of the suspect vehicle has lost control whilst negotiating a bend on Woodlawn Road, North Lismore, resulting in the vehicle leaving the roadway and coming to rest in a roadside ditch. The driver and sole occupant of the vehicle has fled on foot and into the roadside scrub where he has attempted to hide in the vegetation.With the assistance of the Police airwing aircraft a perimeter was established by Police on the ground, and then at the direction of the Police airwing aircraft ground-based Police moved in on the location where the suspect was attempting to hide. When located the male was hiding in a tree.The male has since been charged by Police with offences Police pursuit not stop, Drive recklessly/furiously or speed/manner dangerous, Drive motor vehicle whilst disqualified, Breach Apprehended Domestic Violence Order, Possess prohibited drug, resist or hinder Police and by virtue of 2 (two) outstanding warrants.The man was bail refused by Police and appeared will appear before the Court today (15 April 2024).

Four teenagers arrested and charged after a public altercation in Casino
Four teenagers arrested and charged after a public altercation in Casino

15 April 2024, 2:54 AM

Four male teenagers have been arrested and charged with reckless wounding and affray offences after a public altercation in Casino on Saturday.About 6.55pm Saturday 13 April 2024 four (4) male teens were at a restaurant in Casino. The males aged 15, 16, 17 and 19 years old had purchased food at the restaurant and moved to an outside dining area. At this location words were exchanged between the teens and two older males aged 37 and 41 years old, who it is alleged are unknown to them.The exchange of words escalated into a physical altercation with all four teens picking up chairs and throwing them at and using them to strike the older males. As the physical altercation continued, the teens are alleged to have punched and kicked at the older males as well as one of the teens producing a hammer which was used to strike the 41-year-old male to the face and head area causing serious facial injuries and fractures.Within a short time, Police arrived on scene and investigations commenced. NSW Ambulance attended, and the male with the head injuries was conveyed to Lismore base Hospital for treatment. Police located the four teens a short distance from the location, and they were arrested and conveyed to Casino Police Station where they were subsequently charged.Resulting, three of the teens were bail refused by Police to appear before the Children's Court on Sunday 14 April 2024 and the fourth teen was conditionally bailed to appear before the Children's Court on 17 April 2024.On Sunday, 14 April 2024, all three teens' bail refused by Police appeared before the Children’s Court and all three were subsequently granted conditional bail to reappear before the Children’s Court on later dates.

Check out the events this week for Youth Week
Check out the events this week for Youth Week

14 April 2024, 10:02 PM

As part of Youth Week 2024, there are a number of activities coming up in the first week of school holidays for people aged 12-24.From 16 to 20 April, the youth of Lismore and the Northern Rivers are invited to immerse themselves in a week-long celebration of creativity, culture and community.The Youth Week celebration will feature inspiring offerings for participants who will discover new ways to unleash their creativity, share their stories and connect with peers who share their passions.On offer is the opportunity to dive into the basics of film writing and production, explore the rich world of digital art, storytelling and natural crafts with renowned artists and create and explore zines from around the globe with artist Chris Lego. Lismore City Council Quad Placemaking Officer Mykaela Baillie said it’s an opportunity to enjoy the camaraderie of like-minded young people in our community.“The theme for this year's Youth Week is Express. Empower. Get loud! It encourages youth across NSW to be themselves and celebrate together,” they said.“This initiative is supported by Lismore City Council and will create a space for young individuals to express themselves, share ideas, showcase their talents and contribute to their community.”Since its inception in 1989 as a NSW Government initiative, Youth Week has grown into a national celebration that engages thousands of young people across Australia. Youth Week is your opportunity to get involved if you are between the ages of 12 and 24.This year's Youth Week promises something for everyone, with a diverse range of workshops designed to empower young people to Express themselves and Get Loud! Here's what's in store:Tuesday, 16 April from 10am – 3pmQuad Offsite: On Country Forest and ForageNamabunda Farm, 112 Whites Avenue, AlstonvilleDive into our local ecosystem, forage for native foods and fibers, and contribute to the restoration of Youngman Creek's Big Scrub rainforest.Tuesday, 16 April from 2.30pm - 4.30pmCollage ClubGoonellabah Library, 27 Oliver Avenue, GoonellabahJoin our ongoing community engagement and creative recovery program, where you can enjoy making collages in a supportive environment.Wednesday, 17 April from 10am – 1pmQuad Offsite: Jarjums on PaperAmarina Aboriginal Artist Run Initiative, Shop 1/126 Molesworth Street, LismoreExplore digital art, storytelling, and natural crafts with renowned artists in a series of drop-in workshops.Wednesday, 17 April from 10am – 11amScreenwriting and Film WorkshopLismore Library Meeting Room, 44 Carrington Street, LismoreLearn the basics of film writing and production, guided by an acclaimed filmmaker and writer.Thursday, 18 April and Saturday, 20 April from 1pm - 5pmZine Making Workshop (2-day workshop)Elevator ARI, 3 Rural Street, LismoreImmerse yourself in the world of zine-making with artist Chris Lego in this immersive two-day workshop.Thursday, 18 April from 10am-11amActing Workshop with Madeleine WestGoonellabah Library, 27 Oliver Avenue, GoonellabahLearn the art of acting from none other than Neighbours star, Madeleine West!For more details on the above and to register for workshops, visit www.lismorequad.org.au/youth-week-2024.In Ballina, a new youth festival, 'Thrillfest', has been announced for Youth Week for the first time.It will featuring a battle-of-the-bands, skateboarding workshops, and football drills – and free buses will ferry young people to the events.  The Ballina Youth Network is organising Thrillfest, and the not-for-profit organisation Social Futures is part of that network. The festival will be held on April 16, from 11am, at Missingham Park, Ballina with the support of Rotary Ballina, Cherry Street Sports Club, West Ballina’s Climbing Jungle, Ballina Shire Council, Hartley’s Fruit Shop and Ballina Buslines.  Social Futures Children Youth and Families Manager, Kiara McBeath said the Thrillfest lineup was a testament to the diverse interests and skills of the region's young people.  “Thrillfest festivities kick off with the Battle of the Bands, where aspiring musicians will hit the stage to compete for amazing prizes,” Ms McBeath said. “Get ready to cheer for your favourites and witness the birth of the next big thing in music.  “You can also grab a board and join a skateboarding workshop run by Truckstop Skate School. It doesn’t matter if you’re a seasoned skater or just starting, the Truckstop experts will guide you through techniques and tricks that'll have you owning the pavement in no time.  “And for the sports enthusiasts, join in on our lively footy drills – a chance to show off your skills and maybe even learn a few new ones.  “The day is all about celebrating young people and their immense talents – from music to skateboarding to sport. And of course, it’s all about having fun!”  There will also be interactive games, and a free BBQ lunch. “In an effort to make Thrillfest accessible to every teen in Ballina, there will be free transport on the day,” Ms McBeath said.  “Ballina Buslines is supporting this event by offering free transport to Tamar Street all day long for young people," Ms McBeath said.  “Join us for an unforgettable day of fun, friendship, and fanciful feats. Ballina’s youth are the heartbeat of our community, and Thrillfest is here to celebrate that energy and creativity.”  For more information contact Ballina Youth Network 0477 547 888. Registrations are not required.

Animal House changes ownership - "We felt like bought a zoo"
Animal House changes ownership - "We felt like bought a zoo"

14 April 2024, 9:03 PM

The new owners of the Animal House are embracing their venture with open arms to open fins, fur and feathers!Anthony and Dee are following a dream and purchased a pet shop called the Animal House. And an Animal House it is, with a wide range of birds and fish and even a few little furry, inquisitive mammals to complete the menagerie they have on offer.The couple have been busy making the shop their own. Dee explains that they want the shop to be “a traditional pet shop, where you can get your pet and all the things you need to look after it. We are talking to lots of people - we really want to give people what they are looking for or what they need. We want to make sure all our pets get new homes really quickly.”“The pet shop has been something I have always loved. My dad says that he could never get me out of the pet shop as a child,” says Dee, and then adds, ” Also, it's hard owning pets when you are in a rental, so this way I can have so many different animals. And I get to share them and make people happy!”“I love my animals, always have, and I’m really excited about my new fish tanks that have just been ordered,” Anthony looks forward to his new fish display. They also now have around 70 birds, including a wide range of Australian birds and some unique international options, including two young and very affectionate macaws. “The macaws are just over three weeks old, and they arrived at the beginning of the week. They cannot leave the shop until they are 20 weeks old, so they will be here for a while,” says Anthony. They may become the two new stars of the shop, they are just so sweet as they lay back and enjoy getting a scratch and a pat."Many of the birds are hand reared and with the interactive way the shop operates, at times, they get the run of the shop and are very happy to sit on any customer that happens to come past. “A bird will often choose its owner - it may fly right up to you, or it may fly away,” says Dee.The Animal House prides itself on its inhabitants. “It isn’t easy having live stock in a pet shop. There are a lot of regulations and things we have to abide by, the cleaning, the upkeep, keeping them in a safe environment,” says Anthony and Dee adds, “and the care and maintenance - not overstocking, ensuring they are wormed and cared for. Things like that.”Discussing advice for potential new pet owners, Anthony explains the responsibility of becoming a pet owner. “It isn’t an impulse buy. You need to think about what you want and how you can manage it. We are a place where you can come and see the animals and get to know them. Then browse around for what you need, and ask advice about what you want before you take a pet home”Dee and Anthony have a list as long as a rat's tail of things they would like to do with the shop. Between arranging signage, getting to know the breeding community and organising and managing the shop, “We are averaging about 80 hour week!” says Anthony.“Our long term goal is to get into reptiles. It’s a lot of licensing, and it will take some time - probably three years. But we would like to get a proper licence and be able to sell them in store. The closest place to us that sells them is on the Gold Coast, so we would like to offer something closer,” Dee says, and Anthony adds that anyone interested is free to come and discuss reptiles with them. “We have the food here for them already,” he adds, “many pets need meat for food - there is one lady that comes here to get meat for her ferret.”“We are both brand new pet shop owners, but we’ve got two other businesses in town: a barber shop in South Lismore and a hairdressing salon in town.” Stepping into the business side of the new venture is not new to them.Anthony works in the shop every day, and Dee joins him in the evenings after hairdressing to help clean the cages and feed the animals.“On the weekends, I am travelling around sourcing animals for people - all over the place - up past Brisbane and I recently got some rabbits down at Coffs. People come and ask us about animals they want and we see what we can do.”Anthony and Dee are fast making many contacts in the industry. “There have been so many people that have given us support - the old owners spent two weeks with us, the RSPCA lady who has helped us with regulations - the breeders, regular customers - so many lovely people that we have come to know. Even our landlord has been amazing as the number of pets at home has grown,” admits Dee.They connected with a fellow from Moree who had three pet shops. “He has been so helpful; we speak to him regularly. He has helped with different aspects of the shop - he even made the large white finch enclosure for us. He has become a good friend,” says Anthony.Anthony and Dee are devoted to the point that they are celebrating their wedding anniversary - on the day that we conduct the interview - in the shop with their charges. They are right where they want to be - amongst their new friends sharing lots of cuddles, pats and kisses. Time for their celebration has to wait until their attention is not in such widespread demand.The Animal House is open 9am til 6pm Monday to Friday, 9 til 2pm on Saturday and 10 til 2pm on Sunday. Or if there is a request out of hours, you can always contact Anthony via their Facebook page, and they will do what they can to help out. They extend an open invitation for people to come and meet them and their animal friends.

Terania Street rail bridge removal likely to take several more months
Terania Street rail bridge removal likely to take several more months

14 April 2024, 8:00 PM

The news that the Terania Street rail bridge could start to be removed by the end of June during last week's Lismore City Council meeting has been torpedoed by Transport for NSW in a reply to the Lismore App to confirm proceedings.A Transport for NSW spokesperson said, "Transport for NSW has been carrying out risk assessments on the disused rail-over-road bridge over Terania Street at Lismore after it was struck by an over-height vehicle on 7 February."Following this incident, Terania Street was closed to pedestrian and motor vehicle traffic between Tweed and Peate streets."Transport for NSW has been working on traffic management measures to prevent future bridge strikes. These measures include traffic calming treatments to slow vehicles down, together with measures to restrict heavy vehicle access."We are planning to implement the new traffic management measures in coming weeks with the aim to reopen Terania Street by end of June, weather permitting."Several measures have been recommended, with work already completed to retain any loose debris. As such, the Terania Street footpath has since been reopened for pedestrian access."Transport for NSW assures the community that we are treating this as a high priority to reopen Terania Street as soon as the new traffic management measures are in place."Businesses surrounding Terania Street are still open and we encourage locals to continue to support them."Transport for NSW acknowledges that there is huge support from the local community to remove the rail over road bridge on Terania Street."We have lodged an application with Heritage NSW relating to the removal of the Terania Street rail bridge. This process is expected to take several months to work through the required legislative processes for heritage infrastructure.So, Transport for NSW say the rail bridge will be open to the public again by the end of June, not the removal of the bridge, which is still expected to take several months.Heritage NSW has opened public comment on the removal of the Terania Street rail bridge. The community can make submissions via their webpage at https://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/topics/heritage/apply-for-heritage-approvals-and-permits/state-heritage-register-items/comment-on-applications.  Detour routes will be in place while investigations and repair work are carried out on Terania Street. A detour for all heavy and light vehicles travelling to Lismore South is available via Wilson Street, Elliott Road and Ballina Road. Light vehicles can access Bridge and Terania streets via Dawson and Woodlark streets, which are not suitable for heavy vehicles. Vehicles with 2.4m clearance can access Tweed Street northbound only via Pine and Crane streets. All heavy and light vehicles travelling to Lismore North can access Tweed Street via Terania Street. A detour for heavy vehicles travelling westbound on Alexandra Parade is available via Winterton Parade, Orion Street, Dawson Street, Ballina Road, Elliott Road, Wilson Street, Terania Street and Tweed Street, and in reverse order for heavy vehicles travelling eastbound. Motorists should allow up to 10 minutes extra travel time. A detour for pedestrians and cyclists is available from Terania Street via Pine, Crane and Tweed streets. Heavy and light vehicle drivers should plan their journey and allow extra travel time, drive to the conditions and follow the directions of signs and traffic control.

Healthier relationships for diverse communities now on offer in NRs
Healthier relationships for diverse communities now on offer in NRs

13 April 2024, 10:01 PM

A new opportunity for the LGBTIQSB+ community to do some critical self-reflection is now on offer in Lismore for people in the Northern Rivers. It is one of the first of its kind to be offered in Australia and is in keeping with Arc Gender Relation's mission for a community approach to positive behaviour change. It’s called Arc Rainbow.People who are interested in doing some self-reflection work and looking at what happens when we stray from the path of best interest - for your own peace of mind and those around you, are invited to enrol in this course to learn about healthier ways to relate to others.“I think this is work that everyone can do,” says Sarah Drury ARC Project Coordinator and Facilitator. “At times, everyone has said or done something harmful to someone. We are looking for people that are prepared to lean into accountability, lean into how they would like to be.”“The group will be an opportunity to connect with others and have weekly conversations about how we would like to be in the world, with ourselves and with each other.”“It's an important opportunity for people in a smaller community in a regional area.” Sarah reflects that too often, there is not a lot on offer, and this event is designed to have a lasting impact.Sarah says the agenda will involve having some “really honest conversations. Thinking about values and how individuals in these communities survive and thrive, as well as the harmful impacts of social prejudice. And how their actions and responses affect others - power and privilege and how that plays out in relationships. Respect and self-evaluation give you a broad overview of topics.” “This is being offered through the Department of Communities and Justice under the development grants program to target diverse communities. We will be evaluating the program and hoping to register it under the behaviour change practice standards so we can run the program again - with the right funding.”For those that aren't familiar with the acronym LGBTIQSB+, it stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex, Queer, Sistergirls and Brotherboys, plus any other gender minorities that like to identify outside the cisgender options. Sistergirls and Brotherboys are First Nations terms to describe members of their community who do not follow more traditional gender stereotypes.ARC “are looking for people who are interested in participating.” After you register your interest, they will contact you to discuss details. If you are considering the course, don’t put it off, participation numbers are very limited - reaching out doesn’t commit you, but it is a step in a good direction.Register at this link.

Rescue Helicopter visits Trinity to give students an insight into its service
Rescue Helicopter visits Trinity to give students an insight into its service

13 April 2024, 9:02 PM

Students from around NSW are now on school holidays for two weeks as Term 1 ended on Friday. Students at Trinity Catholic College were treated to a special visit by the region's Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service.The visit was thanks to Westpac and their school landing program, which helps students learn more about the Rescue Helicopter and its vital role in the emergency response chain throughout Northern NSW.Zeke Huish, a local spokesperson for the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service, said the charity needs to raise over $3 million each year to continue to save lives from its Lismore base. The annual running costs, 24/7, from the three bases, Lismore, Newcastle and Tamworth is $50 million.The helicopter is an AgustaWestland AW139 from Italy that costs $20 million. The pilots and the crew have to go to Italy to be able to be licensed and trained to fly the aircraft.During 2023, the Lismore operation performed over 450 missions through its partnership with NSW Ambulance and NSW Health responding to emergencies/accidents, search and rescues, as well as transferring critically ill patients between hospitals.Zeke said the the majority of funding comes from a medical funding agreement with NSW Health with the rest made up of sponsorships, like the naming rights to Westpac and fundraising opportunities throughout the year. Trinity students wore yellow and red on Friday to put some money into those donation coffers.Pilot Dan Guillaumier, Air Crew Officer (ACO) Rod Morgan, Critical Care Paramedic Tim Rose and Dr Mizzy Campbell were on hand to answer any of the student's questions.(Trinity students presented the Rescue helicopter team with a Certificate of Appreciation as well as donating money by wearing red and yellow)Pilot Dan told students the team run 12-hour shifts so there is normally a day shift and a night shift. Dan is also the training pilot who ensures the other pilots are "up to standard" at the base.Dan ran through the crews roles. While Dan's is obvious, the Air Crew Officer is to act as co-pilot, without being a pilot, and operate the winch if needed, while the Critical Care Paramedic and Doctor are the people saving lives and being winched into a situation if needed. During the day, they have 10 minutes to be airborne when a call comes through or 20 minutes at night.Air Crew Officer Rod Morgan told the Lismore App that the relationship between himself and the pilot is critical to any flight because the pilot's vision is obscured."The issue is the pilot can't see where we winch into, so sometimes he will have no reference at all. He might be looking out over water or down a valley or something like that. If we're lucky, we can come up next to a cliff face or a tree or something and I give him a word picture with what we call standard patter. Then he will fly the aircraft following my instructions.""Once we get overhead, then I'll say hold position height is good, maintain and then we will commence our winching operations. He may have next to no reference at all or just a tree."Depending on the situation, Rod will then winch the Critical Care Paramedic to the patient and sometimes the Doctor, too."If it's a small boat offshore like a tinnie or into the water, the doctor stays in the aircraft. They're not tested for their ability in the water, but the paramedics are."(Trinity students getting a closer look at what happens inside the Rescue Helicopter from Paramedic Tim Rose and Doctor Mizzy Campbell)"If we're going into, say someone's fallen at a waterfall or in a creek line, we will winch the paramedic out with a winching stretcher and also some medical equipment. Then I'll bring the hook back up, bring that inboard, connect the doctor and some medical equipment and send the doctor."At that point, the Westpac Rescue Helicopter usually has to leave the scene and return because it can run hot, particularly if they are heavy with a full load of fuel."It could be a job that might be really close to where we've departed from. In those sorts of situations, we're very limited in the amount of time we can spend in the hover, and it's the most dangerous thing for the aircraft.""So once they have flying, they're very easy to continue to fly. It being a twin engine, we can fly with one engine, but if we're in the hover and we lose an engine, we may not be able to fly away. So, we prefer to actually move off, fly somewhere else, maybe even land or just do circuits in the area and then come back when they're ready. That can, depending on the patients condition, vary between 20 minutes or maybe even up to an hour.""It is very much a team environment, particularly in those winching scenarios. The pilot has got to trust that I'm giving him the correct information. The Medical team has to trust that the pilot and I are working together well as a team, particularly at night time as the pilot and I are wearing night vision goggles. The other two are not, so we can see what's out there, but all they see is dark, and they might not be able to see anything. They don't know that it's necessarily 200 feet below, so they're going to be on the cable for a fair period of time."There is a light under the helicopter throwing shadows to help the paramedic and the doctor, but vision is still very difficult. The method of communication can also involve hand signals between the medical team and the pilot/aircrew."The medical team will have hand signals as they get close to the ground. We also have radio comms if need be, but that's kind of a last resort. We try not to clog the airways because I'm talking, and we don't want them talking over the top of the ACO who's trying to relay that information to the pilot, because if he doesn't have a good reference, you can start moving around. What might seem like nothing up on top can make a huge difference down the bottom. Particularly if you are winching into a creek line, you're trying to get them onto a big rock. If the pilot was to lose reference and start to move, then you also start to induce a swing. From 200 feet, five foot movement up there might mean 30 feet down there.""We're constantly using the standard patter trying to keep as much information and keep the pilot calm too. If you get worked up yourself, he starts to pucker up, starts to grab the controls a little tighter, and he has not got the confidence in the ACO. So, standard pattern and your demeanour is really quite important in those scenarios."Rod mentioned that landing on the helipad on the hospital roof is the easy part of the operation. "These guys can do it with their eyes closed," he said."What was your most memorable job", was another student question."There's been many, it's hard to think," said paramedic Tim, "One that comes to mind is flying out to sea off Port Macquarie to get someone off a cruise ship, who was unwell and needed to go to hospital and have some surgery. It was a beautiful day, and I remember everybody in the cocktail lounge were inside and normally they're outside partying and enjoying the festivities. They couldn't wait for us to leave because they just wanted to get back out there and enjoy them again. But we got this person safely to hospital.""I remember the flight being wonderful because there was barely any wind. The ocean was dead flat, like a pond, and you couldn't see any land in any direction. That was memorable."Doctor Mizzy's was more gruesome."I've only been with this service since February, and I've got a few jobs already. There are some horrible ones, like, I don't want to scare you kids, sorry, young adults. But a motorbike rider whose leg was torn off. That's one that was pretty gruesome."Trinity Principal Jesse Smith summed up the value of the Westpac School Landing Program."I think it's a great service that we have at our disposal, and the opportunity to have students dress in red and yellow accessories and donate money is really important to keeping the service in the air as well as to promote awareness around the importance of it. Very few regional cities have the luxury of having a helicopter in their hometown and we are one of them, so we need to support it."To find out more about the Westpac Rescue Helicopter or give your support visit www.rescuehelicopter.com.au or to find out more about Westpac's Schools Program visit www.westpac.com.au/help/community/rescue/schools/.

Local runners celebrate the Lismore Park Run turning 8
Local runners celebrate the Lismore Park Run turning 8

13 April 2024, 2:48 AM

Today marks 8 years of Park Run in Lismore, and on this anniversary, the event directors who started it, Belinda and Anthony Smith, are handing the Event Coordinator role to Lee-Anne Bostock and Linda Wallace. They often have a theme for the anniversary of the run, and this year's theme was Superhero’s, and the scene was well set with Wonderwomen, Batmen, a police person, supermen and women - even some of the dogs got dressed up! (Hero Image - Mayor Steve Krieg, Lee-Anne Bostock, Belinda Smith, Linda Wallace, Anthony Smith)There was a huge cake to replace any energy burned off, and sounds of laughter and fun all around as people arrived. “I think anyone and everyone can be a superhero,” said Lee-Anne, “I think anyone who gets up early on a Saturday morning to do the Park Run is a superhero!” to laughter all around. Lee-Anne and Linda had their capes on, ready to take on the new role of event director. “We have been run directors for 12 to 14 months,” said Lee-Anne. Linda added, “Lee-anne just approached me and said do you want to do it, and I said yeah, why not!” The two event directors standing down, Anthony and Belinda, dressed as Incredibles, spoke of starting the Park Run up. '’Before we could set up the Park Run, we had to raise $5000. I trudged the streets every Monday for about two and a half months, and many local businesses donated to help us,” Belinda said. Anthony reminisced, “There have been so many highlights - each week there is something. You meet so many people and there are special moments - people reaching milestones, hitting PB's, friendships - amazing friendships.” Mayor Steve Krieg was there with his dog Luna. He has done a handful of runs and said, “This is a great activity, totally run by volunteers. We are very lucky to have it in our town and very grateful to everyone that participates.” Park runners celebrate milestone runs, and Lismore Park Run celebrity, Trevor Calder was celebrating a special milestone - 50.5 runs. Not many people have a fraction attached to their Park Run count, but Trevor only ran half a park run a couple of years ago, before dying.(Regular Lismore Park Run runner Trevor Calder)“I had two nurses running near me, and they started CPR straight away. They got the defibrillator onto me, and an ambulance took me to hospital where they air-lifted me to the Gold Coast for bypass surgery.“ Trevor was officially declared deceased for a number of minutes before being revived by the quick work of participants running nearby. Today he looks fit and healthy and is back into the spirit of the run.Before the run, all the officials, as well as new runners and visitors to the Lismore Park Run were introduced. Milestones for those celebrating were acknowledged, including the Park Run ambassador who had come up from Coffs Harbour to support the anniversary.After Linda and Lee-Anne were officially introduced, Anthony got up to say a few words. “Belinda and I are dressed up as the Incredibles today, to pay homage and respect for the community and friendships that have been created in the little thing called the Park Run.""The incredible volunteers, week in, week out. The incredible run directors, current and past, as without your support, we would not be where we are today. And the incredible changes that you see in people that come to Park Run.” Anthony thanked Belinda for her role and then announced that they had a new opportunity, which meant they will have to leave Lismore in a few months.Lee-Anne said if you are considering Park run, “Do it. You don't have to be a runner. I am not a runner. We welcome walkers with big, wide-open arms. It's 5kms, you go at your own pace, you can take all the time you need.”“If you don't feel like you could do a run or a walk, come along and volunteer. There are lots of positions. You can be a tail walker, which is the last person walking the course. You could be a barcode scanner, or a marshall, even just to get a feel for it and realise the fun. “Linda said, “We have gone from not knowing anyone to knowing everyone. Even during the flood, a lot of people supported other people in the Park Run community. We try and make it inclusive - like a big family.”“We even have days when the kids take over - each has an adult to help them, and they do all the volunteer jobs.”“It's a great way of giving back, and it's a great way to meet people.”Lee-Anne agrees “People you would not have ever imagined meeting. I just love it. It's an international thing - you can go anywhere in the world and there will be a park run. We get people coming from all over, from England, one couple got up and came all the way from Brisbane, just to do a park run in a different place.”You can find the Lismore Park Run on their Facebook page or email them at [email protected].

Letter mail every second day as Australia Post makes changes
Letter mail every second day as Australia Post makes changes

12 April 2024, 10:02 PM

From Monday, people in Lismore and the Northern Rivers will be receiving their letter mail every second business day but parcels will be delivered daily as Australia Post gets a makeover to meet the changing needs of consumers and small businesses. Latest figures from Australia Post show that four in five Australian households bought something online in 2023, with 9.5 million households receiving a parcel last year. Meanwhile, letter volumes continue to decline, reducing two thirds since their peak in 2008. Supporting Australia Post’s long-term financial sustainability means helping the postal service to modernise its delivery networks, while supporting good jobs. Informed by over one year of public consultation and engagement with consumers, small businesses, licencees, advocates and Australia Post’s workforce, the new performance standards will:reduce reserved letter delivery frequency to every second business day for 98 per cent of locations;extend the time that Australia Post has to deliver letters by one business day;allow Australia Post to change the way it manages priority mail, so it can deliver services at a more commercial rate, and work with customers to set appropriate terms and conditions;update the geographical classification of Australia Post retail outlets to reflect the current Australian Statistical Geography Standard, rather than an outdated geographical classification based on the 1991 Census.The new standards will not change the minimum number of post offices that Australia Post must maintain nationally and in rural, regional and remote areas, or the services available at Australia Post retail outlets. Posties will continue to deliver daily to their rounds, although the composition of their deliveries will change to support the daily delivery of parcels. The new delivery standards have been informed by close collaboration between Australia Post, its workforce and the Communications Workers Union on co-sponsored delivery trials. The successful trials decreased the frequency of letter delivery and expanded delivery points by more than 10% per round. This enabled postal workers to carry up to 20% more parcels, achieving real productivity improvements, and demonstrating it is possible to modernise postal services while supporting secure, well-paying jobs. Efficiencies in the letter delivery business will enable Australia Post to invest more in the products and services that its customers need and want, such as more parcel posting and collection places that are open at more convenient days and hours, including parcel lockers. The Government will now finalise a new Statement of Expectations for Australia Post that reflects the new delivery model, and ensures a priority letter service is maintained and Australia Post continues to support the Australian Electoral Commission in meeting its obligations. For more information on the new performance standards, visit https://www.infrastructure.gov.au/media-communications-arts/post/australia-post Minister for Communications, the Hon Michelle Rowland MP said, “Australia Post is a publicly-owned national institution cherished by millions of Australians. “The way Australians use the national postal service is changing, and its critical Australia Post modernises to support customers and small businesses, local communities, and support greater economic productivity. “These amendments changes reflect the way Australians now interact with Australia Post, and will help improve the company’s financial sustainability. “I thank the many consumers, businesses, workers and advocates who engaged with the Government through this process, dating back to the consultation paper we launched in March last year. “These changes show it is possible to modernise and boost productivity, while also supporting good, secure postal worker jobs”. Minister for Finance, Senator the Hon Katy Gallagher said, “These changes support Australia Post as it evolves to meet the current needs of Australians. These changes also ensure Australia Post’s ongoing financial sustainability which will enable it to continue serving all Australians, now and into the future.”

Business leaders, Mat Rogers help launch NRs Autism Association
Business leaders, Mat Rogers help launch NRs Autism Association

12 April 2024, 9:03 PM

On Tuesday afternoon at the Ballina RSL, Micheal Lynch pushed the launch button of the Northern Rivers Autism Association and became its Chairman.For those of you who don't know Micheal, he is a man driven by his passion for helping people with autism improve their lives to be more accessible and inclusive not only in the Northern Rivers (NRs) but also in NSW. Micheal has autism himself, so there is no better person to lead the charge.The Federal Government has outlined a national autism strategy; however, the State Government has not. Micheal is on the case, lobbying Premier Chris Minns at every opportunity to get the ball rolling with the support of Member for Lismore Janelle Saffin.Tuesday's launch included business leaders from the region, such as Lismore City Council, Joel Jensen Constructions and Lismore Toyota. One of Micheal's goals is to communicate the advantages of hiring a person with autism in local businesses and make that happen.(It was a full house of business leaders at the Ballina RSL on Tuesday for the launch of the NRs Autism Association)During a Q&A with one of Micheal's mentors, Shelley Oldham, he said it was important for future employers to go to seminars and learn from lived experience people rather than just doing a one-hour course online."You'll get some richness of ideas from people with experiences and learn what works and what doesn't work. For example, before we came here, Savannah had to make sure all the sensory light areas are just right because I wouldn't be able to communicate with you because of the challenges with that.""The other thing you can do is to be an ally to us. We'll tell you what works for us and what doesn't.Micheal said the benefits of employing a person with autism are many."You'll get somebody who comes in from the crack of dawn. Who comes there regularly. Who shows commitment and passion just as much as the business owner. You'll get loyalty and gratitude.""If someone gets a chance, it's like, someone actually believes in you. It really does make a big impact on the person's life when you acknowledge them as who they are. So the biggest thing is to treat us like human beings. Listen to what we suggest because we'll tell you upfront what needs to be better. Don't take it as a criticism and just say oh man, it's going to be a problem. We're actually telling you because we care about your business.""People say I'm negative and pick out all the faults. Actually, I'm your biggest fan; they are just the areas that need to be improved.""So, what I wanted to do with establishing this organisation is to show people, like a single parent, a parent of a football player, someone who's living rough or has four kids and struggling with other issues, you're not going to be alone. We're going to be with you on the journey."The Northern Rivers Autism Association wants to be part of someone's life as soon as they are diagnosed and be part of their life journey."We want to be there; we want to be with you; we want to watch you grow to your potential. We want to be there from the day you are diagnosed to when you get old. We want to be a family that's really simply what it is."Enter Mat Rogers to share his life story.Mat Rogers is an ex-rugby international in both league and union. He is married to Chloe, and the couple have three children. One child, Max, was diagnosed with autism at 18 months in 2008.Mat said he did not have a clue what that meant or how it would affect their lives. "What I knew about autism was, well, all I could picture in my mind was the movie Rain Man."No parent likes to see their child inexplicably change suddenly, but that was Mat's experience."Max would walk into our room, and he would commonly give me a kiss. That was like a daily routine. And then, one day, he just didn't do it. It was like someone turned the lights off for about a year.""I literally didn't understand what that meant. What I felt was I had lost my son."(Mat Rogers sharing his story at the Ballina RSL on Tuesday)"I remember saying, Maxy, come and give me a kiss, and it might sound a little crass when I explain this to you, but as anyone who has seen The Walking Dead or a zombie movie. Right? And the zombies just walk, and it's like they're not looking at you; they're looking through you. Well, that's what Max was like. He went from being this engaged little 18-month-old baby that would be a little chatterbox to not talking and looking straight through me."Mat explained that in the early days, he thought he wanted to fix things but soon realised he needed to fix the way he thought because "Max was fine. We just needed to put him on the right path."Mat and Chloe were lucky enough to get Max into an early intervention school on the Gold Coast where all the help Max needed was in one place, and they could develop a program for him."We put Maxy into that school, and within three months, we got our son back. He began to be engaged again; he started speaking again. I remember the day he told Chloe I love your mummy. Just three words you take for granted as a mum with a typically developed child. She just lost it, broke down."Mat and Chloe were accepted into that school because they could afford to send Max, not because they were next in line. Other families had to forgo their place due to the cost, so the Rogers' set up their 4ASDKIDS charity, which helped those families send their autistic child to the same school so they could give their child the opportunity to live their best life. Over the last sixteen years, they have raised over $2 million.Max is now 17 and having had the support he needed and having had good people around him, he is thriving, even at work."It took us about eight months to find Max a job where someone would trust him and put him into the workforce. And to be honest, I really think he only got the job because I actually went to this interview with the boss, and I said, mate, if you give him the job, he will be your best employee. I know this kid back to front. He is the most committed, disciplined, and focused child that I know.""If you told me that 16 years ago, Max will be our easiest, most dedicated, most focused, most committed child, I would have wanted to punch you because I wouldn't have thought it was possible. But because he's had good people around him, and he's got a great support network, and he has that at his work, he has been there for just over a year and has been Employee of the Month six times."Mat shared that during the last meeting he and Chloe had with Max's paediatrician a couple of years ago, that Max would live a very independent life."He'll be driving, he'll be working, he'll be doing all the things that everybody does. So, I'm very proud that we have got Max to that point. But, there is going to come a point when we're going to have to cut the rope, and he's going to have to do everything on his own. So, we're preparing him for that."Funding for early intervention and other schooling, plus other programs that provide autistic children the opportunity to live their best lives, is easier in 2024 thanks to the NDIS. One of Micheal Lynch's role is to find jobs for young adults and adults in the Northern Rivers as they transition from school to adult life.Business NSW Regional Director Northern Rivers Jane Laverty said, "This was an incredibly important event, a real milestone event, where we brought business leaders together with community and businesses getting behind what is a really important cause, a really important movement moving forward.""We're embracing our neurodiversity working with autism, the Northern Rivers Autism Association, and getting behind supporting our employers to learn more and be more aware so that they can open up their workplace to autistic people and neurodiverse people in the Northern Rivers."If you speak with employers who have embraced those differences and really worked with people who are neurodiverse and on the spectrum, they will tell you, they're some of their very best employees. We just want more people to see that. When I have business leaders saying to me every day that they're struggling to get staff, I think here is our opportunity.""It is not just about getting the job done and increasing your productivity and your innovation in your business, it actually opens up and lightens the whole culture within your business. So here's an opportunity to do things differently."If you want to learn more about hiring a neurodiverse or autistic employee, you can contact Jane for more details on 0419 260 220.

Stand up for Vets and Wildlife at comedy night on April 26
Stand up for Vets and Wildlife at comedy night on April 26

12 April 2024, 8:01 PM

Saturday, 27th April, is World Veterinary Day, and the theme set by the World Veterinary Association is validating vets as Essential Health Workers.To mark the occasion and raise awareness (and funds) for the essential work they do, Byron Bay Wildlife Hospital (BBWH) is hosting a comedy night on the 26th of April.Stand-up comedian and radio host Lehmo will headline the event, the aim of which is to ”shed light on the mental health and workforce challenges faced by Australia’s veterinary professionals.” “Laughter is powerful medicine, and I hope to make people feel good while addressing the serious struggles within the veterinary industry,” said Lehmo. Dr. Stephen Van Mil, Founder and CEO of Byron Bay Wildlife Hospital, highlighted the shared challenges across the veterinary sector, including constraints unique to wildlife hospitals. Dr Van Mil said, “Like our general practice vet colleagues, we are only human, and do our best to get native animals back to health into the wild where they belong.” “One unique challenge we face is lack of operational funding because native animals don’t have private owners.”The veterinary health sector has been facing some uphill battles as reported in the Parliamentary Inquiry in 2023 which addressed the workforce shortage in NSW's veterinary sector, recognising its broader societal implications. The mental health issues experienced in the sector is discussed in the podcast series “Sick as a Dog”, by award winning journalist, Caroline Winter. “This crisis is claiming lives and impacting animal welfare. This isn’t just a problem for the industry, it’s a problem for all of us – whether you’re a pet owner, wildlife lover, latte drinker, or work on the land, then you need vets, and they need you,” said Winter.Dr. Stephen Van Mil, was at the parliamentary enquiry and said, “There is an estimated shortage in Australia of around 1,500 vets and we have one of the highest occurrences of domestic pet ownership in the world which exacerbates the problem.”Russell Mills, the BBWH General Manager says, “The BBWH treats approximately 100 sick, injured or orphaned animals a week at an average cost of $550 per visit. We operate every day of the week and employ the equivalent of 3 full time vets and 4 full time vet nurses to care for the animals.”The aim of World Vet Day is to highlight the vital role of veterinarians and vet nurses in promoting overall well-being, both for animals and humansFor stat lovers, BBWH reports:-      23% of animals that are admitted to the hospital have been hit by cars-      60% of the animals they see are avian “Most of the animals we see are birds, followed by mammals, then reptiles and amphibians,” says Russell.-      They have cared for over 6000 animals in the 3 years they have been open.-      42% of the animals go into care or are successfully able to be released back into the wild.The fundraiser, “Standup for Vets + Wildlife” takes place on Friday 26th April. The program includes a panel discussion, silent auction, and screenings of Wildlife Rescue Australia and the cult series “Wilfred” featuring actor and writer Adam Zwar, who will also appear live at the event. Proceeds aid the provision of veterinary care for sick, injured and orphaned wildlife at Byron Bay Wildlife Hospital seven days a week. Get your tickets here!

The Weekend Wrap
The Weekend Wrap

12 April 2024, 8:05 AM

The weekend weather will not be as good as the drying conditions we have had during the week, but the rain should only be 1mm at the most.After the deluge we experienced last week, which forced the closure of many sporting fields, they should be abuzz this weekend as the 2024 winter sports get underway.Orchid lovers should get to Lismore Central Shopping Centre tomorrow morning as the annual City of Lismore Orchid Society Autumn Show is on from 8:30am to 12 midday.As well as the beautiful displays, you can get some growing tips from members.There are two markets on this weekend.The Lismore Farmers Markets at the Lismore Showground tomorrow morning from 7:30 to 11:30.Grab your shopping bag and get some fresh fruit and veg as well as beeswax candles, freshly baked sourdough and pastries while listening to the sounds of Georgia Cortes Rayner.Then, on Sunday, the Channon Craft Markets get underway at 9am at Coronation Park. With over 200 stalls selling everything from foods and condiments to clothing and handmade goods, it's worth the trip to The Channon.April is generally light for events in Lismore; however, that ramps up in May. Here are some events to put in your calendar:Nimin Mardigrass May 3 to 5Gemfest May 18 & 19Casino Beef Week May 18 to 25Primex May 16 to 18With Round 1 postponed in the NRRRL, which denied locals of the Lismore derby between the Marist Brothers Rams and the Northern United Dirawongs, Round 2 will kick off the season on Sunday at 2:45pm.The Rams will host last year's grand finalist Ballina, while the Dirawongs travel to Kyogle.In Far North Coast Football, the Men's Premier League kicks off tonight when Ballina host Alstonville at 8pm.On Saturday, Richmond Rovers travel to Byron Bay and Goonellabah will make the short trip to Bangalow. Then on Sunday, South Lismore are away to Lennox Head.In the Women's Premier League, Richmond Rovers are at home to Ballina on Sunday while Bangalow tackle Lennox Heads and it's Byron bay and Alstonville in the other clash.Lismore has another fuel choice, so more competition with 7-Eleven opening in South Lismore yesterday. However, that has not led to lower fuel prices.Here are your cheapest locations to fill up over the weekend:E10 is 196.9 across Lismore, 193.9 at The United in Casino with the Metro on River Street, Ballina also at 193.9.Unleaded 91 is 197.9 at the new Astron on Ballina Road, 195.9 at The United in Casino and 196.9 across Ballina.U95 is 206.7 at the Independent on Wyrallah Road, East Lismore, 214.9 at the EG Ampol on Canterbury Street and the Ampol on Dyraaba Street, Casino and 206.9 at the Shell at 323 River Street in Ballina.U98 is 214.7 at the Liberty on Union Street, Lismore, 216.9 at the United on Johnston Street in Casino and 214.9 at the Shell at 323 River Street, Ballina.Diesel is 205.9 at the new Astron on Ballina Road, 211.9 at the United, the Casino Roadhouse and the Ampol on Dyraaba Street in Casino and 203.9 at the Metro in Ballina.Have a great and dry weekend!

Inquiry into insurers' response after Feb 2022 flood describes evidence as "very concerning"
Inquiry into insurers' response after Feb 2022 flood describes evidence as "very concerning"

11 April 2024, 10:48 PM

The Standing Committee for Economics Inquiry into insurers’ responses to 2022 flood claims made its way to Lismore yesterday. It heard about experiences from locals, lawyers, charity workers, and others who can lend their experiences to shape what has and is still transpiring over two years after the 2022 floods. Committee Chair Dr Daniel Mulino MP described the event as "the biggest natural disaster in Australia’s history by dollar value and number of claims, and this region of the Northern Rivers was hardest hit. It’s absolutely critical for us to see how the insurance companies performed in this region, and we heard evidence today that was very concerning.” Dr Mulino spoke of the people, including householders, whom he has heard from. “Importantly we have heard that there are a number of cases of individuals that still have not had their claims resolved more than two years after the fact.” "If you have a story to tell," Dr Mulino urges, “Now we are really keen to get into the community to hear directly from affected people.” You can contribute by filling in a survey. Contributions will assist in the aim to introduce changes to the regulatory environment to ensure the management of future events will be improved. In the discussion with the Committee, the action of insurers was described by Hon Kevin Hogan MP as too slow, dispute resolution took too long as well as a myriad of communication issues that heavily contributed to the confusion and overwhelming experience of a traumatised community. Mr Hogan requested that insurers have to publicly report “how long it takes a claim to process, how long a dispute takes to be resolved and how are those disputes resolved in favour of the company versus the customer.” (Mr Hogan addresses the media yesterday)There were many allegations made of property going missing as part of the Make Safe program following the floods. Valuable timbers and fixtures were removed from houses that need not have been taken, and damage done in the process of their removal.  Elly Bird spoke for Resilient Lismore and commented: “that materials were unnecessarily removed from homes and when those contractors were challenged, the homeowners had no recourse.” She put it to the committee that “If anything can be done to regulate the Make Safe contractors and regulators, that would be a vast improvement on a very problematic experience.” “Now that almost sounds a bit like theft to me. There's been a lot of experiences where people have been literally broken into.” Mr Hogan said, “I am making recommendations about that program because what happened in a lot of cases is not ok.” Dr Mulino suggested that “regulatory arrangements aren't strong enough in relation to insurers entering a property or someone acting on behalf of insurers - that could be an important recommendation. One way to promote more accountability is to report more transparency about how many cases are unresolved by that insurer.” Elly Bird also spoke about the power of the Two Rooms project and the interest the concept generated by the Committee. Instead of trying to renovate an entire property, they ensured a bathroom and living space was enclosed and lockable, insulated and able to be heated, and where it was safe to use electricity. The remainder of the house could then be resolved and fixed as time permitted. It allowed people to remain in their houses reducing recovery time and the pressure of finding alternate accommodation. Insurance communications regarding what affected people were expected to do or not to do following the floods caused a lot of consternation. Elly Bird confirmed this: “Today in the inquiry, we have heard a lot about trauma-informed communication.” In some cases, certain people were told to get what they could out of their properties, while others said they were not to return to or enter their houses.  Mr Hogan spoke of his friend's son, a builder, who was told “he could not return to his house until the insurers people had made a proper assessment.” The mud and moisture left to fester made the house's condition a lot worse with mould taking over.  Insurance companies said they did not restrict people from re-entering their houses. However, Mr Hogan, himself was given a directive to not enter his office until it had been properly assessed. The miscommunication provided by insurance companies to customers following the floods has been found to exacerbate issues from the very beginning of the recovery stage. It was described as “re-traumatising”. Ms Bird outlined the call to the Committee that “Communications need to be clear, concise, in a written form and decisions need to be clearly explained, and insurance companies and all other bureaucracies to support people through their paths to recovery.” To help speed up the processing of insurance claims in situations such as these, a panel has been suggested to assist with the standardisation of processes. Mr Hogan spoke of the example of hydrologists who became vital to assessing the type of damage caused to a building, e.g. by storm water or flood water. By assessing a few houses along a street, the information can be added to a model to group locations where flooding or stormwater caused damage, reducing the need for testing every building. Dr Mulino also said that having claimants and insurers alike seeking information from a panel will create a more even/neutral basis of information distribution. Mr Hogan was asked about the role of the CSIRO and the issue of future insurance expense. Mr Hogan is of the strong belief that flood mitigation is the answer. He spoke of an example of water holding ponds where water can be diverted to, essentially, reduce a flood's peak, allowing the water to drain in a controlled manner once the flood risk has subsided, reducing flood impact and insurance reliance. The final report for this enquiry will be handed down by the end of September 2024.For the full terms of reference the Committee takes into account, here is the government's media release from August last year.

Quickstop food centre on Ballina Road will get makeover from new owners
Quickstop food centre on Ballina Road will get makeover from new owners

11 April 2024, 8:00 PM

With Lismore's first 7-Eleven now open in South Lismore, the Lismore App can reveal the Quickstop food centre on Ballina Road, near the Dawson Street roundabout, has new owners.The new Quickstop food centre will be rebuilt and feature a modern design, improved facilities, and a wide range of options to serve the community.The area has been an eyesore since the February 28 2022, big flood, except for Zambrero's, which was cleaned up and rebuilt and began operating on August 31 of the same year. Affectionately known as 'takeaway corner', the centre used to house, Subway, Dominos and Grill Shack prior to the flood.The Spectrum Retail Group will be the new owners when the contracts settle on the 28th of June. That name may sound familiar to some readers because the group was responsible for developing the 7-Eleven site.Co-founder and Managing Director Julian Ackad explained why he wanted to invest in Lismore."I drove past this particular centre before I realised it was on the market and for sale, and I thought there seemed to be a lot of potential. However, many of the tenants that were trading were closed and didn't reopen, with the exception of Zambrero."All of the fundamentals are strong for this centre, the traffic is high, the visibility is high, ease of access is high and car parking is convenient.""We had one of our engineers walk through and assess the building, and it is structurally sound. There was zero structural damage caused by the flood.""Unfortunately, there's loss of stock and fit-out damage, and tenants have shut their doors. But in Lismore, you can't even see signs of the flood that did go through. There's population, there's customers, but there's an imbalance of not enough businesses to support all the customers. So it looks like, from our perspective, a big gap in the market."Julian and the Spectrum Group walk into their first Lismore investment with eyes wide open in terms of flood and construction costs."Having just built the 7-Eleven, we are intimately aware of construction pricing, which has only gone up over the last couple of years. The pandemic and recently, a lot of trades have been soaked up into flood repair work, some new home building, and all sorts of things.""Construction pricing is still quite inflated. So, this building, given that we don't have to rebuild it, we do see a lot of value in that. We are happy to go the last mile, in putting the warm shell back into the tenancies, which is the gyprock and wall lining, roof lining, lighting and electrical, signage work, repainting the externals and improving the landscaping. Whatever materials we do use will be more flood resistant.""That's typically the last 20% or 30% of the project. Because it's much less expensive to do a total rebuild, on the whole, it lets us put a bit of a modern uplift on the centre. We can use colours and materials that are more modern, and people should see quite a big lift."While Julian will use flood-resistant materials in the rebuild and move electrical sockets higher, he knows another flood will come, and he is happy to just get on with life."I don't think we can practically be designing for the flood that happened. That was more of a freak occurrence. Personally, I'm very happy to just get on with life, and we do assume a more reasonable flood could come but you still have to just get on. Most of the population didn't move out of Lismore.""Commercial property is our skill set, so that's one way that we can help bring some life back into the community through food offerings and grab-and-go convenience retail. This will mean jobs as well as economic activity. When we do settle contracts and upgrade the site, a lot of contractors, builders and trades will get work out of it."If you have ever considered opening your own food business, then this may be the time, as Julian and Spectrum Retail Group will be offering incentives to help out."We definitely will be looking at lease incentives, and that could be a rent-free period; it could be contributions towards a tenant's fit-out." "We're pretty flexible with spaces that tenants need. Some tenants are happy with 25 or 40 metres or we can offer up to 200 metres if some tenants have a larger requirement.""I'm also quite sympathetic to helping any of the tenants that were in a shop in Lismore get back into a trading position, especially if they are local. So if we can have a chat with them and work out a way to help them get back up and running, we will." Once the property settles on June 28, building work will begin a few weeks later so mid-July."There will be landscaping, repainting and patching. We're going to go in early and start improving the centre and, over time, build it back to full occupancy. This will probably take 6 to 12 months to get back up and running, and that's still subject to tenant interest. We will fill the space one tenant at a time."To get in touch with Julian and register your interest in opening a business in the Quickstop food centre, click here.

1-20 of 2591
The Lismore App
The Lismore App
Your local digital newspaper


Get it on the Apple StoreGet it on the Google Play Store