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Byron Shire
October 18, 2021

What next for people on supplement payments?

Latest News

Police raid ‘unauthorised events’ in national parks

Police say that eleven people have been charged following unauthorised gatherings held at national parks on the weekend.

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Editorial: Clear as a muddled government

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Outcry over closure sees two Tweed Council libraries reopen their doors

Library branches at Tweed Heads and Murwillumbah will reopen for limited hours from today, after Tweed Shire Council agreed to fund the additional cost of administering the NSW Government’s latest public health order.

Police call for busking ban, backed by Byron mayor

Have you noticed that the streets of Byron Bay have been a less tuneful and colourful place in the past week or so?

According to the Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS) millions will face a bleak New Year as Jobseeker and other allowances are cut back.

ACOSS say that Australian governments and communities still grappling with the COVID-19 health and economic crisis, more than two million people without paid work face grave uncertainty about how they will make ends meet when the Federal Government cuts Coronavirus Supplement payments again on 31 December by another $100 to just $150 per fortnight.

Australian Council of Social Service CEO Dr Cassandra Goldie said that the The Federal Government is on a course to undo the remarkable achievement of alleviating poverty for 2.3 million people, plus over a million children, by repeatedly slashing the historic Coronavirus Supplement of $550 per fortnight introduced in March.

People struggling to get by

‘People struggling to get by on JobSeeker, Youth Allowance, parenting and family payments were suddenly able to pay their rent and bills, buy fresh fruit and vegetables, get the medical care they needed and regularly eat three meals a day.

‘We heard from many families and individuals who were able to buy new clothes and shoes, visit the dentist and take care of medical needs, some for the first time in years.

‘As 2021 begins and everyone tries to put 2020 behind them, people without paid work will be trying to get by on just $50 a day, which simply isn’t enough to cover housing, food, transport and bills.

ACOSS say the number of people on JobSeeker doubled to 1.5 million during the pandemic and is expected to rise still more when JobKeeper ends in March and that here is currently only one job vacancy available for every 11 people looking for a job or more paid working hours, and even fewer jobs in regional areas.

‘To make matters worse, the Government has not ruled out sending people back to the old, brutal Newstart rate of just $40 a day in March.

Millions face agonising decisions

‘Millions are facing agonising decisions like whether they will be able to afford to stay in their homes after the New Year, and which essential items, like food, bills or medicine, they will have to cut back on even further.

‘This is not the way to restore economic confidence in order for the country to recover from recession. Both people and the economy need security in order to be able rebuild.

“We know that JobSeeker is an investment in people’s futures both for people relying on this lifeline payment and for jobs – virtually every dollar of the Coronavirus Supplement goes straight back into the local economy helping to keep other people in employment.

‘We need a permanent increase to the base rate of JobSeeker of at least $25 a day more than the old Newstart rate, so that people can cover the basics.

‘This minimum increase would bring the Jobseeker payment only just above the poverty line, and closer to the pension rate, as it used to be. It would a much better spend than the high-end income tax cuts that the Government is planning.

‘We also need to fix rental assistance and restore adequacy to family payments and deliver billions of investment into social housing.

People on temporary visas

‘Today we must also remember that over 1 million people who rely on temporary visas still don’t have access to any regular income support at all. Many face destitution. It is vital we close this glaring gap if we are to truly bring communities together in 2021.

‘In 2020, Australian governments showed what they are capable of doing to protect people and keep people safe. Now is the time to secure people’s futures, focusing first on those most in need.

‘This year has been tough for many but for millions of people with the least, their need is urgent. As we rebuild from the crisis, we can’t turn our back on those who are being left behind,’ said.

 


Recent stories, information and updates regarding COVID-19

Hundreds queue to have COVID test and two new cases in...

Northern NSW Local Health District (NNSWLHD) is urging people to continue coming forward for testing and vaccination after two further COVID-19 cases were reported in the 24 hours to 8pm last night, October 14. 

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Outcry over closure sees two Tweed Council libraries reopen their doors

Library branches at Tweed Heads and Murwillumbah will reopen for limited hours from today, after Tweed Shire Council agreed to fund the additional cost of administering the NSW Government’s latest public health order.

2

Lismore school closed and COVID venues of concern and –...

Northern NSW Local Health District has been notified of new venues of concern associated with confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the region.

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New positive COVID-19 case at Ballina Coast High School

Update 14 October: Ballina Coast High School will reopen for staff and students on Thursday, 14 October 2021, after a member/s of the school community tested positive to COVID-19. ‘Students and staff identified as close contacts have been notified and asked to self-isolate for the required period and follow the NSW...

3

Lismore Councillors vote to seek urgent changes to the NSW Government...

Residents in regional areas and local government area representatives, are already straining under what appears to be the Sydney centricity of the NSW Roadmap

3

Richmond Tweed libraries only open for Click & Collect until December

All Richmond Tweed Regional Library branches and the Mobile Library will be offering free Click & Collect and online services only from today until December 1.

8

COVID Venues of Concern update October 11

October 11 – Northern NSW Local Health District has been notified of new venues of concern associated with confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the region.

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The say ‘beer’ a lot press conference on NSW opening up

Today the NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet hosted a press conference at Watson’s Pub in Sydney's Moore Park. The theme of today's conference was certainly more about business and beer than health and a line-up of business-orientated speakers was clearly emphasising...

11

The vaxed and non-vaxed rules of the Tweed

Tweed Shire Council says that Stage 1 of the NSW Government’s roadmap for easing COVID-19 restrictions will begin today, (Monday 11 October), requiring changes to some Council operations.

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Sneetches with stars and Sneetches behind bars

Apart from the fact that some people have a valid reason for not being fully or even partially vaccinated, today, the precious lambs become sheep and the others are goats, that is, Sneetches with stars and Sneetches behind bars.

3


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