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Byron Shire
August 17, 2022

What next for people on supplement payments?

Latest News

NSW Flood Inquiry released today

The NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet was in Lismore at Southern Cross University this morning at 11am releasing the NSW Independent Flood Inquiry where he accepted every recommendation put forward.

Other News

A voice for koalas: Vale Olivia Newton-John

The Rainforest Information Centre has expressed its deep condolences to the family and close friends of Olivia Newton-John who was literally the voice of the koala.

Mud benda rant

Regarding last week’s Splendour Festival and all the ‘haters’ out there. I took along a few seriously fun-deprived teenage...

Lismore Councillors to collectively decide on new GM

The recent history of general managers in the Lismore Council has been nothing if not chequered. With a very politically divided council, the question of whether all interested councillors, or just a select few, should choose the new GM proved contentious last night in the Goonellabah chambers.

NSW bans public display of Nazi symbol

In an historic moment a new law making it a criminal offence to knowingly display a Nazi symbol in public without a reasonable excuse, has passed NSW Parliament yesterday.

Alarming footage of devastation in Ellis State Forest

Today north coast conservationists say they are shocked and alarmed at footage of the devastation being wrought in Ellis State Forest south of Grafton.

Fuel stolen from farmer

The cost of fuel continues to be a major consideration in the budget, particularly in country areas where distances travelled are inevitably further for your average daily needs like accessing shops, schools and other activities.

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

NSW Police: be COVID-vigilant at Splendour in the Grass

SW Police are urging festival-goers at this weekend’s music festival to celebrate in a safe and responsible manner, whilst also being aware of COVID-Safety measures.

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COVID-19 update for the NNSWLHD – May 23

The Northern NSW Local Health District reports that to 4pm yesterday, Sunday May 22, there were 40 COVID-19 positive patients in hospital in Northern NSW, with one of these in ICU.

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AEC says COVID voters can phone from home

The AEC says that voters who have recently tested positive for COVID-19 will be able to phone in their vote in the federal election.

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COVID-19 update: May 16

The Northern NSW Local Health District says that to 4pm yesterday, 15 May, 384 new cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in the District, including 82 positive PCR tests and 302 positive rapid antigen tests.

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It’s National Volunteer Week

Volunteering Australia says volleys are the backbone of the country in times of crisis and emergency.

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COVID-19 update: May 9

Today there are 41 COVID-19 positive patients in hospital in Northern NSW, with none of these in ICU.

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COVID-19 update: May 6

The Northern NSW Local Health District (NNSWLHD) reports that there are 37 COVID-19 positive patients in hospital in Northern NSW, with one of these in ICU.

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COVID-19 update: Monday 2 May

The Northern NSW Local Health District reports that in the 24 hours to 4pm yesterday, 1 May, 274 new cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in the area, including 56 positive PCR tests and 218 positive rapid antigen tests

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COVID-19 update: Friday, April 29

The Northern NSW Local Health District reports that to 4pm yesterday, 28 April, 398 new cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in the region, including 74 positive PCR tests and 324 positive rapid antigen tests.

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COVID-19 update: Thursday April 28

The Northern NSW Local Health District reports that to 4pm yesterday, there were 541 new cases of COVID-19 confirmed in the region, including 143 positive PCR tests and 398 positive rapid antigen tests.

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Lismore Councillors to collectively decide on new GM

The recent history of general managers in the Lismore Council has been nothing if not chequered. With a very politically divided council, the question of whether all interested councillors, or just a select few, should choose the new GM proved contentious last night in the Goonellabah chambers.

Byron’s Fletcher St welcomes new members

Fletcher Street Cottage has welcomed the arrival of three new community support workers to help the growing number of locals facing the challenges of homelessness.

Byron’s Mayor Lyon defends Mullum pod fiasco

Byron Shire Council Mayor Michael Lyon has defended Council’s handling of the ongoing Mullum pod accommodation debacle, telling The Echo that councillors requested, through a Council resolution, that Resilience NSW conduct consultation with neighbouring residents regarding the rail corridor works on Prince Street. 

Mullum, flooding and pods

In this region we are all, except for a few, living on floodplains or areas prone to further landslips. And as far as I...