13.9 C
Byron Shire
September 27, 2021

Local NSW Youth Taskforce member addressing public transport and drug driving

Latest News

New venues of concern in Ballina

The Northern NSW Local Health District has been notified of a number of new venues of concern associated with a confirmed case of COVID-19.

Other News

Woman charged over alleged Public Health Order Breaches – Tweed/Byron

A woman has been charged over multiple alleged breaches of the Public Health Orders in the Tweed and Byron shires.

Nuclear-powered subs? Dr Caldicott speaks

‘America has 18 Trident submarines, powered by highly enriched Uranium 235, which can be used as fuel for nuclear weapons. Each sub carries 24 missiles, each one is armed with eight hydrogen bombs – 30 times the killing power of one Hiroshima bomb. That’s enough subs to produce nuclear winter and end life on Earth.’

NSW Farmers want to plant foods to get their hands off ‘meat’

NSW Farmers are calling for clarification of the vocabulary for alternative proteins and they have submitted a motion to the Senate Standing Committee to review the use of meat vocabulary on plant-based products.

Controversial Iron Gates development open for comment on 24 September

The community has 30 days to comment on the latest amended DA for the controversial Iron Gates development at Evans Head before it goes before the Northern Rivers Planning Panel once again.

A new COVID-19 case flies into the Far North Coast

The Northern NSW Local Health District has confirmed that there is a new case of COVID-19 in Northern NSW today, and they will be included in NSW Health’s official reporting tomorrow.

NSW ‘Crisis Cabinet’ failed in crisis

As the Northern Rivers goes back into lockdown once again as a result of people coming to the area from Sydney it has been revealed that the ‘Crisis Cabinet’ failed to meet during key crisis points.

Francois van Kempen has been selected as a member of the NSW Regional Youth Taskforce. Photo supplied.

In New York jumping on the subway to get to a friends place or wherever else you want to be is a pretty easy and unremarkable event. So the move from NYC to Ballina in NSW at age 11 was a bit of a shock for Francois van Kempen.

‘One of the most of striking differences was that here we only have two buses and until I was 17 I was at the mercy of my parents, who didn’t get home until 7pm, to help me get around,’ Francois told The Echo.

This isolation was one of the reasons Francois decided to take up his father’s suggestion and apply for the Regional Youth Taskforce.

Earlier this month 18 young people from across regional NSW, including Francois who  is a year 12 student at Emmanuel Anglican College in Ballina and lives in Tintenbar, were selected to join the second NSW regional Youth Taskforce for 2021. Francois is an active member of the community as well as being involved in Naval Cadets and the SES.

The regional taskforce will have four meetings with the Minister for Regional Youth, Bronnie Taylor MLC throughout 2021 to raise issues that affect young people in regional NSW improvements to education, digital connectivity, and public transport.

While public transport, or the lack there of, is a key issue that Francois is seeking to raise with the Minister for Regional Youth he is also seeking to raise the linked issue of drugs and driving.

Recently retired magistrate David Heilpern. Image Jeff ‘not guilty your honour’ Dawson

The resignation of former Northern Rivers magistrate David Heilpern ‘because he didn’t agree with drug driving laws’ and the impact of those laws on local people, particularly young people is something Francois is seeking to raise with the minister.

‘If you have a drug that is still detectable in your system two weeks later this can lead to you loosing your licence even when you are totally fine to drive,’ said Francouis.

‘The test only detects it [the drug] it doesn’t relate to the capacity of the driver to be in charge of a vehicle. My main cause for issue is the tin a big city like Sydney you can walk, catch a bus, tram, or train to work etc but here, if you lose you licence you’re screwed. Losing your licence takes away your income because there is no public transport. Being stuck at home, with no way to get around or get to a job and make an income, can take a toll on mental health.’

The four meetings will be held in various regional location around the state to give the taskforce members an opportunity to understand the various challenges different communities have.

‘I think it is really good the Regional Youth Minister set this up a few years ago,’ said Francois.

‘They are trying to move people around regional NSW so we can see what it is like and see how universal these issues are.’

Minister Taylor said ‘Our 18 new members will drive policy change and advocate for real outcomes for young people, continuing to be the voice of regional youth at the highest level in their state.

‘I can’t wait to work with them over the next year to build a safer, stronger regional NSW and to make sure we are addressing the wide range of issues impacting young people from the regions.’


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Byron Bay beach party end in PINS and a charge for biting

Police say a woman has been charged and four Penalty Infringement Notices (PINs) issued following a beach party in the Byron Bay area overnight.

Fundraising for koala signs for Bangalow

As the koala mating season has started, Bangalow Koalas has set up fundraising to create incorporate more koala road signs. Bangalow Koalas, who keep a watch...

Nuclear Submarines – just a foot in the door

In the next few months we will hear a lot about how superior nuclear-powered submarines are. Vice Admiral Mike Noonan is even claiming superior stealth characteristics – which is simply not true. Yes, they tend to be faster. This is great if you want to go thousands of kilometres in a matter of days. But they are also much more expensive.

Compost back on Lismore’s gardening menu

Lismore City Council says that their BIOCycle Compost is again on sale from the Lismore Recycling & Recovery Centre and Nimbin Transfer Station, after a two-year break.