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From Australia News in Brief

Islamic State flag should ‘never be seen in Australia again’

It’s ‘time’ for an inquiry into the ‘future of Australian public broadcasting’

Six cases of the Omicron strain have been detected in Australia.

Sixth Omicron case confirmed in NSW

Precautionary measures to manage the Omicron Variant

$2.4 Million in new Multicultural SUPPORT

New 225 metre office tower in Western Sydney welcomes next wave of workers

Rent relief continues for small businesses impacted by COVID-19

One giant step for CBD with plans afoot to create iconic Sydney great walk

New level of transparency for the recreational fishing sector in NSW

Celebrating 160 years of local government in Parramatta

Applications open for $200 million sports boost




Islamic State flag should ‘never be seen in Australia again’

2/12/2021

(See Translation in Arabic Section

Sydney - News host Chris Smith says the Islamic State flag “should never be seen in this country again”.

Mr Smith said Australian authorities “ignore” those who continue to fly the black and white flag.

“In response to questions from Labor in the NSW parliament this week, Police data showed that the Islamic State flag has been displayed 305 times since 2015,” he said.

“It’s time we ignored the woke and focused on the wicked because that black and white symbol of horror should never be seen in this country again.”

 ABC demands rightwing thinktank correct 'misleading' claims on public trust  | Australian Broadcasting Corporation | The Guardian

It’s ‘time’ for an inquiry into the ‘future of Australian public broadcasting’

Canberra: Liberal Senator James McGrath says he believes it’s “time” for an inquiry into the “future of public broadcasting” in Australia.

He said an attempt to start up an inquiry into the ABC complaints process was prevented by Labor and the Greens.

“We tried to get an inquiry up through the Senate but unfortunately the ABC were protected by the left, by Labor and the Greens and they were able to stop that inquiry from proceeding,” he told News host Chris Kenny.

 “The ABC’s investigating its own complaints, it’s the fox, sort of, guarding the truth in-house and truth is on the menu when it comes to the ABC.

“It is time for an independent inquiry into the complaints process but actually, the time for an inquiry into the future of public broadcasting in Australia.”

 How infectious is Omicron variant? India Today talks to epidemiology expert  - Coronavirus Outbreak News

Six cases of the Omicron strain have been detected in Australia.

Canberra: Chief Medical Officer Professor Paul Kelly provided an update on the current COVID-19 situation and health response across Australia.

The World Health Organization has declared the B.1.1.529 strain, now known as the Omicron strain and first detected in Southern Africa on 24 November 2021, to be a variant of concern, one of five existing variants of concern including Delta. Six cases of the Omicron strain have been detected in Australia. All cases have mild symptoms or are asymptomatic, and are in quarantine.

Since the beginning of the pandemic there have been 210,239 confirmed cases in Australia and sadly 2,006 people have died. More than 47.8 million tests have been undertaken, with over 1 million tests reported in the past 7 days.

Globally there have been over 262 million cases and sadly over 5.2 million deaths, with 650,462 new cases and 7,391 deaths reported in the last 24 hours. The COVID-19 pandemic continues to surge in many countries around the world.

Australia’s COVID-19 vaccine roll out continues to expand. To date over 39.2 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in Australia, including 95,247 in the previous 24 hours. In the previous 7 days, more than 604,000 vaccines have been administered in Australia.

More than 92.4 per cent of the Australian population aged 16 years and over have now had a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, including over 97.4 per cent of over 50 year olds and more than 99.9 per cent of over 70 year olds.

More than 87 per cent of Australians aged 16 years and over are now fully vaccinated including more than 93.7 per cent of over 50 year olds and more than 97.3 per cent of Australians over 70 years of age.

 Sixth traveller infected with Omicron variant in NSW | The West Australian

Sixth Omicron case confirmed in NSW

Sydney: NSW Health can officially confirm a sixth traveller has been infected with the Omicron COVID-19 variant of concern.

The fully vaccinated traveller, who recently visited southern Africa, arrived on flight QR908 from Doha to Sydney on 25 November and tested positive to COVID-19 yesterday. They are isolating in Sydney.

Everyone on the flight has already been deemed a close contact and has been instructed to get tested immediately for COVID-19 and isolate for 14 days, regardless of their vaccination status.

NSW Health is contacting all passengers and flight crew to advise them of their isolation requirements. They can also call NSW Health on 1800 943 553 for further advice.

At this point in the investigation, NSW Health is aware of at least six people on this flight who had been in southern Africa in the previous 14 days.

There is currently no evidence that transmission occurred on the flight. However, investigations into the five COVID-19 positive passengers on the flight, which includes two confirmed cases with the Omicron variant, are ongoing.

Please get tested even if you have had a test in recent days. If your test result is negative, please continue to monitor for symptoms and if any symptoms appear, get tested and isolate again.

NSW Health can also advise genomic testing on another case, who arrived on the same flight and is isolating in Broken Hill, has confirmed they were infected with the Delta variant.

In line with Commonwealth measures, all travellers arriving in NSW who have been in South Africa, Lesotho, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Namibia, Eswatini and Malawi during the 14-day period before their arrival in NSW must enter hotel quarantine for 14 days, irrespective of their vaccination status.

All fully vaccinated travellers who have been in any other overseas country during the 14-day period before their arrival in NSW must travel directly to their place of residence or accommodation and isolate for 72 hours. They will only be able to exit isolation at the end of the 72-hour period if they have received a negative COVID-19 PCR test result taken after arrival in NSW. These people must also complete a PCR test on day six after arrival.

Any passengers aged 18 years and over who are not fully vaccinated go directly into 14-day mandatory hotel quarantine.

Anyone who has already arrived in NSW who has been in any of the eight African countries within the previous 14 days must immediately get tested and isolate for 14 days, and call NSW Health on 1800 943 553.

 NSW health minister self-isolating after possible exposure at state  parliament | New South Wales | The Guardian

Precautionary measures to manage the Omicron Variant

Sydney: The NSW Government will maintain measures and increase penalties for non-compliance as it continues to take a precautionary approach to quarantine arrangements for overseas arrivals in line with additional national border security measures by the Australian Government.

Consistent with Commonwealth measures, all travellers arriving in NSW who have been in South Africa, Lesotho, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Namibia, Eswatini and Malawi during the 14 day period before their arrival in NSW must enter hotel quarantine for 14 days, irrespective of their vaccination status.

All other overseas travellers must complete a PCR test and isolate for 72 hours at a nominated address or accommodation. People will only be able to exit isolation at the end of the 72 hour period if they have received a negative result. After exiting isolation people must complete an additional PCR test on day six after arrival and comply with the NSW Health guidelines for recent fully vaccinated arrivals.

To help protect the community, the NSW Government will increase penalties for non-compliance with the isolation, testing and quarantine requirements to $5,000 for individuals (from $1,000) and $10,000 for corporations (from $5,000). This will take effect tomorrow.

         All unvaccinated travellers from any overseas country will continue to enter hotel quarantine.

Minister for Health Brad Hazzard said booster shots were still an important part of staying safe.

These rules will take effect from December 1, 12.01am.

Minister for Sport | NSW Government 

$2.4 Million in new Multicultural SUPPORT

Sydney: More than 110 grassroots programs supporting vulnerable and multicultural communities will share in over $2.4 million to support NSW’s ongoing recovery from the COVID-19 Delta outbreak.

Minister for Multiculturalism Natalie Ward said the organisations had received up to $40,000 through the Stronger Together Grants Program and Empowering and Supporting Local Communities Grants Program, which were introduced during the pandemic.

“Our grassroots community organisations have worked tirelessly to ensure our most vulnerable have access to vital programs and it’s important they can continue to help those who need it most,” Mrs Ward said.

Celebration of African Australians State Coordinator Ronnie Kakaire said the organisation would use the support to continue working with members of their community struggling with mental health issues.

“This funding will make sure they have access to culturally-appropriate wellbeing and mental health support in their languages and through trusted members of our communities,” Mr Kakaire said.

For more information visit https://multicultural.nsw.gov.au/grants/

 New 225 metre office tower in Western Sydney welcomes next wave of workers  | NSW Dept of Planning, Industry and Environment

New 225 metre office tower in Western Sydney welcomes next wave of workers

Sydney: Parramatta, Sydney’s CBD of the West, is filling up with thousands of workers with the opening of a new, high rise work tower – part of the NSW Government’s commitment to expand its workforce west, reduce office costs and boost the economy.

NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet said the new 6 & 8 Parramatta Square building is easily accessible, with efficient transport options including trains and light rail, metro, buses, ferries and the WestConnex.

“Signature skyscrapers like these show our state has a bright future and the CBD doesn’t stop at Glebe,” Mr Perrottet said.

“Parramatta Square is a major contributor to our economic engine room and these premium office buildings will host an exceptional workforce in the beating heart of Western Sydney.

“Tomorrow, I will be attending the Bradfield Oration where big ideas for the future of NSW are discussed. It’s projects like Parramatta Square that inspire us to take our state from good to great.”

Minister for Water, Property and Housing Melinda Pavey said Walker Corporation’s 6 Parramatta Square adjoins tower 8, which has reached structural completion at 225 meters tall to become the tallest building in Sydney’s West and ready for tenants in 2022.

“Building these towers has created 4,000 construction worker jobs, giving Sydney’s west a much needed economic boost and this will continue as public and private sector employees settle into their new office digs and spend locally,” Mrs Pavey said.

Parramatta Square is one of Australia’s largest commercial business precincts integrating commercial office space with convenient retail and will eventually cater for over 30,000 workers and students, as well as many more visitors.

 NSW could face 'vicious cycle of spending and debt' linked to climate  crisis and interest payments | New South Wales | The Guardian

Rent relief continues for small businesses impacted by COVID-19

Sydney: Small businesses who are still doing it tough across the State will continue to benefit from rent relief until 13 January 2022, ensuring ongoing support for small businesses over the Christmas and New Year’s Period.

Treasurer Matt Kean said as the economic recovery continues, many small businesses are still not back at their pre-COVID turnover and rent is still one of their biggest fixed costs.

“Small business is the engine room of our economy and as we recover from the pandemic we need to make sure we leave no one behind and support impacted businesses as they continue to recover,” Mr Kean said.

“Continuing rent relief measures for impacted small businesses will provide a necessary buffer to allow businesses time to get back on their feet and begin to thrive again.”

The Retail and Other Commercial Leases (COVID-19) Regulation 2021 rent relief provisions will continue for eligible businesses with a turnover of less than $5 million, a more targeted level of support from the previous turnover threshold of $50 million.

Minister for Finance and Small Business Damien Tudehope said landlords will still be required to negotiate rent relief with eligible commercial and retail tenants that are experiencing a turnover decline of 30 per cent or more.

“Lockdown may be over but there are still small businesses, particularly in our CBDs, that are facing a slower recovery and are continuing to do it tough,” Mr Tudehope said.

 Sydney Great Walk planned for Harbour foreshore and CBD | Daily Telegraph

One giant step for CBD with plans afoot to create iconic Sydney great walk

Sydney: The NSW Government is developing plans to create Australia’s greatest urban walking trail stretching along the Harbour foreshore from Lady Macquarie’s Chair, past the Opera House and Bridge, through Barangaroo and returning via the CBD.

Dubbed the Sydney Great Walk it will connect major tourism locations and attractions and feature at least two loops with the first designed to be completed in half a day and a longer full-day walk extending into Darling Harbour and back past the Chinese Garden of Friendship and Hyde Park.

The Government will conduct feasibility studies into the project, including developing routes, exploring physical wayfinding options such as signs, maps and information and undertaking consultation with key stakeholders such as the City of Sydney.

Premier Dominic Perrottet said it was imperative to find new and innovative ways to improve what was sometimes simply taken for granted.

“This route has the potential to become the greatest and most iconic urban walk in the country,” Mr Perrottet said.

“It will be something all Australians should do, and the one walk every visitor must do, when they are able to return safely to our shores.”

Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney, and Minister for Trade and Investment Stuart Ayres, said creating an iconic walk around the Harbour front and through the middle of the CBD would build on existing initiatives designed to encourage people to enjoy NSW.

 NSW State Election 2019 – Recreational Fishing Alliance of NSW

New level of transparency for the recreational fishing sector in NSW

Sydney: Minister for Agriculture Adam Marshall has today released the inaugural Recreational Fishing Annual Report, delivering a new benchmark in accountability and transparency on the projects and services funded by fishing licence fees.

Mr Marshall said the Annual Report showed $19 million in projects had been funded through the Recreational Fishing Trust in 2020-21.

“Each year our fishers pay their licence fees and every single one of those dollars goes back into hundreds of projects and initiatives to support and promote the recreational fishing industry,” Mr Marshall said.

 “In 2020-21, 89 projects worth more than $19 million were approved. These projects are diverse as building fish cleaning tables, fishing platforms, fishing safety infrastructure and access upgrades.

“They also fund some of our most popular ongoing programs such as Fish Aggregating Devices, Offshore Artificial Reefs and hundreds of community fishing events.

“The release of the inaugural Recreational Fishing Annual Report is part of our commitment to ensure fishers know exactly how we spend their license fees, and can see the value in their investment.”

Mr Marshall said the online, interactive report provided multiple ways to explore how licence fees were spent.

 

Celebrating 160 years of local government in Parramatta

Sydney: City of Parramatta Council has marked 160 years since the first official local government was formed with a special ceremony at the site of the City’s future civic centre.

On Saturday 27 November, Her Excellency the Honourable Margaret Beazley AC QC, Governor of New South Wales joined by Lord Mayor Cr Steven Issa, unveiled a foundation plaque in Parramatta Square commemorating the Proclamation of the Municipality of Parramatta on 27 November 1861.

The plaque will be laid at Parramatta’s newest civic, community and cultural building, Parramatta Hive (Phive), located adjacent to the historic Town Hall in Parramatta Square.

Currently under construction, Phive represents the future of the City and will be the beating heart of the CBD. The six-storey multi-purpose building – due to open in 2022 – will be home to the new Council chambers, a world-class library, a Discovery exhibition centre and cultural heritage spaces. 

“Parramatta has come a long way in 160 years and this milestone recognises the incredible growth of our great City,” Cr Issa said.

“It’s important that we acknowledge and remember Parramatta’s long and rich history through this transformation, from its Dharug origins to its more recent past. It’s fitting that this plaque will be housed at Phive, the community, cultural and civic heart of our City.

“The future of Parramatta is very bright, and I can only imagine what will be achieved in the next 160 years.”

The City of Parramatta has a long history of local governance. Prior to European settlement, local Aboriginal groups had their own form of authority where elders made decisions on behalf of their tribes.

A formal system of local government was established following colonisation, developed from reforms to the feudal management of towns, cities and regional areas in England.

Sir John Young, Governor of New South Wales, proclaimed the ‘Municipality of Parramatta’ on 27 November 1861. 

This was followed by an election on 20 December 1861, and the first meeting of Council on 2 January 1862 in the courthouse, which saw emancipated convict John Williams elected as Parramatta’s first Mayor.

To find out more about the 160-year history of Parramatta Municipal Council, please visit: cityofparramatta.nsw.gov.au/160th-anniversary

A gallery of images can be downloaded  here. .

 Applications open for $200 million sports boost

Applications open for $200 million sports boost

Sydney: Modern and inclusive sporting facilities are the focus of a new NSW Government $200 million fund to encourage people across the state to enjoy the benefits of sport, regardless of their age, gender or ability, with applications now open.

Premier Dominic Perrottet said the Multi-Sport Community Facility Fund will invest in new or upgraded venues across the state with $100 million available in 2021/22 and a further $100 million in 2022/23.

“Community sport plays a vital role in getting our lives back on track and it’s great to see people returning to courts, ovals and pitches, to resume their sporting passions and get active again,” Mr Perrottet said.  

Treasurer Matt Kean said the fund will provide more modern, inclusive and fit-for-purpose facilities across NSW.

“This $200 million funding boost will ensure even more people can enjoy the benefits of sport and recreation, while helping remove barriers to participation,” Mr Kean said.

Minister for Sport Natalie Ward said for some people, existing community sport facilities may not meet their needs and even discourage them from taking part.

“We want to actively encourage gender inclusiveness and accessibility in our facilities so that everyone can get out and play,” Mrs Ward said.

The Multi-Sport Community Facility Fund will offer funding through a competitive grants process and is a key initiative of the NSW Government’s jobs-creation sports infrastructure plan, providing a construction boom.

Grants of between $1 million to $5 million are available, with applications for the 2021/22 round closing on Friday, 25 February 2022.

For more details, see: https://www.sport.nsw.gov.au/grants/multi-sport-community-facility-fund.




 














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