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From Australia News in Brief

Thunderstorms forecast to hit NSW again as residents warned to brace for more rain, flooding
Australia joins international mangrove alliance for climate
Australia’s fuel reserves boosted to strengthen resilience and supply
'Tell us where mum is', Chris Dawson's daughter begs
Review of serious road crimes
Bill introduced to deliver $905 million to taxi licence holders 
Rising aflw talent to be future road safety leaders
NSW government continues support for people seeking asylum with more funding
Major milestone for Parramatta Light Rail Stage 2
New courses to strengthen digital workforce
NSW reconstruction authority to be established 

Thunderstorms forecast to hit NSW again as residents warned to brace for more rain, flooding
(See translation in Arabic section)
Sydney - Middle East Times Int’l: Residents across NSW are being warned thunderstorms forecast for Sunday could dump up to 150 millimetres of rain and cause further flooding across western NSW. 
Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Jake Phillips said storm activity could begin this afternoon as a trough moving in from the west of the state met with a cold front, and there was a high chance storms would become severe tomorrow. 
"A broad area of the state could see thunderstorms from tomorrow," Mr Phillips said.
"The nature of the system is that all the ingredients, including warm weather, are there and we could see them develop any time.
"Our biggest concern is for areas already affected by flooding."
A severe weather warning for heavy rainfall around the South West Slopes, parts of the Southern Tablelands, Riverina, Snowy Mountains, and the Australian Capital Territory has also been issued for this afternoon. 
Emergency Services Minister Steph Cooke said wherever the rain fell it would have an impact, but the biggest concerns were the Murray and Murrumbidgee Rivers.
"Any additional rainfall, and we are expecting up to 150mm, will cause flash flooding and riverine flooding," she said.
"The SES remains on alert and their preparation is continuing around the clock.
"It is very difficult to say at this point in time what the impact will be because these thunderstorms are unpredictable."
Thunderstorms with heavy rain could also develop on the east coast, south of Newcastle, however Mr Phillips said the worst of them were likely to be inland. 
Australia joins international mangrove alliance for climate
Australia will join the Mangrove Alliance for Climate further strengthening the country’s global leadership on climate action and blue carbon.
The Alliance aims to increase and accelerate conservation, restoration and plantation efforts of mangrove ecosystems to help combat climate change and support adaption.
Australia’s announcement that it would join other nations in protecting and restoring mangroves came after the United Arab Emirates (UAE) launched the initiative at COP27 in Sharm el-Sheik in Egypt. The Alliance is a joint UAE and Indonesia initiative.
The goal of the Alliance is to increase the global area of mangrove habitat by 20 per cent by the year 2030. 
Mangroves absorb significant amounts of carbon and can be a key contributor to global action on climate change. 
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese in September endorsed the Leaders’ Pledge for Nature that is a reinvigorated approach for strong action on biodiversity loss and climate change. 
Climate Change and Energy Minister Chris Bowen said Australia was proud to be part of the Alliance.
 “Australia recognises the crucial role mangroves can play in global climate change mitigation and also the broad benefits they bring in climate resilience, biodiversity, tourism, indigenous communities and job opportunities. 
“Australia is home to some of the world’s most significant mangrove stocks, and we want to be a world leader in efforts to protect and restore them.”
At the UN Oceans Conference earlier this year Minister Tanya Plibersek announced Australia will help restore blue carbon ecosystems across Australia, including mangroves, by investing $9.5 million to support five new practical restoration projects. 
Minister for the Environment and Water Tanya Plibersek said it was vital that nations worked together on preserving these fragile habitats. 
“Mangroves provide habitats for countless animal species, reduce coastal flooding and even improve water quality. 
“They are some of the world’s most valuable ecosystems but they are at serious risk.
“We have a responsibility to protect these fragile ecosystems and help them to thrive long into the future. 
“These ecosystems are significantly better at storing carbon than terrestrial forests.
“The Australian Bureau of Statistics have estimated that in 2021 Australia’s mangroves and seagrass sequestered over 14 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent. This amount of carbon sequestered is equivalent to the amount emitted by over 4 million cars.”
Australia's fuel reserves don't have to keep running on empty | The  Strategist
Australia’s fuel reserves boosted to strengthen resilience and supply
The Albanese Government is ensuring Australians have a reliable and available stockpile of fuel to protect consumers from major disruptions to supply. 
The guaranteed minimum stock levels of traditional transport fuels will improve domestic fuel reserves to protect motorists, businesses and industries from future market turmoil and the ongoing global fossil fuel crisis triggered by Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine. 
The Minimum Stockholding Obligation will require Australia’s two refineries in Geelong and Brisbane, and Australia’s major importers of refined fuels, to hold baseline stocks of: 
•       petrol –  24 days from 1 July 2023. Increasing to 27 days in 2024 for importers 
•       diesel fuel –  20 days from 1 July 2023. Increasing to 32 in 2024 for importers 
•       jet fuel –  24 days from 1 July 2023. Increasing to 27 days in 2024 for importers. 
The obligation will also require refiners and importers to report stock levels fortnightly. The requirement will become weekly from 1 July 2024. 
Minister Bowen said the obligation was a crucial measure to protect consumers. 
“The Albanese Government is delivering on the commitment to increase domestic fuel reserves, including petrol, diesel and jet fuel stocks, which the previous Government announced, but did not deliver,” Minister Bowen said.
“We are providing greater energy security for Australian households and businesses impacted by global and domestic challenges to supply lines.”
“We supported the Fuel Security Act when in opposition and are delivering it in Government.”
“Australia’s transition to electric and hydrogen-powered vehicles will also help guard against volatility in coming years.” 
Transitional arrangements within the Minimum Stockholding Obligation will give industry enough time to prepare for the full implementation of the scheme in 2024 and safeguard fuel supplies. 
Each regulated entity will have a specific obligation determined with reference to the national target and their own operations. 
The arrangements were developed in close consultation with industry after the passage of the Fuel Security Act in June 2021, including public exposure drafts released in January 2022.
Teacher's Pet case: 'Tell us where mum is', Chris Dawson's daughter begs -  BBC News
'Tell us where mum is', Chris Dawson's daughter begs
The daughter of an Australian woman whose murder was the subject of a popular podcast has begged her father to reveal the location of the body.
The family of Chris Dawson addressed him in court on Thursday as part of his sentencing hearing.
It comes weeks after Dawson was found guilty of murdering his wife so he could be with their teenage babysitter.
He was charged in 2018 after the Teacher's Pet podcast gained global fame, prompting a fresh investigation.
"Please tell us where she is," daughter Shanelle Dawson said, addressing her father directly in court.
Ms Dawson was just four when her mother, Lynette Dawson, disappeared from the family's Sydney home in January 1982.
Police have never found any trace of the 33-year-old.
Fiercely staring at her 74-year-old father in court, Ms Dawson said there were not enough words in the English language to describe the impact of his crime.
Told her mother had left because "she didn't love us anymore", Ms Dawson through tears said she has struggled with abandonment issues, post-traumatic stress, anxiety and depression.
"The night you removed our mother from our lives was the night you destroyed my sense of safety and belonging in this world for many decades to come," she said.
"Why didn't you just divorce her, let those who love and needed her keep her?"
Lynette's siblings also detailed their struggle to come to terms with her death.
In a statement, Greg Simms told how his family had accepted Dawson into the fold unconditionally.
"We trusted you. You repaid us by committing the ultimate betrayal," he said.
"It was a brazen act of conniving monster, hell bent on one thing - getting what you wanted at any cost."
Lynette's sister, Pat Jenkins, in a statement read to the court, detailed how the absence of a body had for years cruelly kept her clinging on to a "modicum of hope".
Dawson kept his head bowed for much of the hearing, as Lynette's family pleaded with him to disclose where her body is.
"We ask you to do the decent thing… allow us to bring her home to a peaceful rest, finally giving her the dignity she deserves," Mr Simms said.
Dawson denies killing Lynette, maintaining she abandoned him and their two children - possibly to join a religious group.
Two separate inquiries into Mrs Dawson's disappearance concluded that she was killed by a "known person", but until the podcast explored the case, prosecutors had said there was not enough evidence to lay charges.
While handing down his verdict in August, Justice Ian Harrison said the evidence against Dawson was "persuasive and compelling".
Dawson has flagged an intention to appeal the verdict, but will be sentenced on 2 December.
police powers | Public Interest Advocacy Centre | Page 2
Review of serious road crimes
In response to extensive feedback received from families of victims of serious road crime, Attorney General Mark Speakman has asked the NSW Law Reform Commission to review and report on a number of matters relating to serious road crime and the experiences of victims of serious road crime and their families. 
“I have met with a number of family members of victims who have been tragically killed as a result of horrific road crimes and I have listened carefully to the issues they have raised,” Mr Speakman said.  
“I acknowledge the immeasurable pain that these families must live with every day.
“The trauma and damage caused by road crime deaths have consequences that extend far beyond the initial incident; they have a devastating impact on individuals, their families and the broader community. 
“The review will look at whether existing laws remain fit for purpose and the terms of reference will allow the Commission to consider whether new offences or stand-alone legislation is required.”
Minister for Metropolitan Roads Natalie Ward said the review initiated by the Attorney General highlights how the NSW Government is working with the community to make sure NSW has the best legislation in place to promote road safety across the state.
“I know how important it is that we have a justice system that reflects the seriousness of how road incidents, caused by dangerous driving, affect victims, families and the wider community,” Mrs Ward said. 
Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Sam Farraway welcomed the decision by the Attorney General and said this was a positive step towards making regional roads safer.
NSW Government delivers record $905 million assistance package to taxi  licence holders | Mirage News
Bill introduced to deliver $905 million to taxi licence holders 
The NSW Government has today introduced the Point to Point Transport (Taxis and Hire Vehicles) Amendment Bill 2022 into Parliament which will amend the Point to Point Transport (Taxis and Hire Vehicles) Act 2016.
Minister for Transport, Veterans and Western Sydney David Elliott said the Government has acted on its commitment and introduced the Bill to complete the deregulation of the NSW Point to Point industry and facilitate the final financial assistance scheme for owners of ordinary taxi licences. 
“The NSW Government has presented the country’s most generous assistance package worth $905 million to NSW taxi licence holders.” Mr Elliott said.
“The Bill we’ve introduced today will see the delivery of much-needed financial assistance to taxi licence holders and will ensure families who paid out their hard earned cash are not left with the burden of debt.”
The NSW Taxi Council unconditionally accepted the Government’s final assistance package to NSW taxi licence holders. 
Minister for Regional Roads and Transport Sam Farraway said if the Bill passes by the end of next week, the funding will be in the bank accounts of taxi owners as soon as possible.
“I am very pleased the NSW Government was able to offer a fair deal to plate holders to recognise the disruption caused to the Point to Point market by the introduction of ride-share,” Mr Farraway said.
The new package provides $150,000 for every Sydney metropolitan taxi licence holder with a cap of six plates. Each regional taxi plate will be paid between $40,000 and $195,000, with no cap on the number of plates.
Natalie Ward
Rising aflw talent to be future road safety leaders
vision pack available here
A group of future Aboriginal and Multicultural AFLW stars from across the state have enjoyed a camp on Sydney’s northern beaches where they found out what it takes to be a professional footballer and a road safety leader in their community. 
Around 40 Aboriginal and Multicultural young women attended the AFL NSW/ACT Indigenous and Multicultural Girls Youth Leadership Camp at the Sydney Academy of Sport in Narrabeen on Saturday 5 November 2022.
Minister for Metropolitan Roads Natalie Ward said the camp provides an opportunity for Aboriginal and Multicultural players aged 14-16 years old to build on their road safety, leadership and AFL skills. 
“The NSW Government is always looking for different ways to educate young drivers on road safety - that is why our government is funding initiatives like this program,” Mrs Ward said.
“These young players are more than future footy stars, they are future leaders who can make an incredible impact across the state, from Sydney to Coffs Harbour, Tamworth and Broken Hill. 
“As part of the camp, the players learnt how to take a leadership role in road safety in their community at a session run by Transport for NSW.
“This two-day camp has empowered these young women to drive positive change back in their communities and promote road safety.”
Transport has provided funding toward the AFL NSW/ACT Indigenous Youth Leadership Program since 2014 to support and educate young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth from communities across NSW about road safety.
The AFL NSW/ACT Indigenous Leadership Program, is a partnership program between Transport for NSW and AFL NSW/ACT.
NSW government extends employment support program for refugees
NSW government continues support for people seeking asylum with more funding
Settlement service providers and NGOs will be able to continue caring for people seeking asylum and other vulnerable temporary visa holders through to the end of the financial year, thanks to another funding injection by the NSW Government.
While the responsibility to provide funding to these organisations sits with the Federal Government, over the past two years the NSW Government has provided the needed funding.
Minister for Multiculturalism Mark Coure said 15 organisations that support asylum seekers and temporary protection visa holders will receive a share of $3.65 million to cover their operations until 30 June 2023.
“Earlier this year, the NSW Government provided these organisations with $4.2 million to help them through to the end of December this year,” Mr Coure said.
“Now we are giving them a further boost to ensure they can confidently continue providing medical, housing, telecommunications or transport support for some of society’s most vulnerable people.
“People seeking asylum and temporary visa holders rely heavily on this support, and thanks to our government stepping up, they will not go without.”
This latest funding allocation means the NSW Government has provided some $20 million to support these organisations over the past two years.
Mr Coure added that additional funding had also been secured to support the NSW Service for the Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture and Trauma Survivors’ (STARTTS) Witness to War Program.
Comments open for Parramatta Light Rail environmental impact
Major milestone for Parramatta Light Rail Stage 2
* Vision available here
The NSW Government is encouraging communities to have their say on the Environmental Impact Statement for Parramatta Light Rail Stage 2 to help shape the final design for this once-in-a-generation transport project. 
Minister for Transport, Veterans and Western Sydney David Elliott said Parramatta Light Rail Stage 2 (PLR 2) would transform how people move around the region and the public exhibition of the EIS was a perfect opportunity for the community to learn more about the project and provide feedback. 
“The Parramatta Light Rail extension would link Stage 1 and the Parramatta CBD with the entertainment and sport precinct of Sydney Olympic Park, delivering a much-needed public transport solution to connect Greater Parramatta to the Olympic Peninsula (GPOP),” Mr Elliott said.
“GPOP is one of the fastest growing areas in the Central River City, and this project will deliver significant improvements across Western Sydney by connecting great people with great places while supporting jobs and housing growth.” 
Minister for Planning and Minister for Homes Anthony Roberts said Western Sydney communities will be reaping the benefits of a modern, world-class transport system. 
“Placing the EIS on public exhibition is a vital part of the planning process which allows the community to have its say, and helps assess the proposal,” Mr Roberts said.  
“The proposal will be open for comment until 7 December 2022, and I encourage everyone to take this opportunity to learn more about the proposal and make a submission.”
Improving digital literacy skills in the workplace | Employment Hero
New courses to strengthen digital workforce
An army of cyber security, cloud computing and artificial intelligence experts will be trained at the State’s first revolutionary Institute of Applied Technology (IAT) with the NSW Government today unveiling of a suite of 19 new digital-focused courses.
The new facility, located at Meadowbank, is a partnership between TAFE NSW, Microsoft, the University of Technology Sydney and Macquarie University, and will focus on turbocharging the take-up of digital skills to strengthen our State’s workforce. 
Minister for Skills and Training Alister Henskens said the new IAT, which opens in February next year, is now taking enrolments in courses spanning artificial intelligence, cyber security, cloud computing, machine learning and data analytics. 
 “These courses have been developed hand-in-glove with industry to meet current and emerging skill needs,” Mr Henskens said. 
“At a time when cyberattacks are on the rise, this training will allow people to quickly build the skills we need for a strong and safe digital economy. 
“With Australia needing another 17,000 cyber professionals by 2026, now is the time for people to enroll in courses at our new IAT and get the skills they need for jobs in cyber security, digital forensics, data engineering, machine learning, and more.” 
To meet this increasing industry demand, the IAT will offer a combination of flexible microskills and microcredentials to cater for new learners as well as current industry workers who require upskilling to maintain pace with the rapidly evolving sector.  
Renovate or Rebuild? — THREE BIRDS RENOVATIONS
NSW reconstruction authority to be established 
A new authority dedicated to disaster preparedness, recovery and reconstruction from natural disasters will be established under legislation introduced to Parliament .
Premier Dominic Perrottet said the creation of a NSW Reconstruction Authority was a key recommendation of the independent Flood Inquiry, conducted by Professor Mary O’Kane AC and Mick Fuller APM.
“Travelling throughout our state this year, I have seen firsthand the devastating impact floods have had on our communities,” Mr Perrottet said. 
“We need to make sure communities across NSW are equipped to respond to natural disasters and that they have the support to get back on their feet. 
“This Authority will be key to ensuring communities across NSW can better prepare for and recover more quickly from the impact of floods and other natural disasters.”
Deputy Premier Paul Toole said the Reconstruction Authority will focus on better preparing NSW communities against future disasters and protecting lives and property.
“We’ve always said we will do whatever we can to improve our management of natural disasters from prevention to response and rebuilding – and this authority is an important part of us putting those plans into action,” Mr Toole said.
“The establishment of the NSW Reconstruction Authority is the Government’s commitment to learning from past challenges to make us stronger as a State.”
Minister for Planning and Minister for Homes Anthony Roberts said the Authority will have the responsibility and power to facilitate the protection, recovery, and reconstruction of affected communities following a natural disaster. 


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