Northern Beaches’ $5,000 scheme, “an insult” café owner claims

This morning, Treasurer Dominic Perrottet announced grants of up to $5,000 for small businesses that lost money as consequent to the pandemic, which is a nod to the Avalon cluster.

However, this faced backlash as a café owner in Sydney’s Northern beaches says that the State Government’s grants program to relieve business struggling since the Christmas lockdown is na “insult”.

As this scheme was pushed through, businesses need to show the lockdown caused a 30 per cent reduction in turnover for a $3,000 grant, or a 50 per cent reduction in turnover for a $5,000 grant.

Last December, the northern beaches became the epicenter of a COVID-19 outbreak in the state. This resulted in more than 150 cases linked to a cluster at Avalon. It became worse across the Christmas period as the northern beach was separated into a northern and southern zone and strict restrictions were prevalent. It was January 14 when the last case to be linked to the cluster was recorded.

With these directives, Nourished Cafe and Lounge owner Jimmy Arslan noted that while he understood people needed funds, he considered the amount an insult.
“$5,000, to be honest they can have it, I don’t even want it. It’s going to do nothing to what we went through. On turnover value, it’s a pittance, it’s nothing. I took it as a personal insult.”

On defense for the package, Mr. Perrottet said the money would cover “unavoidable” expenses. “The result today is a fair result, a generous result, and something that will go a long way to helping many businesses get through it. We are incredibly grateful to the people of the beaches for what they did over summer and this is recognition for the sacrifices that they made,” he explained.

Mr. Aslan rejoined saying he’d prefer the State Government worked to incentivize people to visit the beaches. “We’re not a charity, we work hard, and we do what we do. The people who put us into lockdown, I do think they have an obligation at least during that lockdown to compensate all the businesses and individuals that lost a lot. I’d rather them just say they’re going to help with tourism and bring people here and encourage people from outside to come and shop and enjoy this area.”

There are measure that are noted to alleviate the tourism milieu as the State Government is looking to roll out Dine & Discover vouchers, announced in last year’s budget, to the region in February. This might mitigate the effects of the lockdown.

For instance, Liz Treloar, owner of Beaches Beauty in Avalon, said she was completely booked out before the lockdown. “The biggest problem for us is the amount of gift vouchers that we missed out on selling. We’re grateful for any help that they want to throw our way; we’re never going to say no. It’s not enough and it doesn’t cover what we will have missed out on over that Christmas period. They’re throwing a crumb and we’ll grab it.”

Perth bushfire worsens quickly, Over 70 homes lost

The Perth bushfires are ravaging the Hills since igniting in Wooroloo on Monday. Unfortunately today, with wind gusts of in excess of 70 km per hour, over 70 homes lost, the fire’s perimetre is over 110km and burnt through 11,000 hectares. This is a monster of a fire!

Warnings have gone out to the people in Avon Ridge, Joshua Mews, North West of Gidgeegannup and those east of the Walyunga National Park. The unpredictability and intensity of the fire has been noted by Rick Curtis, DFES, Department of Fire and Emergency Services, who says it is not safe to stay and defend homes.

“Ground crews and aerial suppression efforts are struggling to contain the forward movement of that fire,” he said.

“We would prefer to lose a house than lose a life. That’s what it comes down to.”

He said 21 aircraft were fighting the fire, along with and more than 300 firefighters on the ground. Then DFES Assistant Commissioner Craig Waters added saying that challenging weather conditions forecast for this evening would test fire fighters. “We’re experiencing really flukey winds,” Mr Waters said late on Wednesday afternoon.

Mr Waters said local firefighters were starting to become fatigued after three days on the ground and that work was underway to determine the feasibility of bringing in interstate crews.

The people of Perth are now being effected by smoke haze although winds are now pushing it a touch further away from the City. Anyone with breathing difficulties should stay inside of if needed seek medical assistance.

Three evacuation centres have been set up, at the Brown Park Recreation Complex in Swan View, Swan Active in Midland and Swan Active in Beechboro.

About 230 people slept at the evacuation centres last night, while around 700 people have registered across the three venues.

Health Care Complaints Commission report Sydney clinic risks

Blood tests have been urged to customers who went to a Sydney “wellness” center over a period of seven years after a breach in infection control standard has been discovered.

Alerts have been flagged to South Eastern Sydney Local Health District for clients of Detoxologie in Bondi Junction. People are advised to see their GP if they had a colonic irrigation, skin needling, allergy or any other blood testing, intravenous infusion or vitamin injections at the center between June 2013 and December 2020. Unfortunately, NSW Health revealed that there is a huge possibility for HIV and hepatitis B and C infections.

Meanwhile, Director of the Local Health District’s Public Health Unit Professor Mark Ferson, explained while the danger of transmission of a blood-borne virus from a procedure at Detoxologie is relevantly low, it is astute to visit a GP for a blood test as soon as possible.

He said, “To date, there have been no cases of blood-borne virus infection linked to this business. However, we know infections like HIV and hepatitis B and C can be silent for many years. ”

“A positive test for a blood-borne virus does not necessarily mean you were infected at this business, but if you have been, it’s important to be aware to ensure you receive treatment and you don’t pass it on to others. Fortunately, there are now very effective treatments for these three blood-borne viruses,” he added.
As of now, the NSW Health said is reaching out to customers of Detoxologie, which is in the Eastgate Shopping Centre and was previously on Oxford Street. However, poor record-keeping is hampering its efforts.

For instance, two people were hospitalized after becoming unwell when they were given intravenous infusions at the clinic last December, according to NSW Health. That being said, anybody who had other treatments at the clinic is not at risk.

Over the last month, the Health Care Complaints Commission issued a warning over the clinic and said it was “concerned” about services, including IV infusions. It added Fay Fain, who was offering services, claimed to be a registered nurse in Australia, but it had no evidence of this.

On its media release, the Commission explained “Further evidence indicates Ms. Fain has little knowledge of infection control practices and hygiene at Detoxologie was poor. It appears colonic irrigation devices were not sterilized between uses. Consumers are warned not to seek any health services from Detoxologie or Ms. Fain.”

WA’s double whammy start to February

Western Australia is up for a double whammy as a tropical cyclone warning was issued on the Coastal WA regions and now, a snap of a five-day hard lockdown on major parts of the state.
This was after a hotel security guard tested positive for COVID-19, with fears it could be the highly contagious infectious UK strain.

Consequently, a massive testing has now been carried out in a bid to discover how far an outbreak of coronavirus may have spread before major parts of the state were last night put into this immediate lockdown.

As measures, health authorities disclosed a tentative list of places visited by the man in line with the imposing of the hard lockdown. According to Premier Mark McGowan, this case is the state’s first locally acquired COVID-19 case in almost 10 months.

Among the affected with the lockdown are the whole Perth metropolitan area, the Peel region and the south-west region which must follow strict staying at home orders until Friday.
Meanwhile, as said, health authorities’ list of exposure sites is made public and anyone who is linked with these sites is urged to come forward for testing. These sites are namely Coles Maylands supermarket on 25 January from 8pm to 10pm, KFC Maylands on 27 January from 6pm to midnight and Mitsubishi Motors car dealership in Midland on 27 January from 7pm to close.

Also included are the Spudshed, Coventry Village in Morley on 27 January from 8pm to midnight, ECU Joondalup on 28 January from 11am to 2pm, Consulate General of India on St Georges Terrace in Perth on 28 January from 12pm to 5pm, Halal Grocery Store in Cloverdale on 28 January from 7pm to 9pm and the Venus Ladies and Gentleman Hair Design Maylands hairdressers on 29 January from 1pm to 3pm.
Added to the list are Perth Convention Centre on 29 January from 4pm to 6pm, Nedlands Family Practice GP surgery on 29 January from 5pm to 6pm, Chemist Warehouse North Perth Pharmacy on 29 January from 5.30pm to 7.30pm, 7-Eleven Ascot petrol station on 29 January from 8pm to 9pm and Coles Maylands supermarket on 29 January from 8pm 9pm.

Lastly, Puma Service Station in Burswood on 30 January from 11am to 12 midday, Coles Express/Shell Service Station in Cloverdale on 30 January from 12 midday to 3pm and Pharmacy 777 at Maylands Park Shopping Centre 30 January from 2.30pm to 4pm.

Given that it is a hard lockdown, only four reasons are provided to allow resident to leave their house. For instance, work where you/they cannot work from home or remotely, shop for essentials like groceries, medicine and necessary supplies, medical or health care needs including compassionate requirements and looking after the vulnerable and exercise within their neighborhood, but only with one other person and only for one hour per day.

Among the close businesses, venues and locations on the affected regions are, schools universities, TAFES and education facilities, pubs, bars and clubs, gyms and indoor sporting venue, playgrounds, skate parks and outdoor recreational facilities, cinemas, entertainment venues, and casinos, large religious gatherings and places of worship and libraries and cultural institutions.

Protecting your child from mobile phone risks, experts explained necessary steps

It was already announced by the Queensland government that school students are set to return to the classroom for the next Wednesday. Thus, many children will do so with a mobile phone on them.

The main reason behind parents providing phones to their children is for safety. However, mobile devices poses a serious risk to your child.

For instance, cyber safety experts pointed out numerous susceptibilities when using these devices and presented tips for parents to safe keep their children. 

First of all, in determining when to give your child their own phones greatly depends on your assessment with your child, according the Sharon Trotter – executive manager of education and prevention and eSafety.

As per the manager, “There are really no hard and fast rules for when the right time is to give your child a mobile phone.”

Thus, Ms. Trotter encouraged parents to think about their child’s maturity level, and extensively assess “Do they have a good sense of responsibility? Are they able to stick to the rules that you will set for them? “Will they come to you if they encounter something they’re not sure about or if they’re distressed?”

Should you completely decide to give your child a phone, choosing what phone is suitable might be a dilemma. Oftentimes, parents think a phone that cannot connect to the internet is best, but for Ms. Munn it is not.

“My personal opinion is that if we are getting a child a phone for safety, the fact is that if they are unsafe, they are actually not going to be able to make a phone call or text so we want that location option on there,” Ms. Munn pointed.

Phones with an SOS call that can send out their location to their contacts will be the best choice. But, it is not applicable for all as there are some cases giving phones that can access the internet will be dangerous as well.

Ms. Munn further suggested setting up a separate account for your child. One biggest mistake cited by the manager in terms of signing in using the parent’s account is, limits the opportunity for parental control. Children could easily access adult content to that extent.

As per Ms. Munn, creating an account for your child was an ideal time to teach them about what information was not appropriate to put online. This tip comes in handy to the next one, which is setting of parental control.

This involves such as those that let you limit screen time or control which apps your child can download. “Make sure you know what your child is doing, whether they’re on a phone or any other kind of screen. They should have all their apps set to the highest privacy settings that they can.” Ms. Trotter said.

She also urged to disable in-app purchasing features and make sure they cannot access credit card details.

Lastly, setting boundaries are of utter necessity. “It’s much easier to set the boundaries in advance than it is to pull them back later,” according to Ms. Munn

It is imperative to write down family contract about devices and social media usage and be straightforward with two things: this is what we expect; this is what the consequences are.

On the other hand, Ms. Trotter explained that managing these boundaries, and all these actions towards keeping your child to safety, ultimately relies to being observant and sensitive to your child’s changes in behavior or mood.

Protecting your child amid these trying times is a hefty responsibility, thus, it should be treated with keen wisdom.

Sunday’s announcement of further restrictions eased in Victoria

Sunday’s announcement of further restrictions eased in Victoria

Victorian’s can actually go dancing again as of 11.59pm Sunday 6th of December! They are now officially allowed to dance at Weddings with a 2sqm rule applying with up to 50 people on the dance floor at any one time permitted.

Our hospitality industry finally will have the ability for their businesses to survive with Restaurants, Cafes, Pubs, and nightclubs also being allowed to increase their patron numbers with the 2 sqm rule applying. This is the day these business owners, staff and patrons have all been waiting for, almost normality. This should see casual employment numbers jump at a time when students and the broader community need the work in Victoria.

Gyms will be allowed to increase numbers in exercise classes up to 50 people which again should see gym’s become viable. The challenge for gym owners is to instill confidence in their customers and encourage them to come back, as Gym’s are predicted to see a sizeable drop off in direct debit members as membership can be seen as a luxury item for some. It becomes vital for all of us to be fit, healthy and to achieve this heading to the gym is ideal. It not only works out your body but is also great for positive mental health too.

Meanwhile at home or out visiting there are further restriction changes. Gatherings at home allowed for up to 30 people, while up to 100 are allowed in an outdoor public location.

The huge mask question has been answered, the mandatory wearing has been lifted everywhere except for public transport, taxis/ride shares and indoor retail settings.

Office workers will also be expected to be able to return to offices in coming months on a per sqm basis. This will be introduced post Christmas, earlier into 2021.

Who’s your local animal “Legend”?

Today we spotted the announcement of Percy the Peacock is back strutting his stuff in Mount Eliza, Victoria. Over the years locals have some wonderful tales of where Percy has surprised people, in backyards, walking down the middle of the road or in a front yard which was definitely not his. How often do we have our local animals, birds, pets in a neighborhood that become “Legends”?

We have seen Pigs on rural property appearing in many a Facebook post, horses get a run too, but some of the most interest have often been those we don’t see as typical animals or pets that most of us would have. Walking the Goat down a Country town’s Main Street and all the locals getting to know them, even coming out of their shops to feed them. Well now is your time to post your favorite animals, pet, bird or critter.

Please post your favorite animal friend below, no matter whether it’s your, a friends of just one you see in your part of the world. Lets see who has the most interesting?