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.”

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.”