New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern launches re-election bid with COVID rescue plan

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern launched her Labour Party’s election marketing campaign Saturday driving higher in the feeling polls soon after a thriving reaction to the coronavirus outbreak.

Ms Ardern’s acceptance as desired primary minister – usually referred to as “Jacindamania” – topped 60 for each cent in the latest surveys following her management through the Christchurch mosque attacks, the White Island volcanic eruption and the pandemic.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern speaking at the Labour Occasion campaign start in Auckland


Just before the virus forced New Zealand to seal its borders, the polls had pointed to a cliffhanger election on 19 September, but assistance swung sharply to the centre-left Labour Bash as the state removed community transmission in a matter on months.

In a state of 5 million men and women, New Zealand has had only 22 COVID-19 fatalities and it has been 99 times given that the past recorded circumstance of infection from an unknown source.

“When individuals talk to, is this a COVID election, my response is sure, it is,” the charismatic 40-12 months-old explained as she launched the marketing campaign with a NZ$311 million (AU$287 million) pledge to improve work opportunities.

“Firms substantial and tiny are essential to our economic restoration.”

Labour is the senior partner in a three-occasion coalition govt but if it can manage the support shown in current impression polls, where by it has consistently been previously mentioned 50 for each cent, it could govern alone right after the election.

Ms Ardern was an unheralded MP when thrust into the Labour leadership soon right before the 2017 election when the get together was battling and “there ended up plenty who imagined it could not (win),” she explained.

“If you experienced advised me then that our start in 2020 would be in the midst of a world pandemic with our borders shut – I would have uncovered that quite hard to fathom.”

The centrepiece of Labour’s campaign is to assistance enterprises in choosing at minimum 40,000 individuals whose employment has been affected by the coronavirus.

It pledged to expand existing career strategies to aid businesses seek the services of employees at possibility of long-time period unemployment.

It will also aid out-of-perform New Zealanders begin a company as a result of an expanded self-employment programme which will provide the equivalent of the least wage for up to 30-hours a week.

“The new flexi-wage plan is a key plank of our economic strategy to support companies to get well and to offer employment to people who have misplaced operate owing to COVID,” Ardern explained.

“Our staff-of-5-million approach to combating COVID suggests there is huge willingness in our enterprise neighborhood to stay clear of unemployment climbing by retaining team and having on new staff members the place they can, but several just will need a small little bit of additional support to do that, which this bundle supplies.”

Men and women in Australia need to remain at the very least 1.5 metres away from many others. Check out your state’s restrictions on collecting boundaries.

If you are going through chilly or flu signs, keep house and prepare a take a look at by contacting your medical professional or get in touch with the Coronavirus Health Facts Hotline on 1800 020 080.

Information and information and facts is available in 63 languages at

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Queensland prepares $150 million rescue package for state’s struggling universities

The Queensland governing administration will supply $150 million in loans to the state’s university sector, which has endured in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Countless numbers of persons right throughout regional Queensland count on universities for a task,” Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said on Sunday.

“This package will aid to hold all our universities open, safeguarding these positions.”

Universities will be able to implement for financial loans with five-calendar year compensation terms to support dollars stream, retain employees and retain exploration assignments.

Queensland universities, and universities throughout the region, have dropped profits for the duration of the pandemic soon after Australia’s borders were being shut, limiting the movement of global learners.

The Queensland university sector has reported it will drop much more than $1 billion this 12 months, putting 4000 work at hazard.

Until finally the pandemic strike, the worldwide university student current market in the state was well worth $3 billion a yr.

Individuals in Australia must continue to be at the very least 1.5 metres absent from other people. Look at your state’s limitations on accumulating restrictions.

If you are encountering cold or flu signs or symptoms, keep dwelling and set up a exam by contacting your doctor or speak to the Coronavirus Health and fitness Facts Hotline on 1800 020 080. Information and facts is offered in 63 languages at

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‘The freezing level’: Helicopter rescue team’s Achilles heel in Tasmania’s high country

Locals in Tasmania’s high country are known to be fond of the saying there is “no such thing as bad weather, just the wrong clothing”.

Sunny one moment, icy the next, the climate in Tasmania’s central and western mountainous country has caught many interlopers out, badly.

The lucky ones manage to survive in the open against the odds or take refuge in one of a small number of shelters until help arrives.

With much cold weather still to come and a number of bushwalkers already extracted from the wilderness, Tasmania’s helicopter rescue team stand ready — but warn once the island’s notorious weather turns, there is only so much they can do.

This year, the Westpac Rescue Helicopter team — a joint effort between Tasmania Police, Ambulance Tasmania and helicopter contractor Rotorlift — has already been involved in more than 40 rescues across Tasmania.

Sergeant Kriss Lawler says weather is the helicopter rescue team’s greatest challenge.(ABC News: Manika Champ)

In June, following the easing of travel restrictions, authorities pleaded with people to be better prepared, following a weekend of helicopter rescues — with one featuring a party of four who, police reported, had “no warm clothing, wet weather gear, or food and were ill-equipped for an extended walk and/or an overnight walk”. 

For Tasmania Police Sergeant Kriss Lawler, an aircrewman with the rescue helicopter team, the motivation, if not the task, is simple.

Westpac rescue helicopter grounded due to poor visibility.
In this shot from July 2019, the rescue helicopter is grounded due to poor visibility at Cradle Mountain.(Facebook: Tasmania Police)

Following the activities in June and early July, the Tasmania Police officer in charge of search and rescue in western district said, in general, rescue missions “could have been avoided if people had been better prepared”, and urged “anyone planning on bushwalking to check conditions before you depart and if forecast conditions are poor … delay your walk until they improve”.

“While the rescue helicopter is equipped with state-of-the-art technology, there are such occasions where conditions prevent its use,” Inspector Steve Jones said.

That would mean the need for search parties on foot, which he said “can obviously prolong a rescue” — and, thereby — reducing the chance of survival.

This weekend will bring with it some icy conditions.

Bureau of Meteorology duty forecaster Belinda House said Tasmanians could expect a “deep blast of cold air coming from the south”, with snow expected around higher ground on Sunday and Monday.

“There will be snow to quite low levels on Tuesday,” Ms House said, adding that the “freezing level” will be well below mountain peaks.

‘Doors open’, tried and true

As the risk of hypothermia increases, so too does the potential onset of symptoms — which St John Ambulance list as including “clumsiness”, “apathy and irrational behaviour”.

Sound decision making — whether to take shelter and wait, or attempt to press on — can be the difference between life or death, authorities caution.

Snow-topped mountain reflected in lake at sunrise
The scene is magnificent, but Tasmania’s weather can quickly turn from sunny to potentially deadly.(ABC Open contributor deborahhunter72)

In recent times, those lost stand a far better chance due to the helicopter search teams — however, even under the guidance of specially trained and experienced pilots, the twin-engine Kawasaki BK117 is limited.

Despite an array of equipment to assist in finding and retrieving people — including night vision technology and beacon trackers — Sergeant Kriss Lawler said often it would come down to simply flying with crew members scanning the terrain for signs of human life.

“Our night vision goggles, which amplify light many thousands of times, are the most useful tool,” he said, before adding “a lot of searching is done ‘doors open'”.

However, once the weather turns, there comes a point where a call has to be made.

The ‘freezing level’

“Our single greatest challenge as a helicopter crew is the weather and the unpredictability of that,” Sergeant Lawler said.

“The problems [weather] poses for people on the ground, most particularly over winter, makes it harder for us to get up into the tiers at higher altitudes

For bushwalkers waiting to be rescued, the conditions may be so bad ground personnel are stopped.

For the helicopter pilots, already battling visibility and wind, another factor is critical to whether a rescue mission can continue — explained by Sergeant Lawler as “the freezing level”.

Sergeant Kriss Lawler and intensive care flight paramedic Charles Wendell-Smith inside a helicopter.
Tasmania Police Sergeant Kriss Lawler (left) and intensive care flight paramedic Charles Wendell-Smith in the rescue helicopter.(Facebook: Westpac Rescue Helicopter Tasmania)

“It is the point of altitude at which moisture in the air will freeze … for us, that means any moisture on the aircraft turns to ice and additional weight.”

Police rescue team walks through snow in Lake St Clair area
The snow in the national park was often knee-deep and sometimes at waist height.(Supplied: Tasmania Police)

And while “commercial aircraft can fly through clouds on theoretical on roads in the sky,” Sergeant Lawler said for the helicopter crew negotiating mountainous terrain, “that’s just not possible”.

“It literally stop us to fly to certain parts of the state, the Overland Track is an obvious one; it sits on top of the tiers [and] we just may not be able to get there.”

On July 10, the rescue team responded to a “call from lost bushwalkers” at the Tarn Shelf, in the Mount Field National Park — but had to pull out due to “weather and last light”, with ground search and rescue teams completing the mission.

Sergeant Lawler said in his experience, once reached by rescuers people’s shared reaction was, unsurprisingly, “relief” — but often “embarrassment”.

“There’s a few who talk about the sense of relief at the sound of an approaching helicopter.”

Aerial view of two helicopters flying over Hobart's eastern shore.
Tasmania has two rescue helicopters.(

‘I wouldn’t have lasted much more than another night’

One such person is Victorian man Michael Bowman, who joined the list of people who miraculously survived.

“I know the job … I had some involvement it very early on, I was in northern end of national park helping some people get out [when that happened],” Kriss Lawler said.

In July last year, Mr Bowman — considered an experienced hiker — had been walking in the Cradle Mountain Lake St Clair region when a series of mishaps almost led to a disaster, beginning with him losing his pack which contained most of his supplies and his emergency radio beacon.

Taking shelter in his small tent, Mr Bowman spent a week trying to keep warm until his tent broke and snow came in as it built up outside.

“I wasn’t going to give up. If I die in the tent, I’ll die in the tent, at least they’ll find the body,” he said after he was found.

Michael Bowman gives a thumbs up after arriving in Hobart.
Michael Bowman was trapped in his tent for more than a week.(ABC News: Carla Howarth)

Mr Bowman told media he had heard the sound of the helicopter and felt the rush of relief, only for them to miss him in the mist and fly away.

In the end, it was not the new technology that found Michael Bowman — it were the eyes of flight paramedic Ingrid Pajak, who spotted him from the air as he waved orange plastic garbage bags “like a windmill”.

“I was just standing there … jumping up and down, then [the rescue crews] turned around and came back towards me,” he said later.

Paramedics who assessed Mr Bowman, praised his actions, preparedness and “ability to cope”.

“It was a remarkable story of survival, of resilience,” Kriss Lawler said of Mr Bowman’s ordeal.

“It goes to show that humans, if we are faced with the choice of curl up and and die or finding some solution to keep yourself together and alive overnight, the latter occurs.”

And for those who do make it through the night, hopefully the sound of helicopter rotors is not far away.

Helicopter flying low over rocky coastline.
The rescue team has already been involved in more than 40 rescues this year.(Facebook: Westpac Rescue Helicopter Tasmania)

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‘Good Samaritan’ Helps Coast Guard Rescue Man From Burning Boat on Lake Tahoe

A person described as a good Samaritan helped the US Coast Guard to rescue a man from a boat which caught fire out on Lake Tahoe in California officials said in a statement released July 20. This footage, recorded by the US Coast Guard, shows the boat engulfed in flames on the lake. The Coast Guard said the “good Samaritan” stepped in to help rescue the 43-year-old man after his boat caught fire. “A Tahoe Douglas Fire Protection crew arrived on scene shortly after and extinguished the fire before the vessel sunk in 21 feet of water,” the Coast Guard said. Credit: Seaman Ryan Estrada/Coast Guard District 11. via Storyful

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The government’s arts rescue pacakge is laughably small

The government’s arts assistance package, like its condition equivalents, is trivial specified the dimension of the market and the disaster that has befallen it.

(Picture: Getty/

The government’s significantly-heralded $250 million “JobMaker” offer for the arts and innovative industries — issued soon after months of phone calls for help from a sector absolutely smashed by the pandemic lockdown — is, by the government’s possess numbers, around just one-fifth of 1% of the yearly benefit of the sector.

Crikey checked the figures, and factors are in fact a tiny greater than the government’s individual figures counsel — but however tiny.

The government’s media release statements artistic industries are worth $112 billion a yr and employ 600,000 people today. The benefit determine is dependent on a 2018 paper from the Section of Communications, but that range is dominated by structure, which mostly relates to IT:

Design is the premier domain … growth is pushed primarily by laptop or computer method layout and linked providers. Workplaces have amplified their use of facts technological know-how in their procedures which have then expected common upgrades and enhancements in excess of the previous ten years.

Consider layout out of the “creative industries” and it’s really worth — on those people outdated figures, all-around $70 billion a yr.

As for the 600,000 people today, most of all those do not function in the arts sector, but in producing, IT and other places. Genuine innovative and undertaking arts work is close to 45,000 to 50,000, in accordance to Stomach muscles information, moreover a different odd 40,000 for heritage things to do.

But even on these far more distinct figures, the government’s package deal does not volume to a great deal: .35% of once-a-year sector worth. And if we dismiss the 600,000 jobs figure — which would sum to just more than $400 for just about every worker in the sector — and use the Abdominal muscles determine, items never strengthen. The sum of $250 million equates to all over $3000 for each individual employee in the sector, or about 4 weeks’ truly worth of Jobkeeper payments.

In limited, it’s a token hard work for a field that, particularly in the doing and heritage sub-sectors, has been just about completely shut down due to the fact March.

It does appear on top rated of point out government package: the NSW government introduced a $50 million deal in Might Victoria a $17 million bundle Queensland $11 million, plus a further $1.5m every single in South Australia, Tasmania and Western Australia respectively. Totalled up, that usually means about $330 million in federal and state support, or close to 50 % a for every cent and $3900 per employee.

It is token in the similar way that the recent $700 million design sector aid deal was token: also minimal funding spread across far too large an business with too many workers.

At least the arts sub-sector can appear forward to the reopening of the economic system and the removing of the lockdown constraints that merely eliminated the cash flow of tens of thousands of people today — outside Victoria, that is. That is about the only hope for the sector — it definitely will not be finding anything else.

What can the authorities do to help you save the arts? Let us know your feelings by creating to [email protected]. Please include your complete identify to be considered for publication in Crikey’s Your Say area.

Peter Fray

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Conserve up to 50% on a year of Crikey, or, dig deeper so that we can dig deeper.

Crikey may perhaps be tiny but our aim has always been to concentration on the why, not the what of public lifestyle — to clarify how ability is utilised and abused in Australia, and the techniques and men and women who facilitate it.

But to do that correctly, we want subscribers. Loads of them.

Be part of Crikey now, and for the very first time ever, opt for what you spend.

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Emergency services perform a vertical rescue at Biala wind farm | Goulburn Post

news, local-news, news, Biala, wind farm, accident, fire and rescue, anbulance

6:45pm The man is currently on road via ambulance to Canberra Hospital. He is believed to be in a stable condition. 5:00pm Emergency services are on the scene after a man fell into a wind tower at Biala wind farm on Grabben Gullen Road. The 50-year-old man fell 10 metres down at around 4pm today. Police, Ambulance and Fire and Rescue are on scene with a rescue helicopter on its way. Police Rescue crews are currently performing a vertical rescue. The man is believed to have shoulder and leg injuries. The operation is ongoing. More to come. READ ALSO: Biala wind farm components travel Goulburn to Crookwell Road Despite challenges police academy graduates are ready to hit the streets | VIDEO No Steampunk, but a Maker’s and Invention Market instead Did you know the Goulburn Post is now offering breaking news alerts and a weekly email newsletter? Keep up-to-date with all the local news: sign up below.


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Animal rescue work hit hard by coronavirus restrictions

Thousands of animals are saved from regional pounds every year but that rescue work has been hindered by the coronavirus pandemic.

Carey Edwards from the Australian Working Dog Rescue Initiative said the organisation’s revenue has dropped by more than half.

“There has been a huge impact on donations, of course, because everyone needs their money to survive,” he said.

Annual events where the organisation raised funds and awareness have all been scrapped.

“That’s all gone, as is all the royal shows we do — they’re all cancelled,” he said.

Orange coloured stumpy tail cattle dog pup looks back through a chicken wire fence
This cattle dog pup, Jindi, was rescued from a regional pound this year.(ABC News: Rachel Carbonell)

Fears that more dogs are being put down

The biggest problem has been getting to country pounds to save animals.

Codirector of the organisation, Di Edwards, said regular commercial transport options have been very limited.

Carey Edwards with one of his rescue kelpies resting on his shoulders
Carey Edwards says coronavirus is making it much harder to rescue dogs.(Supplied: Carey Edwards)

“So we’ve had to get volunteers to drive their own vehicles up to these pounds, which are thousands of kilometres away from anywhere central,” she said.

Ms Edwards worried that more dogs were being put down than might normally be saved.

However, there have been other rescue groups still managing to do regional pound runs.

“We have contracts with various rural pounds throughout Victoria and New South Wales and we have transport runs that go up there regularly,” Ms Edwards said.

Kirstie Scicluna wears a pink Pets Haven tshirt and holds a small grey kitten close to her face to inspect it
Kirstie Scicluna from Pets Haven says the organisation is rehoming as many animals as it always has despite the coronavirus challenges.(ABC News: Rachel Carbonell)

Shortages of volunteers, along with social distancing restrictions, have made everything harder.

“It is very difficult when you have animals involved and you’ve got to pass animals to other people,” Ms Edwards said.

Shelters that normally allowed people to drop-in and see animals now required visitors to make appointments.

Pet adoptions in hot demand

At the same time, interest in adopting animals has been greater than ever because of the number of people working from home during the pandemic.

“Once a puppy goes up on our social media page, within 15 minutes we’re getting 100-plus phone calls.”

Vet nurse Jordan Ellard from Pets Have smiles widely holding a honey coloured puppy
Jordan Ellard says so many people want to adopt pets at the moment that it is difficult to get in first.(ABC News: Rachel Carbonell)

That has meant getting in first to adopt a pet has been harder than normal.

And Pets Haven vet nurse, Jordan Ellard, said some people’s frustrations have been spilling over.

“I have had people abuse me and be rude just because they have tried to call several times” she said.

“I do try to explain to them that I’m really busy I’m getting a lot of calls at the same time.”

‘Do your homework’

The RSPCA has been experiencing the same challenges as other animal rescue organisations.

RSPCA Victoria head of operations Tegan McPherson holds a scruffy little black dog ready for a new home
Tegan McPherson says the pandemic has sparked an increased interest in pet adoption.(ABC News: Rachel Carbonell)

But head of operations at RSPCA Victoria, Tegan McPherson, said the increase in demand to adopt pets has been welcome.

“Animals that might have waited a bit longer to find the right home seem to be finding homes a lot more quickly.”

Ms McPherson’s advice to people who were keen to adopt a companion animal was to be patient and be careful.

Six week old cattle dog blend puppy stares into the distance
This pup is one of a litter born in care to a dog saved from a regional pound.(ABC News: Rachel Carbonell)

“It’s really important to do your homework and make sure the animal welfare organisation or rescue group is reputable,” she said.

From pound puppy to working dog

The last dog to be adopted from the Australian Working Dog Rescue Initiative was Harry, a fox-terrier-kelpie cross.

His adoption was a foster fail, which occurred when a foster carer could not part with an animal when it came time for adoption.

Di Edwards holds her rescue puppy Kelpie cross Harry in her arms
Di Edwards had planned to find a home for Harry but in the end she could not part with him.(ABC News: Rachel Carbonell)

Only in this case it was Ms Edwards who could not bear to say goodbye to Harry.

“Oh he just made us laugh,” she said.

Harry was now one of a gang of seven dogs that Mr and Ms Edwards have not been able to part with over the years.

All of which are now trained in herding and agility, and have been spending their lives showing the world just what abandoned working dogs could be capable of if given some love and a second chance.

Brown and tan kelpie pup lies on couch and looks at camera
Harry is one of many dogs saved from a regional pound by the Australian Working Dog Rescue Initiative.(Supplied: Di Edwards)

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Helicopter rescue team kept busy as Tasmanians go bush after coronavirus bans eased

People heading into Tasmania’s remote areas following the lifting of coronavirus measures have been told to be better prepared, after a weekend of rescues.

On Saturday, a 33-year-old man hiking on a track near Queenstown, in the state’s west, lost his mobile phone containing his maps.

In a statement, police said an EPIRB signal was detected from the area and the Westpac Emergency Rescue Helicopter was dispatched.

“The male was located and extracted from the area by the helicopter … [he] was not injured and was transported to Hobart.”

On the same day, police said they received a call “from a concerned relative” about a group of four adult bushwalkers who had planned to venture into the Leven Canyon area, in Tasmania’s north-west.

“A search and rescue team was mobilised, but the lost walkers emerged prior to the team’s deployment,” police said.

The group had intended to walk part of the Penguin to Cradle Trail, police said, but added the party had “no warm clothing, wet weather gear, or food and were ill-equipped for an extended walk and/or an overnight walk”. 

On Sunday, the rescue helicopter was involved in two incidents in the space of two hours.(Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service Tasmania Website)

The helicopter was also involved in an incident involving a 75-year-old man who police said sustained non-life-threatening injuries in a quad bike rollover while riding in bushland at Bridgenorth, near Launceston, on Saturday.

The helicopter was dispatched but was “unable to access the man due to the thick vegetation,” police said.

The man was transported by ambulance to the Launceston General Hospital with a suspected broken pelvis.

On Sunday at 1:00pm, the helicopter was dispatched during the medical evacuation of a 64-year-old female walker with a suspected broken leg in the Mount Direction Conservation Area, at Risdon, north-east of Hobart.

Two hours later, the helicopter assisted with a medical evacuation of a 63-year-old female walker with a broken leg from a walking track at Legacy Beach, in the Coningham Nature Recreation Area, south of Hobart. 

Police said both were “expected to make a full recovery”.

On Friday afternoon, restrictions on a number of activities were set aside, with Tasmanians allowed to travel freely around the state, with national parks and reserves open to all — an easing on the rule for people to only visit those within 30 kilometres of their place of residence.

On Sunday, police pleaded with members of the public to use common sense if exercising their right to go bush again.

“It is also recommended that bushwalkers advise family and/or friends of the location of their intended walks, estimated time of arrival and abide by any directions from Parks and Wildlife.”

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Police rescue two people off Illawarra beach as search continues for missing man and child after boat capsizes

NSW police are searching for a missing man and child thrown into the ocean after their boat capsized in the Illawarra region on Saturday night.

Wollongong Chief Inspector Darren Brown said police received a call that people were in the water off Bulli Beach on Saturday.

A police helicopter and three rescue boats searched the waters and found an upturned vessel.

“During that search, they located two persons in the water, alive, but very cold and exposed to the elements,” Chief Inspector Brown said.

“They recovered those people and brought them to shore.”

He said two men in their 30s were taken to hospital for treatment.

Police began searching the waters off Bulli Beach after reports people were in the water.(ABC News: Emily Laurence)

Chief Inspector Brown said conditions on Saturday night were not ideal.

“We’ve had big seas at the moment, but I’d say it’s hazardous and dark and there’s waves out there,” he said.

“Plus it’s a point with reef and the area we’re searching at the moment has got a lot of reef.”

The area is known to local surfers as Peggy’s, with the rocky reef also popular for fishing.

Police say the upturned boat was estimated to be between 4 to 5 metres in length, but they have been unable to find out why

Police Helicopter, water police, Marine Rescue NSW and a surf lifesaving boat have been involved in the search.

Chief Inspector Brown said the rescuers would continue the search as long as possible on Saturday night and would resume in the morning if they could not find the missing people.

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