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Written by: The Cowra Phoenix

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Have Your Say On Priorities For Women In NSW

The NSW Government is inviting women across the state to shape the direction and priorities of the next NSW Women’s Strategy, with public consultation opening today.

The NSW Women’s Strategy provides a policy framework to help improve the lives of women by addressing the structural issues that affect gender equality.

The NSW Government’s Women’s Economic Opportunities Review announced in February 2022 complements the development of the new NSW Women’s Strategy.

Public consultation is open to all women, and any individuals or organisations that work closely with women. Online public consultation is open from Tuesday, 24 May until 5pm Monday, 20 June.

To read more about the strategy or share your input, visit the Have Your Say website: haveyoursay.nsw.gov.au/nsw-womens-strategy-consultation

Planning For The Single-Use Plastics Ban

The ban on lightweight plastic bags will officially come into force from 1 June, in line with the first stage of the NSW Government’s single-use plastics ban. Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke said that consumer awareness and readiness are key to seeing the implementation of this ban going as smoothly as possible.

In addition to the lightweight plastic bag ban from 1 June, from November the NSW Government is banning:

  • single-use plastic straws, stirrers, cutlery, plates, bowls and cotton buds
  • expanded polystyrene food ware and cups
  • rinse-off personal care products containing plastic microbeads.

The NSW Government passed the Plastic Reduction and Circular Economy Act 2021 in November, and introduced the Plastics Action Plan last year.

To ensure small businesses are ready for the changes this year, the NSW Government engaged the National Retail Association (NRA) to deliver a comprehensive education campaign to more than 40,000 businesses across NSW.

The NRA is running a retailer education campaign, conducting store visits, and providing online webinars and resources to help businesses make the transition away from problematic single-use plastics.

The NRA has launched a free hotline 1800 844 946) to offer businesses, community organisations and consumers advice on the single-use plastic bans. For more information about the NSW plastics ban, visit http://www.dpie.nsw.gov.au/plastics-ban

Stay Safe This Winter, Get Your Flu Shot Now

NSW residents are being urged to book in for their flu vaccine without delay, with winter just a week away and hospitals already seeing a surge in influenza cases.

Health Minister Brad Hazzard said NSW hospitals are facing a triple threat with high numbers of COVID-19 cases, a surge in flu cases and staff furloughing due to illness.

Those considered to be at higher risk of severe illness from influenza are eligible for a free flu vaccine. This includes children from six months to under five years of age; Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from six months of age; people with serious health conditions, pregnant women, and people aged 65 and over.

All NSW residents are eligible for a free vaccine for the month of June as well.

NSW Health Secretary Susan Pearce said emergency departments across NSW are currently under significant pressure due to high numbers of COVID-19 cases and now a surge in flu cases, which is impacting the availability of staff.

If you are not sure if you should go to an emergency department, visit Healthdirect.gov.au or call Healthdirect for free on 1800 022 222 for fast, expert advice on what to do next. Healthdirect is a 24-hour telephone health advice line staffed by registered nurses. You can also get in touch with your GP for advice and support.

So far this year in NSW, there have been 14,812 reported flu cases and 3,349 people have presented to emergency departments with influenza-like illness.

We can help reduce the COVID-19 and flu risk to ourselves and others by:

  • Staying home if we’re unwell, taking a COVID-19 test straight away and selfisolating.
  • Wearing a mask indoors or wherever we can’t physically distance
  • Getting together outdoors or in large, well-ventilated spaces with open doors and windows
  • Practising good hygiene by washing or sanitising our hands often
  • Taking a rapid antigen test to test for COVID-19 before visiting vulnerable loved ones or going to large gatherings and events
  • Staying up to date with our vaccinations for both flu and COVID-19.

Adult Survivors of Child Abuse Support Group

The Adult Survivors of Child Abuse - Cowra Support Group meets on the 1st Friday of each month from 12:30 to 14:30 and is open to survivors of all communities. All details online via: recover.itmatters.com.au. Alternatively, call Pascale, the facilitator, on 0458 698 460. Thank you and take great care.

Helping Households With Energy Bills

Households experiencing difficulty paying their energy bills will be able to access up to $1,600 a year in help. Customers can see what they are eligible for by using the Service NSW Savings Finder at www.service.nsw.gov.au/campaign/savings-finder, by phoning 13 77 88 or visiting a Service NSW centre.

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