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Funding support for suicide prevention

Funding support for suicide prevention

10 July 2020

Over 10,000 volunteer gatekeepers will be trained in suicide prevention to support high-risk populations, industries and communities across NSW. 
 

a counsellor providing mental health support to a patient

The NSW Government will invest $2.8 million in community gatekeeper training over the next three years to deliver the first initiative of the Premier's PrioritiesTowards zero suicides

The gatekeepers will learn how to recognise the signs if someone is at risk of suicide. They will help communities, workers, friends and families to stay safe and seek support.

The initiative will partner with 13 organisations across NSW to deliver gatekeeper training. 

The gatekeepers will be trained with other volunteers to support:

  • construction workers
  • first responders
  • indigenous communities
  • family lawyers
  • men aged between 18 and 35 years
  • veterinarians
  • LGBTIQ communities.

Over half of the 10,000 gatekeepers will locate to regional and rural NSW to provide care.   

Minister for Mental Health Bronnie Taylor said the NSW Government was pleased to deliver the first Towards zero suicides initiative.

“We know that over 40% of people who die by suicide have not reached out for professional support, so having gatekeepers throughout the community trained to help and support people in a crisis is critical in saving lives.”

Learn more about the community gatekeeper training


If you, or someone you know, is thinking about suicide or experiencing a personal crisis or distress, please seek help immediately by calling 000 or one of the following services:

Family & Community Services

Quarantine limits for overseas arrivals in NSW

Quarantine limits for overseas arrivals in NSW

8 July 2020

Overseas quarantine arrivals to Sydney will be capped at 450 passengers each day under new limits by the Australian Government. 
 

A female walking with a suitcase at a airport

The new limitations will help ensure hotel quarantining continues to be effective in limiting any further spread of COVID-19.

A cap of 450 passengers will be able to land in NSW each day, including a maximum of 50 passengers on each flight.

Guests in quarantine will now need to complete a swab test of day 2 and day 10 of their stay. This will help minimise any further spread of COVID-19.

Hotel quarantining has been operating since 29 March 2020 with support from NSW Police, NSW Health and the Australian Defence Force.

Minister for Police and Emergency Services David Elliott said NSW has invested significant resources in delivering a system which has worked to safeguard NSW residents.

“NSW Police, NSW Health and the Australian Defence Force have worked together to ensure effective hotel quarantining and the Australian Government has heard the NSW message that we need to ensure the system is sustainable,” Minister Elliott said.

Stay up to date with the latest updates on COVID-19.  

Living in NSW

NSW and Victorian border closures

NSW and Victorian border closures

8 July 2020

From Wednesday 8 July 2020, strict penalties will be in place for anyone who breaches the new rules on the temporary NSW and Victorian border closures.
 

Image of an electric road closure sign

New measures will be in place to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

Temporary border restrictions now include:

  • road closures between the NSW and Victorian border
  • aircrafts travelling from Victoria and arriving into NSW airports will be met by police and health staff
  • NSW residents returning home from Victoria must self-isolate for 14 days. 

Anyone who fails to comply with the rules could face up to six months prison, a fine of $11,000, or both. 

There will be limited exemptions for people allowed to cross the border. This includes: 

  • critical service providers including agriculture and mining workers
  • emergency services workers
  • people requiring medical treatment
  • children attending boarding school
  • people needing to meet legal obligations.

Anyone who needs to enter NSW must apply for a permit from Service NSW.

A new on-the-spot fine of $4000 will apply for any inaccurate information provided in the permit application process. 

Those allowed to enter NSW will need to comply with any conditions of an entry permit including self-isolation.

Health Minister Brad Hazzard said the NSW Government has moved quickly to implement the border closure following the concerning community spread of COVID-19 in Melbourne.

“There are around 55 border crossings between NSW and Victoria so closing the border is a mammoth task – but it is the right step to take in order to protect the health and jobs of NSW residents,” Mr Hazzard said.

Learn more about the NSW border restrictions

Living in NSW

Your guide to border restrictions

Your guide to border restrictions

What you need to know about the NSW border restrictions, applying for an entry permit, and when you need to self-isolate if you enter NSW from Victoria.

On this page

NSW-Victorian border closure

NSW has temporarily shut its border with Victoria to contain the spread of COVID-19 and to protect the health and jobs of NSW citizens.

The arrangements will remain in force until it becomes safe to ease the restrictions. 

Border community residents will be allowed to travel from Victoria to NSW multiple times by applying for and obtaining a NSW border entry permit.

NSW border entry permit

Who can apply

Anyone seeking to enter NSW may apply for a NSW border entry permit.

Permits are required for you to cross the border from Victoria to NSW so you can

  • reach a destination in NSW
  • return to NSW from Victoria, or
  • make your way to another state or territory.

The permit applies to all borders: land, air and sea, as well as river crossings.

Before applying for a permit, you must check Victoria's current restriction levels including restricted postcodes and follow the travel advice.

If a permit is granted, you must comply with the conditions of the permit and any other requirements of the public health order.

If you are required to self-isolate, the self-isolation period commences from the time you entered NSW.

General

Under the Public Health (COVID-19 Border Control) Order 2020, anyone who has been in Victoria in the past 14 days must not enter NSW unless:

  • they hold a current entry permit 
  • they are authorised to enter under the order.

Who can enter

Permit requirements

Conditions 

NSW resident 

Permit required

You must self-isolate for 14 days immediately after entering NSW

Person providing a critical service

Permit required

As specified on the permit
Freight and transport Permit required

Permits for the freight and transport industry will be made available on the Service NSW website. 

Must have a COVID-19 Safety Plan

Not required to self-isolate when crossing the border for work purposes

Person providing an emergency or law enforcement service

Permit not required

Documentation/proof required
Member of Parliament or staff member

Permit required

As specified on the permit
Consular official Permit required As specified on the permit
Person avoiding injury or harm Permit not required None

Border community resident

Permit required for each person, including children

You must self-isolate for 14 days immediately after entering NSW if you have travelled within Victoria outside a border community

You may travel within a border community in which you reside

Relevant education visitor (e.g. children going to boarding school (and their accompanying parents), university students going to university or a staff member at a boarding school or university entering New South Wales for the purpose of working at the school)

Permit required for each person, including children

As specified on the permit

Person entering for child access and care arrangements

Permit required 

You must self-isolate for 14 days immediately after entering NSW

Other conditions as specified on the permit

Person entering for medical or hospital services Permit not required Documentation/proof required
Interstate resident transiting through NSW

Permit required

You must leave NSW by the most practicable direct route

Other conditions as specified on the permit

Seasonal worker 

Permit required

You must self-isolate for 14 days immediately after entering NSW

Other conditions as specified on the permit

Person entering for compassionate grounds

Permit required

As specified on the permit

Person entering to attend court or to meet other legal obligations 

Permit not required

Documentation/proof required

  • Movement of freight or persons on a commercial basis
  • Maintenance and repair of critical infrastructure
  • Medical or hospital care
  • Law enforcement
  • Commonwealth defence and security services
  • Mining, agriculture, construction, energy or manufacturing

Once you arrive in your place of residence or suitable accommodation, you must remain in that place for 14 days since you entered NSW.

During the 14-day period, you must not leave the residence or place except:

  • to obtain medical care or medical supplies
  • to comply with a legal obligation (such as a court order)
  • in an emergency
  • to provide an essential service
  • to leave NSW by a direct route.

If you leave the residence or place for any of these reasons, you must take all reasonable steps to minimise contact with other people.

You will be required to comply with the NSW Health Self-Isolation Guidelines.

No other person can enter the residence or place except if the other person:

  • usually lives there or is complying with a direction under the public health order
  • is providing medical care or an emergency service
  • is delivering food or essential items.

The NSW Government will continue to review the arrangements on the border to prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

The Order applies to all people who have been in Victoria in the last 14 days.

You can take a rest stop, including an overnight stop to break up your transit.

Continue to practise physical distancing and good hygiene and check to see if you need a permit.

Border towns

A border community is one that a reasonable person would consider a community located at or near the border.

A border community resident is anyone who is a resident of a NSW-Victorian border community and has reasonable cause to cross the border for work, school or daily life.

If the person is a Victorian resident, they may not stay in NSW any longer than necessary to conduct their work, education or daily transactions for goods and services.

Yes. However, border permits are not required for certain purposes including:

  • anyone entering NSW for medical or hospital services
  • anyone providing emergency or law enforcement services 
  • anyone attending court or meeting other legal obligations 
  • anyone entering NSW to avoid injury or harm such as family or domestic violence cases.

There are no restrictions on travelling within NSW for residents. However, if you are in a border town, we strongly encourage you to limit your travel outside of your region.

Continue to practise physical distancing, maintain good hygiene, and stay at home if you experience symptoms.

You will need a permit for when you return from Victoria back into NSW. If you have any further questions, the COVID-19 hotline is available with advice and support. It’s operating 24/7 on 13 77 88.

Public transport

Yes. The NSW-operated XPT service from Sydney to Melbourne will not operate for the duration of the border control period. V/Line services originating in Melbourne will turn around at the border. 

Permits

Apply online via Service NSW website.

  • Anyone entering NSW for medical or hospital services
  • Anyone providing emergency or law enforcement services 
  • Anyone attending court or meeting other legal obligations 
  • Anyone entering NSW to avoid injury or harm such as family or domestic violence cases

You may be asked for details of how you fall into a particular category and, where possible, you should have a documentary evidence, such as details of a court case or a letter from your doctor or hospital.

Less than 10 minutes.

Your permit will indicate if you need to self-isolate for 14 days, get tested for COVID-19 or any other conditions. Check your eligibility

You are eligible to apply for a NSW border entry permit if you are carrying out child access and care arrangements.

Your permit will specify how long it lasts for. 

Working/studying across the border

Yes. The order only deals with people entering NSW, not people leaving NSW to Victoria. 

Victorian residents who travel to NSW to perform critical services will need a permit and will have to comply with any conditions on the permit.

Yes, the agriculture industry is a critical service.  Persons who have been in Victoria in the last 14 days can enter NSW if they are providing a critical service and obtain a permit. You must comply with any conditions in the permit. 

Yes, freight will continue to move freely across the border, including the transportation of livestock. Drivers of freight vehicles will need a permit.

Health across the border

You’ll need a border entry permit to travel from Victoria to NSW, unless you're entering NSW for medical or hospital services and other reasons.

Cross-border holidays and recreation across the border

Provided you do not leave your car, transiting through Victoria is okay. You will still need a permit to enter NSW.

If you are a Victorian resident currently in NSW it is okay to stay.

If possible, stay in camps on the NSW side of the border if you are a NSW resident. If this is not possible, you'll have to self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival in NSW from Victoria. 

Moving house

The Public Health Order does not contain exemptions to the border closure for people moving residence. Contact 13 77 88 to discuss your situation with the COVID-19 hotline.

Penalties

If a person breaches the public health order, including by failing to provide relevant information, or falsifying information, to an enforcement officer, they could receive a maximum penalty of imprisonment for 6 months or a fine of up to $11,000 (or both).

They could also incur a further $5,500 fine each day the offence continues.

Corporations that fail to comply with a direction are liable to a fine of $55,000 and a $27,500 fine each day the offence continues.

Last updated: 9 July 2020

Virus hotspot protections introduced as COVID-19 restrictions ease

Virus hotspot protections introduced as COVID-19 restrictions ease

1 July 2020

New rules to come into effect for interstate visitors from COVID-19 hotspots, entertainment venues, weddings, and community sports.

Aerial view of cross road

Rules for COVID-19 hotspots

New NSW public health orders will see people in interstate virus hotspots face penalties from Thursday 2 July 2020 if they enter NSW.

Anyone who has been in a hotspot area in the past 14 days, including NSW residents, will be subject to a stay at home direction for two weeks.

Health Minister Brad Hazzard said, “Victorians living in virus hotspots have to take the Victorian and NSW health orders seriously and should be very aware that NSW will impose penalties if they seek to leave hotspot suburbs to enter NSW,” Mr Hazzard said.

Individuals who fail to comply with the new rules could face up to six months in prison, a fine of up to $11,000, or both.

Restrictions eased from 1 July

From Wednesday 1 July 2020, the following COVID-19 restrictions will ease.

  • The number of people allowed inside indoor venues, including function centres, will be determined by the one person per 4 square metre rule, with no upper limit.
  • Community sport can recommence for adults and children.
  • Cultural and sporting events at large stadiums, racecourses and motor racing tracks will be allowed up to 25% of their normal seated capacity, to a maximum of 10,000. These events must be ticketed, seated and follow strict guidelines
  • Alcohol can still be served to seated patrons only, including at conference and function venues.
  • Cinemas, theatres and concert halls can reopen subject to the one person per 4 square metre rule.

Restrictions on gatherings remain at

  • 20 guests inside a home
  • 20 people gathering in a public place.

Under the new rules, businesses must have a COVID Safety Plan consistent with NSW Health guidelines.

Learn more about what you can and can't do under the rules

Living in NSW

Code of practice to improve greyhound welfare and care

Code of practice to improve greyhound welfare and care

30 June 2020

From 1 January 2021, a new code of practice will be in place to improve the care and welfare of every single racing greyhound in NSW.

 

A greyhound sitting on a blanket

The NSW Greyhound Welfare Code of Practice will set out expectations for animal welfare in the greyhound industry.

This includes standards for:

  • the keeping, treatment, handling and care of greyhounds
  • the facilities, equipment and conditions at premises where greyhounds are kept, trialled, trained and raced
  • the procedures and practices to be adopted for keeping, trialling, training and racing greyhounds.

The code has been developed by the Greyhound Welfare & Integrity Commission. It includes feedback from Greyhound Racing NSW, the Greyhound Breeders Owners & Trainers’ Association, the NSW Greyhound Industry Animal Welfare Committee, the RSCPA, the NSW Department of Primary Industries and a period of public consultation.

Minister for Better Regulation, Kevin Anderson said this is a significant turning point for NSW’s greyhound racing industry.

“As a result of the code, NSW will now be leading Australia, if not the world, in providing standards for the protection of greyhounds that reflect public expectations,” Mr Anderson said.

Public and industry stakeholders will have the opportunity to have their say on how the Greyhound Racing Act 2017 is working during a public consultation between 8 July to 26 August 2020.

Find out more about the Greyhound Welfare Code of Practice

Sport & Recreation

Largest land purchase for NSW national park

Largest land purchase for NSW national park

30 June 2020

Situated in far north-west NSW, Narriearra Station is the largest purchase of private land for a national park in the state’s history.

 

Aerial view of Narriearra Station NSW

The purchase of the 153,415-hectare Narriearra Station for a new national park will help protect threatened species, important habitats and wetlands.

Narriearra Station stretches across the outback Channel Country and includes part of the Bulloo River floodplain, ephemeral wetlands and landscapes currently not found anywhere in NSW national parks.

More than 25 threatened species live in Narriearra Station, including nearly 90% of NSW’s critical habitat and breeding areas for the nationally endangered Grey Grasswren.

The purchase of the land also secures a key section of a nationally important wetland – the Caryapundy Swamp. The wetland can host tens of thousands of waterbirds, including pelicans, straw-necked ibis, egrets and whiskered terns during inland flood events.

Environment Minister Matt Kean has invited the Tibooburra Local Aboriginal Land Council to suggest a name for the new national park.

“Narriearra along with the nearby Sturt National Park, will create a vast near-contiguous conservation area of almost half a million hectares, or twice the size of the ACT,” Mr Kean said.

“Adjoining the Pindera Downs Aboriginal Area, Narriearra contains many significant and valuable stone artefacts, tools and stone arrangements.”

Find out more about the national parks in NSW.

Environment

Funding to improve preschool access

Funding to improve preschool access

29 June 2020

Families across NSW will have better access to community preschools with additional funding to increase enrolment capacity.
 

A child learning with wooden block letters at a preschool

The NSW Government will fund $10 million to support the creation of additional enrolments as part of the Start Strong Capital Works Grants for preschools. 

Eligible non-for-profit organisations can apply for funding to build, renovate or extend their preschool facilities to support the additional intake of enrolments. 

Organisations can also apply to purchase a vehicle for a mobile preschool.

Applications for community and mobile preschools operating in areas of demand will be prioritised. 

Minister for Education and Early Childhood Learning Sarah Mitchell said the NSW Government understands that preschool is incredibly important to a child’s development.

“This funding will ensure even more children in NSW have access to 600 hours of quality early childhood education in the year before school, giving them the social, cognitive and emotional skills to transition to school as well as benefiting them in the longer term,” Ms Mitchell said.

Applications are available online and must be submitted by Sunday 23 August 2020. 

Learn more about the Start Strong Capital Works Grants.
 

Education

Financial support for paying and resolving fines

Financial support for paying and resolving fines

25 June 2020

Changes to the NSW fines system will support vulnerable people experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19.

 

Warringah freeway during peak hour traffic

From Wednesday 1 July 2020, the NSW Government will introduce a 50% fine reduction for people facing financial hardship.

To be eligible, people must:

  • be on government benefits at the time of fine issuing
  • apply for a fine reduction through Revenue NSW before the fine is overdue.

Any penalties including suspension, cancellation, disqualification or loss of demerit points on a driver licence will still apply. 

The 50% fine reduction will not apply to:

  • fines issued by a court (including a penalty that originated as a penalty notice prior being dealt with by a court)
  • voting related fines
  • jury duty relates fines
  • fines issued to a body corporate.

People who hold a fine will also be able to pay by instalments and request more time for their fine to be reviewed.

Attorney General Mark Speakman said there are many people in NSW doing it tough due to the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic.

“These reforms will strike the right balance, ensuring we hold people to account for breaking the rules and endangering our roads, but without placing undue burdens on disadvantaged members of our community,” Mr Speakman said.

Find out more information on the NSW Revenue website. 

Police & Justice

Online hub to support HSC students

Online hub to support HSC students

24 June 2020

The new online HSC Hub will provide students with access to online lessons, practice exams, support material and demonstrations.

 

A teenage boy studying in his bedroom

The HSC Hub will have a range of curriculum and support materials available online for students. This will include new material from NSW Education, as well as existing resources.

The HSC Hub will also provide centralised support for students, providing them with a quick and easy point of reference for HSC related questions.

HSC students will be able to access the online platform from Week 10 of Term 2, just before the start of the NSW school holidays.

During the school holidays, a range of high-quality, on-demand support modules will be made available to students.

NSW Education will ensure that all HSC students have access to the hub, so no student is disadvantaged. This will include supplying some students with devices and dongles or allowing students in remote areas access to school facilities to get them online.
 
Minister for Education and Early Childhood Learning Sarah Mitchell said HSC students across the state receive incredible support from their schools and teachers.
 
“We have asked our teachers and principals what else they need to support their HSC students and one of the results is this new hub,” Ms Mitchell said. 

Find out more about the online HSC Hub

Education
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