Ten new paramedics for Townsville to boost COVID-19 frontline response

Source: Government of Queensland

The fight against COVID-19 continues with additional Queensland Ambulance Service (QAS) officers fast-tracked into Queensland communities to assist in the pandemic response.

Member for Thuringowa Aaron Harper said Townsville locals can be reassured the Palaszczuk Government is continuing to boost frontline resources to assist patients who’ve contracted the virus.

“Our healthcare workers are literally at the coal face of our fight against this pandemic,” Mr Harper said.

“Which is why we have already deployed an extra 10 paramedics in the Townsville region.”

Member for Mundingburra Coralee O’Rourke said six of the new paramedics will be stationed at Townsville, three at Charters Towers and one at Ayr.

“Unfortunately, we know the number of cases will continue to rise over the coming weeks which is why we’ve fast-tracking paramedic training, to get extra sets of hands into Queensland communities.”

Member for Townsville Scott Stewart said our ambulance officers are playing a big role in identifying potential COVID-19 cases and getting patients to facilities where they can be tested, and isolated and treated as required.

“By adding extra staff to the workforce we are ensuring we have the capacity in the health system to support Queenslanders should they need it.”

Minister for Health and Minister for Ambulance Services Steven Miles said an additional 60 new graduates will begin training later this month.

“The graduates will be deployed within three weeks of their induction to assist with the pandemic response across the State.

“The Majority will be placed in the South East corner of the state depending on where the demand is.”

QAS Triple Zero (000) Operations Centres will also get a boost, with an additional 15 Emergency Medical Dispatchers to begin training on 27 April 2020.

QAS Commissioner Russell Bowles said planning for an expected surge in workload had been ongoing since January.

“We’re well versed at preparing for and responding to major events and while this pandemic is something new we’re confident we have the plans in place to meet community demand,” Commissioner Bowles said.


Appointments to the Board of Taxation

Source: Australia Government Ministerial Statements

The Morrison Government has appointed Ms Rosheen Garnon as part-time Chair, and Mr Christopher Vanderkley as a part-time Member of the Board of Taxation for a three-year period from 25 March 2020.

The Board of Taxation is a non-statutory advisory body charged with improving the design of taxation laws and their operation by bringing together business and broader community perspectives.

Ms Garnon is an existing member of the Board. She brings a deep understanding of the business community and tax law from her roles on several boards and over 30 years’ experience in taxation, including as National Managing Partner for KPMG Australia’s Taxation Division and a member of the National Executive Committee of KPMG from 2009-2015.

Mr Chris Vanderkley has strong business taxation experience, with over 30 years’ corporate tax experience in the financial services sector. He held senior positions at GE Capital Asia Pacific, including as Chief Financial Officer, and is currently Special Counsel at PwC leading their tax transparency and tax governance practice.

The Government thanks Dr Julianne Jaques for her strong leadership of the Board’s work, as Acting Chair, after the sudden and sad passing of the late Michael Andrew AO.

Bioavailability, bioequivalence and biowaiver data summary forms

Source: Australian Department of Health

Summary of a bioavailability or bioequivalence study

This form should be used by prescription medicine, over-the-counter and registered complementary medicines sponsors to submit a summary of a bioavailability or bioequivalence study.

How to access a pdf or Word document

An alternative Bioequivalence Study Information Form is available to summarise each bioequivalence study. For more information, see Bioequivalence data summary templates below.

Bioequivalence data summary templates

The optional bioequivalence data summary templates are designed to help you prepare a submission for a new generic prescription medicine and ensure all the necessary information is provided at the time of application.

The templates are equivalent to similar templates used by comparable overseas regulators and our international collaborators in international regulatory forums.

Bioequivalence study summary template

This form could be used when you are submitting bioequivalence study data.

For guidance on completing this template, see Completing the Bioequivalence Study Information Form.

Biowaiver templates

Additional strength biowaiver template

This template could be used when bioequivalence study data has not been generated for all strength products and you are required to submit biowaiver data for these products.

Note: the additional strength biowaiver template currently is designed for systemically active immediate release oral dosage form.

Biopharmaceutics Classification System (BCS)-based biowaiver template

This template could be used when you are submitting BCS-based biowaiver data for all proposed strength products.

For guidance on completing the biowaiver templates, see Completing the biowaiver templates.

If you have any enquiry about templates, direct your queries to pcsinbox@health.gov.au.

Find out what you need to know at the Business Recovery website

Source: Australia – Northern Territory Government

The Northern Territory Government is delivering a $120 million Jobs Rescue and Recovery plan to help keep Territorians in jobs during this difficult time.

There is now a Business Recovery website where Territorians can go for information about the support available for businesses, contractors, home owners and community organisations.

Tradies and contractors can register now at the Business Recovery website to provide works through the Home Improvement Scheme, Business Improvement Grants and Immediate Work Grants.

The programs are part of the Job Rescue and Recovery plan designed to keep business open, cash flowing and Territorians working. To get involved tradies and contractors must register their details online.

Once tradies and contractors are registered they will be contacted by businesses, not-for-profits and homeowners when applications for the programs open.

Find out more here: businessrecovery.nt.gov.au

Securing Vital Air Freight Access

Source: State of Tasmania Government

Premier of Tasmania – Securing Vital Air Freight Access

1 April 2020

Jeremy Rockliff, Minister for Trade

The Tasmanian Government welcomes the new $110 million Commonwealth initiative which will support access to key export markets for Australia’s valuable agricultural and fisheries sector.

Tasmanian exports have been hammered in recent weeks due to the significant decrease in international passenger flights reducing overseas freight capacity, and that has impacted demand for our premium produce.

The International Freight Assistance Mechanism will help to facilitate the export of our high-quality produce, with return flights bringing back vital medical supplies, medicines and equipment.

In addition, the Commonwealth will inject an additional $49.8 million into the Export Market Development Grant (EMDG) scheme in the 2019-2020 financial year. This funding will assist to offset expenses incurred by Tasmanian exporters who have invested funds to grow new and existing overseas markets now impacted by the pandemic.

The Tasmanian Government remains committed to growing trade and support our businesses to build export capabilities where and when it can and it’s important we continue to do all we can to assist our high-value Tasmanian agriculture, horticulture and fisheries exporters get their produce onto international flights and into overseas markets.

Firefighters remove car from front of house in St Albans

Source: Government of Victoria 2

01 Apr 2020

Approximately 15 firefighters responded to a crash in St Albans on Wednesday morning.

An occupant of a house on Sunshine Avenue called Triple Zero (000) just before 8:40am to report a car had crashed into a building.

Firefighters arrived on scene in seven minutes to find a car had gone through the front door and window.

Specialist MFB firefighters from the heavy rescue unit worked to reinforce the wall to stop it collapsing further and to remove the car from the house.

Fortunately, nobody in the house or the car was injured.

No information available to download

Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve closed in response to COVID-19

Source: Australian Capital Territory – State Government

Released 01/04/2020

The Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve has been closed following a weekend of increased visitor numbers and their failure to comply with social distancing requirements.

Minister for the Environment and Heritage Mick Gentleman said it was disappointing to close Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve in response to people ignoring social distancing rules.

“This weekend over 500 people visited the Reserve and were confined to a reduced area as a result of January’s bushfires. We have now closed the park for the safety of the community as well as our Parks and Conservation personnel,” Minister Gentleman said.

“Following the social distancing requirements agreed by National Cabinet is vital to limiting the spread of COVID-19 in the ACT.

“Other ACT Parks and Conservation Service facilities including Tidbinbilla Visitor Information Centre, Namadgi Visitor Information Centre, campgrounds, playgrounds and cottages were also recently closed as part of our response to the current public health emergency.

“All public campsites are now closed, including Cotter Campground, Blue Range Campground, Northern Boarder Campground, Kowen Campground and all campsites in Namadgi National Park. All current bookings will be refunded.

“Playgrounds within the Parks and Conservation areas are also closed, including those at Tidbinbilla, Cotter Avenue, Casuarina Sands and Pine Island. These closures are consistent with approaches undertaken by all other jurisdictions across the country to slow the spread of COVID-19.

“I encourage everyone to respect the closures, think of others and maintain social distancing while using outdoor spaces. This means not congregating in groups larger than two, keeping 1.5 metres from others, avoiding peak usage periods and practicing good hand hygiene.

“Other parks and reserves across the ACT will remain open aside from Namadgi National Park, which remains closed for safety reasons following the Orroral Valley bushfire.

“Rangers will be monitoring to ensure people are using the spaces that remain open in accordance with government directions. If Canberrans continue to ignore the rules, we may need to close more parks and reserves.”

For more information on these closures or to find a park or reserve near you, visit: www.environment.act.gov.au

– Statement ends –

Section: Mick Gentleman, MLA | Media Releases

«ACT Government Media Releases | «Minister Media Releases

Jump online with ACT Libraries

Source: Australian Capital Territory – State Government

Released 01/04/2020

Canberrans are encouraged to take advantage of the various online resources and services provided by Libraries ACT while physical distancing measures are in place as a result of COVID-19.

Minister for City Services Chris Steel said that using the vast amount of online library resources was a great way for Canberrans to entertain themselves and their families during the period in which the community remains housebound.

“With all of us needing to remain at home during the COVID-19 pandemic, I encourage the community to log onto the Libraries ACT website and discover what is available for all ages,” Minister for City Services, Chris Steel said.

Libraries ACT has curated ‘At Home Brain and Boredom Busters’ section on their website to keep Canberrans reading and learning while ACT Libraries are physically closed.

“Now is a great time to discover ACT Libraries eResources including eBooks, eAudio, digital magazines, streaming movies and documentaries, downloadable and streaming music, literacy games and language learning.

“Story times presented by fantastic Libraries ACT team members have also moved online for children and families to enjoy.”

Libraries ACT is working on how to deliver other programs online which will be added to the website as they becomes available.

“Given the difficult decision we made last week closing all ACT Libraries, it is important to keep library services accessible to the community for recreation and learning at home,” Minister Steel said.

“Libraries ACT has also developed a new temporary measure allowing anyone in the Canberra community who is not already a library member to fast track their membership in joining Libraries ACT”.

To become a member, visit the register page of the Libraries ACT website and complete the membership form.

Members who have not visited a library branch for some time are also being reminded to ensure they visit the Libraries ACT website to update their details to use the library from home.

Members can update details online by using their membership number and password/PIN, or membership number and registered email.

– Statement ends –

Section: Chris Steel, MLA | Media Releases

«ACT Government Media Releases | «Minister Media Releases

Closing date extended for Landcare

Source: State of Tasmania Government

1 April 2020

Guy Barnett, Minister for Primary Industries and Water

Tasmanians will have more time to apply for the second round of the Landcare Action Grants Program with the deadline for applications extended until Thursday 30 April 2020.

The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting so many lives across the state and we fully understand that some people may not have had the opportunity to apply for a grant.

Extending the deadline will allow as many people as possible to apply for these grants, which play an important role in supporting enhanced land management practices.

The deadline extension will also apply to people who have already submitted a round 2 Landcare Action Grants Program application and may wish to review or revise their application.

People who have already submitted applications are NOT required to resubmit them, however, if they would like to review or revise their application, they can contact the Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association (TFGA) to discuss by email: landcare@tfga.com.au or phone: 03 6332 1800.

The Landcare Action Grants Program aims to improve landscape and riverine health, stability and resilience, and to improve land management practices to reduce erosion and sedimentation.

The $1.8 million Program has been created in partnership with the TFGA and Landcare Tasmania for landholders, community groups and individuals to deliver practical on-ground works for sustainable agriculture and river care activities.

Information about the Program including eligibility criteria and application and assessment processes are available through the TFGA at https://tfga.com.au/environment/bio-security/landcare

Stronger border controls imminent

Source: Government of Queensland Regions


Anyone who is not a Queensland resident or considered exempt from the restrictions will not be able to enter Queensland from 12.01am Friday, April 3, 2020.

And it’s important to note that people with an exemption must have a border pass prior to crossing the border.  

If they don’t have a border pass then they will be turned around

Freight transport services are exempt and will be allowed through without a border pass permit.

The restrictions will replace the current arrangements which enable people to cross the border provided they self-quarantine for 14 days. 

Additional barriers will be erected in the streets of Coolangatta to further enforce border controls.

Police Minister Mark Ryan said strengthening border crossings and reducing the number of people travelling to Queensland would assist in minimising the spread of the virus.

“Now is not the time to be travelling interstate unnecessarily,” Minister Ryan said.

“Unless you are a Queensland resident or have an exemption such as you work here or are required to travel for medical reasons, or are involved in freight transportation, you will be turned away.

“We are giving people plenty of warning about the stronger border controls that are being put in place.

“We are doing this in the interests of community safety.”

Since Queensland implemented border restrictions on Wednesday, 25 March, 19,760 vehicles have been intercepted and police have issued 1,451 quarantine orders to people crossing the border.

Commissioner Katarina Carroll said police were appreciative of the cooperation shown by the majority of motorists during the border crossing process.

“We know the border controls have caused some delays on the roads, however, we are very grateful for the majority of drivers who have been cooperative and followed police directions,” Commissioner Carroll said.

“The stronger measures will reduce the need for police to conduct follow-up quarantine checks for those who are directed to self-isolate when crossing the border.

“Importantly, penalties may apply to any non-Queensland resident without an exemption who enters the state.” 

For more information about border restrictions and exemptions visit: https://www.qld.gov.au/about/newsroom/queensland-border-restrictions.


Media contacts 

Minister Ryan’s Office: Ph: (07) 3035 8300

Police Media: Ph: (07) 3015 2444