NZ can’t wait any longer for a trans-Tasman bubble

first_imgNZ can’t wait any longer for a trans-Tasman bubble The New Zealand National PartyNational is calling on the Government to open the trans-Tasman bubble with Australia to give our desperate tourism sector a much-needed boost and reunite Kiwis with family and friends across the ditch. /Public Release. This material comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here. Why?Well, unlike many news organisations, we have no sponsors, no corporate or ideological interests. We don’t put up a paywall – we believe in free access to information of public interest. Media ownership in Australia is one of the most concentrated in the world (Learn more). Since the trend of consolidation is and has historically been upward, fewer and fewer individuals or organizations control increasing shares of the mass media in our country. According to independent assessment, about 98% of the media sector is held by three conglomerates. This tendency is not only totally unacceptable, but also to a degree frightening). Learn more hereWe endeavour to provide the community with real-time access to true unfiltered news firsthand from primary sources. It is a bumpy road with all sorties of difficulties. We can only achieve this goal together. Our website is open to any citizen journalists and organizations who want to contribute, publish high-quality insights or send media releases to improve public access to impartial information. You and we have the right to know, learn, read, hear what and how we deem appropriate.Your support is greatly appreciated. All donations are kept completely private and confidential.Thank you in advance!Tags:Australia, Family, Government, New Zealand, New Zealand National Party, NZ, nzpol, tourismlast_img read more

Burlington to fight opioid epidemic as public health challenge

first_imgVermont Business Magazine The City of Burlington has established CommunityStat, which will attempt to reverse the opioid crisis by approaching it as a public health challenge that requires collaboration and coordination of efforts among all the community stakeholders engaged in responding to it. Mayor Miro Weinberger made the announcement today, along side Burlington Police Department (BPD) Chief Brandon del Pozo, new BPD Opioid Policy Coordinator Jackie Corbally, CommunityStat Co-Chair Jane Helmstetter, Vermont Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Harry Chen, Howard Center Chief Client Services Officer Catherine Simonson, Chittenden County Opioid Alliance Project Director Cathy Aikman, and United Way of Northern Vermont Executive Director Martha Maksym.The new, innovative, public health effort, they said, will bring an end to the opioid epidemic that has profoundly impacted residents of Burlington. CommunityStat will be coordinated by Corbally, who brings 30 years of experience engaging in a vast array of both practical and policy-oriented public health initiatives, and directed by Chief del Pozo and the Mayor. CommunityStat is one of four Action Teams working under the umbrella of the newly formed Chittenden County Opioid Alliance.Stakeholders include the Vermont Department of Health, University of Vermont Medical Center, Community Health Centers of Burlington, the State’s Attorney’s Office, State Attorney General, the Community Justice Center, Howard Center, United Way, Turning Point Center, Steps to End Domestic Violence, Champlain Housing Trust, Burlington Housing Authority, King Street Center, Outright Vermont, Spectrum Youth & Family Services, and many more.Many of these stakeholders participated in the City’s first CommunityStat meeting on November 10. The BPD held an initial stakeholder meeting in September of 2016 to explain the goal of and solicit input on CommunityStat, an adaptation of a tool for transparency and mutual accountability that has been shown to bring about meaningful progress in response to problems confronting municipalities such as crime, homelessness, domestic violence, and in this case, substance abuse.CommunityStat will adhere to the four traditional core principles of its model:Accurate and timely data and informationEffective tactics and strategiesRapid deployment of resourcesRelentless follow-up and assessmentCommunityStat will provide coordination of effort among the police, public health and safety professionals, and social service providers to more effectively reduce the impact of opioid addiction in Burlington.“On Chief del Pozo’s first day a little more than a year ago, I directed him to assess the Police Department and the City’s efforts to address the opioid challenge,” said Mayor Miro Weinberger. “Since that time we have dramatically increased foot patrols, deployed Noloaxone to all officers, and advocated strongly for treatment without delay in Chittenden County. Today, with the launching of CommunityStat, we have opened a major new front in our critical effort to address our most urgent public health challenge.”“If you follow the four principles of CommunityStat in good faith, you can’t help but see better outcomes,” said Burlington Police Chief Brandon del Pozo. “I’m excited by the widespread commitment so many of Burlington’s community partners have made to working together in a transparent and accountable way to help improve the lives of the people in the greatest state of need. I’m looking forward to the Police Department leading by example in our willingness to innovate and collaborate with our partners in response to this public health crisis.”“I am thrilled to work with the City and with our vast array of community partners as we develop an innovative approach to address the opioid epidemic,” said Jackie Corbally, Burlington Police Department Opioid Policy Coordinator. “I look forward maintaining our transparency and accountability as we coordinate our efforts to reduce the burden of an epidemic that affects all residents of Burlington.”“It has taken us a long time to get here, and I’m very heartened by the good questions that people came up with at our first CommunityStat meeting, and the difficult conversations that we were able to have around the table instead of out in the parking lot,” said Jane Helmstetter, CommunityStat Co-Chair and Vermont Agency of Human Services Field Director, Burlington District. “I’m excited to be here representing the Agency of Human Services in the Burlington District, and to be co-chair of this effort.”“I am pleased to see the City and so many agencies taking a leadership role to address a serious public health challenge in our community,” said Dr. Harry Chen, Commissioner of the Vermont Department of Health. “I am hopeful that this new, cooperative approach will yield positive results, and look forward to future CommunityStat meetings.”“We are excited and proud to be a partner in addressing this critical issue,” said Eileen Whalen, MHA, RN, President and COO of the University of Vermont Medical Center. “By working together and coordinating our resources, all of the agencies addressing opioid abuse and dependency can make a larger impact.”“Howard Center has a long history in this community as a treatment provider for those impacted by opioid addiction,” said Catherine Simonson, Howard Center Chief Client Services Officer. “We welcome the commitment of the City and other key community leaders to collectively focus our efforts toward a common agenda to address this serious public health crisis in our community.  Howard Center will be actively involved in the CommunityStat efforts as part of the Chittenden County Opioid Alliance.  We owe our citizens this collective effort.”“The Chittenden County Opioid Alliance is based on a collective impact approach where a variety of organizations that share a common agenda and goals join together to have a greater effect than they might have on their own,” said Cathy Aikman, Project Director for the Chittenden County Opioid Alliance. “CommunityStat is an important part of the Alliance, and we are looking forward to all of our collaborators working together to create a common data system to monitor key opioid measures across all partner organizations. This collective work to establish shared program measures is essential to evaluate and employ successful strategies to impact the opioid crisis in Chittenden County.””United Way of Northern Vermont is proud to stand with so many different partners from across the county working together as a collective to tackle this serious challenge faced by our community,” said Martha Maksym, Executive Director of United Way. “One of our top priorities as an organization has been to find ways to align the different strategies to respond to the opioid challenge that cross agencies, sectors, and professional fields. CommunityStat is a bold and innovative piece of the collective response we need.”Vermont’s growing opioid crisisIn his landmark 2014 State of the Union address, Governor Peter Shumlin called attention to the state’s growing opioid crisis and highlighted the need for Vermont to change its approach from conducting a war on drugs through the criminal process, to working with police, courts, prosecutors and defenders, and the treatment community to treat addiction as an issue of public health. By the time of the Governor’s address, Vermont had seen a 771% increase in treatment for all opiates since 2000, over five times as many federal indictments against heroin dealers as had been obtained in 2010, and nearly double the deaths from heroin and opioids in Vermont in 2013 as in 2012.Since the time of Governor Shumlin’s address, Vermont has become a recognized leader in its response to opioids. In Burlington, police officers now carry and use naloxone to save lives. Chief del Pozo has increased foot and bike patrols in the neighborhoods most affected by opioid abuse and stepped up coordination between law enforcement and other agencies with the knowledge that addicts in many cases require treatment instead of incarceration.In spite of these efforts, Burlington, like many of the state’s cities and towns, is still seeking to determine the full scope of its local opioid challenge so that it can strengthen and focus the collaborative efforts between stakeholders addressing different aspects of the epidemic. Current data suggests Burlington is still in the grip of the opioid crisis, but more data is needed. The new efforts announced today will allow the City, BPD, and stakeholders for the first time to coordinate and comprehensively measure their progress, making that data and its findings available and accountable to the public. This combination of innovation, data-driven policy and strategy, collaboration, and accountability to citizens will provide a clarified and transparent process by which Burlington can continue the life-saving work of resolving the opioid epidemic.CommunityStat stakeholders are as follows:Boys and Girls ClubBurlington Housing AuthorityBurlington Police DepartmentChamplain Housing TrustChittenden County Opioid AllianceCity of BurlingtonThe Committee on Temporary Shelter (COTS)Community Health Centers of BurlingtonHoward CenterKing Street CenterLundMatrix Health SystemsNew England HIDTAOutright VermontPartnership for ChangePathways VermontSara Holbrook Community CenterSpectrum Youth & Family ServicesSteps to End Domestic ViolenceThe Turning Point Center of Chittenden CountyUnited WayUniversity of Vermont, Vermont Center on Behavior and HealthUniversity of Vermont Medical CenterVermont Agency of Human ServicesVermont Attorney GeneralVermont Department for Children and FamiliesVermont Department of CorrectionsVermont Department of HealthVermont Department of Justicelast_img read more

Behind the scenes at the Port of Antwerp

first_imgIn the Eilandje district near the new Museum aan de Stroom (MAS), the Port Authority is opening its Port Pavilion. Entrance is free.Attractions include a giant surround screen with film images and sounds creating the impression of actually being in the middle of the port “With this Port Pavilion we want to bring Antwerp residents back in touch with their port,” says port alderman Marc Van Peel. “The 360° projection screen offers visitors an experience that won’t be quickly forgotten.”A 15-minute film shows the port in action, while around the projection screen there are a number of interactive displays on which visitors can obtain more information and explanations about scenes in the film.Live images of the port are also streamed into the MAS Port Pavilion, enabling visitors to watch, for example, real-time arrivals of container ships. Particular events will be announced on the port’s Facebook page and the website.last_img read more

Lords question creating new criminal offences ‘by regulation’

first_imgA House of Lords committee has criticised the government for introducing legislation heavily reliant on delegated powers, questioning a bill which would enable ministers to create new criminal offences ‘by regulation’ instead of being subject to ‘full and proper’ parliamentary scrutiny.The constitution committee, which assesses the impact of a public bill, also investigates wider constitutional issues, publishing reports with recommendations principally aimed at the government.In its report on the Children and Social Work Bill, which has its second reading today, the committee says the bill’s provisions appear to continue a ‘trend’ of introducing legislation ’that leaves much to the subsequent discretion of ministers’.The report states: ’We regret that, despite the concerns expressed in the past by this and other committees, the government continues to introduce legislation that depends so heavily on an array of broad delegated powers’.The bill would give the government power to appoint a regulator or create a new regulatory body for social workers in England. The committee says it would expect the creation of a ’significant’ statutory body ’to be enacted by primary legislative provision to enable proper parliamentary scrutiny’.The government would also be able to, through regulations, create new criminal offences. Again, the committee says the creation of criminal offences, ’whether or not punishable by imprisonment’, should be subject to ‘proper and full’ parliamentary scrutiny.The committee also asks the government to clarify whether a new child safeguarding practice review panel will be able to ‘compel’ the submission of material subject to legal or medical privilege.Committee chair Lord Lang of Monkton said the bill ’continues a worrying trend’ in which parliament is asked to agree legislation ’that is lacking in crucial details’ that allow government proposals to be properly scrutinised.He said: ’Our political system relies on parliament having the ability to scrutinise legislation through the full multi-stage process in both houses. The government’s reliance on legislating by regulation undermines that and risks poorly constructed proposals becoming law.’The Cities and Local Government Devolution Bill, Psychoactive Substance Bill, Charities (Protection and Social Investment) Bill and Childcare Bill are cited by the committee as examples of ’vaguely worded legislation that left much to the discretion of ministers’.Lang said changes giving the secretary of state ‘significant’ powers to establish a social work regulator and create new, ’currently undefined’ criminal offences should be set out in primary legislation so that they can be ‘debated, scrutinised and improved’.’Instead, by giving the minister the power to make these changes by regulation, there is a risk parliament will again be denied its proper role in holding the government to account,’ he added.last_img read more