(02) 6620 1800 [email protected]
Have you had your energy supply disconnected?

Have you had your energy supply disconnected?

Sometimes bills are forgotten, mail stays in the letterbox or you just can’t afford to pay your electricity or gas bill. You may face disconnection of your energy supply or worse have already been disconnected. Contact your provider straight away to find out how to stop the disconnection or get reconnected.

If you cannot come to an agreement with your provider, call us.

We are the Energy and Water Ombudsman NSW (EWON), a free, fair and independent complaints-handling service for all electricity and gas customers in NSW, and some water customers.

Ask your provider…

  1. For an extension, or to set up a payment plan. Be realistic and only agree to a payment plan you can afford. Your provider must offer at least two payment plans within 12 months on request.
  2. To be transferred to an affordability program for longer term support, if you are experiencing ongoing difficulties
  3. If fees for disconnection and/or reconnection can be waived considering your circumstances.

Electricity must be reconnected within two business days of your request, and gas within five business days.

Energy Accounts Payment Assistance (EAPA)

If you’re struggling to pay your current household energy bill because of a short-term financial crisis or emergency, such as unexpected medical bills, or reduced income due to COVID-19, you could be eligible for the NSW Government’s EAPA vouchers.

Vouchers are worth $50 and are sent electronically to your energy retailer. The number you receive will depend on your circumstances. Contact an EAPA provider service.nsw.gov.au/transaction/energy-accounts-payment-assistance-eapa-scheme or call Service NSW on 1377 88 to apply.

You cannot be disconnected if…

  • You make payments towards an agreed payment plan
  • You owe less than $300 and have committed to a payment plan
  • Your home is registered as having life support equipment
  • It’s before 8am or after 3pm
  • It’s a Friday, weekend, or the day before/of a public holiday
  • If you have arranged an appointment for Energy Account Payment Assistance

Water restriction

Your water provider may restrict your supply if you have an unpaid bill however, it must give you notice first.

For further information about disconnections and restriction of supply, read our factsheet on disconnections.

How to get in touch with us

Freecall: 1800 246 545* Mon – Fri, 9am – 5pm

Freepost: Reply Paid 86550 Sydney South NSW 1234

Interpreter: 131 450

TTY/Voice: 133 677

Online: ewon.com.au

* If you are calling from a mobile phone, let us know and we will call you back.

Tweed Access and Inclusion Plan Community Consultation

Tweed Access and Inclusion Plan Community Consultation

Tweed Shire Council is updating the Tweed Access and Inclusion Plan – Council’s Disability Inclusion Action Plan that guides their work to improve access and inclusion for everyone over the next four years.

Council has launched a survey asking community what they think would help make the Tweed more inclusive and supportive of people with disability to participate and achieve their goals.

The Survey is available online on Your Say Tweed  and as an interactive Easy Read pdf (attached). This can be filled out digitally and emailed, or printed and completed as a hardcopy and posted to Council.

Anyone with an interest in disability access and inclusion in the Tweed is invited to participate and in particular,

• people with lived experience of disability

• people with a physical or mental health condition who have additional needs

• carers, family and friends of people with a disability or health condition

• disability service workers and organisations who provide direct support and who advocate for people living with a disability

• residential aged care providers and advocates for older Australians.

Please help to encourage members of the Tweed community to take part, by:

1. Sharing the information below and attached to your staff and networks operating or residing in the Tweed Shire;

2. Printing the attached Poster and Easy Read survey and displaying in your public reception area;

3. Contacting Gabby Arthur at [email protected] or phoning on 02 6670 2276,  to request a hardcopy pack of Posters (A4 & A3 size) and Easy Read Surveys to be sent to your organisation.

The Survey will be open until 25 January 2022. 

All feedback received will help Council to identify measures that remove existing access barriers and improve inclusion for all.  These may be about improving community attitudes and behaviours, the design and construction of our physical environment, access to employment and Council’s systems and services.

Click here to read the current Tweed Access and Inclusion Plan

Click here to read the current Tweed Access and Inclusion Plan – Easy English Version 

New survey to create a new National Cancer Plan

New survey to create a new National Cancer Plan

Cancer Australia is running an online survey looking for input into the National Cancer Plan. Anyone interested in having a say on the Australian Cancer Plan can do the survey.

Cancer Australia is connected to the federal Health Department.

You can go to this link for more information and to complete online survey or make a written submission.

Cancer Australia would really like to get input from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander individuals, communities and organisations to address their short and long term needs around cancer information, care and support.

Across Australia, health professionals, charities and other organisations are working tirelessly to care for and support people affected by cancer. Researchers are seeking new ways of preventing, diagnosing, treating and living with the disease in all its forms. And governments, policy makers and industry groups are developing plans, frameworks and strategies to guide and shape future activity.

The pace of this important work is often constrained by system-level factors and the impact of new models of care and ways of working is often limited to certain cancer types or geographic areas.

The Australian Cancer Plan aims to change this picture.

We have strong foundations to build on. Cancer outcomes in Australia are among the best in the world and survival rates are improving for most cancer types. However, this is not the story for every Australian. A person’s risk of cancer, their experiences during diagnosis and treatment, and their survival are influenced by where they live, their background and personal circumstances, and the type of cancer they have. Such differences and variation are unacceptable.

To achieve world-class cancer outcomes for all Australians, we need national action to address issues that contribute to differences in cancer incidence, and that lead to variation in cancer outcomes and experience. And we need a way of sharing, learning from and scaling-up activities that are making a difference.

We have the opportunity to design and deliver a ground-breaking national plan to identify and address critical issues in cancer control that need collaborative, coordinated and national action.

To do that, we need your help.

 

Why your views matter

Cancer Australia invites you to share your vision for the Australian Cancer Plan.

Have your say by answering the questions in the survey below or upload a submission. We’re keen to hear ambitious and transformational ideas – We invite you to be bold and think big.

To help frame your thinking you can read the Communique and view presentations from a Ministerial Roundtable about the Australian Cancer Plan held in April 2021.

Your ideas will be added to those shared by people who attended the Roundtable and will help shape the focus and directions of the Australian Cancer Plan.

How to have your say

You can choose to have your say in two ways through the Consultation Hub:

  1. answer the questions in the online survey
  2. upload a written submission / response with your feedback (at Questions 1-3).

Questions and assistance

If you have any questions about the consultation, or if you have any technical issues using the Consultation Hub, please contact [email protected]

If you need an interpreter, please call TIS National on 131 450 and ask them to call Cancer Australia on 02 9357 9400. Our business hours are 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.

How we will use your responses

Survey responses and written submissions will be used alongside other stakeholder feedback to inform the development of the Australian Cancer Plan.

Publishing responses and protecting your privacy

We will ask you to provide some information about yourself to help us understand the people who have provided a response. Your personal information is protected by law, including the Privacy Act 1988 and the Australian Privacy Principles. Personal information is being collected by Cancer Australia for the purpose of public consultation about the Australian Cancer Plan.

If you provide consent, your response will be published on this Consultation Hub within a few days. Your name (and the name of your organisation if provided) will only be published if you agree to this. You can choose for your response to be published anonymously. Your email address will not be published.

Responses will be reviewed before publishing to remove content that is inappropriate, offensive, or contains sensitive information.

•     Cancer Australia’s privacy policy

Stay informed

Information and updates are available on the Australian Cancer Plan webpage on the Cancer Australia website

COVID-19 – home vaccination

COVID-19 – home vaccination

Home vaccinations are now available for eligible people unable to get to a COVID-19 vaccination clinic in the Northern NSW region.

NSW Health-accredited nurse immunisers will be able to administer the COVID-19 Pfizer vaccination to eligible individuals, and their carers, if they have a disability, injury, health issue or condition that makes it hard to move around or leave home.

Registrations for the home vaccination program close on Monday, November 29 .

To register, please call or email Northern NSW Local Health District on: (02) 6620 7766 and leave your details

Email: [email protected]

Transferring from the NDIS to My Aged Care

Transferring from the NDIS to My Aged Care

If you’re already on the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) when you turn 65, you will have to decide whether to stay on the NDIS or whether to transfer to My Aged Care as the funder your care needs.

To find out what your options are for aged care, visit the information section on the Aged Care Guide.

Contact My Aged Care for more information about transitioning or phone the Call Centre on 1800 200 422.

You will find more information here: https://www.agedcareguide.com.au/information/transferring-from-the-ndis-to-my-aged-care

Mobile vaccine delivery makes it easier than ever to be vaccinated in the Northern Rivers

Mobile vaccine delivery makes it easier than ever to be vaccinated in the Northern Rivers

A new mobile van delivering COVID-19 vaccinations around the Northern Rivers is making it even easier for people to get vaccinated.

The not-for-profit organisation Social Futures has made its outreach van available to the Northern NSW Local Health District, and the van will visit South Grafton, Kingscliff, Murwillumbah, South Tweed and Goonellabah over the next three weeks. Other locations are likely to also be added to the schedule.

Social Futures CEO Tony Davies said the van has been converted into an outreach vaccination clinic and today (October 28) and tomorrow, Friday (October 29) would be visiting the Bob Liddiard Park, South Grafton from 9.30am to 3.30pm.

“Everyone aged 12 and over is welcome to come and get vaccinated at this outreach clinic, and we are hoping that people who haven’t had the opportunity to get to another clinic or their GP can get to us,” Mr Davies said.

“We’ve been working with the Northern NSW Local Health District to find the right locations for the van, we’ve also talked to community housing providers and local councils to identify accessible locations that are convenient to walk to and highly visible to the community.”

Northern NSW Local Health District vaccination program coordinator Matt Long said the mobile van will offer the Pfizer vaccine, and people do not need to book.

“We are going to some residential areas, and other key locations which may not have had easy access to a vaccination clinic as yet,” Mr Long said.

“We want to make it easy for people to get the vaccine – no booking required – just turn up and get vaccinated.”

Mr Long said health staff would be available to answer questions about the vaccination process.

“The nurse immunisers have been providing COVID-19 vaccines for months now, and they will be happy to talk with people about the efficacy and benefits of vaccination against the COVID-19 virus. Our staff are here to provide advice and answer any questions.”

Residents are encouraged to bring their Medicare Card, if they have one.

Trial for Escaping Violence Payment begins

Trial for Escaping Violence Payment begins

The new Escaping Violence Payment (EVP) trial as announced in the 2021-22 Federal Budget has commenced. The service provider delivering this trial, UnitingCare Network, commenced operations on the EVP on Tuesday October 19 .

Financial insecurity is a key barrier to women leaving a violent relationship and a factor as to why women return to an abusive partner. To assist in removing this barrier, the EVP will enable eligible individuals leaving a family and domestic violence situation to access financial assistance to support them to establish a home free from violence.

The EVP will provide eligible women with up to $5,000 in financial assistance, which may include a cash payment of up to $1,500 and the remainder in goods and services. The assistance may be used pay for bills, bonds on a new rental property, relocation expenses, furnishings, school fees, white goods, counselling and legal services.

The EVP is available across Australia from the UnitingCare Network. Further information can be found at this link: www.unitingvictas.org.au/escaping-violence-payment

The Social Futures Emergency webpage features a list of resources useful to anyone impacted by domestic violence.

The Family Centre Disability Services – Plan Management and Support Coordination

The Family Centre Disability Services – Plan Management and Support Coordination

Where are you on your NDIS journey? Let us help you make the most of your NDIS plan.

The Family Centre are launching their new Plan management and Support Coordination services.

Whether you are just starting your NDIS journey or have a support plan, we look forward to hearing from you.

 The Family Centre Plan Management Team supports you to effectively manage your NDIS plan. Your Plan Manager will support you by liaising with providers, manage budgets and pay invoices on your behalf. Our Plan managers work with you to determine the best approach to maximise the benefits of your NDIS plan.

The Family Centre Support Coordination Team supports you to build the skills you need to understand, implement and utilise your plan. Our Support Coordinators will work with you to ensure a mix of supports are used to increase your capacity to maintain relationships, manage service delivery tasks, live more independently and increase participation in your community.

YFoundations new report: Young, in trouble and with nowhere to go

YFoundations new report: Young, in trouble and with nowhere to go

For this report, Yfoundations conducted 143 interviews with caseworkers, managers and leaders in the Youth Justice and SpeYfoundations would like to share our new research report with you, entitled Young, in trouble and with nowhere to go: Homeless adolescents’ pathways into and out of detention in NSW.

Read the report here

cialist Homelessness Services system. This research sheds light on the two-way relationship between adolescent homelessness and incarceration in our state.

It demonstrates that vulnerable young people are being held in detention every year in NSW, simply because they are homeless. And even when these vulnerable adolescents are released, the report shows that too many are exiting detention only to insecure accommodation and homelessness.

Register for our virtual launch panel

Join us for the virtual launch of the report on Tuesday 26 October at 11 am where Yfoundations’ Research and Policy Manager, Dr Elizabeth Watt will present the report’s main findings and recommendations.

We will also hear from three other panellists who will discuss their knowledge and experience of supporting young people who have come into contact with the youth justice and homelessness systems

LAST CHANCE! Access and Inclusion Community Survey from Byron Shire closes 30 November

LAST CHANCE! Access and Inclusion Community Survey from Byron Shire closes 30 November

This is the last chance to have your say! 

Your responses to Byron Shire Council’s All Welcome – Access and Inclusion Community Survey help us to inform the next Disability Inclusion Action Plan.  Survey closes 30 November 2021.

Please take a few minutes to tell us how you feel about access and inclusion in the Byron Shire and what we can do to improve it.

When something is accessible, everyone can use it.

When something is inclusive, everyone can take part.

If you prefer a paper copy, you can download the easy read version and drop it off in person to Byron Shire Council at 70 Station Street, Mullumbimby, or email it to [email protected]

Community Sector News

Community Sector News

This week is Community Sector Climate Change Advocacy Week (4-8 October)! Climate change is increasing extreme weather events that threaten our environment, as well as people’s homes, livelihoods, health, quality of life, employment and increases risks and burdens for future generations. See below for three key ways to support #FairFastClimateAction during Community Sector Climate Change Advocacy week – together, we can help push for fair, fast and inclusive climate change action this decade!

A new series of interactive maps developed by the ACOSS/UNSW Sydney Poverty and Inequality Partnership shows how different parts of the country have been impacted by the economic effects of the pandemic. These maps informed yesterday’s COVID Income Support: Analysis of income support in the COVID lockdowns in 2020 and 2021 report. Check out the maps and the report here: https://bit.ly/3ip8j7I

Quick reminder that the 2021 ACOSS Annual General Meeting is coming up on Monday 8 November. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and associated health and safety concerns, the meeting will be held virtually. Register here.

Community Sector News

More than 8 out of 10 are Locked Out in Lockdown

The Australian Council of Social Service has found that eighty-five percent of people receiving some form of income support are locked out of receiving any extra Covid Disaster Payment, pushing people on the lowest incomes to the brink of their ability to survive.

ACOSS released the latest update of its ‘Living in Lockdown’ survey, which finds that almost all of the 216 respondents (96%) were seriously struggling with the cost of living and almost half (41.5%) were at risk of homelessness because of the high cost of housing.

“Compared with last year when everyone receiving unemployment and related payments was provided extra support, this year more than 80% are seriously struggling to survive,” said ACOSS Program Director – Social Security, Charmaine Crowe.

“When people can’t afford to cover basic costs like food, rent, electricity, medicine and public transport, they find it harder to travel to get vaccinated and are more exposed to the risk of COVID-19,” said Ms Crowe.

ACOSS CEO Dr Cassandra Goldie said:

“The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare found that there were four times as many deaths from COVID-19 in the lowest socio-economic group (which includes most people on social security payments) compared with the highest socio-economic group. It is unconscionable to leave behind people who most need support.

“Even the OECD is recommending that Australia lift our appallingly low level of unemployment payment – at $44 a day it’s the very lowest rate of all comparable countries. People on Youth Allowance and Austudy are at an even lower rate of $36 a day.

“The Federal Government must urgently extend Disaster Payments to all people on social security or without other incomes including those on temporary visas. As soon as Parliament is recalled, it must pass legislation to lift social security payments to above the poverty line including JobSeeker, Commonwealth Rent Assistance and family payments.”

“The biggest stress people on low incomes face is housing costs – with the highest rate of Commonwealth Rent Assistance for a single person without children at just $70 a week when people in Sydney can’t find rental properties for less than $340 a week (and up to $540 a week in the city).

“ACOSS urges the Federal Government to increase Commonwealth Rent Assistance by at least 50% to better support people afford private rentals.”

Living in Lockdown – Key Findings:

  • 96% are struggling with living costs
  • 85% are ineligible for the COVID disaster payments
  • 41.5% are at risk of homelessness
  • 40% feel less safe

Key Recommendations

  1. Immediately extend COVID Disaster Payments to lift incomes for all people without paid work to at least $600 per week, including those in receipt of social security and those without any other income source at all.
  2. As soon as Parliament resumes in August, pass legislation lifting working-age income support payments (JobSeeker, Youth Allowance, parenting payments and related income support) to the pension rate, which is just above the poverty line (at least $475pw for the single rate). See further below for increases to supplements needed for specific groups.
  3. Index all income support payments twice per year in line with wage growth as well as prices.
  4. Extend income support to all affected by inadequate paid work, including people on temporary visas.
  5. Increase Commonwealth Rent Assistance by 50%.
  6. Provide supplementary payments for people with disability or illness, and single parents, recognising the additional costs they face.
  7. Invest in social housing to address the critical shortfall of supply.

Download the Locked Out in Lockdown survey report here

Social Futures career opportunities

Social Futures career opportunities

Social Futures is looking to fill four job vacancies.

PROGRAM MANAGER – YOUTH

  • Full time
  • SCHCADS level 7 plus generous salary packaging options
  • Located in Lismore

As a result of an internal promotion we have an exciting opportunity for an experienced and passionate people manager to lead multiple teams across a diverse range of youth programs.

https://careers.socialfutures.org.au/job-details/query/8315084

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Program Worker – Youth Access

  • Part-Time Position of 52.5 Hours per Fortnight
  • SCHCADS Level 4 plus Generous Salary Packaging Options
  • Location: Tweed Heads

The purpose of the Youth Access Worker is to effectively engage, screen, assess, refer, provide brief interventions and coordinate care for young people aged 12-25 years that contact or are referred to the headspace centre.

https://careers.socialfutures.org.au/job-details/query/8306307

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Local Area Coordinator

  • Multiple Full-time positions available
  • SCHCADS Level 4 Plus Generous Salary Packaging Opportunities
  • Located – Wyong or Gosford Offices

Social Futures is excited to be looking to add to our Local Area Coordination Team on the Central Coast. As a Local Area Coordinator, you will help change the face of your community by leading inclusive community capacity building projects, assisting people with disability meet access to the NDIS and providing information and linkages around supports to people with disability, carers, family and the community in general.

https://careers.socialfutures.org.au/job-details/query/8311629

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Program Manager – Suicide Aftercare

  • Full Time – 38 hours per week
  • SCHCADS Level 7 plus generous salary packaging options
  • Location: Kempsey – Relocation Assistance available

The Care Connect Program Manager leads the Suicide Aftercare Program across Kempsey and Bellingen LGA. This key role supports the implementation and delivery of short-term psychological intervention and support to people at risk of suicide or self-harm.

https://careers.socialfutures.org.au/job-details/query/8315978

 

 

Better Homes Campaign – share your story

Better Homes Campaign – share your story

The Council on the Ageing (COTA) NSW is continuing to support the Building Better Homes campaign. Unfortunately NSW is one of two states that will not implement the new minimum accessibility standards that will be included in the next National Construction Code.

These are not extreme changes, in practical terms it would mean that all new homes will be built in such a way that they are suitable for people whose mobility is impaired or can easily be adapted to be so. For example, doorways that are wide enough for wheelchairs, suitable turning zones for wheelchairs and walkers, staircases that could take a chairlift and reinforcement in bathroom walls so that support bars could be added.

We need your help! The campaign is looking for people to share their stories – specifically we are looking for people who:

• have had difficulty staying in their home because their home no longer meets their physical needs, or

• have had to move into aged care prematurely because their home was no longer appropriate for their physical needs.

If this sounds like you, or someone you know, and you’re willing to share your story, please email us at [email protected] us by September 30.