Evelyn Zaragoza

Evelyn Zaragoza

Thursday, 28 January 2021 18:48


When purchasing property, many families and couples have realised that units no longer satisfy their needs when buying a first home. Units, which do not confer a substantial ownership of land, and do not hold as much value in the long run for investment purposes, as well as a first home to settle in. What comes to mind firstly may be duplexes, which offer value for money and give you some sort of ownership over a patch of land.

However, many families have found that once they have moved into their duplex, many problems arise on top of a lower return on investment compared to a house and land package. Many have realised that the sound from their neighbours travel easily between the thin walls. The fact that they were not able to choose who they shared a wall with meant spontaneous noises, crying babies, banging pianos and late night quarrels. The garden, if any, would be small and unsubstantial, preventing their children from playing in the backyard. Even if their child were easy going and happy with the smaller backyard, often they would be met with strangers watching them over the fence.

Some young families initially chose duplexes for the lower entry point compared to houses, but failed to see the huge potential in single dwelling house package which are still under the $750,000 first home buyers government grant threshold. Areas such as Catherine Field, Gregory Hills, Box Hill, Marsden Park, Austral, Leppington, Riverstone and Spring Farm offer larger homes when seeking to purchase a House + Land – which do not incur the problems of duplexes, but are still affordable and offer return on investment. The areas are newly developed, and offer a variety of retail amenities, schools, transport, recreation and community centres which promote healthy living and a steady foundation not only as a valuable investment, but also as a valuable first home for families.

I am specialised in these areas across the state of New South Wales:

Austral, Bardia, Box Hill, Bringelly, Catherine Field, Cobbitty, Edmondson Park, Glenmore Park, Gregory Hills, Jorden Springs, Kellyville, Leppington, Luddenham, Marsden Park, Menangle Park, Mulgoa, Oran Park, Penrith Region, Riverstone, Rossmore, Rouse Hill, Schofields, Spring Farm, Vineyard

Website: www.drediesel.com.au

Headquarters: Sydney. New South Wales. Australia

Industry: Real Estate. Land Acquisition. Building. Construction

Type: Companies Privately Held

Eligible businesses in Mulgoa can now register to take part in the NSW Government’s major economic stimulus program, Dine & Discover NSW.
The program will create an economic boost for local dining, arts and tourism businesses, which have been impacted by COVID-19, and encourage customers to get out and about safely.
Member for Mulgoa, Tanya Davies encouraged local businesses to register and get ready so they can hit the ground running when the program goes live.
“We’ve heard loud and clear just how tough it has been for businesses in our community. This program will help reinvigorate the local economy and provide customers with hip pocket relief,” Mrs Davies said.
Service NSW is launching a specialised app for participating businesses, so they can scan and track voucher usage over the life of the program.
After applying online, NSW businesses will be able to track the progress of the application through their MyServiceNSW Business Profile.
Business owners will then receive a step-by-step process on how to get ready.
With a high uptake of the vouchers expected across the state, the Business Profile provides one, easy-to-use location for businesses to stay on top of voucher transactions,” Mrs Davies said.
“All eligible businesses will receive an email from Service NSW with details on how to register. I also urge residents to do yourself a favour and download the Service NSW app now in anticipation of the rollout.”
The programwill be rolled out in a few steps to ensure a seamless customer experience.
Phase one will include a pilot at The Rocks and in Broken Hill in early February. The pilot will then be expanded to the Northern Beaches, Sydney CBD and Bega Valley Shire Council, which is expected to commence in late February.
The findings from the pilots will inform the state wide rollout, expected to commence in March, which will run until 30 June 2021.
Every NSW resident aged 18 and over will be eligible for four $25 vouchers worth $100 in total, to spend in participating businesses. The vouchers will be divided into two categories:
·        Two $25 vouchers to be used for eating in at restaurants, cafes, bars, pubs and clubs from Monday to Thursday, excluding public holidays.
·        Two $25 vouchers to be used for entertainment and recreation, including cultural institutions, live music, and arts venues, available 7 days a week, excluding public holidays. 
The vouchers can only be used within businesses that have implemented a COVID Safety Plan and are registered as COVID Safe.

Small businesses that supply goods and services to larger businesses doing work for the NSW Government would be paid within 20 business days under a new pilot program that launches this month.

Minister for Finance and Small Business Damien Tudehope said the pilot was designed to assist small businesses further down the Government’s goods and services supply chains.

“We want to do better when it comes to getting small businesses paid on time and this pilot program is the first step in the journey to making life easier for those small business subcontractors that supply goods and services under NSW Government contracts,” Mr Tudehope said.

“We know one of the biggest challenges for small businesses is cashflow. When you get paid quickly, it is easier to pay your staff and other bills.”

“Under the existing Faster Payments Policy, the NSW Government is focussed on paying registered small businesses with government contracts within five days.

“We are now looking to extend this policy to ensure larger companies providing goods and services to the NSW Government also pay their own suppliers in a short timeframe.”

Mr Tudehope said the move would complement the Federal Government’s new Payment Times Reporting Scheme which requires large businesses with a total annual income of over $100 million to publicly report their payment terms and practices to their small business suppliers.

“The public reporting required by the Commonwealth regime, together with a potential NSW Government requirement to pay faster will work well together.”

“Faster payments help businesses stay in business and that helps keep people in jobs which is really important as we plan for a post-pandemic future,” Mr Tudehope said.

The NSW Government is working with a number of suppliers to pilot the policy, to gain insights on policy parameters including the definition of small and large businesses as well as other implementation measures.

When the Faster Payments Policy was introduced in December 2018, payments were made by Government to small businesses within 20 calendar days, which has since been reduced to five business days. The new pilot program is expected to be complete by June 2021, with a NSW Government wide policy expected to be implemented following the pilot program.

Tuesday, 26 January 2021 00:16


The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has today provisionally approved the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for use in Australia.
The Pfizer vaccine has met strict standards for safety, quality and efficacy.
The TGA provisional approval isfor individuals 16 years of age and older.Two doses will be required – at least 21 days apart.
A priority group of Australians are expected to now receive their first dose of the vaccine as soon as it can be received from Pfizer and the necessary checks are undertaken by the TGA, prior to its distribution.
The latest advice given to the Government from Pfizer is that shipping and the first vaccinations are expected to be in late February.
If there are delays in shipping or production, the possibility remains that commencement could be in early March, however guidance remains for late February.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the TGA approval was an important step in the fight against COVID-19.
“I welcome the TGA’s approval of the Pfizer vaccine, with our own Australian experts finding it is safe, effective and of a high standard,” the Prime Minister said.
“Australians should take confidence in the thorough and careful approach taken by our world-class safety regulator.
“Our priority has always been to keep Australians safe and protect lives and livelihoods.  Today’s approval is another big step forward for our community, particularly in the protection of our most vulnerable people.”
Minister for Health Greg Hunt said the-world class regulators at the TGA have been working tirelessly to introduce a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine in Australia.
“The TGA’s processes are I believe the best in the world and we have ensured that they are thorough.” Minister Hunt said.
“The TGA has placed safety above all else.”
“Australia’s high bar has been met; the vaccine has been approved as effective in stopping severe disease. I thank all those involved in the development and assessment of this COVID-19 vaccine, including the researchers, Pfizer, BioNTech and the medical experts at the TGA who have worked around the clock and over Christmas.”
“This approval and the upcoming roll out of the vaccine will play an important part in our ability to manage the pandemic in 2021.” 
“Australia’s vaccination program has been based on the medical advice from the medical expert panel led by Professor Brendan Murphy.  As a result we are in the fortunate position of having secured 140 million doses of vaccine, one of the highest per capita rates in the world. We will continue to review the medical advice and monitor and adapt to developments around the world,” Minister Hunt said.

The Government continues to work with Pfizer on the final date of delivery of vaccines, noting that Pfizer has experienced some temporary production delays from its European manufacturing plant as it ramps up production to meet extraordinary global demand.

The Government’s latest advice remains that the first doses of Pfizer are expected to arrive and be rolled out in late February.  Final dates will be confirmed by Pfizer shortly and are subject to shipping and distribution. 
In Australia the vaccine will be rolled out in five phases over the coming months and, over time, will involve more than 1,000 vaccination administration sites.
Head of the TGA, Adjunct Professor John Skerritt saidthe TGA has been working non-stop to get the Pfizer vaccine assessed, while maintaining the most rigorous standards of safety, quality and efficacy.
“I would like to thank our clinical and medical officers, scientists, pharmacists and experts in statistics, laboratory analysis and manufacturing assessment who have worked tirelessly on assessing this vaccine,” Adjunct Professor Skerritt said.
“We’re thrilled to have this product pass the rigorous regulatory process and receive provisional approval.”
“Our job is by no means done. In fact the monitoring of vaccine safety post-approval is an important part of the regulatory review of vaccines.
“We now check the individual batches of vaccines that are destined for Australians while closely monitoring the safety and efficacy of the vaccine as it is rolled out.
“We will also continue our work on the regulatory review for potential approval of other vaccines, notably the AstraZeneca and Novavax vaccines, as well as vaccines delivered through the COVAX facility.”
As the rollout begins across 30 - 50 hospital sites, people who need protection the most will get the vaccine first. This includes aged care and disability care residents and workers, frontline health care workers, and quarantine and border workers.
The priority groups have been determined based on the advice of the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) which oversees Australia’s highly successful immunisation program.
“There is intense ongoing work which will continue over the coming month, including batch testing of newly arrived doses, establishing cold storage facilities for the vaccine, training health providers to administer it, finalising distributionsites with states and territories, checking sites and protective equipment for safety, and scaling up systems for ongoing safety monitoring,” Minister Hunt said.
Tuesday, 26 January 2021 00:11

Be a mate to our furry friends in the heat

SW is urging all pet owners to keep their pets cool, hydrated, and safe this summer.

As temperatures across the state begin to rise above 40 degrees Celsius, it is crucial pet owners make precautions for their pets to avoid potential heat stress, and fatalities, this summer.

Your pets cannot always cool themselves down, so as a responsible pet owner, it is your job to keep them cool during the hot summer months.

If possible, bring your pets indoors where there is shade, and possibly air-conditioning, to provide a cool environment to chill in. Do not under any circumstances leave pets unattended in locked cars, even if you are parked in shade or have the windows down.

If pets are to be outdoors during the heatwave, it is important to provide access to shaded areas to protect your pets from the sun. This can be done by Installing shade cloths and umbrellas in your backyard or by planting tall native flora in the garden.

Remember to apply pet-friendly zinc to the ears and noses of pets prone to sunburn, including cats and dogs with white fur and pink noses.

It is essential to ensure your pet has access to plenty of fresh water, which includes providing multiple sources for them to drink from in cool places out of the sun. Consider also providing bird baths for our domesticated and wild feathered friends to frolic and cool off in.

Sansa the white German Shepherd adopted from RSPCA NSW keeping cool under an umbrella, in a shallow pool, and pet-friendly zinc to protect her from sunburn. 

Place ice in your pet’s bowls to help cool their water sources but check that your pet is comfortable with the change in water temperature. Freezing some pet food can also make a delicious ice block that will cool and entertain your pet as it defrosts.

Pocket pets, including rabbits and guinea pigs, are not immune from the heat and can benefit from ice bricks wrapped in towels and cooling mats placed in their hutches.

Avoid exercising dogs in the middle of the day as this can lead to heat stress. Their feet pads can burn on hot surfaces such as cement and sand. Pay attention to flat-faced breeds (brachycephalic) such as Pugs and Bulldogs as they have a greater difficulty regulating heat.

For handy tips on identifying and treating heatstroke that you can refer to on-the-go, download or print our RSPCA NSW Heatstroke Information sheet.

If you think your pet is suffering from heat stroke, please contact your closest RSPCA veterinary hospital or your local veterinarian immediately.

Tuesday, 26 January 2021 00:05


 People with disability will be better protected from potential abuse and neglect under proposed legislation released today for public consultation. Minister for Families, Communities and Disability Services Gareth Ward said the reforms would regulate how National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) providers use restrictive practices such as restraints, seclusion, or medication. “Some people with complex and severe disabilities exhibit behaviour that is harmful to themselves or the people that care for them,” Mr Ward said. “Restrictive practices were traditionally used as the first response to harmful behaviour, but now it is widely recognised that there are safer and less restrictive practices available. “We have consulted with people with disability, carers and the sector, to ensure NDIS providers are working to reduce and, wherever possible, eliminate restrictive practices. This proposed reform is another step in the right direction.” States, Territories and the Commonwealth have worked to develop a consistent approach that focuses on the rights of people with disability. This reform seeks to reinforce the national approach and give workers and providers clarity about their obligations. The draft legislation aims to expand the Ageing and Disability Commissioner’s (ADC) role to include:  Promoting the reduction and elimination of the use of restrictive practices, such as restraints or seclusion;  The oversight, monitoring, review and reporting of Restrictive Practices Authorisation (RPA) for NDIS providers; and  The power to compel information, data and reports from NSW NDIS providers regarding restrictive practices. NSW Government agencies would be required to apply common principles for disability-related restrictive practices and to report annually to the ADC on their compliance. Consultation on the draft bill will be open until Friday, 19 February 2021. To read the draft legislation and to have your say, visit the website.

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