Sunday, December 05, 2021

Australian Woman Recounts Harrowing Experience of Being Held in COVID-19 Quarantine Camp

The official description of these jails is here:

It appears that everyone entering the NT has to undergo imprisonment in them. A good reason to stay away from the NT

Hayley Hodgson, a 26-year-old Australian woman, recounted her two-week confinement in a COVID-19 quarantine camp in an interview Thursday.

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“You feel like you’re in prison. You feel like you’ve done something wrong. It’s inhumane what they’re doing,” Hodgson said in an interview with UnHerd. “You are so small, they just overpower you.”

Hodgson told UnHerd that she was ordered to quarantine at the Centres for National Resilience in Howard Springs, Darwin, after one of her friends tested positive for COVID-19.

“Police officers blocked my driveway,” she said. “I walked out and I said, ‘What’s going on? Are you guys testing me for COVID? What’s happening?’ They said, ‘No, you’re getting taken away. And you have no choice. You’re going to Howard Springs.’”

Hodgson said the officers told her that they had received orders from “higher up” to take her to the facility and that she was not permitted to “self-isolate” at home.

The officers told Hodgson that if she didn’t voluntarily go with them, they’d put her “in the back of the [police] van,” she said.

Once she arrived at the facility, Hodgson was told she would have to stay there for two weeks, according to Unherd. She was reportedly tested three times throughout her confinement, and each time she tested negative for the virus.

While inside the facility, Hodgson said she had very little contact with others and was treated poorly by the staff.

“They don’t come and say anything. They don’t check up; they don’t do anything. You get delivered your meals once a day. And you are just left,” she said.

At one point, staff reportedly offered to sedate Hodgson with Valium to calm her down after she complained about the camp’s conditions. Hodgson said she lost her job during her stay and was never informed of any rights she had or put in contact with a lawyer.

Howard Springs is one of two “mandatory supervised quarantine facilities” in the Northern Territory, according to a government website.

While in quarantine, a person must “stay in the person’s allocated room, including on any veranda space allocated to the room, unless permitted by an [authorized] officer,” according to the website.

There is another report on these camps here:


Huge changes to school start and finish times could come to Australia

Radical changes could be made to the average school day in New South Wales as part of an effort from the state government to support working parents and reduce traffic congestion.

The overhaul would mean principals can offer options to parents other than the standard 9am-3pm school day.

During a speech at the annual Bradfield Oration, NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet suggested school times should be changed to better suit the lives of working families.

'Despite the progress we have made, so many public services are still designed around government, not around the people we are here to serve,' he said on Thursday.

'Education should be designed around our children, not simply around the schools themselves.'

He used the speech to declare his plans to bring NSW into the '21st Century' by leading a modern government that 'doesn't accept the status quo'.

At one point the Premier directly challenged Education Minister Sarah Mitchell, asking if the existing school day was fit for working parents. 'Why does the school day run from 9am to 3pm — and does it still suit the lives of busy working families?' asked Mr Perrottet.

His speech has reignited debate over whether the traditional 9am-3pm school day should be overhauled to provide flexibility for families.

In June, the government staggered the start and finish times of public schools as part of a push to modernise the traditional school day and reduce traffic congestion.

The bold plan allowed schools to participate in trials where principals could offer parents options that differed from the standard 9am to 3pm school day.

Alternatives include a 7am to 1pm day, or extended after-school care.

NSW Teachers Federation President Angelo Gavrielatos previously claimed most schools across the state already offered varied school hours.

'The majority of schools do not operate between nine and three [o'clock], there's all sorts of variations,' he told the Sydney Morning Herald.

'There are schools with nine-day fortnights, or four-day weeks. But these matters are not straightforward and require significant consultation to achieve a consensus across a broad parent body and staff body, all of whom are impacted.'

Merrylands East Public in the city's west already operates an 8am to 1.15pm school day.

The scheme could also see an ease of pressure on Sydney's heavily-congested roads by staggering when students are picked up and dropped off from school.

The cost of Sydney's traffic congestion to the state economy is estimated to reach $13.1billion by 2031, according to the NSW Productivity Commission.


Albo's economic REVOLUTION: Labor leader launches 'most comprehensive climate policy EVER' - claiming he'll create 600,000 jobs and slash the price of power - so is it too good to be true?

Anthony Albanese has announced Labor's climate change policy which he will take to the Australian public at next year's election.

His plan will create 604,000 jobs and slash average household energy prices by $275 a year by 2025 and $378 by 2035, according to Labor-commissioned modelling.

The policies will reduce emissions by 43 per cent by 2030, a slightly less ambitious target than Bill Shorten's 45 per cent aim which Mr Albanese called a 'mistake' earlier this year.

The Coalition's target is to reduce emissions by 26-28 per cent below 2005 levels, although latest projections show the nation is on track for a 30-35 per cent reduction.

Labor's plan involves a $20billion upgrade of the electricity grid to improve transmission, rolling out 85 solar banks and 400 community batteries around the nation and investing in 10,000 'new energy apprentices' alongside a $10million New Energy Skills Program.

A future Labor government would also spend $3billion on renewables manufacturing and deploying low-emissions technologies and remove taxes on electric cars to make them cheaper.

Mr Albanese said five out of every six new jobs created under the plan will be in regional Australia. Some 64,000 are direct jobs while 540,000 are indirect jobs created as a side-effect of the policies.

The plan will not negatively impact traditional fossil fuel jobs and will not bring forward power station closures, Mr Albanese said. But it will increase the share of renewables in the National Electricity Market to 82 per cent by 2030.

The Labor leader said the Coalition had failed to take action on climate change for eight years. 'This is the Government that is frozen in time while the world warms around it,' he said.

Labor's policy document says it will spend $100million to deliver an initial 85 solar banks around Australia.

That will mean some 25,000 households that are unable to install rooftop solar can access solar energy.

'The success of this initiative will spark additional private investment to deliver solar to even more homes,' the document says.

The plan also says 400 new community batteries costing a total of $200million will provide shared power storage for up to 100,000 households.

Labor will also introduce a tradeable carbon credits policy for 215 of the biggest emitting facilities in Australia to incentivise them to reduce their emissions.


Dire teacher shortages rattle Qld schools

Desperate Queensland principals have turned to social media in a bid to plug dire staff shortages to ensure school kids have teachers in the classroom next year.

Education insiders have told The Courier-Mail that principal stress about staff shortages, particularly in Queensland’s rural and remote schools, has been exacerbated by the state government’s “last minute” implementation of a Covid-19 vaccine mandate.

Questions have been raised about the timing of this week’s announcement of the mandate, which has ordered teachers and staff to be double-dose vaccinated by January 23 – the day before term 1 begins.

One school leader told The Courier-Mail while the mandate was not “completely unexpected”, the timing less than two weeks before the end of the state school year had made planning for 2022 “a challenge”.

Another leader, based in a regional Queensland state high school, said they had been “left scrambling” after being unclear about the vaccination status of “three to four” senior teachers, a week before the end of term 4.

The Courier-Mail understands state and Catholic school sector bodies emailed staff this week to request they register their “intent to vaccinate status” as soon as possible, in an attempt to plan for anticipated teaching shortfalls.

Complicating matters was that many Queensland private schools, who also fall under the vaccination mandate, have already finished for the year.

A Department of Education spokesman confirmed the measure, and said in order to “enable compliance with the direction, the (department) is undertaking ongoing communication with all school-based staff including surveying staff”.

But some schools are already reportedly facing staff walkouts, with others in race against time to find staff for term 1.




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