Georgia Rossiter on the blog today, bringing you the latest news in and around the Goulburn Valley.
Expect a 26 degree high and light cloud cover throughout the day, depending on the weather.
10:40 a.m .: Victorian-era ombudsman deems border exemption regime ‘unfair’
The Victoria Ombudsman’s investigation into the Victoria Department of Health’s border exemption program resulted in only eight percent of the more than 33,000 requests received between July 9 and September 14.
Ombudsman Deborah Glass found that while the decision to close the border was just a public health opinion, discretion was exercised narrowly, with many not even reaching a decision-maker.
“The anguish of people when they spoke to us was palpable,” said Ms. Glass.
People have complained to the ombudsman after exemptions were denied to travel to Victoria to attend funerals, essential medical appointments, care for sick family members and to start employment.
Ms Glass said she recognized that the Victorian government’s decision to close the border was in the best interests of the people of the state, that it had far-reaching consequences for those who were stuck across the borders.
“While we did not review all of the decisions and am not suggesting that all were unfair, the overwhelming majority of requests did not reach a decision maker at all, and the guidelines have not changed even though the The number of cases in Victoria was increasing and the risks evolved, ”said Ms. Glass.
The consequences of this have been vast and unfair for the thousands of people stranded across the border. “
Update 10:10 am: Pick GV registrations are now open
Registrations for the GV Pick Seasonal Worker Campaign are now open for the 2021/22 picking season in the Goulburn Valley.
Established last year as Pick Shepp, the program has secured an additional $ 500,000 in funding from Regional Development Victoria to expand throughout the region.
It is jointly managed by Greater Shepparton City Council, the Cobram District Fruit Growers Association and Fruit Growers Victoria (FGV), and provides training and support to help workers keep their jobs after the picking season.
Mayor Kim O’Keefe said the campaign will help equip workers with the skills they need to succeed.
“Most of the skills can be learned on the job, some require training that we are prepared to support,” she said.
We will bring you more details on this subject shortly.
Update 9:05 a.m .: Everything related to COVID-19
Victoria recorded 1,185 more cases overnight, with the total number of cases across the state now over 13,000.
Hospitalizations are still relatively stable, with 297 today including 47 in intensive care and 25 on a ventilator.
Sadly, seven people have died from the virus.
We thank everyone who was vaccinated and tested yesterday.
Our hearts go out to those in hospital and to the families of those who have lost their lives.
– VicGovDH (@VicGovDH) December 6, 2021
Also in the COVID-19 news, Queensland Premier Anastasia Palasczuk announced yesterday that Queensland will open COVID-19 hotspots early December 13 at 1 a.m. for vaccinated travelers.
It aligns with projections that the state will achieve an 80% vaccination rate on the same day.
This is great news for those of us who have family in the sun or just want to head north for a well-deserved vacation.
Update 8:50 am: What’s in the news?
Shepparton’s first medical students are ready to begin: The Shepparton University campus in Melbourne welcomed the first cohort of rural medical students on Monday, December 6. There are 17 La Trobe University graduates enrolled in the University of Melbourne MD (Rural Pathway) course in Shepparton, as of 2022.
Goulburn Valley Country Music Festival Announces Showcase Winners: Jade Gibson, Madi Colville-Walker, JB & Me and Kane Vincent were the four artists chosen to take the big stage at the inaugural event in April next year .
And a Cobram teacher and farmer is considering running for the Nicholls federal seat in the upcoming election, which will be vacated by National MP Damian Drum. Stephen Brooks, 38, said he was encouraged by a number of people who suggested he take part in the race, after news circulated about the seat vacancy.