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HALTs spreading the word about mental health within the tradie community

In 2013 HALT (Hope Assistance Local Tradies) founder Jeremy Forbes was at a funeral for one of his mates, a tradie. After the funeral, at the wake, he was talking to more mates, many of them tradies. There had beenm 5-6 tradies suicide in the mount Alexander shire in the 18 months pire.

The group had been to five or six funeral in the 18 month prior for men who had suicided. One question kept popping up in the conversations.

“Whos next?”

Mr Forbes said that was the catalyst for him to realise something needed to be done to help the tradie community and stop the culture that was driving more and more men to suicide.

Nationally the number of people who suicide is double the road toll. In the Dubbo region suicides are three times higher than the road toll for the same area, however both locally and nationally the budget for suicide prevention is significantly lower.

Mr Forbes was in Dubbo recently to get the HALT message out to the tradie, and the wider community.

“Im here bec..

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In 2013 HALT (Hope Assistance Local Tradies) founder Jeremy Forbes was at a funeral for one of his mates, a tradie. After the funeral, at the wake, he was talking to more mates, many of them tradies. There had beenm 5-6 tradies suicide in the mount Alexander shire in the 18 months pire.

The group had been to five or six funeral in the 18 month prior for men who had suicided. One question kept popping up in the conversations.

“Whos next?”

Mr Forbes said that was the catalyst for him to realise something needed to be done to help the tradie community and stop the culture that was driving more and more men to suicide.

Nationally the number of people who suicide is double the road toll. In the Dubbo region suicides are three times higher than the road toll for the same area, however both locally and nationally the budget for suicide prevention is significantly lower.

Mr Forbes was in Dubbo recently to get the HALT message out to the tradie, and the wider community.

“Im here because the Dubbo community cares, and I think we all have a role to play in reducing the rates of suicide.

“Theres a huge economic benefit to having a mentally healthy workplace. We do the physical thing. We need to do the mental health thing,” he said.

“You never know whats going on inside each individual person.”

Mr Forbes spent a week in the Dubbo community, taking part in several events around town including the Boys Day Out racing meet, a tradies breakfast at Astleys and the Chamber of Commerce breakfast meeting.

Mr Forbes said he had been to a lot of communities in Australia but Dubbo was the first that had invited him with a large amount of community groups already organised for him to speak too.

“Ive really been blown away with the friendliness and the pro-activeness of the community, and we are talking about the possibility of getting a HALT worker in Dubbo at some stage, to continue to message around this region.”

Mr Forbes said he was in talks with community groups to come back to the Dubbo region sometime during August or September to work with vulnerable sections of the community.

Mr Forbes worked in the industry as a painter and decorator for 25 years before forming HALT.

He said he had experienced and witnessed the “racist, sexist, misogynistic, domestic violence and drug abuse, Alcohol that were all that part of the tradie culture.”

While small steps were being undertaken to rid the industry of that culture, most changes would come from a generational shift, and thats why HALT was so important.

“We need to get rid of the youll be right culture, its not helping anyone at all not to talk about your emotions. Its something we learnt from our grandfathers – they went to war, some came back with PTSD, they didnt talk and it really affected them and their families. We know what affect it has and I think its really important to have those conversations.”

Mr Forbes co-founded HALT with visual artist Catherine Pilgrim following a conversation about what they could do to raise raise awareness about mental health within the tradie community.

HALTs Save your Bacon breakfasts were started at a local hardware store.

“We thought about where we could have the event where tradies would go, where they would feel socially included. They wouldnt go to a health centre, most of them dont, so we thought we would do it in a hardware store.”

The duo came up with the Save your Bacon slogan and their breakfasts were born.

Their first breakfast in 2013 had around 40-50 people. Fast forward to 2018 and they have done 200 events across five states. While they started in the hardware stores, they have now branched out and are speaking and holding events at TAFE with apprentices, farming communities, sporting clubs and mens sheds.

The foundation continues to move forward with a TED talk to be launched soon, taking the organisation to a global audience.

If you or somebody you know needs assistance please contact Lifeline on 13 11 14.

This story HALTs spreading the word about mental health within the tradie community first appeared on Daily Liberal.

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Australia

Australia resists calls for tougher climate targets

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Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison has resisted pressure to set more ambitious carbon emission targets while other major nations vowed deeper reductions to tackle climate change.

Addressing a global climate summit, Mr Morrison said Australia was on a path to net zero emissions.

But he stopped short of setting a timeline, saying the country would get there “as soon as possible”.

It came as the US, Canada and Japan set new commitments for steeper cuts.

US President Joe Biden, who chaired the virtual summit, pledged to cut carbon emissions by 50-52% below 2005 levels by the year 2030. This new target essentially doubles the previous US promise.

By contrast, Australia will stick with its existing pledge of cutting carbon emissions by 26%-28% below 2005 levels, by 2030. That’s in line with the Paris climate agreement, though Mr Morrison said Australia was on a pathway to net zero emissions.

“Our goal is to get there as soon as we possibly can, through technology that enables and transforms our industries, not taxes that eliminate them and the jobs and livelihoods they support and create,” he told the summit.

“Future generations… will thank us not for what we have promised, but what we deliver.”

Australia is one of the world’s biggest carbon emitters on a per capita basis. Mr Morrison, who has faced sustained criticism over climate policy, said action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions would focus on technology.

The prime minister said Australia is deploying renewable energy 10 times faster than the global average per person, and has the highest uptake of rooftop solar panels in the world.

Mr Morrison added Australia would invest $20bn ($15.4bn; 11.1bn) “to achieve ambitious goals that will bring the cost of clean hydrogen, green steel, energy storage and carbon capture to commercial parity”.

“You can always be sure that the commitments Australia makes to reduce greenhouse gas emissions are bankable.”

Australia has seen growing international pressure to step up its efforts to cut emissions and tackle global warming. The country has warmed on average by 1.4 degrees C since national records began in 1910, according to its science and weather agencies. That’s led to an increase in the number of extreme heat events, as well as increased fire danger days.

Ahead of the summit, President Biden’s team urged countries that have been slow to embrace action on climate change to raise their ambition. While many nations heeded the call, big emitters China and India also made no new commitments.

“Scientists tell us that this is the decisive decade – this is the decade we must make decisions that will avoid the worst consequences of the climate crisis,” President Biden said at the summit’s opening address.

Referring to America’s new carbon-cutting pledge, President Biden added: “The signs are unmistakable, the science is undeniable, and the cost of inaction keeps mounting.”

Read from source: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-56854558

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Australia

Sydney seaplane crash: Exhaust fumes affected pilot, report confirms

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The pilot of a seaplane that crashed into an Australian river, killing all on board, had been left confused and disorientated by leaking exhaust fumes, investigators have confirmed.

The Canadian pilot and five members of a British family died in the crash north of Sydney in December 2017.

All were found to have higher than normal levels of carbon monoxide in their blood, a final report has found.

It recommended the mandatory fitting of gas detectors in all such planes.

British businessman Richard Cousins, 58, died alongside his 48-year-old fiancée, magazine editor Emma Bowden, her 11-year-old daughter Heather and his sons, Edward, 23, and William, 25, and pilot Gareth Morgan, 44. Mr Cousins was the chief executive of catering giant Compass.

The family had been on a sightseeing flight in the de Havilland DHC-2 Beaver plane when it nose-dived into the Hawkesbury River at Jerusalem Bay, about 50km (30 miles) from the city centre.

The final report by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) confirmed the findings of an interim report published in 2020.

It said pre-existing cracks in the exhaust collector ring were believed to have released exhaust gas into the engine bay. Holes left by missing bolts in a firewall then allowed the fumes to enter the cabin.

“As a result, the pilot would have almost certainly experienced effects such as confusion, visual disturbance and disorientation,” the report said.

“Consequently, it was likely that this significantly degraded the pilot’s ability to safely operate the aircraft.”

The ATSB recommended the Civil Aviation Safety Authority consider mandating the fitting of carbon monoxide detectors in piston-engine aircraft that carry passengers.

It previously issued safety advisory notices to owners and operators of such aircraft that they install detectors “with an active warning” to pilots”. Operators and maintainers of planes were also advised to carry out detailed inspections of exhaust systems and firewalls.

Read from source: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-55862128

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Australia

Australia unlikely to fully reopen border in 2021, says top official

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Australia is unlikely to fully open its borders in 2021 even if most of its population gets vaccinated this year as planned, says a senior health official.

The comments dampen hopes raised by airlines that travel to and from the country could resume as early as July.

Department of Health Secretary Brendan Murphy made the prediction after being asked about the coronavirus’ escalation in other nations.

Dr Murphy spearheaded Australia’s early action to close its borders last March.

“I think that we’ll go most of this year with still substantial border restrictions,” he told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation on Monday.

“Even if we have a lot of the population vaccinated, we don’t know whether that will prevent transmission of the virus,” he said, adding that he believed quarantine requirements for travellers would continue “for some time”.

Citizens, permanent residents and those with exemptions are allowed to enter Australia if they complete a 14-day hotel quarantine at their own expense.

Qantas – Australia’s national carrier – reopened bookings earlier this month, after saying it expected international travel to “begin to restart from July 2021.”

However, it added this depended on the Australian government’s deciding to reopen borders.

Australia’s tight restrictions

The country opened a travel bubble with neighbouring New Zealand late last year, but currently it only operates one-way with inbound flights to Australia.

Australia has also discussed the option of travel bubbles with other low-risk places such as Taiwan, Japan and Singapore.

A vaccination scheme is due to begin in Australia in late February. Local authorities have resisted calls to speed up the process, giving more time for regulatory approvals.

Australia has so far reported 909 deaths and about 22,000 cases, far fewer than many nations. It reported zero locally transmitted infections on Monday.

Experts have attributed much of Australia’s success to its swift border lockdown – which affected travellers from China as early as February – and a hotel quarantine system for people entering the country.

Local outbreaks have been caused by hotel quarantine breaches, including a second wave in Melbourne. The city’s residents endured a stringent four-month lockdown last year to successfully suppress the virus.

Other outbreaks – including one in Sydney which has infected about 200 people – prompted internal border closures between states, and other restrictions around Christmas time.

The state of Victoria said on Monday it would again allow entry to Sydney residents outside of designated “hotspots”, following a decline in cases.

While the measures have been praised, many have also criticised them for separating families across state borders and damaging businesses.

Dr Murphy said overall Australia’s virus response had been “pretty good” but he believed the nation could have introduced face masks earlier and improved its protections in aged care homes.

In recent days, Australia has granted entry to about 1,200 tennis players, staff and officials for the Australian Open. The contingent – which has recorded at least nine infections – is under quarantine.

Read from source: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-55699581

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