Home' The Monaro Post : The Monaro Post February 1, 2017 Contents GRASSROOTS
44 Wednesday February 1, 2017
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RFS Australia Day Awards
Six NSW Rural Fire Service
(NSW RFS) members have been
recognised for their contributions
to their local community, as part
of the Australia Day Honours.
The five volunteers and one
staff member have been named
as recipients of the prestigious
Australian Fire Service Medal
(AFSM). They are:
• Mr John CULLEN, Manager,
Far South Coast District, Region
• Mr Harvey Alan BAILEY,
Dapto Rural Fire Brigade, Region
BENNETT, Thirlmere Brigade,
• Mr James Robert FAHEY,
Hornsby District, Region East
Mr John KJOLLER,
Canobolas Zone, Region West
• Mr Trevor Richard PENFOLD,
Trungley Hall and Pinnacle
Brigades, Region West.
said the six
recipients have demonstrated a
remarkable level of commitment
to the Service and their local
“On Australia Day, we celebrate
all the things that make this
country great. The dedication that
these volunteers have to helping
their local communities for the
want of nothing in return, other
then merely making a difference,
is a great example of the
Australian spirit,” Commissioner
“Some of these members have
dedicated more than 40 years to
helping and protecting others.
commitment and something the
whole community should be
“Our members don’t do what
they do for awards or accolades
but this is worthy recognition of
their efforts and contribution,”
Commissioner Fitzsimmons said.
Q fever – know the risks
What is Q fever?
Q fever is an illness caused by the bacterium
Coxiella burnetii. Q fever is spread to humans from
infected animals. The bacteria survive for long
periods in the environment as they are resistant to
heat, drying and many disinfectants.
Q fever is usually an acute infection but it
can sometimes lead to a chronic illness. It is
considerably under-diagnosed and under-reported.
20 to 25 per cent of cases do not fully recover, with
sufferers going on to develop long-term chronic
fatigue. In chronic cases, Q fever can also be fatal.
Australia has one of the highest reported rates
of Q fever in the world – mostly in NSW and
Queensland – with rates 2, 3 and 6 times higher
than in France, the European Union and the
United Kingdom respectively. There are around
600 notifications of Q fever each year, though it is
believed that the rate of infection is much higher.
Notifications have doubled since 2011.
Am I at risk?
People at the highest risk of Q fever include
abattoir and meat workers, farmers and shearers,
and vets and vet nurses. Birthing animals or
shearing can put you at an increased risk, but Q
fever is not just confined to people working with
livestock. It can be contracted by people living near
abattoirs, saleyards, and working with cats, dogs,
The bacteria survive for long periods in the
environment as they are resistant to heat, drying
and many disinfectants. The risk of contracting Q
fever is usually higher in drought conditions as the
pathogens can live in dust.
Northern New South Wales towns including
Guyra and Gunnedah are hotspots for Q fever, with
as much as 22 per cent of the population showing
exposure to the disease.
How can I protect myself?
A vaccine is available to protect against Q fever.
Vaccination is recommended by NSW Health for
all people who are working in, or intend to work
in, a high-risk occupation. Vaccination requires
blood and skin tests before receiving the vaccine
to ensure you haven’t previously been exposed
to Q fever. You can go to www.qfever.org to find
out if there are any qualified GPs near you. Some
elements of the test and vaccine cannot be bulk-
You can also take measures on-farm to reduce
the spread of Q fever, including thoroughly washing
your hands after handling animals, reducing dust
around animal housing, and wearing protective
gear when helping to birth animals.
What is NSW Farmers’ Q fever policy?
NSW Farmers is asking the government to
take the risk of Q fever seriously. We’re asking
for better training for rural GPs to ensure they
can diagnose and treat Q fever. We would like to
see free testing and vaccination clinics for those
most at risk of contracting Q fever, as well as
awareness campaigns in communities at risk.
Most importantly, we’re asking for the federal
government to place the Q fever vaccine on the
Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.
Farmers congratulate premier
NSW Farmers congratulates Gladys Berejiklian on
becoming the 45th Premier of NSW. NSW Farmers
congratulates the new leaders of the NSW Liberal
Party, Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Deputy Liberal
Leader Dominic Perrottet.
NSW Farmers’ President Derek Schoen said the
Association is looking forward to working with the
new Premier on regional issues.
“As Treasurer, Ms Berejiklian oversaw the six billion
dollar funding allocation for regional infrastructure.
Now that she’s Premier, we hope she’ll continue
championing for better infrastructure in the bush.”
The Association is also reminding the new
leadership team not to make the mistake of
forgetting regional New South Wales.
“New South Wales stands for more than just
Newcastle, Sydney and Wollongong.
“We need the Premier to be a leader for all of New
South Wales and that means becoming more familiar
with rural and regional communities.
“With the state’s books looking healthy and
Sydney’s infrastructure projects booming, now’s
the time for some of that prosperity to make it past
the sandstone curtain,” Mr Schoen said. Among
the issues NSW Farmers is keen to discuss with
Premier Berejiklian are regional infrastructure,
telecommunications, biosecurity, native vegetation
and water management.
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