Bee-come Environmental Champions: Applications for the 2021 Woolworths Junior Landcare Grants Program are open to all primary schools and early learning centres in the Parkes Shire. Up to a thousand Woolworths Junior Landcare Grants are being offered, for up to $1,000 each. Recipients can use the grant to grow a vegetable or bush tucker garden, composting, worm farm or other environmental projects in their schools and communities, helping to educate the younger generation about the importance of the environment. Primary schools and early learning centres can also apply for a Bee Bonus of $500 of extra funding to support the conservation of Australia’s bee population by developing native beehives, pollinator gardens or bee education programs. An estimated 15.6 million hectares of native Australian forest was destroyed in the 2019-2020 bushfire crisis, resulting in a negative impact on the ability of honey bees to provide pollination services to Australian crops and horticulture. The program is funded through purchases of the Woolworths Bag for Good™, an initiative that was launched in June 2018 when Woolworths removed single-use plastic shopping bags across all stores. To find out more about the Woolworths Junior Landcare Grants Program and to apply, visit landcareaustralia.org.au/woolworthsgrants
COVID-19 Vaccines: Plans for the complex distribution process and safe and secure storage of the COVID-19 vaccines are well in hand. Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack and Minister for Regional Health, Regional Communities and Local Government Mark Coulton inspected DHL Supply Chain’s large scale ultra-cold storage infrastructure on Sunday before the arrival of the first 142,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine on Monday. People will begin receiving the vaccine from Monday, 22nd February with 60,000 doses to be rolled out by the end of the month. The Government is releasing 80,000 doses of the vaccine next week, with 50,000 going to states and territories to vaccinate front-line quarantine and health workers, and 30,000 to aged care and disability care residents and workers. DHL’s ultra-cold and secure storage facility will keep the supply safe, which needs to be stored at between minus 60 and 80 degrees. Australia will receive 20 million Pfizer-BioNTech doses. “Every person living in regional, rural, and remote Australia can rest assured they will have access to safe, effective COVID-19 vaccines at the same time as their city cousins,” said the Deputy PM.