The PRWIRE Press Releases https:// 2020-04-03T06:17:55Z Cash vs card: which is safer against COVID-19? 2020-04-03T06:17:55Z cash-vs-card-which-is-safer-against-covid-19 MEDIA RELEASE FRIDAY 3 APRIL 2020 ATM CASH IS STERILISED AND SAFER THAN EFTPOS Many retailers are now refusing to accept cash payments, but notes withdrawn from an ATM are sterilised and could be safer, in preventing the spread of COVID-19, than using an eftpos machine for making purchases. “Cash is sanitised with ultra-violet light, disinfectant sprays and stored for 24 – 48 hours to ensure it is free of contamination,” said Tim Wildash, chief executive of Next Payments, Australia’s leading independent ATM supplier. “By contrast, EFTPOS terminals are used by hundreds of shoppers per day to make card transactions, to enter their PIN if required and select their account. “Any germs or virus on a consumer’s card can be transferred onto the surface of the EFTPOS device. “Each customer then runs the risk of picking up a disease because there is significant potential to come into contact with germs/virus on your hands and on cards with EFTPOS Payments,” said Tim Wildash. “Our ATM machine keypads are frequently sanitised to keep them clean and relatively germ-free. “Cashing companies are sanitizing notes with ultra-violet lights, disinfectant sprays and storing cash for between 24 and 48 hours to ensure germs can’t survive on their surface prior to replenishing the ATMs. “On average between ten and fifteen customers per day use a clean and sanitized Next Payments ATM to access sanitized germ-free cash. “Contrast that with using an EFTPOS machine that may have already been used by hundreds of other shoppers already that day.” “There is no evidence of Cash spreading COVID 19, this has been confirmed by the World Health Organization,” said Tim Wildash. For more comments or interview, contact:  Tim Wildash - 0418 336 599 / twildash@nextpayments.com.au Chief Executive Officer Next Payments Financial services consumers need help now – FP subsidy a solution worth considering 2020-04-03T05:39:21Z financial-services-consumers-need-help-now-fp-subsidy-a-solution-worth-considering Sequoia Financial Group Ltd (Sequoia) Managing Director Garry Crole has identified an urgent need for consumers to receive financial advice relating to the COVID 19 support packages and calls on the Federal Government to assist the financial planning needs of Australian consumers impacted by the Corona Virus.    While most attention has understandably been focussed on the wide ranging and enormously significant support packages announced by State and Federal Governments in recent weeks, there has been less focus on implementation, and particularly the assistance that consumers will need in light of the significant confusion surrounding how and who qualifies and whether it is appropriate to access the sweeping and urgent packages announced.   Sequoia is advocating for urgent action from Government to address the challenges consumers face in accessing affordable financial advice.   Garry Crole said, “Never have we seen so many once financially viable businesses close their doors, so many people lose their jobs or lose a substantial percentage of their income. While the government has announced some tremendous initiatives, which can assist many through this period, a lack of understanding on where to go or how to access these benefits compounds the stressful scenario faced by many.   Investors are also currently panicked by the fluctuations in the share market and are making decisions about their investments and insurances with no understanding of longer-term implications.   A good example is the early superannuation release package. Affected consumers need appropriate advice about the long-term consequences for their retirement and we have already seen ASIC raising concerns about unqualified people providing advice in this area.   Sequoia is calling for a Subsidy for consumers who are adversely affected by the crisis and do not have an existing financial planner. The proposed benefit would be limited to super fund members with account balances under $200,000 or those aged above 50 facing a significant change in circumstances. Unfortunately, because of the cost of financial advice, many ordinary Australians and Small Businesses feel they have no choice but to avoid or postpone accessing the services of a financial planner in what are often quite complicated personal situations.   Ideally all affected consumers would be able to access financial planning advice. The financial planner would coach consumers in the current volatile environment via personalised investment and insurance parameters suitable to their individual circumstances and guide them through the complicated decision-making process around the various support packages available.   Garry Crole concluded, “Never in our nation’s history has there been a situation where the need for professional financial advice is so crucial yet simultaneously inaccessible for some of the most vulnerable.   If the Federal Government and the planning industry could work together on this problem, I expect that planners would also commit to lower entry fees for financial advice so that all Australians could have the benefit of professional financial advice. I believe a subsidy, in the form of a rebate, would support Australians in need of advice and increase the effectiveness of the various support packages, which is for the benefit of all Australians.”   ENDS   Issued by Sequoia Financial Group Ltd        www.sequoia.com.au            Media enquiries:  Mr Joe Perri    Joe Perri & Associates Pty Ltd Mobile: +61412112545   Email:  jperri@joeperri.com.au              WORLD FAMOUS ECONOMIST HARRY DENT WARNS THE GREAT CRASH HAS STARTED! 2020-04-02T02:00:14Z world-famous-economist-harry-dent-warns-the-great-crash-has-started WORLD FAMOUS ECONOMIST HARRY DENT WARNS THE GREAT CRASH HAS STARTED! #   AUSTRALIAN PROPERTY TO PLUMMET  #   BITCOIN WILL HAVE BIGGEST CRASH EVER #   SHARE MARKET WILL DROP AT LEAST 60 % #   BUT! ONCE IN A LIFETIME OPPORTUNITY    TO MAKE MONEY  Best selling author and Harvard Economist Harry Dent is one of the world’s most brilliant and accurate economic futurists. He will be sharing his insights in a complimentary webinar ”THE GREAT CRASH BEGINS .....  how the next 3 years could make you a fortune” LIVE across Australia next Wednesday 8th April at 12 noon Sydney time. Register for free at www.harrydentlive.com TO INTERVIEW HARRY DENT email  max@marksonsparks.com or call Max Markson 0412 501 601   Harry Dent (the only forecaster to see a sudden 40% stock crash and the Aussie dollar near $0.60 USD back when it was $1.06) will explain how to avoid the pitfalls of the greatest social, economic and political upheaval since the American Revolution. Harry will also show how this current crisis is the opportunity of a lifetime to make generational wealth from what is about to unfold in the coming months and years. The LIVE broadcast will also reveal •             Which Australian state will lead Australia’s economic recovery •             The future of Australian real estate. Will it survive the impact of Coronavirus? •             Whether the massive stimulus will stop the depression •             The future of the Australian dollar and how low it will go before it bounces back •             The greatest commodity boom in history that will boost Australian mining exports more than ever •             The single best consumer sector in Australia and the developed world •             The one final rebound in stocks just ahead the public do not want to miss •             How to project when the coronavirus is likely to slow down in key countries like Italy and the US •             How much more will the stock market crash before it finally rebounds? •             The safe investment havens during this chaos •             What to buy when it’s 80% off •             The next massive urbanization surge globally •             Why central banks are finally losing all their credibility •             The developed country who will overcome the recession faster than anyone else •              Is this a short recession or the start of a massive depression? •             The future of gold in the coming months and what to do when it comes to precious metals •             The future of Bitcoin, is it a safe currency? •             The best vehicle to make quick and significant gains from the market drop •             When we’ll finally experience the next global boom in history and what will •             drive it •             Why India will become the next China… •             The steps to take to protect current assets and triple investments •             How some of the world’s biggest fortunes were made during market conditions like the ones we’re experiencing now and the smart moves to follow to survive and thrive  TO INTERVIEW HARRY DENTemail max@marksonsparks.com or call Max Markson 0412 501 601  PS: Harry Dent is the world’s most accurate economic forecaster. No one is ever 100% correct but Harry is on the mark 80% of the time with often very bold and contrary forecasts.….here’s his top 12 predictions over the last 30 years. …  # First newsletter September 1989: 2-year slowdown and mini stock crash in US.  # 1989: 12 -14 year major crash and downturn in Japan similar to Great Depression... while US, Europe have greatest decade in history in 1990s.  # First published book in late 1992: The Great Boom Ahead and Dow 10,000 by 2000.  # Early 2000 Tech and Internet Bubble peaks.  # Early October 2002 bottom after tech wreck.  # US real estate bubble peak in late 2005 before early 2006 peak  # 2008 bubble peak in oil  # Peak of silver to the day in late April 2011 -- and sell signal for gold which was 5 months early  # Gold collapse when broke $1,525 in early 2013   # Peak of Junk Bonds in May 2013 # Gold rebound in 2016, but only to around $1,428 before collapses again  # US Treasury yields back up to 2.9% - 3.0% after low in 2016. # US stocks in final orgasmic rally from late 2019 into early to mid-2020 PMA A-NZ release safety information for consumers 2020-04-02T01:46:10Z pma-a-nz-release-safety-information-for-consumers Melbourne, Victoria: The Produce Marketing Association Australia-New Zealand (PMA A-NZ) has today released advice for consumers shopping for fruit and vegetables during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. There has been varying reports in the media about the potential transmission of COVID-19 and PMA A-NZ wanted to assure consumers of the message from the World Health Organization that fresh produce is safe and the consumption of fruit and vegetables is encouraged during this time. “It’s important for consumers to be deliberate in planning their trips to the supermarket to adhere to the Government advice around social distancing. However, it’s important to remember that the threat is not food or food packaging, but other people”, says Deon Mahoney, Head of Food Safety at PMA A-NZ. “Prepare and wash your fruit and vegetables as normal – wash them in cold running water and peel and cook where appropriate. Don’t use soaps or detergents as they’re not formulated for food”, Mahoney said. PMA A-NZ, Australia’s largest industry association for fresh produce, has released a range of resources to help fresh produce businesses succeed during the COVID-19 pandemic, which are free to the public at pma-anz.com. “Now more than ever, it’s important to consume fresh fruits and vegetables, which can help boost the immune system and overall health”, Mahoney said. --ENDS-- Positive News for Outstanding Leaders a Welcomed Distraction during COVID-19 2020-04-01T08:03:28Z positive-news-for-outstanding-leaders-a-welcomed-distraction-during-covid-19 This week, more than eighty leaders across government, private and not-for-profit sectors became finalists in the prestigious Outstanding Leadership Awards. Spearheaded by Brisbane leadership authority, Sonia McDonald, the awards recognise the exceptional achievement by courageous and kind leaders across various disciplines. Since notifying finalists, Ms McDonald's inbox has been flooded with messages of gratitude from nominees who've spent the past few weeks, navigating the complex reality of being caught up in a worldwide health pandemic. "On quite a few occasions, finalists have literally burst into tears after being notified they had made it to the final round of judging," said McDonald. "Its been incredibly rewarding to be the bearer of good news at a time when leaders are facing the biggest crisis of their lives - 2020 has indeed become the year we need courageous leadership." The inaugural awards ceremony has attracted dozens of high-calibre leaders including the founders of Orange Sky, Nic Marchesi and Lucas Patchett, King Kong's Sabri Suby and Netball Queensland's Catherine Clark. "We initially set out to host the awards ceremony in May, but we've now pushed it back to the 4 September in the hopes things will return to normal by then," said McDonald. "Until then, we are doing everything we can to showcase the incredibly kind and courageous leaders who have made it through - because right now, good leadership is essential. "We're doing regular social media posts highlighting their stories and we've partnered with the Leadership Review Magazine and Yellowpanda PR to help create even more noise," she said. Proudly sponsored by McDonald Inc, Central Queensland University (CQU)and DHL Express, the award categories include CEO - Private Sector, Public Sector Leader, Courageous Team Award, Future Leader, Men in Leadership, Women in Leadership, Student Leader, SME Business Leader, Community Leader, and Startup Leader.  The awards night will be held on 4 September from 6:30pm to 11.30pm at the Royal International Convention Centre, with retail leadership superstar Guy Russo as the guest of honour and radios, Bianca Dye as the Master of Ceremonies.  For more information visit: www.outstandingleadershipawards.com.au. GFA World Calls for ‘Lasting Solutions’ in New Report on World Water Crisis 2020-04-01T06:17:17Z gfa-world-calls-for-lasting-solutions-in-new-report-on-world-water-crisis-1 TOOWOOMBA, QLD -- A sobering new report released today by GFA World, (www.gfaau.org) in the wake of World Water Day reveals that two billion people globally are struggling to find enough water to survive.   Approximately 40 percent of the world’s land surface is desert or semi-arid, placing about two billion people -- one in every four people on the planet -- in peril, says the report titled Solving the World Water Crisis for Good: Lasting Solutions Can Defeat an Age-Old Problem. The report comes just after World Water Day, March 22, a global awareness event.   “In many places, there simply isn’t enough water, and the water that people do have is contaminated,” said Yohannan, whose mission has helped the extreme poor for four decades.   Millions of people rely on dirty ponds for drinking and washing, but the water often contains dangerous toxins or pathogens, says the report.   “People have to choose between drinking tainted water and going thirsty -- it’s sobering,” Yohannan said.   Drinking contaminated water can lead to deadly waterborne diseases such as typhoid, hepatitis A, and diarrhea. Globally, diarrhea kills almost 2,200 children every day, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).   “Despite the often devastating consequences, millions of people start each day with a long trek on foot to the nearest waterhole, possibly miles away,” Yohannan said. “Life for them becomes a dreary quest for survival.”   Going Deep, Finding Lasting Solutions GFA-supported teams have led the way in drilling deep wells -- up to 1,500 feet in depth -- to tap plentiful underground reserves and bring reliable, clean water to thousands of villages where families used to drink from filthy ponds.   These deep wells -- known as Jesus Wells -- supply year-round clean water to villages prone to drought and water shortages, with each well serving an average of 300 people.   Because local people receive training to maintain the wells, the water keeps flowing. One team recently found a Jesus Well still going strong after 20 years -- transforming the lives of hundreds of villagers.   Another clean water solution -- the portable BioSand filter, costing around $30 -- removes most contaminants from dirty water, making it 98 percent pure, the report says.   In the past 12 years, GFA-supported teams have distributed more than 73,000 of these household filters, changing the lives of impoverished villagers like Nirmala whose family often got sick drinking from a polluted pond.   “We had frequent stomach problems,” she said, describing life before getting a filter in her home. “Headaches, skin problems, pain… it was a very discouraging way to live.”   Even though improvements and advances in water-purification technology have been made, the report says much more needs to be done to solve the world’s water crisis. “The best solutions arise from cooperative efforts that involve (the local people),” it says.   “By God’s grace, GFA World has been part of the solution for many years now,” said Yohannan. “People are experiencing the life of Christ because of the gift of clean water.”   ###   GFA World, www.gfaau.org is a leading faith-based mission agency, bringing vital assistance and spiritual hope to millions, especially to those who have yet to hear the "good news" of Jesus Christ. In GFA’s latest yearly report, this included more than 70,000 sponsored children, free medical camps conducted in more than 1,200 villages and remote communities, over 4,700 clean water wells drilled, over 11,400 water filters installed, income-generating Christmas gifts for more than 240,000 needy families, and spiritual teaching available in 110 languages in 14 nations through radio ministry. For all the latest news, visit our Press Room at https://press.gfa.org/news.   Increased funding for thousands at risk of FDV during COVID-19 highlights challenges for victims and service providers 2020-04-01T01:21:26Z increased-funding-for-thousands-at-risk-of-fdv-during-covid-19-highlights-challenges-for-victims-and-service-providers On average one in six women experiences physical and/or sexual violence by a current or previous cohabitating partner*. Vulnerable women and children in forced isolation due to Coronavirus pandemic are potentially at even higher risk than usual. The announcement of dedicated funding of $150 million by the Prime Minister on Sunday evening will allow support to many more at-risk families during this highly stressful and high-risk period and highlights an important unwanted side-effect of attempting to minimise the spread of the virus.   "Domestic and family violence is likely to significantly increase due to social distancing, social isolation and the impact of job losses," says Sharon Grocott, Head of Research and Innovation at Interrelate.   Interrelate provides specialist domestic and family violence support through several centres around Australia, including in regional areas. Having successfully transitioned to online service delivery on 26th March, Interrelate welcomed the Government’s initiative that will provide vital access to help during this heightened period of risk.   "The ability to service our clients through online platforms and via the phone was already in progress supporting families in remote areas," she says. “As the potential for restrictions on social contact became evident at the beginning of this crisis, we prioritised this service access across all of our programs to enable vulnerable and at-risk people access to vital support.”   Because of the necessary measures implemented to slow the spread of the virus, women and children will be more vulnerable as a result of being cut off from informal and formal support systems, exacerbating the risk of violence for women and children.   "During this period, we will be providing more support than ever before, checking in regularly with clients at risk.    "In addition to the specialist domestic violence services support, we will be waiving the small service fee that is normally incurred for counselling services, ensuring that we are helping as many people as possible to navigate this difficult time safely.”   It is vital that people who are experiencing increased or new forms of family and domestic violence understand that there are services that are available to them, even at a time when they are unable to physically visit a centre.   “We can also help the victims of family and domestic violence by continuing to work with men who are using violence in their relationships,” says Eloise Neylon, Practice Specialist – Clinical Governance, Interrelate.   “We work closely with the perpetrators of this behaviour, helping them to moderate and adjust their approach to relationships, their families and their community.”   “It’s important that this work is able to continue even though we are disconnected physically from our clients,” she adds. “This waiving of fees will mean that those who have been financially affected through job losses or a reduction in work hours feel that they can still access counselling that will help them, without adding to their financial concerns.”    Under the guise of COVID-19 perpetrators have many more opportunities to exercise power and control, for example by restricting access to essential items.    With the potential for increased mental health issues such as substance abuse, suicidality, depression and anxiety, the resulting changes in behaviour can also pose a greater safety risk for others in close contact.   Anyone who feels at risk of abuse can visit the Interrelate COVID-19 page to download resources: https://www.interrelate.org.au/landing-page/covid-19. And, if they need face-to-face support online, they can request assistance via the website chat function or call 1300 473 528.   *ABS 2016 – included in Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2019 Family, Domestic and sexual violence report 2019)   How those at risk can help themselves during isolation ·       Try and organise a ‘confidante’ outside of the home. Ideally someone like a work colleague or community member who you would be in regular contact with so as to not rouse suspicion ·       Stay engaged with children. Keeping them occupied with new and interesting activities will ease their boredom and potential impact on your relationship ·       If you are struggling to regulate your emotions and feel you may be at risk of harming your partner, reach out to a counsellor and organise strategies and techniques that you can implement on your own   About Interrelate Interrelate empowers people to thrive in the most vital part of their lives – their relationships. We offer education programs, counselling services and skills development. We enable people to transform their relationships into ones that are centred on respect, and we enable people to transform their relationships. Our experienced educators empower more than 130,000 children and families through 1400 schools each year to navigate their way through bullying, puberty, sexuality and discovering healthy relationships. Interrelate has the acknowledgement of government, education and health authorities to provide relationship education in schools. You can read more about Interrelate’s relationship services for schools and families at www.interrelate.org.au JCDecaux launches ‘Thank You’ Out-of-Home campaign for essential services workers 2020-03-31T22:45:42Z jcdecaux-launches-thank-you-out-of-home-campaign-for-essential-services-workers JCDecaux today launches a series of Out of-Home campaigns across its extensive network to thank essential workers and support local businesses and charities across Australia.    JCDecaux will host the series of community messaging campaigns across its large format and Smart Frame digital and transit platforms around Australia, in addition to providing support for Government health campaigns.   The “Thank You” campaign, created by JCDecaux’s in-house creative team, thanks those people in essential services, working to help our nation get through the fight against COVID-19. Doctors, nurses, pharmacists, teachers, aged care workers, childcare workers, farmers, supermarket and warehouse workers around the country, as well as delivery drivers and cleaners. The purpose of the campaign is to show gratitude and call out the incredible job these people in our communities are doing to keep us safe.   JCDecaux ANZ CEO, Steve O’Connor, said: “In a time of tremendous upheaval and uncertainty for us all, there are many Australians working night and day to keep us cared for and making sure we have access to necessary services, and of course our medical professionals – true heroes, facing great challenges and potential threats to their own health to keep us safe. Our hope is they see this campaign on their way into work and home again, and they know that we recognise and applaud their contributions.”   JCDecaux has also partnered with Broadsheet Media to promote local businesses, such as cafes and restaurants, who are currently experiencing significant strains on their businesses due to restrictions to their trade. The Out-of-Home campaign provides communities with information about their new offerings of take-away and meal delivery services.   Broadsheet Publisher, Nick Shelton, said: “We wanted to work with JCDecaux to help support Australia’s local restaurant and café sector during this tough time, so we have created a ‘Live List’ for each capital city detailing how our beloved cafes and restaurants are pivoting towards take out and ready to eat meals. Our goal is to create a centralised point where audiences can go to learn how they can support their favourite local businesses.”   The ‘Live List’ content will feature across JCDecaux Smart Frame digital panels in five capital cities via an API geo-targeted feed – ensuring that audiences within specific suburbs can receive content with relevant offerings from local businesses near where they live. In addition, JCDecaux will support its charity partner RUOK? by promoting its important and timely ‘Stay Connected’ messages across its Australian transit network, encouraging communities to look out for one another and to remind us that staying connected leads to stronger mental health.   JCDecaux Chief Marketing Officer, Essie Wake, said: “JCDecaux connects organisations with communities, whether they are in the hearts of cities or deep in the suburbs. In these uncertain times, our ability to be a platform for good is at its most powerful – which is why we are carrying a number of important government health messages as well. Our role right now is to help connect, support and educate communities.”   Globally, JCDecaux is also running similar gratitude campaigns across its Out-of-Home advertising network. The campaigns in Australia will run across all JCDecaux’s digital and transit portfolio from this week. ENDS   For more information, images or interviews please contact: Rochelle Burbury  Third Avenue Consulting  +61 (0) 408 774 577  rochelle@thirdavenue.com.au      About JCDecaux JCDecaux is the number one out-of-home media company worldwide, with more than 1 million advertising panels in more than 80 countries and more than 13,000 employees. For FY19, JCDecaux reported revenue of approximately €3,890 million. Incorporated in 1964 in France, JCDecaux was listed on the Paris Stock Exchange in 2001. JCDecaux has been providing high quality, architecturally designed street furniture in Australia since 1997. Its Australian and New Zealand businesses includes 40,000 assets spanning airports, rail, transit, static and digital billboards.   Key figures ·       2019 revenue: €3,890m ·       Present in 4,030 cities with more than 10,000 inhabitants ·       A daily audience of more than 800 million people in more than 80 countries ·       13,030 employees ·       Leader in self-service bike rental scheme: pioneer in eco-friendly mobility ·       1st Out-of-Home Media company to join the RE100 (committed to 100% renewable energy) ·       JCDecaux is listed on the Eurolist of Euronext Paris and is part of the Euronext 100 and Euronext Family Business indexes ·       JCDecaux is recognised for its extra-financial performance in the FTSE4Good index and the MSCI and CDP ‘A List’ rankings ·       1,061,200 advertising panels worldwide ·       N°1 worldwide in street furniture (528,660 advertising panels) ·       N°1 worldwide in transport advertising with more than 170 airports and 277 contracts in metros, buses, trains and tramways (326,970 advertising panels) ·       N°1 in Europe for billboards (137,020 advertising panels) ·       N°1 in outdoor advertising in Europe (645,540 advertising panels) ·       N°1 in outdoor advertising in Asia-Pacific (239,300 advertising panels) ·       N°1 in outdoor advertising in Latin America (72,880 advertising panels) ·       N°1 in outdoor advertising in Africa (24,170 advertising panels) ·       N°1 in outdoor advertising in the Middle East (16,450 advertising panels)         Ecovia Executes Gameplan To Protect Locals From COVID-19 2020-03-31T18:42:15Z ecovia-executes-gameplan-to-protect-locals-from-covid-19 COVID-19 has caught many on the backfoot, but it’s a scenario Ecovia prepared for long in advance. Now they’re here to protect residents and businesses in Australia when they’re needed most.  Market leaders in commercial cleaning with an array of government and corporate contracts, this Sunshine Coast firm routinely risk-assess dozens of potential scenarios, infectious outbreaks being one of them. Now that reality is upon us, for Ecovia it’s a case of carrying out their gameplan to keep locals safe. And they’re packing some serious firepower in the fight against coronavirus.  Serving SE Queensland, Ecovia offers a range of disinfection services for homes, offices and commercial sites that wipe out viral pathogens on impact. And they can achieve this without using toxic chemicals. Powerful Disinfection Services For residents or businesses worried about infection, Ecovia sanitizes key areas in homes and work areas using licensed, professional-grade disinfectant made from non-toxic, plant-based substances.  To help businesses and government departments protect staff, Ecovia’s fogging service completely eliminates pathogens from environments. It has the potential to save lives and stop infection spreading, helping key businesses stay open and avoid potential liability.  After disinfection, Ecovia provides certification for businesses to display, assuring staff and customers they’ve taken necessary precautions. They can also train staff on safety procedures and setup up a maintenance program to follow between regular disinfection visits. Ecovia has also rolled out new measures in the fight against coronavirus, introducing a consultation service for commercial property disinfection. Following a site inspection, they’ll devise a tailor-made COVID-19 disinfection program containing work instructions, material safety sheets, safe work method statements (SWMS), risk analysis, site entry procedures and screening, site disinfection time/day notices, as well as all equipment and cleaning products. Trusted, Robust Protection Ecovia’s founders Rowland and Rieko McKindlay know the risks COVID-19 poses, which is why Rowland urges locals to follow the guidance of trusted professionals: “Ecovia’s priority has always been to keep our local community healthy here in the Sunny Coast. Whether it’s businesses or residents, the people we’re protecting are all of our families, friends, colleagues and neighbours. We’ve scaled up our services to meet demand, and are well-equipped to deal with every scenario. It’s why governments and corporations continue to put their trust in us, and why residents can feel just as assured in our capabilities. We’re here to keep you safe.” Due to the speed at which the situation is changing on the ground, Rieko McKindlay also stresses the importance of the community taking the necessary steps without delay: “Businesses and residents are understandably concerned, and that’s why we urge them to be proactive in getting the needed protection to assuage their fears. We’re mobilised and ready to help, a phone call is all that’s needed for us to take action and safeguard staff, customers and local families.” As COVID-19 continues to spread, ensuring homes and businesses remain safe environments is paramount. Ecovia recommends that any company or individual with concerns contact them immediately for a free consultation on how to get the protection they need.  Notes To Editors: For media enquiries, please call Rowland McKindlay on 1300 326 842 or email  admin@ecovia.com.au About Ecovia  Ecovia is a Queensland based cleaning firm that specialises in environmentally sustainable chemical-free cleaning. It provides professional disinfection services to government agencies, businesses, holiday homes and residential clients across the Sunshine Coast. With ISO compliant procedures and a commitment to safety and transparency, Ecovia fosters long-term relationships with its clients while proudly protecting the local community environment. www.ecovia.com.au Free smoke alarm service for the elderly and veterans 2020-03-31T04:22:38Z free-smoke-alarm-service-for-the-elderly-and-veterans Caloundra, Mar 29, 2020 - Glasshouse Home Safety today announced a free smoke alarm service exclusively for the elderly and veterans to help amidst these challenging times due to the coronavirus pandemic.  This service for elderly and veterans will cover whatever is required to stop that annoying chirping sound, stop those false alarms going off in the middle of the night or install some protection if you have none. This service offers a new way for the elderly and veterans, the most vulnerable, to stay safe at home without bother amidst the coronavirus crisis.  We have secured full HazMat suits so there is no risk of exposure and will have full body cover and respirators. We won’t look good but we’ll do good.  “The service will make sure that the vulnerable of our society stay safe at home while this crisis lingers,” says Scott White, Founder at Glasshouse Home Safety. “We want to give back to our community during these troubles times.”  Features and benefits of product/service include.  Free battery change  Test alarms with smoke to simulate true fire event  Vacuum clean all alarms for dust and bugs inside  Check the expiry date and replace for free if alarms are out of date  Check sound pressure levels under alarm as required by legislation Ensure alarms meet AS3786  We will also threshold test the safety switch to ensure electrical safety is ensured  Free smoke alarm service for the elderly and veterans is available right now, in limited numbers per day and as we can. Please call Scott directly on 0414908215 if you or someone you know could use this help. For more information on service, visit https://www.ghhomesafety.com.au/  About Glasshouse Home Safety: We give the highest standard of Home safety, were only truly effective is acceptable, not just minimum code requirements. We are kind and courteous to clients and workmates and we enjoy our work. We communicate well, keep things simple and install products that are long-lasting and user friendly. We arrive when scheduled and leave a clean environment on completion. Property investing bright spots amid Covid-19 uncertainty 2020-03-31T03:28:42Z property-investing-bright-spots-amid-covid-19-uncertainty In spite of economic downturn due to Covid-19 outbreak, most people seeking to invest in property are seeing this as an opportunity to start investing through long-term strategy. The recent decision of RBA to drop interest rates was intended to protect the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. With historic low rates at 0.25%, it is a good time to consider investing in property. In fact, with low rates and a good selection of property inventory, this gives investors more buying and negotiating power. If you have a stable job and you qualified to invest in property, why not get in to property market. There is nothing to worry about, with low interest rates - now is the best time to get in to the property market. There are also concerns of potential recession, which could result in loss of jobs, business activities slowing down and potential effect on property market – but should this worry people seeking to invest in property? Sure, our economy is facing some short-term challenges, and the share market is volatile, but the Australian property markets has been always performing relatively well against economic shocks.  Investment properties are illiquid assets and consumption good, which shows far less volatility and decline than share markets. Having said that, major share market losses are not necessarily predictors of declines in property market values. Share market and property market performs differently. When negative shocks occur, the effect on the property market varies. It changes depend on the level of impact on Australian industry in general. As quickly as markets falls, they will rise and long term, good quality property always present solid returns. It is worth exploring how property market has historically responded to negative shocks. Looking back at the 1987 stock market crash “Black Monday” for instance, where home prices and unemployment rates increased. Was the rising unemployment rate “bad” for property market? A rising unemployment rate can sometimes be countered with falling interest rates (currently sitting at 0.25% record low), which might make borrowing more attractive, for example. Having said that, over a meaningful period of times yes, it is bad, but in light of what our property market has experienced in the past, the answer is “not always” – at least in the short term. Considering that the government and the RBA’s are currently taking this coronavirus outbreak seriously by implementing measures to help struggling businesses and households, should be a great help in preventing a significant increase in unemployment. Although, one thing is certain — property transactions will likely moderate in the coming months due to social distancing and isolation measures. Just like other unprecedented events in the past, this will eventually settle down and you will expect a strong rebound by 2021. In general, the potential impact of the coronavirus on the property market presents an opportunity for those who are willing to start investing in property in spite of this extraordinary global circumstances. Many are still getting in to property investment because of the potential for both appreciation and cash flow. If you are going to invest today, no doubt and look back in 5 or 10 years’ time, you would realise that the coronavirus outbreak period of 2020 as a thing in the past and a great property investment opportunity.   Buying and selling real estate while open for inspections and public auctions are banned 2020-03-30T22:56:20Z buying-and-selling-real-estate-while-open-for-inspections-and-public-auctions-are-banned Since the Federal Government has banned residential property ‘open for inspections’ and public auctions buyers and agents are seeking a safer way to connect during the Covid-19 pandemic  Resilience and adaptation are hallmarks of the Australian way and the sector is already looking for alternative, safe and healthy ways for vendors, agents and buyers to interact, so that they can continue to buy and sell property. There are vendors who need or want to sell; agents with listings already in the market and buyers who do not want finance approvals to lapse.  Property Whispers, Australia’s only instant matching and connecting residential property platform is a big part of the solution and it is completely free for agents and buyers to use. Says co-founder Liane Fletcher: “Since buyers can’t attend an open for inspection, shake hands with an agent or huddle together at an auction, what can they do? Property Whispers is offering its service completely free, matching buyers and agents and connecting them so that they can assess specific property opportunities safely – complying with the new laws, without crowds and with appropriate social distancing. The way it works is: - Buyers register and provide their purchase specifications (ie) their preferred property type, suburb, price range and other requirements.  - Agents upload properties for sale – either by ‘auction’, ‘private treaty’ or for sale ‘off-market’. - Property Whispers’ algorithm matches buyers and properties and instantly connects agents and buyers so that they can discuss particular properties.  - This can be done by phone, text or email as a precursor to a privately arranged inspection.  Following this an offer, negotiation and exchange of contract can all be done with little direct interaction, keeping all parties safe and well. Over 38,000 instant matches have been created to date. Agents and vendors have a ready marketplace and active buyers can continue finding their dream homes! Property Whispers (www.propertywhispers.com.au) is simple to use and stands ready to help buyers, sellers and agents in these difficult times, allowing them to continue to buy and sell properties, in a safe and healthy way. ENDS - For further information or interviews, please contact: Liane Fletcher, mobile: 0402 333 012 email: liane@propertywhispers.com.au Property Whispers is Australia’s premier property matching sales platform, instantly matching buyers and their property requirements with all properties for sale including ‘Off-market’ properties.  www.propertywhispers.com.au Experiential Event Company Launches Product to Tackle Social Isolation 2020-03-30T06:08:35Z experiential-event-company-launches-product-to-tackle-social-isolation SELFMATIC FOR CARE GIVERS    Visual experiential event company, The Photo Booth Guys launches new monthly subscription iPad/iPhone -based product to tackle social isolation in Australia’s aged care facilities. ‘We know that two of the best ways to reduce social isolation and loneliness is to introduce activities that encourage communication and encourage the use of new technology. Our aim with the Selfmatic for Caregivers product is to tackle the feelings of social isolation and disconnection, not only for the residents of aged care facilities, but also their family. Many family members are losing sleep, worrying about their vulnerable relatives – we have developed a product that will enable caregivers to capture an image or mini-story of their loved ones in a fun, quick and easy way – giving the family the reassurance they need at this time.’ Steve Bliesner, Creative Director and Founder. The Photo Booth Guys. After seeking advice from Occupational Therapists and Directors of Aged Care, visual experiential event company, The Photo Booth Guys utilised their skills and technology to develop an iPhone/iPad-based program that will help tackle the problems associated with social isolation and help bring members of the community back together during Covid-19 and beyond. The launch of the new product and service comes as a response to the social distancing regulations now placed on aged care facilities. Some residents may now not be able to see their loved ones for months to come, this can have a negative effect on both physical and mental health.   The Photo Booth Guys have adapted their social product the Selfmatic app system to create Selfmatic for Caregivers. A personalised platform is custom built for each aged care/retirement facility that enables caregivers to capture images and mini-stories of residents and clients that can then be automatically shared with their loved ones via a private and secure gallery.   Selfmatic for Caregivers is a fast, fun and powerful way to bring families and loved ones together, whilst maintaining social distancing practices and complying with infectious disease precautions. The product is designed only to be used by caregivers. Differing from video calling apps in the fact it does not rely on facility staff assisting residents for a lengthy amount of time. An initial set up fee is required to custom build the platform to the facility, including a complete list of all the residents each with their own personal and secure gallery link. Then a monthly subscription fee based on the number of residents and devices, this fee includes tech support, licensing and relevant program updates. The product can also work as a two-way communication tool – with family members of residents being able to install the Selfmatic program on their Apple devices and send pictures to the same private gallery link.     Why Farmers Markets Are The Healthy Way To Shop 2020-03-30T03:01:12Z why-farmers-markets-are-the-healthy-way-to-shop As times are getting harder and the government is trying to stop the spread of COVID-19, Farmers Markets and local producers are becoming the new, healthier way to shop.  The Richmond Good Food Market, based in Richmond NSW meets all the requirements plus more! They have ensured that there is enough room between all vendors for their vendors safety as well as enough room for everyone who attends the event to remain 1.5m apart at all times. The event has also made the decision to remove all tables and chairs from food areas to help limit the amount of time spent there by patrons. The hygiene of this event is without a doubt impeccable! Fresh air farmers markets are becoming the new way to shop with no recirculated air and more than enough room to move around. With stallholders having sanitiser available for themselves and customers, as well as being within 5 meters of a full government regulated hand washing station at all times. A good stream of regular customers snapped up the fresh produce on Saturday Morning raving to stallholders and event organisers about how much safer they feel about shopping in an open air environment apposed to indoors.  Most stallholders are now offering a home-delivery option which is a solution to the COVID-19 virus situation in which we are facing now.  Now more than ever people are being urged to support small businesses and shop local where they can get everything they need in a safer, more secure environment. It is very important to support local businesses, farmers and producers. These are the people who will keep the economy going in the future.  Unlike when shopping in a supermarket where you have to squeeze past people in an aisle, at a farmers market you have more than enough room to move around while still maintaining a reasonable amount of personal space around you. You also have the advantage of knowing that only A small mount of people have touched what you're buying, apposed to a supermarket where lots of people have touched, handled, and felt the products you are about to purchase.  We still advise that all shoppers wash their fresh produce before consumption when they can.  A number of vendors are offering a home delivery service to those who don't feel safe leaving the house or who are voluntarily self isolating.  If there is any vendor who is not offering home delivery, you can reach out and we can organise some delivery for you.   The Richmond Good Food Market online shopping platform is under construction and will be live very soon so you can do all your weekly shopping form the comfort of your own home.  The Startup Fighting Elderly Isolation With Virtual Reality 2020-03-30T02:10:41Z the-startup-fighting-elderly-isolation-with-virtual-reality A startup specialising in group virtual reality (VR) therapy and social engagement has introduced a new way to tackle isolation in Australian aged-care facilities. The Melbourne-based SilVR Adventures has been running guided communal VR sessions that encourage social interaction for groups of seniors in care homes across Victoria. Its new offering is a self-service subscription available in ANZ, that allows facilities to carry out as many sessions as desired for an unlimited number of residents - all without the need for an external guide. “Our goal is to increase the happiness of care home residents and tackle the isolation many of them feel on a daily basis,’ says Colin Pudsey, CEO of SilVR Adventures “We can transport residents to a treasured memory from their youth, or even create new memories of adventure and wonder. But the greatest feature of our sessions is that they bring people together in a shared experience and sense of purpose.” After taking part in these group sessions, we’ve found that residents have more confidence to take part in other activities together, share memories and stories.” The launch of the new service comes as the escalating coronavirus pandemic means seniors may be asked to remain in their homes for weeks or even months for their own safety. The new self-service subscription includes the headsets, exclusive software to link together, training and ongoing support care homes need to deliver their own programmes of virtual reality-based therapy and entertainment for up to 10 residents at a time. SilVR Adventures also provides access to its library of continuously updated VR content curated especially for seniors. The programmes are developed to cover three key experience areas: reminiscence therapy, world travel and family bonding, so even visiting family members can share an experience with their loved one. The company has been delivering group VR sessions at the facilities of some of the biggest aged-care providers in the country. Residents have responded so well that some providers are looking to introduce their own in-house VR programmes with the flexibility to run sessions more frequently. “It’s amazing to see the impact our group VR sessions have had with participants, and great that providers are working to improve the wellbeing of their residents by embracing new technology,” says Pudsey. What participants say: "That was so overwhelming, to go from sitting here and now we can go anywhere. I can't even begin to think of where I want to go. How can you make that decision when you say you can take us wherever we want to go? That was magnificent.” - Maree, 85 “I forget everything in the last 50 years. What I talk to my wife about, everything I forget. But I’ll never forget you. I’ll never forget this. I’ll never forget today. This was amazing. Thank you.” - Mario, 88 Contact: sales@silvradventures.com.au | www.silvradventures.com.au | Follow @SilVRAdventures