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The first lot of COVID-19 vaccine injections that started today, have been given to frontline health care workers who are at greatest risk of potential exposure to the virus.

The Pfizer vaccine is being distributed at the Liverpool Vaccination Hub – its first recipient was South Western Sydney Local Health District Director of Critical Care, Associate Professor Deepak Bhonagiri.

Throughout the pandemic, Prof Bhonagiri and his team have cared for critically ill COVID-19 patients in Liverpool Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit.

“We looked after very sick patients in the ICU. Naturally, despite using personal protective equipment, we worried about our staff catching the virus,” he said.

“Protecting our frontline workers so they can continue to safely care for the community is our first priority, but I also very much look forward to seeing vaccines rolled out across the country.”

To find out more about the COVID-19 vaccination in NSW, visit the NSW Health

Appin residents impacted by the Outer Sydney Orbital Stage 2 have until January 29 to lodge their submission concerning the controversial future arterial road (submission a few days after the closing date will also be considered).

Linda Seeney whose family have lived in the area for a number of generations, said Stage 2 of the road is flawed and would significantly impact Appin.

As identified by Transport for NSW the future transport link is between the Hume Motorway and Appin Road, east of Appin village -connecting new housing developments, and employment growth.

The community was presented with two road options online, but some residents believe the department is appearing to lean heavily towards the yellow option, which would go through many existing properties and destroy the heritage of the town.

“The fact is that the yellow option affects many, many households and families whereas the blue option does not,” MS Seeney said.

“The blue option is almost all developer owned land that is already cleared and slated for houses and roads.”

She believes more favourable criterions were included to the yellow option to make it more viable.

“I discovered that there is a flaw… as the heritage listing on the yellow option was completely overlooked.”

She said this could threaten the history of the area. The yellow option is proposed to go straight through the heritage listed buildings.

Her family has farmed in the area for more than a century and the yellow option could devastate their livelihood.

“Edward Lewis (my grandfather) owned the farm and my father Gordon Lewis has the oval named after him in Appin. We do not want to lose our Appin history.”

She said the yellow route also impacts many other residents that would be forced to lose their homes as it goes through ecologically sensitive lands, beside a koala corridor.

“The TransportNSW’s project team also acknowledged that they underestimated the criteria for community impact on the yellow option.”

This just added to the inconsistencies, Ms Seeney said.

“The initial findings for the yellow option only had two green ‘good’ performance criterions, but this was then changed to four green ‘good’ performance criterions to bring it into line with the blue option.

“There is not a reasonable explanation for this. A great deal of earthworks would be necessary to make the gradient comparable to the blue option. This would add to the overall cost of the yellow option.”

She added that moving freight on the yellow option would prove challenging as there are steep gradients – she said that criteria point was changed from “reasonable” to “good”.

“Transport for NSW has not followed its own protocols and affected residents were not informed prior to the release of the options on social media. The number of severely affected residents on the yellow option has also not been taken into consideration.”

The residents’ concerns have caught the attention of Wollondilly Council and Campbelltown Labor MP, Greg Warren.

Ms Seeney said “they are very supportive”.

A spokesperson for TransportNSW said both corridor options bypass the Appin township to connect to Appin Road, south of the village.

“Transport for NSW is engaging with landowners on the proposed route options to help identify a suitable option that minimises impacts to landowners wherever possible.”

Submissions can be sent to

With the Higher School Certificate (HSC) a few days away, some of our Australia’s best-known personalities have sent their good luck messages to the Class of 2020.

Education Minister Sarah Mitchell said the year has thrown up plenty of challenges and HSC students have met them with the help of their school, family and friends – and now the broader community wants students to know they have got this.

“This is about reminding students that as they take on the final chapter of the HSC, all of NSW is behind them. From today students will hear from actors, TV personalities, local musicians and sporting stars,” Ms Mitchell said.

“Some will share their tips and advice for staying healthy and focused, while others share how they have overcome adversity – all with the aim of letting students know they can do this.

“With the start of written exams only days away, my message to students is to continue to take care of your wellbeing, reaching out for support or advice if you need it and keeping active. We are all behind you.”

“Enjoy this milestone, look around and remember there’s a team of people, your family, your friends, your teachers who have got you to this point.” Sally Fitzgibbons, World #1 Australian professional surfer.

“Goodluck to all you amazing students of 2020. Go get em!” Claudia Karvan, Australian actress, producer and scriptwriter

“I wish you all nothing but the best for the future, sending you lots of love.” Australian fashion model, Samantha Harris

Hear from the stars getting behind the Class of 2020 on Twitter and Facebook, visiting the Stay Healthy HSC hub and following #StayHealthyHSC.

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