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NSW Announces Emergency Volunteer Program To Help The Most Vulnerable

The NSW government has partnered with the Centre for Volunteering to unveil a program that will provide assistance to the most vulnerable in the community.

The program hopes to "mobilise" the care and compassion of NSW residents, Minister for Families, Communities and Disability Services Gareth Ward said.

“In times of crisis, we rally around each other and do everything we can to support those who are struggling. We saw it during the bushfire emergency and we are seeing it again now,” Ward said.

“The pandemic is placing a significant strain on volunteer-driven organisations who support vulnerable members of our community, and many require more people to help meet demand," he added.

“This platform allows you to register your details online and an organisation in your local area will get in touch and offer volunteering opportunities when they arise.”

Volunteer tasks could include "giving a phone call to someone who needs a welfare check, or delivering supplies," Ward added.

Other activities include assisting with urgent household maintenance, essential transportation, and supplying people with medications and groceries.

Those interested in signing up can visit the Centre for Volunteering.

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Intrastate Holidays On The Cards As NSW Looks To Help Regional Areas

The NSW government is already discussing a plan to allow travel within the state, as Premier Gladys Berejiklian urges residents to travel to NSW's struggling regions first.

According to the Centre for Volunteering, more than 4,000 people have signed up during the pandemic, with over 3,000 welfare checks already performed across Australian.

The NSW government says it's supported 1,000 rough sleepers since April.

It comes as NSW records nine new cases of coronavirus in the past 24 hours, bringing the state total to 3,042.

The coronavirus-hit Newmarch House, near Penrith, on Tuesday confirmed a 16th resident infected with COVID-19 had died, raising the state's death toll to 46.

A worker leaves the Anglicare Newmarch House in Western Sydney. Image: AAP

About 37 of around 100 residents at the nursing home have tested positive to the virus.

Meanwhile, the Special Commission of Inquiry into the Ruby Princess is set to continue holding hearings on Wednesday and Friday, with about 10 witnesses expected to give evidence.

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Federal Authorities Blame NSW Health For Ruby Princess Debacle

The heads of Australia's border authorities have blamed NSW Health for the Ruby Princess cruise ship debacle as they deflected responsibility from their own officers.

The inquiry heard from NSW Health senior epidemiologist Kelly-Anne Ressler on Tuesday who was reduced to tears after it was suggested there had been a "reprehensible shortcoming" by the department when the cruise ship's passengers were allowed to disembark in Sydney.

The commission is trying to uncover the missteps of the ill-fated cruise ship linked to more than 20 coronavirus deaths and 600 infections across Australia

With AAP