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Vision Australia sacks 130 people PDF
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Australian News
Thursday, 14 May 2009
The sacking last week of 130 people at not-for-profit Vision Australia offices throughout the country, including 22 who are vision-impaired, has sparked claims of ruthless behaviour by an organisation that exists to help the blind.

Vision Australia chief executive Gerard Menses denied that services would be affected or that the organisation had been heartless. He said there was "no good way to tell people that their job is gone". He also denied staff had been marched out of the offices on Wednesday and said some people had asked to be escorted.

When announcing the job cuts, Mr Menses blamed the financial crisis for a drop in income that slashed its budget by $13 million to $75 million.

The Australian Services Union said it was "absolutely appalled" at the way Vision Australia had treated staff.

 
ODMAFAIR visitors and exhibitors key winners from 2009 Budget! PDF
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Australian News
Thursday, 14 May 2009
In a boon for independent practices, key initiatives of the Federal Budget released May 13 include tax breaks for Small Businesses.

Small business will have access to 50 per cent tax deduction for eligible assets costing $1,000 or more purchased between 13 December 2008 and 31 December 2009. That’s a further 20% of the initial 30% bonus deduction announced in February 2009.

More importantly the pressure to rush purchases has been erased with the extension of the purchase period through to December 2009.

Optical Manufacturers’ Chris Hall believes the announcement will benefit the industry big time. "A 50% deduction is unheard of! I’ve been in the industry 36 years and this has never happened. We had the investment allowance at 40% and in those days that was marvelous for professionals.

We are showing rather unique and new equipment at ODMAFAIR – it's high unit value stuff, but with an unbelievable 50% deduction, there’s no excuse for people not to invest – this ruling offers people a real opportunity to invest in their business and future".

The time extension is an absolute bonus for visitors, taking the heat off them to make critical investment decisions. ODMAFAIR is traditionally the showcase for the optical industry where you can see the very latest. With this announcement professionals can take the time to properly investigate, compare and cross-match specialised equipment, products and instruments, and get the deduction on it all.

Put this together with the traditional discounts, specials and promotions offered by exhibitors at ODMAFAIR, and it’ll be like Christmas has come in July!
 
Avastin to be listed on PBS PDF
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Australian News
Friday, 08 May 2009

The Federal Government has announced that the bowel cancer drug Avastin will be listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).

This listing on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme of Avastin will not affect patients with Macular Degeneration.

Here are a few explanatory notes for further clarification:

  1. The listing of Avastin on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, announced by the Federal Government, is only for the treatment of bowel cancer.
  2. Avastin was designed and has been clinically trialled for the treatment of bowel cancer. Avastin has still not been clinically trialled for treatment for Macular Degeneration.
  3. The results of a clinical trial on Avastin being conducted by the National Eye Institute (US) are not expected to be released until 2010 -11.
  4. In Australia drugs that have been clinically trialled are then required to be approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) before they can proceed to be considered for Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme listing.
  5. In Australia, Lucentis is presently the only anti-VEGF drug that has been clinically trialled for the treatment of Wet MD, approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration and listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.
Currently, a comparison of Lucentis and Avastin AMD treatments is being trialed at the National Eye Institute, U.S.A. The study is still ongoing.
 
Student registration no longer required at ORBV PDF
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Australian News
Friday, 08 May 2009

For the past two years, the Optometrists Registration Board of Victoria (ORBV) has required optometry students to be registered prior to undertaking clinical training in Victoria.

However, the ORBV has now received legal advice that, since the Victorian Government has not promulgated regulations in respect of student registration and is unlikely to do so pending implementation of the national registration scheme, the ORBV cannot require students to apply for registration.

 
ODMAFAIR 2009 Visitor Registrations Strong! PDF
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Australian News
Wednesday, 06 May 2009
There's no doubt - the hottest calendar dates in 2009 for eyewear and eyecare professions have been well established - 10 to 12 July - when ODMAFAIR 2009 takes off!

The number of trade pre-registrations received to date for the 2009 event - 13 weeks out from opening, is on par with those for the record-breaking 2007 event.

Registrations received reveal the Fair will once again enjoy strong representation from New Zealand and even stronger visitation from interstate professionals, no doubt taking advantage of the wealth of cut price airfares the current economic climate has created.

Having captured the enthusiasm and support of the industry over its past 17 showings, ODMAFAIR remains Australia's #1 trade fair for the eyewear and eyecare industry. The Fair has built an ever-growing loyal following of those acutely interested in all the innovation, technology and fashion the industry has to offer over the past 34 years and this is set to continue.

More than 130 companies will come together for the 2009 Fair to showcase the very latest the world has to offer over three days at the Sydney Convention & Exhibition Centre, Darling Harbour, 10 – 12 July.
 
Australian to win the Helen Keller Prize PDF
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Australian News
Wednesday, 06 May 2009
Eye disease expert Hugh Taylor is the first Australian to win the Helen Keller Prize, an international award for vision research.

Professor Taylor, a former "second in command" to Fred Hollows and now a leading researcher, will be given the award this week in the US to recognise his work fighting diseases such as trachoma in developing countries and indigenous Australia.

He will be the 18th person to receive the award, which is named after the deaf and blind activist who became an international celebrity from the age of eight.

 
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