Native Vegetation Bill

The Kyogle News December 03

Native Vegetation Bill

The Nationals have voted against Labor's natural resource management legislation in the NSW Parliament. The legislation is more anti-farmer than the much-maligned Native Vegetation Conservation Act. It will sterilise vast tracts of land and further take away the right of farmers and landholders to manage their property. As it stands, the Bill could mean that any affected property owners would need to seek consent to remove any native shrub, tree or even grass from their property. The Nationals voted against the legislation after Labor voted down our motion to adjourn the legislation until next year. We believe the legislation should have been adjourned to the first Parliamentary sitting day next year to allow the legislation to be rewritten and so proper and thorough consultation could occur.

Update on Justice of the Peace Legislation October 2003

The Justice of the Peace Act 2003 is scheduled to commence on before the end of December 2003. Some of the main changes under the Act are as follows; Public Register - There will be a publicly available Register of Justice's on the internet. Consent will be sought from applicants during the application process and particulars will be limited to the JP's name, a contact telephone number, provided by the JP for the purpose of the public register.

Appointments will be for 5 year terms. At the end of the initial five year term, a Justice of the Peace (JP) may apply to have his/her commission renewed for a further five years. JPs will be sent a renewal notice approximately three months prior to the expiry of their term.

The Oaths of Office will be required to be completed within four months of date of appointment. Failure to complete the Oaths in this time will generally result in the revocation of the JP's appointment. As is the current practice, the Oaths of Office will be administered by a Judge or Magistrate at a Local Court. Current JPs reapplying under the Justices of the Peace Act 2002 will not be charged the Court fee associated with the administration of Oaths of Office.

Applications for new appointments will continue to be made through a State MP's electorate office, as is the current practice on the new application forms.

Applications for Reappointment (from current JPs) will be available from the Community Relations Division of the Attorney General's Department from 1 December 2003. A copy and information will also be available on this site, www.lawlink.nsw.gov.au. Reappointment applications do not require endorsement of an MP and must be lodged directly with the Community Relations Division.

For those JP's who have already contacted my office, this information will be forwarded to you automatically. Other current JP's who have not contacted my office should do so as soon as possible, to ensure they receive this material.

Countrylink Petition

Last week, I personally presented a number of petitions for the attention of Minister Costa as well as tabling the remaining petitions collected so far to the NSW Legislative Assembly. To ensure presentation of these petitions for the conclusion of Parliament this year, I require these to be delivered to my office no later than 5 pm Wednesday 3 December 2003. The volume of completed sheets being returned to my office signifies the number of people who wish to ensure the importance of this service is verified.

New Photo ID

Following approaches to the Minister for Roads I was pleased with the announcement of the Government's intention to introduce a new photo identification card for people aged over 25 who do not hold a drivers licence. Until this time these people have been disadvantaged as there has been no formal ID available, therefore some simple everyday tasks have been nearly impossible. The new cards will feature the same security measures as drivers licences. Subject to the resolution of legislation issues, the new ID card is expected to be available from RTA from the middle of next year at a cost of $40.

Lismore Contact Details:

Office: 55 Carrington Street  LISMORE
Postal: PO Box 52  LISMORE  NSW  2480
Telephone: 02 6621 3624
Facsimile: 02 6622 1403
Email: lismore@parliament.nsw.gov.au

Murwillumbah Contact Details:

Telephone: 02 6672 7577