2006 Regional Flagship Events

The Weekly 14 August 2005

2006 Regional Flagship Events

Tourism event organisers across regional NSW Should consider submitting an expression of interest for funding under one of Tourism NSW key support programs - Regional Flagship Events. Funding from Tourism NSW is available to established tourism events that enhance the appeal of the destination, the regional identity the visitor experience and attract visitors from other parts of NSW and interstate. Annual one-off grants of $10,000 and triennial grants of $20,000 per annum (over 3 years) are available to assist organisers with marketing and promoting their event in 2006. Event organisers have until Monday 15 August to lodge a relatively brief expression of interest, which is the first stage of a two part application process. Information and application package is available from www.tourism.nsw.gov.au or 02 9931 1506.

Review of the Mental Health Act 1990

As part of the review of the Mental Health Act 1990 the NSW Parliamentary Secretary for Health will be conducting a public forum on Tuesday 16 August from 3.00pm-5.00pm at the Lismore Workers Club. All are welcome to attend. Copies of the discussion paper relating to the review are available from my office.

Seniors Week Grants

Applications are now open for 2006 Seniors Week Grants Program. The aim of the program is to assist the development and/or organisation of local Seniors Week projects and activities. Applications close 23 September 2005 and forms are available from my office. Please note Seniors Week 2006 is from 2-9 April, as it has been moved from mid March to avoid clashing with the Melbourne Commonwealth Games.

Vendors Duty

The NSW Vendor tax, which is charged upon the seller of investment real estate at a flat 2.25% of the sale price, was abolished from 2 August, 2005. The tax was hitting sellers of real estate at the rate of $2,250 for every $100,000 and was in addition to the stamp duty paid by the purchaser on the other side of the same transaction. The tax had been one of the worst taxes in NSW history and was having a major effect on the building industry and there had been a flight of capital for real estate investment properties to Queensland, Victoria and New Zealand.
The Nationals has called on the State Labor Government to refund vendor duty paid by property owners between 24 May and 2 August 2005. Revelations made by Bob Carr's former Communications Director Walt Secord indicate that this regressive tax should have been abolished in this year's May State Budget - but the announcement was deferred to enable the replacement Labor Leader to give some positive news. All those property buyers who were forced to pay this nasty tax since the May Budget should immediately have payments refunded. Labor Leader Morris Iemma must also explain what he knew of the deliberate deferral of the abolition of the vendor tax.

Fisheries Discussion Papers

Anglers in NSW are invited to have their say on proposals to change some recreational fishing rules, including modifications to size limits, bag limits and fishing methods. Two discussion papers have been prepared in consultation with the commercial and recreational fishing advisory councils. The discussion papers have been prepared in response to the findings of environmental assessments being conducted for the state's major fisheries, the results of the National Recreational and Indigenous Fishing Survey, the recommendations of the Palmer Report on Illegal Fishing for Commercial Gain or Profit in NSW, and community feedback from previous reviews. This process will give people the opportunity to comment on the proposals and options for changes to the current fishing rules. The discussion papers include proposals for changes to freshwater and saltwater bag and size limits and methods, and for fishing competitions. Written submissions close 30 September 2005. Submissions should be sent to: Fishing Review, NSW DPI, PO Box 21, Cronulla, NSW, 2230, fax 9527 8576 or email fish.review@fisheries.nsw.gov.au. Copies of the papers can be obtained from my office or the website www.fisheries.nsw.gov.au

Review of Licensing in the NSW Home Building Industry

The review will examine the current licensing regime (including entry requirements and categories of licences) to assess whether it is appropriate and relevant in the modern building industry. Terms of Reference are available from www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au. under `what's new'. Submissions close 26 August 2005.

2005 Fair Trading Awards

Fair Trading Awards are a chance for the members of the community and community organisations to be recognised. Under the award program, community organisations, business associations, industry associations, outstanding individuals and the media are invited to nominate for an Award and be acknowledged for the work they do in promoting a fairer marketplace.

There are four categories of Awards; The Minister's Award for consumer advocacy, which is open to any individual, who has actively helped to advance consumer protection in NSW.
Service Awards that recognise outstanding work in promoting consumer protection by a community organisation or business associations.
The Einfeld Awards, which are awarded to organisations, or associations, which demonstrate outstanding, work in protecting vulnerable consumers such as ethnic and indigenous communities, seniors or people with a disability.
Journalism Awards, which are open to any media outlet, which has raised awareness of consumer protection within the community.

Nominations close on 26 August 2005 and recipients will be announced during the Consumer Week in November.

Residential Tenancy Law Reforms

An options paper that will consider Residential Tenancy Law Reforms has been released to facilitate public discussion about New South Wales Residential Tenancy Laws and to assist individuals and organisations wishing to make a submission.

Unfortunately, the review is not examining the following matters: The procedures and practices of the Consumer Trader and Tenancy Tribunal irrespective of the fact that 45,000 tenancy related matters came before the Tribunal in the last financial year.
The rights of boarders and lodgers
Public housing policies and procedures
Tenant databases
Protected Tenancies covered by the Landlord and Tenant Act 1948
The rights of those living in caravan parks or manufactured homes which are covered by the Residential Parks Act

There are many options expressed in the paper, spread right across the Residential Tenancy Law area.

Some of the options include: Allowing long term leases exceeding ten years
Allowing parties who are now excluded from tenancy laws to have those tenancy laws applied to them
Expanding the list of grounds of which a tenancy may be terminated to include reasons such as major repairs, renovations or the need for the landlord or family member to live in the premises
Options to change the method in which interest is paid off rental bonds

Closing date for the submissions is 31 August 2005 and that those people wanting a copy of the options paper can locate the paper at the Fair Trading website at www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au

Contact Details:

Office: 55 Carrington Street  LISMORE
Postal: PO Box 52  LISMORE  NSW  2480
Telephone: 1800 336 166 or 02 6621 3624
Facsimile: 02 6622 1403  Email: lismore@parliament.nsw.gov.au

Authorised by Thomas George MP. Funded using Parliamentary entitlements.