More Counsellors Needed Per Student

The Weekly 30 April 2006

More Counsellors Needed Per Student

The increased numbers of students being suspended in NSW State schools highlights the Iemma/Carr Labor Government's failure to provide adequate counsellors to work with problem students either before or after they are suspended. The 2002 Vinson report into the NSW education system warned that Labor in NSW had provided the lowest number of counsellors per student of any state in Australia. This means teachers are not getting critical support to change student behaviour.

Students who are suspended for violence or drugs often have underlying issues which cannot be solved by shipping them from school to school. Figures show there were 280 long suspensions handed out every week in the past year and every day last year, a student was expelled.

Education Minister Carmel Tebbutt's response is to get the parents involved which works when the parents are capable of doing so, but often these children come from homes where there are already serious issues and external counselling and support services are vital. In many schools for children with behavioural issues there is one counsellor for only one to one and a half days a week a situation that teachers report is completely insufficient to make a difference to these children.

The hard working, committed teachers who work in our schools and suspension centres need more support in order to deal with these students. It's time Labor responded to the 2002 Vinson report which highlighted that only one school counsellor per 1000 students is insufficient to change students' behaviour.

Purchasing National Parks and Wildlife Service Annual Passes

For frequent visitors to national parks in NSW, the NPWS offers four types of annual passes which can be purchased for entry to a range of parks. They vary in price from $22 to $145 (daily entry fees are usually around $7), with the NPWS also offering a 20 per cent discount to Seniors.

Further information about the Annual Pass is available by contacting my office, or by calling the NPWS Annual Pass centre on 1300 361 967.

Contacting the Office of State Revenue

My office is often contacted by constituents seeking assistance in regard to infringements and fine enforcements. In addition to assistance provided by my office, there are also a number of Customer Contact Centres run by the Office of State Revenue that can assist with queries in regard to fines. There contact details are as follows;

Fine enforcement 1300 655 805 www.sdro.nsw.gov.au
Infringement Processing 1300 138 118 www.ipb.nsw.gov.au

NSW Growth Figures

Recently released annual economic growth figures should concern residents of NSW. Whilst much of Australia is experiencing a boom NSW continues to lag behind the rest of the States. The economic growth figures are as follows (in order of growth);

Northern Territory 11.5%
Western Australia 10.4%
Queensland 6.4%
Tasmania 5.2%
ACT 4.9%
Victoria 3.3%
South Australia 2.9%
NSW 2%

This is strong evidence of the need for a fresh approach to running the State's economy.

Home Based Business Week

Being an advocate for small business it is pleasing to see more than 60 per cent of NSW small businesses are home based and from Monday 1 May until Friday 5 May, the Department of State and Regional Development is holding Home Based Business Week to assist these businesses. Home Based Business owners can face many extra challenges, such as separating home and family life, and navigating tax rules specific to Home Based Business.

The aim of Home Based Business Week is to help home-based business operators succeed in their businesses by increasing their skills in areas such as finding finance to grow the business, e-marketing, networking, database marketing, and exporting from home.

To find out more about the week, or to obtain a copy of the "Homebiz Kit" either contact my office or call the information hotline on 1300 134 359.

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