Civil Liability Bill

Echo 16 May 02

The Government tabled the Civil Liability Bill this week in Parliament and I am urging as many people as possible become ware of the content, debate and make comment to their representatives.

Civil Liability Bill

A copy of the Bill and information on the debate of this Bill can be viewed through www.parliament.nsw.gov.au or by contact my office.

Congratulations to Country Athletes

I have received notification from the Minister for Sport & Recreation of the following athletes who have received grants under the 2002 Country Athlete Scheme;
Ryan Kilpatrick (Hockey), Sarah Crane (Canoeing) Tom Cooper (Cricket) Christopher Behan (Gymnastics), Darren Hudson, David McAnelly, Garon Clough, John Hudson, Matthew Herington, Michael Munro, Shane Cooke and Sophie Power (Softball), Hannah Gibson (Swimming) Alison Hamer (Tenpin Bowling), Bill Latimer (Soccer), Christopher Rankin (Basketball) and Emily Gray (Golf).

Water Reform

A powerful coalition of agricultural, banking and local government associations has been formed to fight for a better deal on water reform. The unprecedented coalition consists of the NSW Farmers' Association, Cotton Australia, the NSW Irrigators' Council, the Ricegrowers' Association, the Shires Association of NSW and the Australian Bankers' Association. The formation of such a broad-based coalition illustrates the urgency of the problem and the frustration being felt by water users in rural and regional communities. National Party Leader, George Souris has consistently called on the NSW Government to provide water property rights that deliver long-term security and compensation if water entitlements are reduced. Individual farmers should not be forced to carry the full cost of conservation for the public good. The community as a whole has a responsibility for natural resource management. Water reform that does not include a comprehensive property right, or does not pay due regard for the social and economic impact of reform, has the potential to cause major dislocation in our rural communities.

Interest Rates

Last week's interest rate rise to 4.5 per cent means that NSW home owners are paying more on their mortgages. A review of property taxes in this year's Budget to account for rising interest rates is needed. The State Government can play its part in helping homeowners by reviewing stamp duty on home purchases. The Federal Government has done its part with the highly successful First Home Owners' Grant.

Home Building Amendment (Insurance) Bill

The home warranty insurance scheme was established under the Home Building Act and commenced in May 1997. In recent times a number of significant events, such as the collapse of HIH and September 11, have dramatically changed the insurance landscape. On 13 March uniform changes were announced to home warranty schemes in NSW and Victoria. The Home Building Amendment (Insurance) Bill comprises these changes and provides for amendments to both the Home Building Act and the regulation. The three home warranty insurers-Dexta, Royal and Sun Alliance and Reward-can continue to offer insurance to builders. These arrangements will operate in the short term, but a longer-term solution will need to be formulated. Any builder wanting further information on this Bill or would like to convey comment can contact my office.

Saturday Banking

I have called on the NSW Government to introduce legislation to enable bank branches to open on Saturdays. Westpac Bank recently announced its intentions to open on Saturdays, but it requires amendments to the NSW Bank and Bank Holidays Act 1912 to do so. Saturday banking will deliver better services to banking customers and I welcome that. I urge the NSW Government to introduce the legislation as soon as possible.

Training Package Facilitators

Expressions of interest are being sought from individuals and organisations for inclusion on a list of facilitators available to run workshops on a range of Training Packages. Enquiries please contact Department of Education and Training on 92668440 or my office is able to obtain details on behalf of constituents.

Trustee Members wanted

Applications are being invited from persons interested in being considered for appointment as a member of the Trust Board to manage the affairs of the Bentley Public Hall Reserve Trust. Applications should be lodged before 11 June 2002 with the Land Access Unit of the Department of Land & Water Conservation, for further information contact Ph 6640 2061 or my office.

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