Keen Street Policing

Echo 12 June 2003

Keen Street Policing

In accordance with the regular Police Accountability Community Team meetings, this issue was raised and discussed following recent incidents. It is pleasing that police representatives were receptive to business representative and Council concerns, discussing the avenues to appropriately address and police these incidents. Regardless of previous experiences, the public together with businesses should report any incidents to police so that it is recorded. It should also be known that police may not necessarily have personnel to respond or even attend, however, it is imperative that the information is conveyed to police for surveillance. I trust the whole community will assist the police in addressing this problem.

Premier's Parliamentary Secretary Visits

Tuesday this week, Cherie Burton, Member for Kogarah, Parliamentary Secretary to the Premier and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Health, visited the Lismore Electorate inspecting the Casino BMX track, the Lismore Library, the Bexhill Open Air Cathedral and the Lismore Base Hospital as part of her duties. Also during this visit Cherie and I were pleased to be a part of the official presentation ceremony of a new fire truck for the Goonellabah Fire Brigade by Neville Newell, Member for Tweed and Parliamentary Secretary for Emergency Services.

Youth Parliament

It is indeed pleasing to have been able to assist local representative students in accessing a considerable discount in their travel to attend Youth Parliament in July.

Justice of the Peace

Last year I outlined changes to the Justice of the Peace Act 2002 that sought to reform the Office of Justice of the Peace in NSW. One of the primary objectives of the Act was to update the Justice of the Peace Registry and thereby make Justices' services more readily available to the public. Following a number of enquiries from existing Justice of the Peaces, I have obtain advice that the Attorney General's Department is finalising procedures, it is still uncertain when the Act will commence however it may be towards the end of this year or January 2004. Again I reiterate that once the Act commences, Justices will be required to reapply for their appointments every five years, enabling regular criminal and other probity checks to ensure that Justices remain "fit and proper" persons to hold that Office. All Justices will be required to provide a contact point on a publicly accessible Registry and may be a business, employment or community organisation. Anyone wanting further information to be sent to them should contact my office.

Seniors Card Businesses and New Applicants

Currently my office is updating our database of businesses who participate and offer discounts for the NSW Seniors Card. A directory of participating businesses is supplied, however this is not very practical or specific for this region. Therefore my office has compiled a comprehensive listing of participating North Coast businesses, which also indicates what discounts are applicable. Any businesses wishing to know more information or how to participate should contact my office.

Shadow Ministers Highlight

In Parliament recently a number of Shadow Ministers took the opportunity to highlight some of the Coalition's concern on many issues including -

Bushfire Volunteers call for Hazard Reduction - Shadow Minister for Emergency Services Andrew Humpherson said that the Rural Fire Service volunteers want more hazard reduction to prevent and control fires and better equipment to do their jobs. Mr Humpherson called on the Carr Government to commit to commonsense fire prevention including reducing fuel loads in National Parks and upgrading and improving fire trails. The protection of people and property should be the major priority.

Call for Soil Conservation Service to be Re-established - George Souris tabled a motion calling on the Carr Government to reinstate the Soil Conservation Service of NSW. The issue of soil conservation, protection of top soil against run off, soil erosion and general land management was one of the most important environment and conservation issues confronting Australia and was of similar importance to such other matters as dry land salinity and river quality.

Guidelines put Teachers at Risk - Recently, Shadow Minister Jillian Skinner, raised concerns that current guidelines for disciplining students are too broad and have the potential to damage the role of classroom teachers. The Carr Government must give teachers the authority to effectively discipline students without fear of being unreasonably accused of abuse. While the Coalition supports child protection, guidelines such as these are so broad that normal disciplinary measures could be misinterpreted. Parents expect their children to be able to participate in classrooms where the teacher has control and they do not support behaviour, which disrupts the classroom and jeopardises the capacity of other children to learn. We, the Coalition are supporting a review and Jillian has called on the Government to withdraw the new guidelines while the review is carried out. There clearly needs to be a better balance between teacher discipline and protecting children from abuse.

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