Complaints Handling Within NSW Health

Echo 19 February 2004

Parliament resumed this week for 2004 and will sit until Easter.

Complaints Handling Within NSW Health

The General Purpose Standing Committee No. 2 (Legislative Council Committee) is currently inquiring into and reporting upon the complaints handling procedures within NSW Health, and in particular:

the culture of learning and the willingness to share information about errors and the failure of systems, and an assessment of whether the system encourages open and active discussion and improvement in clinical care.

The closing date for submissions is 28 February and should be sent to the Committee Manager, General Purpose Standing Committee No. 2, Parliament House, Macquarie Street, SYDNEY NSW 2000 or

Congratulations to Rex

My congratulations go to Rex airlines following the announcement that all weekday flights between Lismore and Sydney will be direct services. This increase is a result of joint promotions between Rex and Lismore City Council. My appreciation also goes to the community in supporting its local airport as this has been reflected in Rex's decision.

2004 Election of Board of Tick Control Members

The Electoral Commissioner for NSW as Returning Officer is to conduct elections for six members of the Board of Tick Control. Nominations are invited for the position of representatives of owners of stock from each district (Bangalow, Casino, Kyogle, Lismore, Tweed & West of Richmond Range). A person has the prescribed qualifications to stand as a candidate or nominate a candidate if:

on the date fixed for the close of nominations (2 March 2004) or at any time during the 12 months before that date, the person owned cattle kept within the electoral district to which the elections relates; and at any time during the 18 months before the date the person paid an animal health rate levied on the person under the Rural Lands Protection Act 1989 in respect of cattle kept within the electorate district to which the election relates.

Nomination forms and Statutory Declarations in Support of Candidature may be obtained from the Board of Tick Control, Wollongbar; Cattle Tick Control Office, Woodenbong & Kyogle; Tweed/Lismore Rural Lands Protection Board, Lismore; Court House, Ballina; Rural Lands Protection Board, Casino. Completed nomination forms and statutory declarations in support of candidature must be lodged with the Returning Officer, State Electoral Office no later than noon, Tuesday 2 March 2004.

Inquiry into Alternative Dispute Resolution

The Committee on the Health Care Complaints Commission is conducting an Inquiry into Alternative Dispute Resolution of health care complaints in NSW. Terms of Reference include:

the role, functions and operations of the Health Conciliation Registry; whether the Health conciliation Registry has adequate powers under Part 6 of the Health Care Complaints Act 1993 (NSW) to perform its functions; the role of the Patient Support Office in mediating and conciliating complaints; other appropriate methods of resolving health care complaints other than investigation; any other relevant matters.

Submissions close on 1 March 2004 and should be addressed to the Committee Manager, Committee on the Health Care Complaints Commission, Parliament House, Macquarie Street, SYDNEY NSW 2000.

Seniors Week Concert

The 23rd Annual Premier's Seniors Week Gala Concert will be held on 16 and 17 March at the Sydney Entertainment Centre. Anyone who may be in Sydney at this time and would like to attend the concert can contact my office and I will arrange free tickets.

Review of the Justice Legislation Amendment (Non-association and Place Restriction) Act 2001

This Act fully commenced in July 2002 and is being monitored by the Ombudsman for two years. The Act amends various Acts relating to sentencing, bail and sentence administration. When sentencing an offender for an offence punishable by six months imprisonment or more, a court may make a `non-association order', prohibiting the offender from associating with specified person(s). The court may also make a `place restriction order', prohibiting the offender from visiting a specified place or district. The court is only to make such orders if it is satisfied that it is reasonably necessary to do so to ensure the offender does not commit any further offences. Copies of the discussion paper are available from my office. Submissions close 1 March 2004 and should be sent to the NSW Ombudsman, Level 24, 580 George Street, SYDNEY NSW 2000 or

Clean Up Australia Day

Clean Up Australia Day is on Sunday 7 March. Anyone can organise a Clean Up site. It's as easy as identifying a local park, the street you live in, a waterway or bushland that needs to be cleaned up. To register your site visit or phone 1800 024 890 and you will be sent a free Clean Up Kit. Business Clean Up Day is Tuesday 2 March and Schools Clean Up Day is Friday 5 March.

Discussion Paper on Unfair Contract Terms

The Standing Committee of Officials of Consumer Affairs (SCOCA) has released a national discussion paper on the issue of unfair contract terms. This paper is asking for community feedback from consumers and business about the need for regulation of unfair contract terms.
The discussion paper identifies unfair contract terms as being those terms in a contract which are to the disadvantage of one party (usually the purchaser of goods or services) but which are not reasonably necessary for the protection of the legitimate interests of the other party (usually the supplier). Standard form contracts, in particular, are of concern because of their non-negotiated character. Submissions close 5 March 2004 and should be directed to Unfair Contract Terms Project, Office of Fair Trading, GPO Box 3111, BRISBANE QLD 4001 or

Australian Organ Donor Awareness Week 2004

Around the country, the week beginning 22 to 28 February 2004 will be celebrated as Australian Organ Donor Awareness Week. The week is intended to raise community awareness of the urgent need for organ and tissue donors; to encourage people to sign on to save a life by joining the Australian Organ Donor Register; and to highlight the importance of families knowing each other's intentions regarding organ and tissue donation.

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:

Authorised by Thomas George MP. Funded using Parliamentary entitlements.