Tsunami Disaster

Echo 13 January 2005

Welcome to 2005. I trust everyone had an enjoyable, safe and relaxing Christmas and New Year season.

Tsunami Disaster

All of us have been shocked and distressed by the loss of life and devastation caused by the tsunami that hit many of our Asian neighbours on Boxing Day. This disaster has united all Australians and like everyone else I have been overwhelmed by the combined support being provided from around the world, especially our Nation.

Seniors Week Grants

I was pleased to receive details of grant allocations to assist 15 local organisations in their Seniors Week activities planned for the Lismore electorate. "These grants are provided through the Ageing and Disability Department to assist with the organisation of local Seniors Week programs. Recipients of grants are -
$500 Association of Independent Retirees
$495 Bonalbo & District Development Assoc. Inc
$500 Casino/Kyogle HACC Flexible Service Inc
$500 Combined Pensioners & Superannuants Assoc. Lismore Branch
$500 Goonellabah Senior Citizens Club
$500 Kyogle Community Technology Centre
$400 Maranoa Centres for Assisted Living
$400 Nimbin 50+ Learning Centre
$300 Nimbin Community Technology Centre
$500 Nimbin Health & Welfare Assoc. Inc
$1000 Richmond Valley Council
$300 Senior Citizens Sunshine Club
$500 St Joseph's Aged Care/Friends Volunteers Services, St Vincent's Hospital
$400 Upper Clarence Community & Economic Development Organisation
$500 Upper Clarence Valley Senior Citizens

Occupational Health and Safety Legislation Amendment (Workplace Fatalities) Bill 2004

The Carr Government's recently released Occupational Health and Safety Legislation Amendment (Workplace Fatalities) Bill 2004, is a Draft Consultation Bill and the Government has given no indication as to when it might bring the Bill before the Parliament for debate. The NSW Coalition has a number of major concerns with this legislation. The NSW Coalition is determined to work with employers and employees to achieve maximum workplace safety. We believe this is best achieved through a strong program of workplace education involving employers and employees. Punitive sanctions should be available but should only be used as a last resort. This legislation, whilst it imposes severe penalties and denies fundamental rights, does not advance workplace safety and will not make a single workplace in NSW safer. The NSW Coalition held a summit on 21 December 2004 with concerned businesses and industry groups to determine how best to oppose the objectives of this Bill when the legislation comes before the Parliament. Trade union representatives were also at the summit. The NSW Coalition will oppose this Bill and will vote against it. The NSW Coalition will support all reasonable measures to ensure workplace safety and to minimise industrial accidents. More information can be requested from my office.

Standing Committee on Natural Resource Management

The Standing Committee on Natural Resource Management is calling for submissions relating to its inquiry into the following terms of reference -

(a) current disincentives that exist for ecologically sustainable land and water use in New South Wales;
(b) options for the removal of such disincentives and any consequences in doing so.

Submissions should be addressed to - The Committee Manager, Standing Committee on Natural Resource Management, Parliament House, Macquarie Street, Sydney 2000 or can be lodged online at www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/naturalresources. The closing date is 14 February 2005.

Updating Dangerous Goods Legislation

WorkCover NSW is working with other government agencies, industry and the wider community to update NSW's chemical management legislative framework. Known as the Dangerous Goods Program, it is looking at legislation covering dangerous goods, explosives and major hazard facilities. This update to the legislation will help to ensure there are fewer deaths, injuries, illnesses and incidents arising out of the storage and handling of dangerous goods. To achieve this aim, the modernised legislation will provide a hierarchy of risk management control measures that are in proportion to the level of hazard. For more information www.workcover.nsw.gov.au/LawAndPolicy/NewLegislation/dangerous_goods or contact my office. Closing date is 21 February 2005.

Inquiry into the Recruitment and Training of Teachers

The NSW Legislative Council Standing Committee on Social Issues is undertaking an Inquiry into the recruitment and training of teachers, as a result of a request from the Minister for Education and Training. The terms of reference ask that the Committee have particular regard to:
the best means of attracting quality teachers to NSW Public Schools and meeting the needs of
school communities;
the effectiveness and efficiency of current means of recruiting teachers to NSW Public Schools,
including
(a) recent graduates
(b) career change teachers
differences and similarities between primary and secondary school recruitment needs
existing initiatives and programs of the Department of Education and Training, including
(a) Teach NSW
(b) scholarships for undergraduates
(c) accelerated training courses
the role of the NSW Institute of Teachers and its accreditation and endorsement requirements
the role, distribution and effectiveness of university pre service teacher education
any other matter arising from these terms of reference

Submissions may be sent to - The Director, Standing Committee on Social Issues, Legislative Council, Parliament House, Macquarie Street, Sydney NSW 2000 or electronically at www.parliament.nsw.gov.au. Closing date is 21 February 2005.

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