Generosity of Local Businesses

Echo 17 November 2005

Generosity of Local Businesses

I was certainly humbled by the support for the 2005 Thomas George Charity Walk, which again reinforced and highlighted the generosity of local businesses in our area. 30 walkers gathered and departed from the Media Centre in Goonellabah and embarked on a 12 klm walk to Lismore Airport. Many of the walkers were representatives and support people of local businesses. This support was further enhanced by the effort and work of Susan and Matthew McDermott, partners in Step Up Financial Planning, who were able to secure $ for $ funding up to $10,000 from the AMP Foundation. Their assistance in securing this at such short notice together with the generosity of the businesses and community of the Northern Rivers community enabled us to raise $31,432. Simply, I thank everyone who was involved, as it was a team effort, to aid the beneficiaries of the 2005 appeal.

Coca-Cola Community Awards

I wish to advise of this program, which has been set up to reward and recognised people who are making or have made a difference in their community - through encouraging active lifestyles in young people. Six unsung heroes will each receive a $5,000 grant form the Coca-Cola Australia foundation for their organisation and from these finalists, the Coco-Cola Australia Foundation and Michael Milton (gold medal winning Paralympics skier) will select one final winner to join Michael in tackling the infamous Kokoda Trail. In addition the overall winner will also receive an additional $5,000 funding for their organisation. Entry via application form online or 1800 208 183. Closing date 25 November 2005.

Vocational Education & Training Act 2005

This recently passed legislation provides for the recognition in NSW of training providers who have been registered by interstate registering bodies and for the recognition of vocational courses that have been accredited by interstate course accrediting bodies. Although this Act repeals the Vocational Education & Training Accreditation Act 1990, it provides for the continuation of the Vocational Education & Training Accreditation Board (currently constituted under that Act) as the agency responsible for registering training providers and accrediting vocational courses in NSW. Also at the heart of the new framework is the National Register, which is defined to mean the National Training Information Service managed by the Commonwealth Department of Education, Science & Training. This Act brings to an end one of the many cross border that have been continually raised to me by young people and training groups alike.

Have You Got a Seniors Card Local Directory?

A large number of local seniors have applied and received their Seniors discount card but some who did not apply through my office may not be aware of a local business directory that has been compiled. If you are a Seniors Card holder and do not have a local directory, contact my office on 6621 3624 to ensure you receive an updated copy each time it is revised.

Observance of Commonwealth Day 2006

Commonwealth Day celebrations are normally held in London, however to coincide with the Queen's visit to Australia to attend the Opening of the Commonwealth Games, so the NSW Branch of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association has been invited to hold the 2006 Commonwealth Day Observances. One position is available for the NSW Branch and Members are able to nominate a person from their electorate. Nominees should be within the approximate age of 18 to 25, have shown an interest in Commonwealth and parliamentary affairs, displayed potential leadership qualities and already have plans to be in Sydney or nearby on Commonwealth Day. Closing date is 10 January; 2006

Peter Jarrett

In Sydney I attended the School and TAFE NSW Administrative and Support Staff Recognition Award 2005 Presentation Ceremony. I was pleased to be present to witness Peter Jarrett, who does a mighty job for education working with TAFE NSW and the North Coast Institute Lismore Campus, was one of the ten people throughout the State presented with an administrative and support staff recognition award by Mr Andrew Cappie-Wood, the Director-General of Education and Training. I would like to place on the record my thanks to Peter Jarrett for the wonderful job he does not only at TAFE but also looking after students within the area.

Casino Business Awards

It was my pleasure to attend the first Northern Star Casino Business Awards and presenting the Thomas George Perpetual Outstanding Business of the Year Award to Mitre 10 CS & B Hardware. Congratulations to the many businesses and people who patronised this inaugural event as well as all the nominees and winners of the various categories.

Teachers Pay

Congratulations to teachers and their representatives who have achieved a significant increase in salaries without the need for industrial action. This brings teachers up the professional ladder where they should have been all along. This agreement will take the teachers' award beyond the next State Election in March 2007 and should mean a sustained period of peace in schools.

The Protection of the Environment Operations Amendment Bill 2005

Ridiculous Labor legislation will see country families fined thousands of dollars for smokey chimneys. The Protection of the Environment Operations Amendment Bill 2005 was passed in the Legislative Council last week. The legislation allows $3,300 fines to be slapped on families who fail to comply with Smoke Abatement Notices for "excessive smoke" - defined as a visible plume of smoke for 10 minutes, including a 30 second period when it is at least 10 metres long. This new legislation will force many country families with wood heaters and/or wood stoves to go without heating during winter. While others will be forced to buy bottled gas or install electric heaters at great expense - an expense particularly the old and frail cannot afford.

Inquiry - Speed and Motor Vehicles: Vehicle-based Measures to Monitor, Manage and Control Speed

This inquiry by the Staysafe (Road Safety) Committee was established to report on issues associated with speed control and motor vehicle design and engineering. Over recent years there has been a heavy emphasis in New South Wales, and in other Australian jurisdictions, on speeding enforcement and on lowering or revising speed limits. It is timely to review the role of vehicle technology in allowing for the better management and control of road speeds. While the inquiry is focussed on vehicle systems, it will examine the interface between the vehicle and the road infrastructure, and the driver-vehicle interface. Some matters of interest include the interplay between mechanical engineering and electronics in modern motor vehicle design and construction, and the question of whether the process of introducing new technologies for speed control is best driven by regulation or by market forces. Submissions close 1 December 2005 and can be addressed to the Staysafe Committee, Parliament House, Macquarie Street, Sydney 2000 or

PS: Congratulations to Buddsy (Simon), Sally & Archie may you be blessed with a long & happy life together.

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.