JP Reappointment Deadline set for 31 August 2006

Northern Rivers Echo 13 April 2006

JP Reappointment Deadline set for 31 August 2006

Existing Justices of the Peace, who have not yet applied for reappointment under the new JP's legislation should be aware that a date of 31 August 2006 has been set for the lodgement of reappointment forms.

Changes made to Justice of the Peace legislation in December 2003 mean that appointments are now made for a period of five years. All existing JP's must initially apply for reappointment and then at the end of each five year period will again be required to reapply. JP's who have not already done so, can obtain a reappointment form from my office.

NSW Photo Cards Released

A new form of photo identification is now available for people who do not have a NSW Driver Licence or other form of photo identification. The voluntary Photo Card can be used to assist with services such as sending international mail, opening bank accounts or entering licensed premises.

Whilst the Photo Card has the same security features as a NSW Driver Licence it is not a licence to drive. The Photo Card is available from the motor registry office and costs $40. There are no concessions available on the card, except in certain circumstances where a person is unable to access a NSW Drivers Licence for medical reasons. Further information about the Photo Card is available from my office.

Auction Extravaganza to Benefit Community

The Rotary Club of Lismore West and five charities are holding a Combined Charities Auction Extravaganza on Saturday 13 May at the Lismore Workers Club.

The charity auction will include up to 100 items including a new car, white goods, dinner at Parliament House and sporting memorabilia. Organisers are seeking individuals or groups who wish to attend, and businesses or individuals who wish to donate prizes.

Proceeds from the evening will assist several local charities including, Early Intervention Lismore, Lismore Challenge Limited, Police Citizens Youth Club Lismore, St Vincent's Hospital Rehabilitation Unit, Summerland House with No Steps, Charities of the Rotary Club of Lismore West.

These are all very worthy causes and I encourage readers to contact the Lismore Workers Club on 6621 7401 if they wish to attend, or Bob Barnes on 6624 2233 if they wish to donate an auction item.

Home Building Industry Review

For those involved in the home building industry, the Minister for Fair Trading has released an Issues Paper on the Review of Licensing in the NSW Home Building Industry.

The Paper looks at licensing issues such as the coverage of licensing, the monetary threshold, the licensing of entities and whether licensing should apply to the broader construction industry.

Those interested in making submissions to the Review can do so before 21 April 2006.

Deadline for Smoke Alarms

From 1 May 2006 every home must have installed at least one working smoke alarm. Owners of homes not meeting this requirement risk an $800 fine. The legislation passed last year means all properties, owned or rented must be fitted with a battery operated or hard wired smoke alarms.

Further information about the regulation is available from my office or by calling the smoke alarm information line on 1300 858 812.

Grants Available for local Sporting Groups

I am pleased to advise that applications are now open for the popular Department of Sport & Recreation Capital Assistance Program.

The Program provides funding assistance to local government authorities, and not-for-profit sporting and recreational organisations to develop community oriented local sporting and recreational facilities throughout NSW.

Last year the average grant awarded under the program was $10,000. Organisations wishing to apply for the Program can obtain Guidance Notes and Application Forms from my office.

Joint Select Committee on Tobacco Smoking

I have recently been appointed as a member of the Joint Select Committee on Tobacco Smoking. The Committee's been appointed to inquire into and report on tobacco smoking in New South Wales, and in particular: the costs and other impacts of smoking,
the effectiveness of strategies to reduce tobacco use,
the effects of smoke-free indoor venues on the initiation and maintenance of the smoking habit,
factors affecting initiatives for smoke-free indoor areas,
the effectiveness of media, educative, community and medically-based Quit initiatives,
the adequacy of the budget for smoking control initiatives, and
the Smoke-free Environment Amendment (Motor Vehicle Prohibition) Bill 2005 introduced by Revd Nile in the Legislative Council.

As part of its inquiry the Committee is hosting a public forum on 1 May 2006 at Parliament House. Participants will be asked to state their views to the Committee on the issues that are important to them about smoking.

To express your interest in attending or participating in the public forum, telephone the Committee secretariat on 9230 3554, email tobaccosmoking@parliament.nsw.gov.au or the website at www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/tobaccosmokingcommittee.

Easter Holiday Road Safety

Easter is a time to spend with family and friends, but unfortunately this means many more cars are on the roads, and the chances of having an accident is increased. This year double demerit points will again apply over the Easter period and I encourage readers to take it easy on the roads so you can enjoy a safe and relaxing Easter break with loved ones.

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