Northern Rivers Echo 5 January 2006


I hope everyone enjoyed the festive season, gathering with family and friends. Celebrations of the New Year appeared to be relatively peaceful and I trust the ensuing year ahead will continue in this manner for the benefit of all of us.

Local Students

Congratulations to the many students who completed the HSC last year, what a great accomplishment. Some of you would be now preparing for further studies, job opportunities and embarking on new adventures. I would like to wish you all well in your future endeavours and trust that you all follow your chosen journey into careers and adult life with zest and determination. For those pursuing employment, the following websites may be useful www.jobs.nsw.gov.au selecting `NSW Government jobs'.

No New Year Love from Labor

When the clock struck midnight on Sunday it signalled a raft of tax increases: A land tax increase. A $450,000 valuation will attract $2140 in land tax in 2006, up 18.89% from $1800 payable in 2005.
An increase in Bus fares of up to 7% starting January 3rd
An increase in Ferry fares starting January 3rd
TAFE fees to rise by an average 3.14%
Snow skiers and boarders will pay $22 to access Kosciusko National Park, up 37.50% from $16 in 2005
National Park annual pass to cost $190 in October 2006, up 31.03% from $145 in 2005
RTA registration fees to rise. A Commodore will cost $362 to register in 2006, up 2.26% from $354 in 2005
A billion dollar turnaround in the budget, with a half billion dollar deficit in 06/07
More money towards a wasteful and unwanted $1.3 billion desalination plant Taxpayers are again being slugged for Labor's economic vandalism and incompetence. In his limited time as premier, Morris Iemma has levied at least $700 million of new taxes to try and plug the budget black hole and that trend is set to continue into the new year. Despite ten years of record revenues, services are being slashed and infrastructure crumbling.

School Holiday Activities

The following links provide information for kids and details of activities for them to participate in during the festive break;



Kids' Active Getaway Camp - 9 to 13 Jan for 7 to 12 years and Junior Surf Camp - 9 to 11 Jan for 8 to 12 year olds with both camps conducted at Lake Ainsworth.

Lake Ainsworth kids' club - For kids who just want to have fun! Kids' Club is a great school holiday idea. It's jam-packed with fun activities especially for eight to 12 year olds. Get up and get active with a great range of things to do including abseiling, canoeing, bushwalking, swimming and lots more. Date/s: Daily from 16 -20 January and daily from 23-27 January 2006. Cost: $30 per day or $25 if more than one child from the same family attending or for a child attending for more than one day. If you would like more information about these programs, or would like to make a booking, call the Lake Ainsworth Sport and Recreation Centre Booking forms available from the website or by contacting the Regional Office of the Department, Lennox Head on 66877168.

State Representative Awards

The State Government has instituted an award to recognise people who reach state representative level in any field. Candidates of any age who have succeeded in a competitive field such as dance, music, sport, the arts or academically, and are now representing the state of NSW nationally or internationally, may apply for the award. See the website www.premiers.nsw.gov.au/our_library/protocol/InfoSheetStateAward.doc for an information sheet and application form.

Woodenbong School Visit

I thoroughly enjoyed joining with the school communities of both the Primary and Secondary sectors. It gave me great pleasure to take advantage of the opportunity and present a one-off grant of $200 provided by The Hon Sandra Nori, Minister for Sport & Recreation. These funds were used to enable the Woodenbong Central School Open Boys Rugby League team to travel to Dubbo for the Central Schools State Championships. I was disappointed, due to Parliament being recalled in December, in not being able to be present at the Tregeagle and Casino Public Schools end of year presentations.

Changes to Office of Justice of the Peace

My office continues to receive enquiries by local Justices of the Peace (JP's) who were not aware of changes implemented a number of years ago. If they have not already done so, JP's should register with my office to receive ensuing information on this issue and to obtain the reappointment forms. The main change affecting current JP's is that they will have to reapply every five years. Existing Justices of the Peace have three years (until 1 December 2006) to lodge your reappointment application and to re-establish either an employment or community based need for the appointment. Forms are available from my office on 6621 3624.

Colours of the Parliamentary Chambers

The use of red and green as the respective colours for the Legislative Council Chamber and the Legislative Assembly Chamber is a tradition inherited from the Mother of Parliaments at Westminster when responsible government was established in New South Wales. The use of red for the House of Lords (and, by extension, for most Upper Houses in the Westminster system) is explained by the fact that red was a traditionally royal colour and the Lords' Chamber was decorated this way in honour of the Monarch's presence. It has been theorised that the reason for the use of green in the Lower House was that in the fourteenth century, when the English Parliament began to meet regularly, the general decoration of the whole of the palace of Westminster (where Parliament met) was green. Green was apparently a favourite colour of King Henry III (reigned 1216-1272) who built much of the Palace of Westminster, including St Stephen's chapel where the Commons met regularly from about 1547 to 1823 when the old Palace was destroyed by fire. Another theory of the use of the colour green is that residents used to meet on the Village Common, which of course was green, to air their grievances against the King.

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: lismore@parliament.nsw.gov.au

Authorised by Thomas George MP. Funded using Parliamentary entitlements.