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.
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
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
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
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.