Australia Day

Express 21 January 04

Welcome to 2004. I trust everyone had an enjoyable, safe and relaxing Christmas and New Year season.

Australia Day

I am looking forward to attending Australia Day celebrations once again this year. I will be taking part in festivities at Kyogle and Tabulam. The day captures the spirit of what being Australian really means. It refreshes national pride in past achievements, our history, and makes us reflect on the vast opportunities that are available to us.

Woodenbong Central School

Late last year I had the pleasure of attending the Woodenbong Central School Presentation Assemblies. This also included the induction of the 2004 captains.

Casino & West of Range Interviews

I will conducting interviews in Casino on Wednesday 28 January at the Richmond Valley Council from 12 noon. I will also be visiting Old Bonalbo, Bonalbo, Urbenville, Legume, Woodenbong, Grevillia & Wiangaree on Wednesday 4 February. Anyone wanting an appointment on either of these days, please contact my office for a time.

Inquiry into Serious Injuries & Deaths in the Workplace

The Legislative Council General Purpose Standing Committee No. 1 is holding an Inquiry into Serious Injuries & Deaths in the Workplace. Written submissions are encouraged to be sent to the Director, General Purpose Standing Committee No. 1, Legislative Council, Parliament House, Macquarie Street, Sydney by 4 February 2004. Copies of the Inquiry's Terms of Reference or further information can be obtained from my office or by contacting the Committee Secretariat on 9230 3544 or gpscno1@parliament.nsw.gov.au

Building Consultancy Licences

Commencing January 1 2004 any person who is retained by a consumer to carry out a pre-purchase inspection of a residential building will be required to hold a licence, under the Home Building Amendment (Building Consultancy Work) Regulation 2003. Consumers will be able to check the licence details of building consultants on the public register maintained on the Office of Fair Trading website. Information and licence application forms are available on the website www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au or by calling the Home Building Service on 1800 678588.

Building Active Communities Funding

This Department of Sport & Recreation assistance will fund projects which increase sport, recreation and physical activity for identified groups from under-represented and disadvantaged people within the community, and/or address health and social issues. There are small (up to $2,000) and large ($10,000-$25,000) grants available. The closing date for small grants is 30 January and for large 12 March. Application forms can be obtained from my office or the Department's website www.dsr.nsw.gov.au.

Casino Community Benefit Fund

In 1995 the Casino Community Benefit Fund was established to provide financial assistance to organisations offering treatment services (counselling, rehabilitation etc), education and awareness raising for problem gamblers and their families, and activities addressing the flow-on effects of problem gambling. The program provides the opportunity for "not for profit" community based organisations to apply for financial assistance. Applications forms are available from my office or can be downloaded from the Department of Gaming & Racing website at www.dgr.nsw.gov.au. The closing date is 13 February.

Draft Property, Stock and Business Agents Amendment (Tenant Databases) Regulation 2004

Tenant databases are operated by private companies who collect information about tenants and make it available to real estate agents. Agents use this information to assess a person's rental history when considering an application to rent a property. The draft Property, Stock and Business Agents Amendment (Tenant Databases) Regulation 2004 aims to protect tenants in NSW from unfair treatment in relation to the use of tenant databases. The regulation prescribes rules of conduct under the Property, Stock and Business Agents Act 2002 regarding the use of tenant databases by New South Wales real estate agents.

The draft regulation does not directly regulate database operators but rather the agents who list tenants on databases. Comments on the draft regulation are invited by 9 February and should be sent to: The Project Manager, Tenant Databases Regulation, Policy Division, Office of Fair Trading, Level 20, 227 Elizabeth Street, Sydney 2000 or emailed to policy@oft.commerce.nsw.gov.au. Copies of the draft regulation can be obtained from my office or at www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au.

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