Review of Plantations and Reafforestation Legislation

Express Examiner 27 July 2005

Review of Plantations and Reafforestation Legislation

The Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Natural Resources (DIPNR) is calling for public comment as part of the statutory review of the Plantations and Reafforestation Act 1999 and associated regulations. A discussion paper has been released providing an opportunity for interested parties to make comments and suggestions to improve the operation of the legislation. Copies of the discussion paper and submission forms are available from www.dipnr.nsw.gov.au or by phoning 1300 305 695, submissions close 1 August.

Support for Young Farmers

NSW Minister for Infrastructure, Planning and Natural Resources, Craig Knowles, announced a new FirstFarmer program. This is to support a new generation of sustainable agriculture with a program to help young farmers establish their own properties via concessional finance. FirstFarmer will help successful applicants buy into their first place and help ensure good resource management of our rural land. Farmers manage 80% of the land mass in NSW and they are a vital part of natural resource management. Support for FirstFarmer will be linked to Natural Resource Management policy to ensure new young farmers are equipped with the best practice knowledge associated with sustainable farm practices. The Government is also seeking Commonwealth support for this innovative scheme, which will be carefully monitored over the next 12 months, to address the exodus of rural youth to the cities. More information on FirstFarmer will soon be available from the Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Natural Resources and the NSW Farmers' Association.

2005 Justice Awards

Nominations are currently open for the annual Justice Awards presented by the Law and Justice Foundation of NSW. These Awards are a great opportunity to recognise the efforts of individuals and organisations working to increase access to justice NSW, particularly for socially and economically disadvantaged people. Either individual or a group of individuals may be eligible for one or more of the following Awards. Nominees can be recognised for a single outstanding activity or, for achievement over a period of time;

The Justice Medal - sponsored by the Foundation and presented to an individual for outstanding achievement in improving access to justice.

The Aboriginal Justice Award - sponsored by the NSW Attorney General's Department and presented to an Aboriginal individual/group of individuals demonstrating outstanding commitment to improving access to justice Aboriginal people in NSW.

The Law and Justice Volunteer Award - sponsored by the NSW Bar Association for outstanding commitment in a voluntary capacity to improving access to justice.

The Pro Bono Partnership Award - sponsored by the National Pro Bono Resource Centre and presented to private law firms, community organisations and/or community legal centres, which have developed a relationship resulting in improved access to justice for disadvantage people.

Nomination forms are available from my office, or www.lawfoundation.netau/justice_awards and close on 5 August 2005.

Valuer General

A second newsletter regarding land valuations has been released with the purpose of providing landowners and members of the public with information about the valuation system. Majority of local Councils have elected to issue the first newsletter with the first round of rate notices for 2005. The newsletter is available on the Department of Land's website www.lands.nsw.gov.au or from my office. Should anyone wish a copy to be forwarded to them, please do not hesitate to contact my office.

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