Primex 2006

Express Examiner 28 June 2006

Parliament is now in winter recess and will resume on 29 August 2006.

Primex 2006

This year was yet another successful exhibition with all sites sold out - the first time ever. This three day rural display has grown and expanded over its two decades, bringing an estimated injection of $2M into the local economy. Congratulations and thanks to Bruce Wright, the Wright family and exhibitors for an outstanding Primex 2006.

Conference Commitments Good News for Casino Residents

Commitments made at the NSW Nationals conference in Ballina on the weekend are good news for Casino residents. The commitments include increasing and expanding the Rainwater Tank Rebate Scheme, abolishing the Countrylink booking fee for pensioners and delivering greater equity to country school children.

In particular, the NSW Nationals will double the Sydney Water rainwater tank rebate and extend the rainwater tank rebate scheme to country residents. As we are all aware, water is our most important natural resource and we need to encourage the ongoing collection of stormwater by increasing and expanding rainwater tank rebates.

Pensioners will also benefit from the NSW Nationals commitment to scrap the State Labor Government's unpopular Countrylink booking fee. The booking fee introduced by the Labor Government in March, unfairly slugs pensioners 15 per cent of the equivalent full adult fare or a minimum of $10 (whichever is greater) and is charged for each voucher used for the journey undertaken. The NSW National/Liberal coalition will abolish this unfair financial burden if elected to Government in March 2007.

The NSW Nationals will also provide greater equity for children attending small country schools by lowering the cut-off point for single teacher schools from enrolments of 25 children to 20. The Small School Staffing Program would provide extra teaching resources to small schools, benefiting country kids by increasing learning opportunities and by decreasing student to teacher ratios.

These three announcements will be of great benefit to local residents and it is pleasing to see country areas being given such strong support by the NSW National/Liberal Coalition.

2006 Fair Trading Awards

The Office of Fair Trading is dedicated to making sure that the NSW marketplace is fair for everyone. The Awards are presented to individuals, community organisations, business associations, media outlets, high school students and teachers. There are four categories; Minister's Awards for Consumer Advocacy
Services and Einfeld Awards
Journalism Awards
Community Initiative Challenge

The closing date is 1 September 2006 and nomination form is available upon request to my office or www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au.

150 Years of Public Works in NSW

Last week I had the pleasure of opening the Lismore exhibition celebrating the sesquicentenary (150 Years) of introduction of Responsible Government in 1856. It was in 1856 that the Department of Lands and Public Works was set up. Over the last 150 years Public Works, now the Office of Public Works and Services in the Department of Commerce, has helped develop the state by contributing engineering, construction and design skills to railways, roads, bridges, waterways, dams, water treatment plants, sewerage schemes, schools, hospitals, police stations and courthouses. As part of the celebrations, students of NSW are invited to participate in the "150 Years of Public Works Schools Competition". Information on how to enter can be obtained from my office or downloaded from the website www.commerce.nsw.gov.au.

Funding Assistance

I am pleased the Shared Vision Aboriginal Corporation has recently been granted 59,775 for local programs. The Reconnecting Families Additional Support project received $44,160 and the Aboriginal Youth Network and Development project $15,615. Both these projects provide support services to local aboriginal families.

Correctional Services Amendment Bill 2006 Inquiry

The General Purpose Standing Committee No. 3 is currently holding an inquiry into the Correctional Services Amendment Bill 2006.

The objects of this Bill are: to prohibit inmates who are serving sentences for serious indictable offences or who are awaiting sentencing for such offences from providing their reproductive material for use, or storage, for reproductive purposes at hospitals and other places, and

to require inmates who have had their reproductive material stored for reproductive purposes to pay charges for the storage during any period which they are imprisoned.

Submissions close on 28 July 2006 and can be forwarded to The Director, General Purpose Standing Committees, Parliament House, Macquarie Street, Sydney 2000 or fax 9230 3416.

Strict & Absolute Liability Discussion Paper

The Legislation Review Committee is seeking comment on certain issues relating to strict and absolute liability offences highlighted in a Discussion Paper. Copies of the paper can be obtained from my office. Submissions close on 14 August 2006 and can be forwarded to The Director, Legislation Review Committee, Parliament House, Macquarie Street, Sydney 2000.

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