MalcolmTurnbull to keep everyone happy with frontbench reshuffle

Stephanie Peatling
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Stephanie Peatling is a senior writer for The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age

Former prime minister Tony Abbott says too many people with “bad backs, a bit of depression” receive welfare.
Abbott slams pensions for people with ‘bad backs, a bit of depression’
The former prime minister says Australia is in danger of developing a welfare mentality with too many people preferring to be unemployed than take jobs. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull during the COAG press conference at Parliament House in Canberra on Friday 9 December …

Stephanie Peatling
SEND EMAIL

FOLLOW ON FACEBOOK

FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER
Stephanie Peatling is a senior writer for The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age

Former prime minister Tony Abbott says too many people with “bad backs, a bit of depression” receive welfare.
Abbott slams pensions for people with ‘bad backs, a bit of depression’
The former prime minister says Australia is in danger of developing a welfare mentality with too many people preferring to be unemployed than take jobs. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull during the COAG press conference at Parliament House in Canberra on Friday 9 December …
PM angers monarchists by agreeing to address republican dinner
The Prime Minister will give a major speech on one of the issues with which he is most closely associated – an Australian republic.
The funding announcement will deliver some immediate certainty but not the longer term security providers had been …
PM gives reprieve for family violence, homelessness services
Front-line services offering programs to tackle homelessness will be given a funding reprieve by the Turnbull government.
Janine Mahoney, chief executive officer of the Safe Futures Foundation, runs a program that helps women and children who …
Family violence, homelessness campaigners call for funding certainty
Family violence and homelessness advocates are asking politicians to put politics aside when it comes to funding programs.
Mutuma Ruteere says Australia is not unique among western democracies in grappling with popular support for parties with …
UN expert says Australians (and their leaders) have big racism problem
The United Nations’ expert on racism says Australia must confront the rise of hard right and racist views or risk them becoming mainstream.
George Christensen in his parents’ backyard near Mackay.
George Christensen breaks the internet as Parliament winds up for the year
It’s the last day of the sitting year and Malcolm Turnbull is keen to go out on a high. But first – more protesters.
Former prime minister Tony Abbott has called for tougher access to welfare payments.
There’s no room at the Coalition ministry’s inn for Tony Abbott: Julie Bishop
The last week of the parliamentary year is upon is and everyone is rushing to pack up their things before they go home. The Christmas spirit is in short supply.
Baldivis has experienced farmers who could cultivate medicinal cannabis.
‘Just say no’: peak medical body rejects Greens’ new drug legalisation push
The Greens’ push to have some illicit drugs legalised appears to be friendless.
Tony Abbott is preparing to write a sequel to Battlelines.
Tony Abbott offers up some end of year advice for Malcolm Turnbull
Tony Abbott tells Malcolm Turnbull he needs to revisit the 2014 budget and play harder on power prices if he wants to do better.
Former Prime Minister Tony Abbot’s government left the Productivity Commission – Australia’s pre-eminent reform …
Politics live as Malcolm Turnbull ponders a problem like Tony Abbott
How do you solve a problem like Tony Abbott? Malcolm Turnbull ponders this and other mysteries.

PM angers monarchists by agreeing to address republican dinner
The Prime Minister will give a major speech on one of the issues with which he is most closely associated – an Australian republic.
The funding announcement will deliver some immediate certainty but not the longer term security providers had been …
PM gives reprieve for family violence, homelessness services
Front-line services offering programs to tackle homelessness will be given a funding reprieve by the Turnbull government.
Janine Mahoney, chief executive officer of the Safe Futures Foundation, runs a program that helps women and children who …
Family violence, homelessness campaigners call for funding certainty
Family violence and homelessness advocates are asking politicians to put politics aside when it comes to funding programs.
Mutuma Ruteere says Australia is not unique among western democracies in grappling with popular support for parties with …
UN expert says Australians (and their leaders) have big racism problem
The United Nations’ expert on racism says Australia must confront the rise of hard right and racist views or risk them becoming mainstream.
George Christensen in his parents’ backyard near Mackay.
George Christensen breaks the internet as Parliament winds up for the year
It’s the last day of the sitting year and Malcolm Turnbull is keen to go out on a high. But first – more protesters.
Former prime minister Tony Abbott has called for tougher access to welfare payments.
There’s no room at the Coalition ministry’s inn for Tony Abbott: Julie Bishop
The last week of the parliamentary year is upon is and everyone is rushing to pack up their things before they go home. The Christmas spirit is in short supply.
Baldivis has experienced farmers who could cultivate medicinal cannabis.
‘Just say no’: peak medical body rejects Greens’ new drug legalisation push
The Greens’ push to have some illicit drugs legalised appears to be friendless.
Tony Abbott is preparing to write a sequel to Battlelines.
Tony Abbott offers up some end of year advice for Malcolm Turnbull
Tony Abbott tells Malcolm Turnbull he needs to revisit the 2014 budget and play harder on power prices if he wants to do better.
Former Prime Minister Tony Abbot’s government left the Productivity Commission – Australia’s pre-eminent reform …
Politics live as Malcolm Turnbull ponders a problem like Tony Abbott
How do you solve a problem like Tony Abbott? Malcolm Turnbull ponders this and other mysteries.

Height of Gowings proposedhigh-rise hotel exceeds the LEP

An artist's impression of the new development application for the Gordon St end of Coffs Central lodged by Gowings Pty Ltd.
An artist’s impression of the new development application for the Gordon St end of Coffs Central lodged by Gowings Pty Ltd.
 UPDATE: GOWINGS’ $20-million proposal to build an 80-room hotel on top of Coffs Central hit a stumbling block on Thursday night with the council noting the height of the development application is well over the city centre’s building height restrictions.

This followed a council staff report that noted the plans contravened the Coffs Harbour Local Environment Plan 2013.

The DA for the hotel is set to go before the Northern Joint  Regional Planning Panel next week for determination, however Coffs Harbour City Council voted unanimously to accept the report noting the development does not satisfy the requirements of the Clause 4.6 of the LEP.

The expanded complex is expected to reach a height of 39.46 metres, well in excess of the 17-metre height restriction outlined in Coffs Harbour’s Local Environment Plan.

In the final council meeting of the year, councillors George Cecato, Paul Amos, Keith Rhoades, Jan Strom, Tegan Swan, Michael Adendorff and Sally Townley voted unanimously to accept the report to council.

However, given the determining role of the DA does not rest with the council, the multi-million dollar proposal will be considered for approval by the Northern Joint Regional Planning Panel next Thursday.

The developer is seeking to exempt the 11-floor, 43-metre high proposal from the 17 metre CBD building height limits.

The proposal would have an additional eight levels added to the original plans that are under way to upgrade the Gordon St end of Coffs Central to house office space and a hotel.

If the application is approved there will be two storeys of office space on top of the already authorised two levels of retail and mall space.

On top of that will be a further six levels for a hotel with 80 rooms.

The proposal has been strongly supported by the community, with a public consultation process attracting 44 submissions, 43 which were in favour of the development.

The plans allow for 30 new car parking spaces at a basement level for hotel guests and a further  55 spaces on the second level for those using the office space.

Vehicle access to level two will be via the existing Castle St multi-level car park.

Gowings claim the construction phase of the development, predicted to take 18 months to two years, would generate 142 direct jobs while once operational, the expansion is estimated to provide 153 full-time jobs.

To register to speak at the JRPP meeting on Thursday, December 15 at 4.30pm at the Coffs Harbour City Council Administration Building, call the planning panel’s secretariat before Tuesday 4pm on 82172060 or email enquiry@planningpanels. nsw.gov.au.

 

Comment :

 When one considers the absolute chaos that was caused by the removal of the Gordon Street roundabout and the new drainage required in Harbour Drive, the new road through Pioneer Park and claims the it was koala habitat. Where was the General Manager?  It would seem that he must have been missing in action once again, probably ensuring the  arrangements for the Motor Rally (remember the  conflict of interest here) were moving ahead well and he was perhaps  not paying attention to his responsibilities as the General Manager of Coffs Harbour City Council.

Could there be an ulterior motive here??????

 

 

 

 

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PARADOX — FIT FOR THE FUTURE

There can be no question about it. The General Manager has, by way of the audit report, told us we are fit for the future. (Local media Wednesday 30 November 2016).

In a nutshell we built our wealth by the sum of $116,323 over the last year. This means every ratepayer has an extra $4. And if there are four people per family you get a dollar per person. What a result.

We got more money coming in as funds were up by $61 million. This was in part due to the grants from the State Government up an extra $50 million. So presumably we raised an extra $11 million by ourselves. Well we know where some $5 million came from because they put the rates up.

If you look at it there are some 30,000 rate payers in the area who paid some $81 million in rates. I have used round figures for the sake of convenience. So on average every ratepayer contributes $2700 per annum. This is for rates and annual charges. It does not include the costs a ratepayer incurs for say the consumption of water (apart from the annual cost of providing the service).

So with 30,000 ratepayers and $6 million surplus it means we all pay $200 a year in charges. Now this is only for water and I am sure most of you will have immediately multiplied your quarterly water bill and found it to be in excess of $200 per annum. But this is a little unfair because council would have included the “forecast income ” in their calculations. It is not necessarily all surplus monies.

Council try to say they are efficient because they spend $1.2 million less this year. Strange but they have $1.2 million in retained earnings. So does this mean they had planned to spend the money but did not get around to it? Does this mean they are not as efficient as they might have us believe?

Further did anyone notice no mention was made of the re-vote (see earlier council meeting)? This is money council included in its plans for last year. They planned to spend this money but did not get around to it. They fell $19 million short. So if they have $1.2 million in retained funds it looks  as though $17.8 million was diverted to unplanned works. Does this make them efficient?

I forgot if a council is fit for the future it gets preferential access to grants. But according to the auditor the increase was largely due to the State Government grant for the Pacific Highway bypass. Does this mean the future bypass ? Has council somehow used this money or should our equity reflect this payment? Yes the equity rose by $116,000 but is that all you can generate from $50 million. That is a return on investment of 0.2 of a percentage.

But if we planned to spend $19 million and only have funds of $1.2 million what did we spend $17.8 on? Was it on unplanned work?

Perhaps council just made the figures look good. Retained earnings $1.2 million and/or a decrease in expenditure could mean that we are paying our way? Can we tick the box and claim to be fit for the future? As the General Manager said the Auditor General will conduct the next audit….. from this financial year. So what? We are ready in this financial year General Manager, or did you not know that, so why is it necessary to make this statement. I see, you think that this is being open and transparent do you? By the way does the Auditor General do an audit every year? Or are we under  some form of special  scrutiny?

It is a worry given the release from the IPART the other day. Rate pegging will be at a reduced rate so does that mean council will need to put in another variation to rate levels?  Council just told us we got more money and spent less.

It seems that to be efficient the council has to be inefficient otherwise it cannot achieve the result it got. For if the council was efficient, and spent the full amount planned, we would have a huge deficit. And that would make us inefficient. If we were inefficient we would not be fit for the future. This is a paradox. So what say you Council?

Author    Con.     Fused

Commentt

“paradox” a statement or proposition which, despite sound (or apparently sound) reasoning from acceptable premises, leads to a conclusion that seems logically unacceptable or self-contradictory. Well done Con just the sort of statement that emanates from the office of the General Manager. ..Hugh

NSW GOVERNMENT ANNOUNCE NEW REGIONALTOURISM FUND

Member for Coffs Harbour, Andrew Fraser, today announced that the local tourism industry is set to benefit from a massive injection of $13 million, with the opening of the new Regional Tourism Fund.

Mr Fraser said the Fund replaces the previous Contestable Regional Visitor Economy Fund (RVEF) and is part of the NSW Government’s strategy to re-energise tourism across Regional NSW.

“I am delighted that the Regional Tourism Fund is now open, offering two programs for marketing and product development support,” Mr Fraser said.

“With a total of $13 million available between 2016 and 2019, the new Regional Tourism Fund provides increased investment of $2.5 million into the regional visitor economy on a matched dollar-for-dollar basis.

“We must continue to promote the variety of products and experiences on offer in our beautiful region and this Government initiative will drive overnight visitation to the Coffs Harbour electorate while increasing destination awareness.”

 

NSW Minister for Trade Tourism and Major Events Stuart Ayres encouraged the regional tourism industry to review the Regional Tourism Fund criteria to learn more about this vital funding opportunity.

 

“From grants to assist with infrastructure and accommodation projects to delivering marketing campaigns aimed at driving overnight visitation, the Regional Tourism Fund has the potential to support even more projects, stimulating tourism across Regional NSW and creating more jobs,” Mr Ayres said.

Destination NSW Chief Executive Officer Sandra Chipchase said unlike the old RVEF, the Regional Tourism Fund will be open year-round.

“Our new Fund will be open to receive applications at any time, offering simplified online forms, broader assessment criteria and quicker assessment processes,” Ms Chipchase said.

Managed and administered by the State’s tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW, the Fund is available to Local Government, tourism and industry sector organisations as well as the six Destination Networks, with the product development program also available to tourism operators.

For further information on the two funding programs including details on the guidelines, fact sheets, FAQs and online forms, go to www.destinationnsw.com.au/regionaltourismfund.

A NEW BEGINNING FOR STRATA LIVING

Once-in-a-generation reforms to the state’s strata title laws have now come into effect, to reflect contemporary strata living and to cater for future demand.

The reforms include more than 90 changes to the laws and affect 1.2 million people living in over 75,000 strata schemes across NSW.

Key changes include:

  • Providing a flexible and fair mechanism for collective sale and renewal;
  • Making it easier for owners to complete cosmetic and minor renovations;
  • Modernising rules to help prevent proxy farming;
  • New provisions addressing the perennial issues of parking, pets and smoke drift; and
  • Introducing a defects bond (to come into effect July 2017) to fix building defects early in new developments.

“By 2040 about half of people in NSW will either be living or working in strata. We need modern and flexible laws that reflect 21st century strata living,” Member for Coffs Harbour, Andrew Fraser said.

“The last major amendments to strata law happened 20 years ago – the face of our state has changed dramatically since then and the new laws better reflect the way people live and work in 2016 and beyond.”

The reforms follow extensive public consultation over a five year period, with more than 3,000 submissions received from the public and stakeholder groups.

To learn more about the new laws and how it affects you, visit www.stratalaws.nsw.gov.au or call the Strata Hotline on 1800 214 02

 

 ———————————————————-

 

COFFS HARBOUR ELECTORATE WELCOMES STORM DAMAGE ASSISTANCE

Member for Coffs Harbour, Andrew Fraser, has welcomed the NSW Government’s announcement that it will provide Agriculture Natural Disaster Relief following wild storms on Wednesday, 3 August.

Mr Fraser said the strong winds and heavy rain damaged farm infrastructure and resulted in production loss to the blueberry, banana and vegetable industry.

“This weather event caused more than $443,000 worth of damage to plants in production and an additional $800,000 worth of damage to farm infrastructure including netting and plastic tunnel,” Mr Fraser said.

“Primary producers in the Parishes of Sherwood, Corindi, Waihou, Woolgoolga, Orara, Moonee, Coffs and Bonville in the Coffs Harbour Local Government Area are now eligible for low interest loans of up to $130,000 with a two-year interest and repayment free period.

“I urge any affected farmers to contact the NSW Rural Assistance Authority (RAA) for more information on how they can access this support to get back on their feet.”

Further information and eligibility criteria, contact RAA on 1800 678 593 or visit www.raa.nsw.gov.au

 

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NSW GOVERNMENT ANNOUNCES NEW REGIONAL TOURISM FUND

Member for Coffs Harbour, Andrew Fraser, today announced that the local tourism industry is set to benefit from a massive injection of $13 million, with the opening of the new Regional Tourism Fund.

Mr Fraser said the Fund replaces the previous Contestable Regional Visitor Economy Fund (RVEF) and is part of the NSW Government’s strategy to re-energise tourism across Regional NSW.

“I am delighted that the Regional Tourism Fund is now open, offering two programs for marketing and product development support,” Mr Fraser said.

“With a total of $13 million available between 2016 and 2019, the new Regional Tourism Fund provides increased investment of $2.5 million into the regional visitor economy on a matched dollar-for-dollar basis.

“We must continue to promote the variety of products and experiences on offer in our beautiful region and this Government initiative will drive overnight visitation to the Coffs Harbour electorate while increasing destination awareness.”

NSW Minister for Trade Tourism and Major Events Stuart Ayres encouraged the regional tourism industry to review the Regional Tourism Fund criteria to learn more about this vital funding opportunity.

“From grants to assist with infrastructure and accommodation projects to delivering marketing campaigns aimed at driving overnight visitation, the Regional Tourism Fund has the potential to support even more projects, stimulating tourism across Regional NSW and creating more jobs,” Mr Ayres said.

Destination NSW Chief Executive Officer Sandra Chipchase said unlike the old RVEF, the Regional Tourism Fund will be open year-round.

“Our new Fund will be open to receive applications at any time, offering simplified online forms, broader assessment criteria and quicker assessment processes,” Ms Chipchase said.

Managed and administered by the State’s tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW, the Fund is available to Local Government, tourism and industry sector organisations as well as the six Destination Networks, with the product development program also available to tourism operators.

For further information on the two funding programs including details on the guidelines, fact sheets, FAQs and online forms, go to www.destinationnsw.com.au/regionaltourismfund.

 

FUNDING TO BOOST ROAD SAFETY IN THE COFFS HARBOUR

 

Coffs Harbour electorate residents are set to receive a safety boost, with Member for Coffs Harbour Andrew Fraser today announcing funding for local safety projects as part of the NSW Government’s $1.6 million Community Road Safety Grants Program.

Local organisations Anglicare and Rotary Club of Woolgoolga have each been awarded a safety grant to deliver road safety projects that will help increase road safety awareness and support safer road use in the community.

The Rotary Club of Woolgoolga will use the grant to launch a Youth Driver Awareness day with local Year 11 students, while Anglicare will run a ‘Road Safe in Oz’ program to inform humanitarian entrants about road safety in Australia.

“This is great news for the Coffs Harbour electorate community and there is nothing more important than safety on our roads,” Mr Fraser said.

Mr Fraser said the NSW Government is committed to supporting local organisations that deliver vital work to help keep our communities safe.

“We all have a role to play when it comes to road safety but there are some special organisations in our communities that go above and beyond this call.

Mr Fraser encouraged all members of the Coffs Harbour electorate community to play their part and get involved in local road safety events.

“These safety grants will allow Anglicare and Rotary Club of Woolgoolga to develop engaging road safety projects with other local groups and encourage road safety awareness in the Coffs Harbour electorate community.”

“Our communities have specific road safety issues that can be addressed through local campaigns or events so these grants will really give a helping hand in spreading important road safety messages,” Mr Fraser said.

The Community Road Safety Grants Program builds on a number of other road safety initiatives being delivered by the NSW Government including the Safety Town website for primary school students and children, Safer Drivers Course for ‘L’ platers and the Plan B Campaign for adults.

More information about the grants is available at: roadsafety.transport.nsw.gov.au/.

 

Australasian Association for Engineering Education Conference

Around 200 delegates will be attending the 27th Australasian Association for Engineering Education Conference at the Novotel Coffs Harbour Pacific Bay Resort on Monday and Tuesday. The conference is being hosted by Southern Cross University.

The conference will be opened by Southern Cross University Vice Chancellor Professor Adam Shoemaker and Professor Scott Smith, Conference Chair,  at 9am, Monday, December 5.

Morning tea is 10.30am -11am FOR interview opportunities

The keynote speakers are:

Professor Veena Sahajwalla, Centre for Sustainable Materials Research & Technology (SMaRT), The University of New South Wales, Australia

Creating New Opportunities through Innovation and Partnerships – Reviving Waste in Green Manufacturing

Scientia Professor Veena Sahajwalla, ‘Eco Alchemist’, is one of the world’s leading innovators in the field of sustainable materials use and an international award-winning scientist and engineer. She is passionate about mining the mountains of rubbish and waste materials produced by modern society and re-using them in industrial processes or to create new goods.

Professor Michael Prosser, Honorary Professor, The University of Hong Kong, Honorary Professor, The University of Sydney, Visiting Professor, The University of Tasmania

Michael Prosser holds Honorary or Visiting Professorial appointments at the Universities of Tasmania, Sydney and Hong Kong. Until June, 2011 he was Professor and Foundation Director, Centre for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in the University of Hong Kong. His teaching, research and academic development interests are in the field of teaching and learning in higher education. His teaching experience includes 20 years teaching in first year university physics courses and 15 years teaching in graduate certificates in higher education programs.

‘The Changing Role of the Engineering Educator for developing the Future Engineer’

 Pacific Bay Resort at Coffs Harbour

Welcome to the website of the 27th Australasian Association for Engineering Education (AAEE) Annual Conference. AAEE2016 is being hosted by Southern Cross University and will be held in Coffs Harbour, Australia, on 4-7 December 2016.

The Organising Committee has chosen the Novotel Pacific Bay Resort at Coffs Harbour as the conference venue for AAEE2016, situated on the East Coast of Australia and surrounded by ocean, mountains, natural forest and banana plantations. The Coffs Harbour Campus of Southern Cross University is a short drive away, with its National Marine Science Centre a short walk from the venue.

Since its first offering in 1989, the AAEE conference series has grown into a well-respected and well-known forum aimed to promote scholarship in engineering education and to facilitate the dissemination of best practices throughout the engineering education community.

Historically, AAEE has generally themed conference events and for 2016 the theme is ‘The Changing Role of the Engineering Educator for developing the Future Engineer’. This theme touches upon multiple contemporary aspects that can be explored during the conference.

On behalf of the organising committee, a very warm welcome to Coffs Harbour in 2016 and I am looking forward to a most enjoyable event.

Scott Smith

Professor Scott Smith
General Chair, AAEE2016
School of Environment, Science and Engineering
Southern Cross University
Lismore, NSW 2480, AUSTRALIA