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$100000 for Guyra Youth - The Guyra Argus

$100000 for Guyra Youth
The Guyra Argus
... Galindo, Adam Marshall MP, Chris Hietbrink, Robyn Jackson, Beth Williams and Jess Sisson.
Katherine Nicholson's insight:

This is good news.

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Rescooped by Katherine Nicholson from Let's keep the NSW Coalition government accountable on the Northern Tablelands.
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Students opt out of TAFE courses | TAFE in Vict...

Students opt out of TAFE courses | TAFE in Vict... | Let's keep the NSW Coalition government accountable on the Northern Tablelands. | Scoop.it
TAFE enrolments suffered a blow in Victoria, falling by 21,000 government-funded places.
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Katherine Nicholson's curator insight, June 28, 2013 9:12 PM

TAFE Policy failure in Victoria is destroying TAFE and leaving young people with no vocational pathways. This is the experiment about to be wrought upon the people of NSW

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You've been misled on boat people: Here are the facts

You've been misled on boat people: Here are the facts | Let's keep the NSW Coalition government accountable on the Northern Tablelands. | Scoop.it
At present, both major political parties favour the use of punitive measures that theoretically stem the arrival of boat people.
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HNEAHS Internet - Renal unit expanded at Inverell Hospital

RT @HNEHealth: More Inverell patients have access to life-saving dialysis treatment locally http://t.co/mphs4zZCqv
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Making our commitment, the Armidale community (Community Partnerships)

This case study features a key meeting between MindMatters and a group of indigenous adults and young people, school staff and community members from Armidal...
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Nile bill to ignite debate over abortion

Nile bill to ignite debate over abortion | Let's keep the NSW Coalition government accountable on the Northern Tablelands. | Scoop.it
Acontroversial bill giving legal rights to an unborn child will be supported by the O'Farrell government under a deal with Christian Democrat MP Fred Nile in exchange for his support for crucial state budget legislation to privatise Newcastle Port.
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Politicians Supporting TAFE: Doug Cameron

Politicians Supporting TAFE: Doug Cameron | Let's keep the NSW Coalition government accountable on the Northern Tablelands. | Scoop.it
"The #TAFE system should not simply be about business... #TAFE is an absolute institution in this country... We... http://t.co/37PT1o8yas
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Twitter / TAFENE: Here is Emma Gardiner presenting ...

Twitter / TAFENE: Here is Emma Gardiner presenting ... | Let's keep the NSW Coalition government accountable on the Northern Tablelands. | Scoop.it
Go @SheG0es : "@TAFENE:Emma Gardiner presenting at tonight's Social Media workshop to #inverell community & industry http://t.co/p4podOzVIU”;
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Renewable cities not just a pipedream - Tenterfield Star

Renewable cities not just a pipedream
Tenterfield Star
Looking out of an aircraft window as you approach Sydney Airport or Melbourne's Tullamarine, our cities look clean, green, pollution-free.
Katherine Nicholson's insight:

Time for the next industrial revolution to happen

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Greens plot exit from fossil fuels by 2030

Greens plot exit from fossil fuels by 2030 | Let's keep the NSW Coalition government accountable on the Northern Tablelands. | Scoop.it
Could NSW be made to operate completely free of fossil-fuelled electricity within 17 years?
Katherine Nicholson's insight:

This is not just possible it is essential!

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Riverina TAFE teachers axed - The Border Mail

Riverina TAFE teachers axed - The Border Mail | Let's keep the NSW Coalition government accountable on the Northern Tablelands. | Scoop.it
Riverina TAFE teachers axed
The Border Mail
TWO Albury TAFE teachers will lose their jobs and a cloud remains over other teaching positions at southern Riverina campuses.
Katherine Nicholson's insight:

16 Jobs from the National Party Minister's own electorate. That's a lot of money out of precarious bush economies.

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NSW public sector braces for budget pain - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

NSW public sector braces for budget pain - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) | Let's keep the NSW Coalition government accountable on the Northern Tablelands. | Scoop.it
New South Wales Treasurer Mike Baird is determined to shave costs meaning more pain for hospitals, emergency workers, and government departments as tight budgets inevitably lead to a renewed round of job cuts and another state asset, the Port of...
Katherine Nicholson's insight:

The budget cost for government services is just too high!

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Private sector wins in budget of ‘shiny new things’ - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Private sector wins in budget of ‘shiny new things’ - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) | Let's keep the NSW Coalition government accountable on the Northern Tablelands. | Scoop.it
Greens MLC John Kaye labelled the budget as a package of 'shiny new things' for Premier Barry O'Farrell to deliver before the next state election in 2015.
Katherine Nicholson's insight:

No joy for TAFE

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After plans for TAFE Trades Training falls over, Narrabri moves on - ABC Online (blog)

After plans for TAFE Trades Training falls over, Narrabri moves on
ABC Online (blog)
We heard last week that the state government had put on hold any plans for a TAFE Trading School in Gunnedah or Narrabri.
Katherine Nicholson's insight:

What a shame that we cant have forward planning and educational infrastructure to provide the skills we need in New England that includes TAFE.

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You've been misled on boat people: Here are the facts

You've been misled on boat people: Here are the facts | Let's keep the NSW Coalition government accountable on the Northern Tablelands. | Scoop.it
At present, both major political parties favour the use of punitive measures that theoretically stem the arrival of boat people.
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Hopes fade for Queensland deal on Gonski

Hopes are fading for a school funding deal with Queensland as the state government dramatically hardens its rhetoric and the commonwealth revises down a key figure.
Katherine Nicholson's insight:

Thank goodness NSW put petty politicking aside for a moment to deliver better funding for our schools.

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Why I'm quitting: Windsor | The Inverell Times

Why I'm quitting: Windsor | The Inverell Times | Let's keep the NSW Coalition government accountable on the Northern Tablelands. | Scoop.it
TONY Windsor cited the health condition of another MP as a reason to resign after this week announcing his decision to not contest the next federal election.
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Environment cases won't get Legal Aid

Environment cases won't get Legal Aid | Let's keep the NSW Coalition government accountable on the Northern Tablelands. | Scoop.it
Major environmental cases in NSW will no longer qualify for Legal Aid funding following cuts to the service by the O'Farrell government.
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Students opt out of TAFE courses | TAFE in Vict...

Students opt out of TAFE courses | TAFE in Vict... | Let's keep the NSW Coalition government accountable on the Northern Tablelands. | Scoop.it
TAFE enrolments suffered a blow in Victoria, falling by 21,000 government-funded places.
Katherine Nicholson's insight:

TAFE Policy failure in Victoria is destroying TAFE and leaving young people with no vocational pathways. This is the experiment about to be wrought upon the people of NSW

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GASLAND Trailer 2010

GASLAND - (2010) Directed by Josh Fox. Winner of Special Jury Prize - Best US Documentary Feature - Sundance 2010. Screening at Cannes 2010. It is happening ... (No, it's cuz it makes water go on fire.
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New energy-efficiency loan program launched - Tenterfield Star

New energy-efficiency loan program launched
Tenterfield Star
Weather · Your 4-day local weather forecast · Tenterfield Star · TV Guide · Check out what's coming up on TV! Saturday June 29, 2013. News · World.
Katherine Nicholson's insight:

here's some assistance to get your business sustainable

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NSW Government — delivering us not from evil

NSW Government — delivering us not from evil | Let's keep the NSW Coalition government accountable on the Northern Tablelands. | Scoop.it
While institutional child abuse victims tell their horror stories in front of the Royal Commission, the NSW Government slashes compensation for victims of crime.
Katherine Nicholson's insight:

Who would have believed that the Christian Democrats would support something like this?

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NSW government sponsors pro-hunting program with weapons dealers

NSW government sponsors pro-hunting program with weapons dealers | Let's keep the NSW Coalition government accountable on the Northern Tablelands. | Scoop.it
The O'Farrell government is allowing the NSW Game Council to use public funds to co-sponsor an "adventure hunting" TV series with international arms manufacturers Hornady and Beretta. The program c...
Katherine Nicholson's insight:

I cant believe that we dont have enough money for TAFE teacher jobs or for training in Fine Art but we do have enough money (plenty of it) for the Game Council. I suggest you write to Adam Marshall about this issue.

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$100000 for Guyra Youth - The Guyra Argus

$100000 for Guyra Youth
The Guyra Argus
... Galindo, Adam Marshall MP, Chris Hietbrink, Robyn Jackson, Beth Williams and Jess Sisson.
Katherine Nicholson's insight:

This is good news.

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Public Sector Reform - Public Service Commission

Public Sector Reform - Public Service Commission | Let's keep the NSW Coalition government accountable on the Northern Tablelands. | Scoop.it
Katherine Nicholson's insight:

 

Extract from NSW Legislative Council Hansard and Papers Tuesday, 18 June 2013 (Proof).

The Hon. PETER PRIMROSE [8.51 p.m.]: I speak on the Government Sector Employment Bill 2013, which is cognate with the Members of Parliament Staff Bill 2013. I oppose both bills. In his second reading speech the Premier said that these bills were necessary to "modernise" the public service. But for the O'Farrell Government the word "modernise" simply means cutting the working conditions and protections of public sector workers. Labor has no problem with updating processes in the New South Wales public service to ensure that the highest levels of integrity, accountability and performance are attained, but many parts of these bills do the opposite and allow the O'Farrell Government to continue its attack on the New South Wales public sector and on those who rely on those services.

The Government Sector Employment Bill 2013 repeals the Public Sector Employment and Management Act 2002. The bill proposes two employment classifications, down from the present four: the public service and the government sector. But in doing so the bill moves approximately 3,000 award-based employees onto a new contract-based senior executive structure. Currently public servants up to grade 11/12 and the senior officer grades are covered by award conditions as well as protections from unfair dismissal. Under this bill the Premier will have discretion to set "bands" within which a person would be employed. That means that no longer will anyone be employed in a specific job or position but in a band, within which they can serve in any type of role.

Nearly 3,000 senior officers and other staff will lose their award coverage and unfair dismissal rights, thanks to Mr O'Farrell. Under clause 35 the Premier will determine the bands in which senior executives are to be employed. This power could be used to pull many more public sector workers into this new category. For instance, employees at grade 11/12 level could be next. All the Premier has to do is publish the changes on the New South Wales legislation website.

Another serious concern is the Government Sector Employment Rules. These rules are yet to be written and will never come before the Parliament, so they can never be disallowed by the Parliament, but they will set the parameters for all senior executive contracts, performance evaluations and procedures for assignment. For non-executives the rules will govern recruitment, including merit selection, conditions of engagement, termination procedures and the process for managing employees regarded as being excess. The rules will also deal with the procedural requirements for dealing with unsatisfactory performance which can lead to dismissal. Yet these rules have not been provided to anyone in this House. It is farcical that this legislation can be brought before the House without details of what is in this vital procedural instrument which will so massively impact the working lives of 300,000 public sector workers.


I am also concerned by the Government's changes to the employment arrangements of the staff of members of Parliament and political office holders. Currently the staff of political office holders, including those of Ministers and the Leader of the Opposition, are classified as special temporary employees of the Department of Premier and Cabinet. The staff of members of Parliament are employed by the relevant Presiding Officer in either Chamber. This bill changes that arrangement, with potentially grim consequences. Under this bill the Government proposes that the political office holder will function, under contract, as the employer of the staff in his or her office. The terms and conditions will be determined by the Premier. That means that members of Parliament will, under contract, be the employer of their staff. I wonder who would welcome changes such as those?

The Hon. Dr Peter Phelps: Bob Hawke.

The Hon. PETER PRIMROSE: It is interesting that throughout this debate the serial interjector, the Government Whip, has been continually interjecting. I can only assume that he does not understand the full implications of this legislation, and that may be because the Minister did not read out his speech in this place. If the Government Whip continues to interject I will ensure that second reading speeches are read out for future bills.

Members who want it made easier to sack their staff without recourse and members who want to make it easier to cut conditions will welcome these changes. Those members who sit on the other side of the Chamber are the champions of WorkChoices, but this time they want to enforce it on their own staff.

Electorate staff and the staff of members of the Legislative Council have serious concerns about this bill. They want to know how it will affect their award, redundancy provisions and termination procedures. But of course under this Government they are the last to be consulted. The O'Farrell Government is essentially removing staff from an arm's-length arrangement with either the Department of Premier and Cabinet or the Presiding Officer. It is bringing them in-house and putting a screen around everything that goes on. That is not only detrimental for staff members but it weakens the protection they enjoy against discrimination, harassment and victimisation within the workplace. It is appalling for accountability and the process of public administration in this State.

The bill is a corruption risk in red flashing lights. Take just one concern—that ministerial staff will no longer be covered by the code of conduct of the Department of Premier and Cabinet. The code of conduct defines expected standards of behaviour in areas such as ethical decision-making; conflicts of interest; acceptance of gifts and benefits; outside employment; the use of official resources such as computers and phones; drugs, alcohol and tobacco use; discrimination and harassment; and reporting suspected wrongdoing. But Premier Barry O'Farrell now wants this bill passed that says to each member of Parliament and to each Minister, "Never mind about the agreed code of conduct; you write your own rules. Anything goes." I quote a section of the code of conduct of the Department of Premier and Cabinet:

Employees are expected to provide advice and reports in a timely and impartial manner. Such advice must be honest, frank, accurate and without material omission, and any limitations on the advice must be made clear.

The code of conduct further states:

Employees must not withhold relevant information from the Government.

I can only begin to guess why the O'Farrell Government wants to get rid of a code of conduct and to introduce legislation which provides that a staff member who knows something or who finds out something that the Minister they are working for should know is under no obligation to advise that Minister.

They can be silent, as with the children overboard scandal. If a Minister said that children were thrown overboard from a refugee vessel and the staffer had information to contradict that statement the staffer would be under no ethical obligation to disclose it to the Minister. How can that be positive for good government in New South Wales?

Or imagine that a staffer to the Minister for Police received a leaked report from the police child abuse squad that stated that it was critically understaffed and, as a result, suspected child abusers were not being apprehended. It is politically better for the Minister not to be told, otherwise he or she would have to act on the information. Under this bill Ministers do not have to be told. Getting rid of the code of conduct for ministerial staff is a corruption risk. It is a cover-up risk. It is totally contrary to the concepts of ministerial responsibility under our Westminster tradition.

Let us go back to the shocking case that resulted in staff members being put under the auspices of the Department of Premier and Cabinet in the first place. In 1994 the then Minister for Police, Terry Griffiths, resigned after four female employees took sick leave because of stress and harassment. Subsequently three allegations of sex discrimination, two allegations of victimisation and 37 allegations of sexual harassment were made against the Minister.

 

In July 1994 then Premier John Fahey established an independent inquiry into the affair, which was headed by Carmel Niland. She found that Mr Griffiths made employment decisions about his female staff on the basis of considerations other than merit. She found that there was "lack of accountability of the Minister as an employer either through the legal system or through the management systems." Further, she found that Ministers and their chiefs of staff may not be experienced managers and that Ministers' offices needed professional and proactive assistance to achieve best practice management.

The bill before us contains none of that. It overturns those careful and wise recommendations of Carmel Niland. As philosopher George Santayana said, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." I urge the Government and all members of this House to remember the past. Do not repeat those mistakes. Oppose these bills.

 

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Educational and cultural plans for Myall Creek - ABC Online (blog)

Educational and cultural plans for Myall Creek
ABC Online (blog)
Over the weekend the 175th anniversary of the Myall Creek massacre was held at the site of the massacre near Bingara.
Katherine Nicholson's insight:

When i first moved to Inverell in 1995 I had to complete a degree in Adult Education for my TAFE job. Luckily I chose a unit on Aboriginal Culture and History. I started researching the events at Myall Creek and remember driving out there and being surprised that there was nothing to mark what happened there. It is so important that history is acknowledged and that children are educated so that events are never repeated. This is a worthy cause.

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Katherine Nicholson's comment, June 18, 2013 9:00 PM
If you want a public sector where the leaders can give frank and fearless policy advice, then this bill is definitely what NSW needs