Health Minister Jillian Skinner has welcomed passage through the Upper House of legislation prohibiting the sale of electronic cigarettes to children.
A Bill to amend the Public Health (Tobacco) Act was passed in the Upper House, ensuring restrictions relating to the sale to minors, display and advertising of e-cigarettes are comparable to other tobacco products.
“The NSW Liberals & Nationals Government is committed to protecting the health of young people and children and addressing community concerns that e-cigarettes may act as a gateway to tobacco smoking,” Mrs Skinner said.
“Following our re-election in March, we moved immediately to ban the sale of e-cigarettes and e-cigarette accessories to minors. Further amendments have also tightened restrictions on how e-cigarettes are displayed and advertised.
“This is a comprehensive piece of legislation which will guard against the re-normalisation of smoking among the young, as it has the potential to undermine decades of successful anti-smoking efforts in NSW.
“I thank the Christian Democratic Party members in the Upper House for their invaluable input into this issue of great public importance,” she said.
The key points of the new e-cigarettes legislation are:
* it is an offence to sell e-cigarettes and accessories to minors
* it is an offence for adults to buy e-cigarettes and accessories on behalf of minors
* it is an offence to smoke e-cigarettes in cars with children under 16 present
* police have the power to seize an e-cigarette that is in the possession of a person under the age of 18
* new restrictions now apply to the display and advertising of e-cigarettes
* a person may not operate or use a vending machine that dispenses e-cigarettes on behalf of a minor
* e-cigarette vending machines may be located only in limited areas, such as licensed premises
In NSW, the sale of e-cigarettes to a minor is subject to the same maximum penalty as the sale of a tobacco product to a minor - that is, $11,000 for an individual or $55,000 for a corporation and, for repeat offenders, $55,000 for an individual and $110,000 for a corporation.
Penalties for all other offences relating to e-cigarettes will also be in line with existing penalties for tobacco products.

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    Housing approvals across the state continue to soar with over 70,000 home approvals granted in 2017, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). 

Minister for Planning and Housing, Anthony Roberts, said this was the third consecutive calendar year that NSW recorded more than 70,000 building approvals.
    “The rate of building approvals and completions in NSW is continuing to power the NSW economy and provide vital employment opportunities across the building and construction industry,” Mr Roberts said.

Mr Roberts said almost twice as many homes were approved December 2017 compared to 2010, when, under Labor, only 36,828 homes were approved. 

“NSW is the number one state in the nation for housing approvals and continues to far exceed the Premier’s Priority Housing Target of 50,000 approvals per year which improves housing supply and helps to support housing affordability.
    “The NSW Government is getting on with the job of delivering the homes for tomorrow to cater for our state’s growing population.”
    The latest figures released by the Department of Planning and Environment show that Western Sydney remains the epicenter of the state’s housing construction with 27,540 new homes approved in the year to November 2017.
“Along with our record transport infrastructure investment, these strong levels of housing approvals are vital to improving affordability and ensuring NSW remains number one.
    “And we are also ensuring that new housing is matched by more schools, hospitals, and green space”.
    Acting Treasurer, Victor Dominello said: “One of our Government’s priorities is to get more homes built and make it easier for first home buyers to enter the market and own their own home.
    “Thousands of people have taken advantage of the stamp duty exemptions and reductions to buy their first home, in the first quarter since the reforms came into effect”.
    The housing affordability package announced as part of the June Budget removes stamp duty for first home buyers for both new and existing homes for properties up to $650,000 and reduces duty for first homes between $650,000 and $800,000.
    “It is essential we prepare for the future by ensuring our children and grandchildren will have the opportunity to own their own home,” Mr Dominello said.



    The construction and design community is being challenged to develop a new highquality
    classroom model that can reduce the number of demountable classrooms used
    in NSW government schools.
    Education Minister Rob Stokes today announced a call for new designs to develop
    classrooms that are fast to build, cost effective and meet future learning requirements.
    “We’re looking for innovative designs that will deliver high quality classrooms that are
    great spaces to learn while remaining flexible for a public education system that
    guarantees a place at your local school,” Mr Stokes said.
    “We need to be able to construct permanent buildings which are responsive to demand
    and growth in student populations.”
    An industry briefing will be held next week will encourage creative designs for
    delivering new types of sustainable and permanent classrooms that meet school and
    community expectations.
    The building type must be flexible enough to be customised for individual schools,
    including school halls and libraries. They could be delivered in multi-storey, multiclassroom
    The NSW Government is investing $4.2 billion to deliver more than 120 new and
    upgraded schools which will deliver 1,500 extra classrooms over the next four years.
    This is the biggest investment in public education infrastructure in NSW history.
    NSW public schools will require another 7,200 permanent classrooms over the next
    15 years as enrolment numbers grow due to a baby boom, a growing NSW economy
    and the high quality of education on offer.
    Interested organisations are invited to attend the industry briefing on 30 November at
    the NSW Department of Education on Bridge St, Sydney to learn more. They should
    register with the Department on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


    The NSW Government has proposed tough new Code of Conduct requirements for local NSW councils.

    Local Government Minister Gabrielle Upton said the updated Model Code of Conduct for Councils in NSW – which would apply to 1,500 councillors and almost 50,000 council staff across NSW – was now on public exhibition for comment.

    “While most councillors do the right thing for a small minority it is all about them instead of what is in the community’s best interests. We are determined to weed out councillors misusing their public office,” Ms Upton said.

    “Breaches of the new Code of Conduct by councillors can result in suspension and even disqualification from office and these new proposed requirements will put an even greater onus on councillors to behave appropriately or face the consequences if they don’t serve their ratepayers.”

    The new Model Code of Conduct proposes a range of new rules for all councillors and staff, including:

    • Banning accepting gifts or benefits greater than $50 and introducing mandatory reporting of all gifts or benefits regardless of value;
    • Disclosing records of meetings and other communications with applicants and objectors to planning applications;
    • Banning access to council information when councillors have a pecuniary or a significant non-pecuniary conflict of interest;
    • Requiring the declaration of new interests by councillors and staff more regularly in official returns of interest;
    • Declaring being a property developer or a close associate of a property developer more regularly in official returns of interest;
    • Publishing information in councillor and general manager official returns of interest on council’s website;
    • Tough new standards against bullying, discrimination and harassment, work health and safety, on behaviour at meetings and use of social media;
    • Clarifying that councillors must not use council information for personal purposes or undertake personal dealings with council during work time.

    The draft Model Code of Conduct is on public exhibition for six weeks.

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