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Goodbye Registration Stickers

Monday, June 04, 2012

The annual ritual of digging out nail polish remover, razor blades or eucalyptus oil to try and remove a hard to peel off registration sticker, or stickers that have piled up on top of each other over the years, will be a thing of the past. The humble windscreen label was introduced 80 years ago in 1932. As of next year the owners of approximately 5.5 million vehicles in NSW will no longer be required to display a rego sticker on their windscreen. The NSW Government will adopt a sticker-less identification system similar to that already used in South Australia and Western Australia. Last week I welcomed this decision by Premier Barry O’Farrell and Roads Minister Duncan Gay in a move that will benefit most of the state’s residents and businesses reduce red tape and save the government $575,000 in printing costs every year. It's encouraging to learn that the NSW Business Chamber estimates a saving of $5 million for NSW businesses or the equivalent of 160,000 hours in unnecessary red tape. The decision to scrap rego stickers was based on the recommendation of the Better Regulation Office and Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) after a review found that labels were not needed to support compliance and enforcement of vehicle registration and other laws, and the presence of a label was not a reliable indicator that a vehicle is registered. Recent technological developments in police and RMS technology means police will still be able to check if a car’s registration is out of date. The police have number plate recognition technology so if you choose to drive an unregistered and uninsured car – you will be caught. Vehicle owners will continue to receive notifications from the Roads and Maritime Services and from CTP insurers reminding them to renew their registration and insurance. Moving away from the use of registration sticker will make life easier but will also mark the passing of an important era in motoring history in this state.

Feral animals are a major concern in our national parks and nature reserves and are a source of frustration to farmers.  More than 95% of New South Wales is inhabited by some species of wild or feral animal. They kill native animals and damage habitat, impacting on about 40% of all threatened species.  Rabbits, foxes, feral pigs and feral cats were shown to inflict about 83% of the cost impact on the Australian economy.  Sadly the impact on primary production from pest species is estimated to cost NSW agriculture $70 million a year. The number of pest species is growing, particularly after recent rains, and is widely distributed across all land tenures and environments. Most feral animals exist in National Parks or State Forest adjacent to farm land causing problems for many farmers. Frustrated farmers will welcome the news that the state’s program of feral animal control in national parks will be extended to allow licensed shooters to cull pests including pigs, dogs, cats and goats in a limited number of areas under strict conditions.  Amendments to the Game and Feral Animal Control Act 2002 will mean the feral animal eradication program will be extended in 79 of the State’s 799 national parks, nature reserves and state conservation areas. Shooting of feral animals will not be permitted in or near metropolitan areas, or in any wilderness area or world heritage area including Blue Mountains National Park. Feral animals threaten the survival of native species and livestock, either directly preying on them or by competing for food and habitat. Feral cats, dogs, pigs and goats are widespread across the region.

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