Sunday 11 December 2016


NSW Labor has unveiled a three-point plan to revive Sydney’s night-time economy following the missed opportunity of the Baird Government’s response to the Callinan Review. Labor would create a new class of liquor licence that rewards venues across Sydney that host live music, theatre or cabaret with longer licensing hours.

Labor would also put in place a night-time economy commissioner - much like those operating in London and Amsterdam - to co-ordinate growth in after-hours activity across metropolitan Sydney.

The third plank in Labor’s plan to resuscitate Sydney’s night-time economy would be a policy focused solely on encouraging the growth of live music and small cultural events across not just the CBD but the suburbs.

By contrast there was a distinct lack of any comprehensive plan to help revive Sydney’s night-time economy in Premier Baird’s response on Thursday to the Callinan Review. Labor supports the review’s key recommendations that closing times in the CBD be extended from 3am to 3:30am, and lock-out times pushed back from 1:30am to 2am in a two-year trial for genuine live entertainment venues.

Labor has previously announced it supports the extension of bottle shop sales in the city by an hour to 11pm, and to midnight in regional areas where home delivery is often unavailable.


NSW Shadow Health Minister Walt Secord has called on the Federal Government to keep its after-hours home doctor service – which is the subject of a review. Removal of the service would affect the State’s emergency departments which are buckling under the pressure of demands and State and Federal cuts.

The service was introduced by the Howard Government in 2005 in a bid to reduce unnecessary visits to emergency departments. It has been found to reduce unnecessary ambulance call-outs and unnecessary presentations to emergency departments.

The service is used mainly by children under the age of four and by the elderly with mobility issues. Mr Secord has called on Federal Minister Sussan Ley to retain the service – saying its removal would see patients “flood” NSW emergency departments with minor ailments and conditions. He also wrote to NSW Health Minister Jillian Skinner urging her to contact her Federal counterparts.

Research by Deloitte has found that the after-hours home doctor service saved Federal, State and Territory governments about $724 million in costs a year.  It also found that an average home visit cost $128 compared to up to $368 for a “typical” self-referral visitation to an emergency department or a $1,351 ambulance trip.

In the 2015-16 financial year, $72 million was spent by the Federal Government on the NSW service and 695,715 patients here used the service. On December 7, the independent Bureau of Health Information reported that more than 650,000 patients visited a NSW emergency department in the July to September quarter, an increase of 3,900 compared to one year ago.

In addition, more than 148,000 patients travelled to the emergency department by ambulance in the July to September quarter. 

Wednesday 7 December 2016

Ron Hoenig's Heffron Gazette - December 2017

Residents should have received their copy of the November 2015 edition of my newsletter called the "Ron Hoenig Heffron Gazette". It is available for download here:

Tuesday 6 December 2016

Football (Soccer) Academies exploiting 6 year old children and their parents.

A parliamentary inquiry is needed into children's soccer (football) in NSW to expose the scandalous exploitation of local children and their parents. Paying fees such as $1100 for a 6 year old to play on a local park on a Saturday for what is supposed to be a community based sport run by volunteers is outrageous.

Private profit making academies have infiltrated this children's sport, exploiting parents into paying huge fees under the belief if they pay, one day their child will play for Manchester United. All the while peak bodies like the belligerant and incompetent Eastern Suburbs Football Association just close a blind eye to this exploitation.

While Council's and Centennial Parklands believe they are subsidising children's sport run by volunteers, do not realise their grounds are subsidising the profits of private individuals. And he state's peak soccer body Football NSW sits there mute playing politics. This sport is substantially subsidised by the public. It must be accountable to the public. The only way to do so is through a parliamentary inquiry. This is what I told parliament.