Sentencing for Rape

The Kyogle News August 02

Sentencing for Rape

I completely endorse the actions of Judge Finnane in sentencing the recently convicted serial gang rapist to 55 years (40 non-parole) in gaol. At last this is a sentence appropriate to the crime and a strong precedent for other judges to follow in the future. Sentencing justice is an issue that is not too far from the surface and I sincerely hope that it will act as a powerful deterrent to other would-be assailants.

Drought and visit by Shadow Minister

Shadow Minister for Agriculture visited on Tuesday to speak with local beef producers regarding the drought and the problem of lack of any financial support for six months after the drought declaration. Other issues that were raised included Ticks and BJD policy. These discussions will assist the Mr Armstrong in policy formation, which will be finalised very soon.

The NSW Government has announced the eligibility criteria for drought assistance. The proportion of NSW in drought is now 82 per cent. Producers will qualify after six months in drought for a 50 per cent subsidy on:

The transport of water for domestic purposes;
The transport of fodder to feed drought affected stock;
The transport of stock to slaughter;
The transport of water for drought affected stock;
The transport of stock to and from agistment.

The cap on this assistance is $20,000 per farm. This criteria will exclude many desperate farmers across NSW, including some in the Upper Hunter. At this stage, only those producers in the Electorate from the Coonabarabran Rural Lands Protection Board will immediately qualify.

I have called on the Government to take into account individual farmers and individual circumstances and the Coalition has called on the Carr Government to consider lifting the six-month drought period. A drought information hotline has been established and the number is 1800 814 647.

Pensioner Concession Fares

The NSW Government recently announced that from September 1, pensioners and seniors will be able to travel unlimited distances within the CountryLink network for the price of a $2.20 Pensioner Excursion Ticket. Currently, a 129-kilometre distance restriction applies. However, passengers need to be mindful that:
A person cannot use the concession if part of their travel passes through the City Rail network. The City Rail Network is bounded by Nowra in the South, Bathurst in the West, Dungog in the North and Scone in the Hunter.
The maximum allowable booking time is seven days i.e. tickets can only be purchased seven days in advance.
Furthermore, the tickets are subject to availability.

Justice of the Peace Applications

Whilst I have mentioned changes to the Justice of the Peace legislation, I wish to highlight the fact that people can apply for this office if they satisfy the eligibility criteria; i.e. age, character, and employment or community based need. This service is very demanded and I often have people searching for a Justice of the Peace. Should anyone be interested in applying, please contact my office and a brief overview will be provided with an application form and accompanying requirements sent out for consideration.

Opposition Leader visits

NSW Opposition Leader, Mr John Brogden visited the Lismore electorate last month, speaking with farmers at a luncheon at the Northern Cooperative Meatworks and meeting with local Cooperatives, attending a NOROC meeting before departing to Ballina.

Radiology Unit Petition

I urge all people to sign the petition being circulated by the Northern Rivers Area Health Service, highlighting the urgent need for Radiation Oncology Services in the Northern Rivers Area. A petition is available and should anyone wish to receive a copy to collect signatures can do so by contacting my office.

Lismore Contact Details:

Office: 55 Carrington Street  LISMORE
Postal: PO Box 52  LISMORE  NSW  2480
Telephone: 02 6621 3624
Facsimile: 02 6622 1403
Email: lismore@parliament.nsw.gov.au

Murwillumbah Contact Details:

Telephone: 02 6672 7577