Energy Package for Struggling Families

The Kyogle News December 02

Parliament returned on 11 December 2002 for the ringing of one long bell for the conclusion of the 52nd Parliament until the 2003 NSW Election on Saturday 22 March 2003.

Energy Package for Struggling Families

I commend the initiative and support offered by Country Energy to drought ravaged country families, who will be given 12 months or more to pay their energy bills under a innovative programme announced recently. Country Energy has offered the Country Support package to all 700,000 household and rural residential customers throughout the State if they are experiencing hardship, including the effects of drought. A new four person Country Support team will help customers who are fining it hard to pay their energy bills and develop solutions for individual needs, supported by the Country Energy's frontline customer service team. Enquiries can be made by contacting 13 23 56 or visiting the nearest Country Energy Customer Service Centre, which is in Molesworth Street, Lismore Ph: 6622 8544.

Delegation for Radiotherapy Unit

Last month I led a delegation of people representative of the local community to present to the Minister for Health, Craig Knowles the need for a Radiotherapy Unit in Lismore. We were able to address the Minister, highlighting the priority needs of a Unit in Lismore and Minister Knowles was very responsive to our case. I have now provided a further submission to enable him to pursue the Unit in Lismore at a Federal level. We will continue to pursue this on a Commonwealth basis through the Member for Page, Ian Causley.

Urbenville & District Bowling Club funding

I was advised recently, by the Minister for Gaming and Racing, Richard Face, that the Club had been successful in obtaining a grant of up to $5,000 under the ClubBIZ Scheme. This scheme is a special industry assistance scheme for clubs needing financial advice. The Self-help scheme, funded entirely from unclaimed Keno prize money from as far back as 1991 will help as many as 500 clubs.

Launch of Woodenbong Mobile Phone Tower

I was pleased to be present at and launch the Telstra Countrywide Woodenbong Mobile Phone Tower. I was able to utilise this service soon after the launch and I believe his facility will ensure greater and more effective coverage for residents in the area. I will also be attending the Launch of the Mallanganee Mobile Phone Tower and I will continue to pursue the approval for the Yabbra Park Mobile Phone Tower.

Public Liability Insurance

In recent developments, the ACCC has given interim authorisation to the joint venture of Allianz, IAG and QBE offering a liability insurance product for not for profit organizations. Groups can register their interest at email; or further information can be found at the website; or by telephoning tollfree on 1300 728 228.

Healthy Rivers Commission

A copy of the Commission's Draft report: Independent Inquiry into the North Coast Rivers is available for viewing at my office. The report contains details of the Commission's finding and seven draft recommendations. Comments on the draft report are welcome until 11 February 2003.

Lebanese Independent Day

I was proud to co-host a dinner at Parliament House recently to celebrate the Lebanese Indpendence Day which was attended by 400 people. The highlight of the evening was the announcement of the Lebanese of the Year Award was Stephen Stanton. This was a special moment for me because Stephen was born in Casino, the grandson of the late Mr and Mrs Joe Karam, son of Winne Stanton (nee Karam) and nephew of Father Peter Karam and Frank and Marie Karam. It was an honour to be present as the Member for Lismore and to pay tribute to a North Coast family and Stephen who have not only originated from Lebanon but the Electorate of Lismore.

Livestock Grazing In National Parks

The National Party has called on the NSW Government to open selected National Parks to livestock grazing in an effort to assist struggling farmers through the drought. The move would make available to farmers much needed feed for starving livestock. Most paddocks, road sides and travelling stock routes have been eaten out and fodder prices have gone through the roof. One of the few areas where there is any stock feed left is in National Parks. Farmers are desperately trying to keep valuable breeding stock alive. The Government should recognise the severity of the situation and open selected National Parks to grazing as the Coalition did during the 1994/95 drought. Every effort must be made to help farmers maintain livestock herds throughout the drought. The use of certain parts of some National Parks for grazing livestock is one such measure. The initiative would have the added benefit of helping to reduce dangerous fuel loads in National Parks.

Thomas, Rhonda, Karen, Bronwyn & Julie would like to wish you a happy, safe and joyous festive season. Best wishes for a prosperous 2003.

My office will be closed from 12 noon Tuesday 24 December & will reopen 9 am Monday 6 January 2003.

Contact Details:

Office: 55 Carrington Street  LISMORE
Postal: PO Box 52  LISMORE  NSW  2480
Telephone: 1800 336 166 or 02 6621 3624
Facsimile: 02 6622 1403  Email:

Authorised by Thomas George MP. Funded using Parliamentary entitlements.