The Kyogle News November 02
The 2002 Parliamentary session is drawing to a close and debate will be
suspended until after the 2003 State Election next year. Many issues still
remain unresolved; particularly the status and implementation of Native
Vegetation Management Plans, an Exceptional Circumstances Application for
drought assistance and the need to change legislation to facilitate mobile
coverage in the Bonalbo area.
A NSW Coalition Government will establish a Rural Education Taskforce to review
the effectiveness of existing programs aimed at overcoming the pressures faced
by teachers and students in non-metropolitan areas. Comprising representatives
of teachers, principals and parents from rural schools it will be asked to
report on the effectiveness of existing programs and ways they can be improved.
This proposal is consistent with the Coalition's view of ensuring that education
resources are concentrated where they are most needed - in the State's
classrooms. Teachers, students and parents report that a number of existing
programs designed to assist in overcoming the types of difficulties faced by
rural schools actually miss their mark. Instead of helping teachers and
students, many of them end up imposing additional, unnecessary bureaucratic
loads upon rural school communities. Others seem to fail to deliver the benefits
promised. Every effort needs to be made to ensure that programs designed to
improve rural education meet that goal. This Taskforce is an important step in
helping that to occur.
Rainwater Tank Rebates
The NSW Liberal/National Coalition has announced that, in Government, it will
provide a rebate for the installation of rainwater tanks in country areas of
NSW. Residents of Sydney, the Blue Mountains and Illawarra (ie the Sydney Water
area) are currently provided with a rebate when they install a rainwater tank.
Sydney Labor has excluded country residents from this scheme. The Coalition
believes that rainwater tanks allow water resources to be utilised more
effectively and take pressure off existing water storages. Rainwater tanks will
also ensure better utilisation of water once the drought breaks and will allow
water supplies in country areas to last longer during extended dry periods.
Sydney's water storage is above 65 per cent, and no compulsory water
restrictions have been implemented. From 1 July 2003, a Coalition Government
will provide rebates to households and businesses in country NSW
for the installation of rainwater tanks which increase domestic rainwater
Asthma Friendly Schools Project
I recently joined with the Hon Michael Lee, Asthma Friendly Schools ambassador
for the Asthma Foundation of NSW to register St Carthage's School in the
project. The guidelines folder and education program curriculum was presented
during a special school assembly. An opportunity exists, thanks to the support
of Country Energy, for all schools to register and participate in the asthama
emergency training sessions taking place over the next couple of weeks. To find
out more about the project or to enrol your school, contact Rebecca Stephenson,
Program Coordinator, Asthma NSW on (02) 9906 3233 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
$278,682 has been allocated to the Lismore Electorate for local council
authorities; Far North Coast County Council and Tenterfield Shire Council, to
assist in noxious weed control for 2002-03. Funding of $195,000 was also
provided to the North Coast Noxious Weeds Advisory Committee for regional group
project and these committees involve groups of local control authorities.
2002 Premier's Christmas Concert
I am pleased to advise that tickets are available to 2002 Seniors for the
Premier's Christmas Concert in Sydney for the performance on Wednesday 11
December at 3pm. Enquiries and tickets can be requested upon contacting my