Parliamentary Secretary Visit

The Kyogle News October 03

Parliament resumed in early September with the NSW Summit on Alcohol Abuse and debate will continue until mid December.

Parliamentary Secretary Visit

Mr Bryce Gaudry, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs recently visited the Lismore Electorate. Local bus operators met with Mr Gaudry to raise concerns in relation to private bus operators. Mr Gaudry and I inspected Mulli Mulli and the Urbenville/Woodenbong Water Supply holding discussions with Mayors, General Managers of Kyogle and Tenterfield Shire Council. Bryce also joined me in the presentation of a State Sports Representative Certificate to Joshua Hanley.

Pollies For Small Business

The Annual Pollies for Small Business Week again was a great success providing me with the opportunity to meet constituents and work with local business owners, becoming more familiar with their particular business issues. Many thanks to the team at Stuart Brothers Butchery, in Kyogle for their support and participation in this scheme.

Parry Transport Report - Call For Submissions

The interim report of the Ministerial Inquiry into Public Passenger Transport (The Parry Report) has been released. Written submissions outlining comments on the Interim Report are welcomed and should be forwarded to either:

Ministerial Inquiry into Public Passenger Transport
C/- Ministry of Transport
GPO Box 1620
SYDNEY NSW 2000

Or by email to: inquiry@transport.nsw.gov.au. Closing date is Friday 10 October 2003. A final report will be presented to the Minister for Transport Services in December 2003. If you have any further enquiries, please contact the Inquiry's Secretariat by phone on (02) 9268 2825, or by email to inquiry@transport.nsw.gov.au.

FarmBis Funding

The Opposition called on the Minister for Agriculture to explain his gross mismanagement of FarmBis, that has left the program suspended in NSW, despite promises made to farmers that training courses would be subsidised throughout the year. FarmBis programs were suspended as of Friday 12 September because the money allocated for the financial year of 2003 has been used up after just three months. The Minister for Agriculture indicated in his answer that available program funds have been fully allocated, however, training activities will continue in the coming weeks and months where assistance has already been approved. The Commonwealth Government is currently assessing the continuation of the program beyond 30 June 2004. The NSW National Party will continue to place pressure on the Minister to keep FarmBis running and to review the NSW Government's poor management of this excellent program.

Costa's Regional Transport Visit

Earlier this month Minister Michael Costa came to Grafton as a result of the above report and the Ministerial Inquiry into Sustainable Transport in NSW - Options for the Future. A delegation raised concerns over the existence of public transport in rural areas and the threats posed by this Report. Due to the number of issues being covered, I urge people to examine this document (found at www.transport.nsw.gov.au) and make a submission.

Inquiry Into Local Government Amalgamations

The Legislative Council General Purpose Standing Committee No 5 is calling for submissions into Local Government Amalgamations in NSW. The Committee will inquire and report on the social, political and economic impact of amalgamations. Public participation is being encouraged and the Committee invites written submissions from interested persons and organisations, with the terms of reference and further details available at www.parliament.nsw.gov.au.

Trustee Members Wanted

Applications are being invited from persons interested in being considered for appointment as a member of the Trust Board to manage the affairs of the Old Bonalbo Reserve Trust. Applications should be lodged with the Land Access Unit of the Department of Land & Water Conservation, for further information contact Ph 6640 2061 or my office.

NSW Alcohol Summit

The National Party, as a result of the Summit, put the State Government on notice that additional funds were needed if resolutions from the NSW Alcohol Abuse Summit were to have any effect. We also strongly rejected a Summit resolution supporting Government-sanctioned underage drinking venues, along the same lines of Labor's heroin injecting room. Unfortunately, the resolution narrowly passed late into the night when 75 per cent of the delegates were absent. One message was clear from this week's debate - the tentacles of alcohol abuse cut across every geographic and social divide in NSW. Alcohol wreaks havoc with individuals, families, communities and our social and economic fabric. The excellent local community-based initiatives in country and coastal areas needed to be built upon with wholehearted Government support and increased funding. It is vital that young people understand that drinking to excess is not "cool" - it is a problem to themselves, their families and their communities. The graphic details of alcohol abuse were clearly too little understood in mainstream society - the health, social and legal consequences, the domestic violence and misery, the loss of employment and the impact on children.

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