The Kyogle News September 04


I had the pleasure of attending a meeting with Deputy Prime Minister, John Anderson, Richmond MP, Larry and Page MP, Ian Causley ensuring funding arrangements for the reinstatement of the Casino to Murwillumbah rail line were in the best interests of local communities. The roundtable meeting at the Tweed Shire Chambers with local Mayors and State Parliamentarians from the North Coast was to discuss the Commonwealth's commitment to the line and canvas the way ahead for trains on the branch line. The Australian Government had offered $15 million on the table to immediately get the train running and a further $15 million next year but would negotiate future funding with the NSW Transport Minister with realistic futures and operational plans. I want to see the rail workers keep their jobs and a train running on the line as soon as possible - we do not want to wait until the election. At the end of the day this is a State responsibility and Minister Costa closed the line. Now that the Federal Government has made this promise, I call on and challenge Minister Costa to immediately reinstate our service from Casino to Murwillumbah immediately.

Seniors Week 2005

"The Best Time for Ages!" is the theme for 2005 Seniors Week program with the aim of the program to assist the development and/or organization of local Seniors Week Projects and activities which is held between 13 and 30 March next year. Copies of application forms and accompanying funding application handbooks are available from my office. Following Seniors Week 2004, DADHC undertook a review of the Seniors Week Grants Program in consultation with key stakeholders including Local Government, Peak Ageing Bodies and the Premier's Department. This review recommended that the following changes be implemented. In 2005, there will be two funding categories available in the Seniors Week Grants program:
Up to $500 - applicants may apply for any amount up to $500; this does not need to be matched.
$1,000 - this is a set amount and must be matched in cash or in-kind. Applications will close at 5pm on 24 September 2004, with all applicants informed of a decision in early December 2004.

Farewells Parish Priests

I was pleased to attend an appreciation afternoon for Fr Hackett's contribution to the Catholic Community in Casino. Also Fr Jim Griffin was farewelled by the Kyogle Community. Father Jim and Father Rex have been supportive of the ecumenical communities at large in their respective parishes and both will be missed by the whole communities and I wish them well in their new appointments.

Country Week

The opening of Country Week was held last week in Sydney over three days at Olympic Park. It is a promotion designed to highlight the many opportunities available to Sydney businesses and residents by relocating to rural and regional NSW. Numerous North Coast Councils were represented at the Expo, all selling the message that rural and regional NSW is a fantastic place to invest, live and work. Sadly the Northern Rivers area was not represented. This campaign has the potential to help stem the population drift from the country to the city. The County Week concept was part of The Nationals' regional development policy at the last election. As part of this launch, the Nationals hosted a BBQ in Sydney showcasing country produce, including products from the Lismore Electorate, to mark the beginning of Country Week. My contribution from the Lismore Electorate was Premium Beef from Casino. Other produce on offer included Macadamia nuts and coffee from the Ballina and Byron Bay areas and Clarence River Fishing Co-operative Prawns from Clarence.

Kyogle and Casino to Lismore Bus Service

Kirklands buslines in conjunction with Northern Rivers Community Transport have added another benefit to the standard Friday bus run from Kyogle to Lismore via Casino. Elderly residents of Kyogle or people with a disability, will be able to be picked up from their home if needed and dropped off at selected destinations in Lismore eg Hospitals, doctor's surgery etc.

Enclosure Permits

I have made representations to the Minister for Natural Resources (Lands), The Hon Tony Kelly and currently awaiting a response in this regard. Any constituents, who wish to receive information following these approaches, should contact my office.

Electoral Redistribution

By now you would have read about the draft plan for the new electoral boundaries where Casino may be transferred into the Clarence electorate. Naturally I was very disappointed and surprised that Casino was not maintained in the seat of Lismore. Casino has a strong affiliation with Lismore.

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.