NRMA Community Road Safety Grants on Offer

The Weekly 19 March 2006

NRMA Community Road Safety Grants on Offer

The NRMA is now accepting applications from community groups for the 2006-07 round of NRMA Community Road Safety Grants. The grants of up to $5000 are distributed for programs and solutions that address local road safety problems.

The grants can be for stand alone projects or to enhance an existing roads project. To be eligible for funding community organizations must demonstrate the project will benefit the local community, reduce crash risk, have clear goals, outcomes and performance indicators and must include a clear outline of how the money will be spent.

Applications are available from my office and must be submitted by 24 April 2006.

Taking a Stand Against Scams

The 2006 Australasian Consumer Fraud Taskforce is campaigning to increase the community's awareness of scams with the message "delete it, destroy it or hang up." Scams come in many forms, they can include; telephone calls, mail or e-mail or SMS. Some recent examples include; The Spanish Lottery Scam- you are told you have won the lottery without even entering! All you need to do is send $50 overseas.
Financial Chain Letters- by forwarding a letter to 200 people and sending $10 to the first person you can make up to $70,000.
Bogus Banking Institution E-mails- e-mails request your banking details and password to help upgrade security.
Stockbroking Offers- fraudulent brokers call and offer an investment opportunity with high returns.

Each of these are scams which are best dealt with by hanging up, deleting the e-mail, or destroying the letter. Further information about the campaign is available by contacting my office or for those with access to the Internet by visiting www.scamwatch.gov.au

FirstFarmer Program Funds Still Needed

The FirstFarmer program, first announced by the State Government in July last year, is yet to be funded leaving young farmers without the opportunity to introduce sustainable agriculture practices. Some young farmers have been left waiting for the funding to help with the purchase of their first property.

The FirstFarmer scheme is supposed to provide concessional finance to help young farmers establish viable and sustainable farming properties and to encourage them to introduce cutting edge management practices and technology. It was announced as a means to address the decline in the number of young people entering farming.

It appears the $1 million FirstFarmer scheme was stalled whilst an external consultant was engaged to review the merits of the scheme. It is a shame such a worthwhile scheme has been announced, but not delivered.

Support for Lifeline Telephone Counselling Essential

Whilst the recent announcement of $500,000 for Lifeline counselling is welcome, it falls short of the total needed to support Lifeline Counselling across the State. In contrast, the National/Liberal Coalition has pledged $1.5 million annual recurrent funding for Lifeline's telephone counselling service if elected in March 2007.

Lifeline provides an essential service to the community and deserves financial support. In this area alone, the service takes 5000 calls a month and across NSW there are 15 Lifeline centres which last year took over 200,000 calls through the 24 hour telephone counselling service.

Lifeline desperately needs additional funding to support and train its counsellors to meet growing demand for its services. Mental health services are in desperate need of support and it is shortsighted to underfund a valuable service like Lifeline.

Clubs Tax Freeze

Unlike the current NSW Government which plans to continue increasing clubs tax, effectively forcing them out of business, the Coalition has committed to freezing the tax. This is an important issue for the Lismore Electorate, because our local clubs provide generous support to many local sporting groups and community organisations. Without this support many of these organisations and groups would struggle to survive.

Already the clubs tax has forced the closure of some smaller clubs and the loss of an estimated 2,000 jobs across the State. A report by the Allens Consulting Group found the clubs tax will cost more than 24,000 jobs state-wide by 2010, including 3,500 jobs in country areas. The current State Government needs to understand that long term stability for the clubs industry is essential to maintaining their support for the local community.

It is essential that all NSW businesses are given the tax relief they need to operate and compete effectively against businesses in other States.

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