State Parliament Resumes

The Weekly 26 February 2006

State Parliament Resumes

State Parliament resumes this week after the summer recess. This session the Nationals will be working hard to see a number of important issues addressed for the Far North Coast. I will give you feedback in future columns as to issues affecting the Lismore Electorate which are raised in the Parliament.

Country Halls Funding

Country Halls which are located on State-owned land and held in trust can apply for funding assistance from the Department of Lands Public Reserves Management Fund.

Application forms are available from my office and can be submitted for consideration by the 25th May 2006. These applications are considered according to applications received and the extent of funds available.

Applicants need to describe the Hall project they wish to undertake, provide evidence of community comment on the Project, provide quotes, an estimated time-frame and additional financial information.

Seniors Card Holders

I have recently written to all residents of the Lismore Electorate who are potentially eligible for Seniors Card and asked them to contact my office if they wish to receive an application form.

To be eligible for a Senior's Card you must be; 60 years and over
permanent residents of New South Wales
not in full-time employment (defined as working less than 20 hours per week on average per annum)

If you live in the Lismore Electorate, think you may be eligible for a card and have missed out on a letter, contact my office and we will post you an application form. The Senior's Card allows a range of discounts in thousands of businesses across the State.

Mental Health Funding

A recent Productivity Commission Report has shown that NSW has the lowest number of staff employed in specialised mental health services in the country - at just 86 staff per 100,000 people. Victoria, Western Australia, South Australia and Tasmania have more than 100 staff per 100,000 people and the national average is 93.3 staff per 100,000.

Current staff in the mental health system in NSW do an outstanding job but they are severely under-resourced and there simply isn't enough of them. Recruitment of mental health staff in particular is an enormous issue and in some areas around NSW mental health beds remain idle due to a lack of specialist mental health staff.

Current and prospective staff working in the area of mental health need to feel confident that the State Government is doing enough to properly resource their workplaces.

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