Nationals Conference Commitments Good News for Rural and Regional Residents

20 June 2006

Member for Lismore, Thomas George says commitments made at the NSW Nationals conference in Ballina on the weekend are good news for rural and regional residents.

“Residents of rural electorates like Lismore, are winners under the Coalition’s weekend policy announcements by NSW Nationals Leader, Andrew Stoner MP,” Mr George said.

“I welcome the NSW Nationals policies to increase and expand the Rainwater Tank Rebate Scheme, abolish the Countrylink booking fee for pensioners and deliver greater equity to country school children.

Mr George said the NSW Nationals would double the Sydney Water rainwater tank rebate and extend the rainwater tank rebate scheme to country residents.

“Water is our most important natural resource and it is vital we encourage the ongoing collection of stormwater by increasing and expanding rainwater tank rebates,” he said.

Pensioners were also winners under the NSW Nationals commitment to scrap the State Labor Government’s unpopular Countrylink booking fee.

“The booking fee introduced by the Labor Government in March, unfairly slugs pensioners 15 per cent of the equivalent full adult fare or a minimum of $10 (whichever is greater) and is charged for each voucher used for the journey undertaken. The NSW National/Liberal coalition will abolish this unfair financial burden if elected to Government in March 2007.

Mr George said the NSW Nationals would also provide greater equity for children attending small country schools by lowering the cut-off point for single teacher schools from enrolments of 25 children to 20.

“The Small School Staffing Program would provide extra teaching resources to small schools, benefiting country kids by increasing learning opportunities and by decreasing student to teacher ratios.

“These three announcements will be of great benefit to residents of the Lismore electorate and it is pleasing to see country areas being given such strong support by the NSW National/Liberal Coalition.

Media contact Thomas George 6621 3624 or 0427 360 781

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.