February/March 2003

Better Business February/March 03

February/March 2003

As my first term draws to a close it has been a privilege to represent the people of the Lismore, Richmond Valley and Kyogle local government areas in the Parliament of NSW.

Regional Development as it has come to be called, embodies the twin principles of equity of access for rural communities in terms of government services such as health and aged care, educational opportunity, policing and neighbourhood safety and in infrastructure expenditure such as roads, water and sewerage and water conservation. I am firmly committed to this imperative. Rural regional areas have lagged behind and as your representative I need to continue to make positive representations on your behalf.

The current Government has embarked on a massive national parks estate, which has almost doubled over the last decade. Unfortunately the resources to manage feral animals, noxious plants and bushfires have not followed. I remain fearful of the consequences of adopting a radical agenda where even more national parks and reservations threatens the viability of jobs and even the survival of our smaller towns. Surely there is a moderate path where the community's desire for environmental responsibility and sustainability can be balanced with the employment and social impacts created.

In natural resource management, the current Government must realise that draconian measures such as the Native Vegetation Act, the Water Management Act and the 34 other Acts that intervene in rural pursuits must be rationalised and integrated. Local stakeholders need to be re-empowered to make local decisions and therefore the various committees in this field must be restructured to achieve cooperation and more balanced outcomes.

Simply we need government departments to be supportive of people in their business activities rather than hinder their future.

I see the future of this region as playing a role in decentralisation and regional development. A continuing and enhanced future in tourism and a strong future in agricultural based and value adding industries. The three Councils are in a good position to embrace this opportunity with help from a committed government with a vision for the future.

But all of this must be supported with a government commitment to providing doctors and other medical professionals including nurses, teachers and educational resources, a reinstated police strength and sufficient funding so that roads like the Bruxner Highway, Summerland Way, the Legume-Woodenbong Road and others are maintained and enhanced to provide vital links to our needs.

I trust that you will provide me with the opportunity to continue to represent and reinforce your needs whilst at the same time promote the positives of the Electorate of Lismore.

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