Echo 21 October 99
Whilst Parliament has been in recess, I have enjoyed the opportunity to
circulate throughout the electorate. Commitments have included the presentation
of a Community Service Award, attending the 2000th Rotary Lismore West Dinner,
farewelling David Walters of 2LM, being present at a Northern Rivers Kidney
Association meeting, officially starting the Toohey's New "Hell on Wheels Tour"
a fundraising bike ride for the Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter, farewelling
Yr 12 students at Casino High School, presenting a $1,500 cheque on behalf of
Minister Aquilina to the Tournament of the Minds students, attending a Dairy
Farmers Association meeting and the official opening of Lifefest '99.
With the North Coast show circuit really underway, I have been greatly honoured
to attend the local shows. It has been a real pleasure to take part and witness
the community spirit present at the Nimbin, Kyogle, and Casino shows and I
congratulate the public in patronising the shows. The quality of stud cattle,
produce, agricultural and craft displays being exhibited proudly by our local
producers must give the North Coast National every confidence of having yet
another successful exhibition.
Compensate The Farmers
I have now called on the Minister for Agriculture, the Hon Richard Amery to
develop a package over and above the Federal Compensation Package to NSW dairy
farmers. Under deregulation dairy farmers on the North Coast and in NSW will be
hardest hit come 1 July 2000. Mr Amery announced the establishment of the "Farm
Deregulation Assistance Committee" which will assist to address these problems.
The $2.1 million raised by the industry will be used to fund counselling
services. However, dairy farmers need more than counselling, they need
assistance that will help ease the burden of deregulation as it will be a
further blow to regional areas and will have devastating effects on small
country towns. The Nationals will continue to pursue the extra package to assist
dairy farmers to stay in the industry.
It has come to my attention that ticketing from 1 November through Countrylink
being introduce of a new booking systems could have caused a great deal of
inconvenience for local and country travellers. When booking to areas further
than Sydney, travel can only be arranged and booked upon arrival in Sydney.
After making representations to the Minister for Transport, I have been
successful in altering part of the situation, bringing to their attention the
unpracticality of such changes. The Minister is still to finalise a further
problem which I have highlighted.
Coleman's Bridge Upgrade
An update is available on the Coleman's Bridge Study providing information on the
outcome of initial investigations and a summary of the options. A community
display has been set up at the Lismore Public Library and Lismore City Council
from Saturday 16 October and in addition a community forum will be held on
Wednesday 27 October, at 4 to 7 pm at Lismore Workers Club.
Nominations will close at 5pm on 5 November 1999 for community torchbearers to
relay the Olympic torch through northern NSW on the way to the Olympic Stadium
for the Opening Ceremony on 15 September 2000. Whether you are young or old,
provided you can carry the 1.5kg torch for up to one kilometre you can nominate.