Echo 23 September 99
The rally at Lismore Base Hospital last Friday certainly reflected community
concerns in relation to foreshadowed cutbacks in the Northern Rivers Area Health
Service (NRAHS). This argument is above politics, above associations and above
hospitals, it is about getting our fair share of funding. Using the governments
own formula we have been allocated $184m, however we are entitled to $200m which
highlights a $16m deficit. This $16m would cover all the problems with cutbacks
currently being faced by the community and I will be working with the NRAHS to
achieve the funds this area deserves.
Masters Games '99
Last weekend saw the largest contingent of mature-aged sports people from all
over NSW and Queensland for the first ever Masters Games to be held on the NSW
Far North Coast. 1540 participants competed in 16 sports aged from 30 to 80
years. This community event came to fruition with the support of Lismore City
Council and the help of local organisers, volunteers and community spirit
combined with the love of sport. Congratulations to competitors who participated
and enjoyed the opportunity to meet and socialise with visitors from other
towns. Whilst I travelled around to the various fields, it was evident the
hospitality between mature-aged participants competing in their chosen sport.
The organisers, volunteers and competitors savoured their efforts in a fun
filled weekend of sport.
Festival of Flowers & Music
Whilst I was away at Parliament, my wife Rhonda had the pleasure of attending
the magnificent Festival of Flowers and Music which was patronised by many
community members wishing to relish in the beauty of the floral arrangements and
talented displays. Rhonda was honoured to attend such a renowned event and the
success of the exhibition was a tribute to the hard work of the organisers and
volunteers supporting the Friends of St Vincents Hospital.
The New HSC
Another concern that many parents have been writing to me about has been the
implementation of the new HSC. This week at Parliament, Education Minister, John
Aquilina admitted in Budget Estimates Committee that schools will have to pay
for the new HSC text books out of their own budgets. With Mr Aquilina asserting
that schools have finances to easily afford the books. I assured the Minister
that local schools in this electorate do not have the funds. Change is always
difficult and I believe most parents are not totally opposed the new HSC, just
the way in which the changes are being rushed and implemented without sufficient
planning and funding. I have conveyed these views to the Minister for his
Guide To Development Planning Brochure
Available from my office is an updated version of this brochure, which has been
amended to refer to the Protection of the Environment Operations Act.