Group Homes Inquiry Update
Echo 4 November 99
Parliament has been back in session for over a week with many important
matters being debated.
Group Homes Inquiry Update
I welcome the opening of the inquiry into the re-auspicing of DOCS group homes
which was forced on the Carr Government by the opposition. The Upper House
agreed to the inquiry despite the reluctance of Minister Lo Po to be accountable
for her policy. I am confident the Inquiry will establish that this policy was
hatched in secret by Treasury and agreed to by the Minister with the primary
objective of saving money and also that he Government did not consult with or
respect the interest of people with disabilities.
Dairy Deregulation Update
The Coalition has called on the Minister for Agriculture to develop a package
over and above the Federal Compensation Package to NSW dairy farmers. The "Farm
Deregulation Assistance Committee" will try to address problems, however, dairy
farmers need more than counselling. Farmers 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
Road Maintenance Inquiry
The Standing Committee on State Development is conducting an inquiry into
Compulsory Competitive Tendering. The Committee is encouraging public
participation in the inquiry process and invites written submissions from
interested parties, by 17 December 1999.
Country Labor Fails Firearms Test
A National Party motion in the Upper House to establish a Parliamentary
Committee to conduct the Review of the Firearms Act was defeated by Country
Labor. Thanks to Country Labor, it is now guaranteed that the mandatory
legislative review of the Firearms Act will be conducted in secret and that the
legitimate concerns of firearms owners will not be heard. The review will now go
ahead as an in-house review, conducted by a Departmental Director-General
answerable to his Minister.
It is wonderful that that St Carthage's students won the opportunity of
representing NSW at the Tournament of the Minds National competition in
Adelaide. Not only did they proudly represent the State, they won the National
title. Congratulations to the parents, sponsors, teachers and everyone who
assisted the students in their quest.
Breast Cancer Awareness Week
As part of the National Breast Cancer Awareness month, I attended the historic
networking opportunity organised by the Breast Cancer Action Group of NSW and
the National Breast Cancer Foundation at Parliament House last Wednesday. I
enjoyed the opportunity to met with representatives from broth groups and
survivors from all walks of life. I was honoured to attend this function which
further highlighted breast cancer problems in our community.
Seniors Week 2000
Application forms for awards and grants to assist local organisations in
celebrating Seniors Week next year are available. Interested groups can request
a copy to be forwarded to them by ringing my office. Closing date for grants is
12 November and awards deadline is 26 November 1999.