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 industry.

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.

Best Minds

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.

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