Bars With No Beer

Echo 9 September 99

With Parliament commencing this week, once again Members will be gathering at Macquarie Street to debate matters of grave importance. A number of issues high on the agenda will be the group homes tendering, police budget cutbacks, Local Government compulsive competitive tendering, function licences and drug law reform.

Bars With No Beer

Local festivals and shows are being thrown into chaos by a strike at the Department of Gaming and Racing. The Carr Government's plan to sack 96 Licence Compliance Officers within the Department has resulted in a work ban by staff and as a direct consequence no function licences are being issued. The effects of this ban are being felt here in the electorate with local groups coming forward to inform me of their individual situations. October and November are traditionally busy times for functions, with annual Christmas charity fundraisers, local country shows and end of year celebrations. Furthermore, I have made personal representations on behalf of a number of local organisations which have been met by a negative response. The Coalition will now call on the Minister for Gaming and Racing, The Hon Richard Face to personally intervene in the current dispute and resolve it immediately.

Group Homes Rally

Many people have written to express their views in relation to the tendering process being implemented by the Carr Government. I am very aware of the distress and concern being felt, by families of residents, advocacy groups representing them and DOCS staff working in Group Homes. I and the Coalition believe the Government's handling of this issue has been appalling. We have called on the Minister, Hon Faye Lo Po, to halt the process immediately and set up an independent inquiry to investigate the Government's current objectives and the whole issue of accommodation for people with disabilities. However, if the Government does not agree the Coalition will be moving for a Parliamentary Inquiry at Parliament this week.

Tick Problems

I have been inundated with complaints from people who have received a letter from NSW Agriculture, Cattle Tick Program regarding the enforcing of policy. I am very concerned with the potential for disharmony between neighbours and the damage to the good working relations between property owners and tick staff. This week I will personally make approaches to the Department and the Minister for Agriculture seeking their urgent assistance to resolve the conflict.

Front Line Policing

Whilst I agree with the Minister's recent media comments that the Police have a record budget, it is clear that this allocation is not reaching the country and rural areas, which are struggling to maintain police presence. Due to on costs such as remuneration packages, any increases in the budget have been absorbed not allowing for the additional frontline police as promised prior to the election.

Petitions To Be Returned

I will be presenting Septic tank and Gun law reform petitions to Parliament this week, any outstanding petitions should be returned to my office as soon as possible.

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