Australia Day 2000

Echo 3 February 00

Australia Day 2000

Participating in the Australia Day activities with many differing communities is truly a remarkable experience. My activities started on Tuesday evening with the Casino Citizen of the Year Award dinner, then enjoying breakfast in the morning in Casino, Lismore festivities at Heritage Park, then off to the West of the Range celebrations at Bonalbo Showground and to conclude the day I appreciated a good old Aussie BBQ with Kyogle Quota in the evening. It is only with the benefit of this timely annual reflection on our day of nationalism, that we can appreciate the true meaning of Aussie citizenship. What a great country Australia is especially when we have so many ambassadors to make proud statements about our nationhood.

Country Roads: Less Talk More Action

Roads in country NSW need more money and urgent upgrade rather than $1 million advertising campaigns. A recent Auditor-General report of the Roads and Traffic Authority stated that road maintenance is of obvious benefit to road safety and therefore reducing the road toll. While speed and fatigue are known factors in many fatal accidents on city and country roads, clearly the state of the road is also a major contributing factor in motor accidents. I believe $1 million would have been better spent on upgrading the many country roads that are in a deplorable state. The REPAIR program of regional roads is under funded with only $20 million allocated this year for all the regional roads. The Carr Government must realise that road conditions are a major contributor to accidents in country NSW.

Olympic Torchbearers

Congratulations to our local representatives who have been honoured, together with 10,000 others statewide, to share in this once in a lifetime experience. All will savour the privilege of carrying the Olympic Torch during its 27,000 km epic journey to Sydney for the Olympics. I am sure there are many surprised and proud people who are thrilled to be involved.

Greenslip Saving?

A number of constituents have contacted me regarding the so-called $100 saving on greenslips which was widely publicised by the Carr Government. In fact the average saving is much less, around $60 with many people not able to claim even that. Many pensioners are actually paying more with the rates being agreed to by the Motoring Accidents Authority (MAA). The MAA supported this as statistics indicated pensioners aged between thirty and fifty-nine were more likely to claim on their insurance. Furthermore, the new greenslip legislation only guarantees that insurance companies show an average reduction in premiums for the next twelve months. I am concerned that after this period, the loophole allowed by the Carr Government will be taken full advantage of and that prices will increase dramatically after October 2000, as companies budget to make up for lost revenue.

International Women's Day Week

On 8 March every year celebrations are held for International Women's Day (IWD). The Department of Women coordinates specific events for the week, which commences 6 to 12 March, with the theme "Women for Peace". The Department of Women wants to support and become aware of local organisations and their planned activities. Please do not hesitate to provide details of local events to my staff.

Healthy Rivers Commission

The final report of the Healthy Rivers Commission's inquiry into the Clarence River system is available for viewing at my office.

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