Echo 3 August 00

Parliament is resuming this month and I will be returning to Sydney with a number of important issues, such as roads funding, recognition for mental health services and classification of contractors which need to be resolved, to name a few.


Whilst this is a Federal package, I am concerned at the reported number of farmers who have failed to return application forms for deregulation funding assistance to the Dairy Adjustment Authority. Farmers must return the assistance applications by 17 August or they will not be eligible. Only 6000 of the 17,000 dairy farmers have returned the forms.

Water Reforms

Some concerns have been publicised by farming groups about the new water legislation. An information package has been provided on the Water Management Bill 2000 and I encourage people to contact my office for copies of the particulars. The legislation fails to deliver a secure property right for irrigators and it also threatens to erode the basic rights to water access for livestock and domestic use, which has been enjoyed by farmers for generations.

Young Australian of the Year Awards

Seven categories of awards allows the honour of local young people to be nominated for their outstanding contribution within their local communities. The winner of each category will receive a $4,000 Award Saver account, with the ultimate accolade going to one young person who will be chosen as the NSW Young Achiever of the Year. A booklet and nomination forms are available upon request and nomination close 8 September 2000.

Bentley Art Prize

It was a pleasure to be present at the 15th Annual Bentley Art Prize Show last weekend and the attendance was a tribute to the recognition that this exhibition enjoys each year. I enjoyed the opportunity to view the many and varied pieces, which distinctly highlights the talent and promise of local artists in this region. Congratulations to organiser, Reg Hartley and his team of helpers, winner Robyn Kitching and all artists on their wonderful exhibitions.

Regional Airlines

I was pleased to be advised of the Deputy Prime Minister and Federal National Party Leader, John Anderson's comments in Mudgee recently regarding the regional airline access to Kingsford Smith Airport (KSA). Mr Anderson told a business meeting that any Cabinet move to shift regional airlines out of KSA to Bankstown would happen, "over his dead body". 30% of airspace at Mascot has been locked in with legislation for regional airlines and he has made it very clear that any change will be met with great opposition. These are very welcome comments and support my long held position that under no circumstances should regional airlines be forced from KSA.

Proposed Law Turns Contractors Into Employees

I have expressed my concern in relation to the Carr Government's move to introduce and pass new legislation to have many self-employed contractors become employees at law without their knowledge. This proposed legislation, an amendment to the Industrial Relations Act, would allow a trade union to apply to the Industrial Relations Commission for an order classifying Contractors as Employees. These include tradespeople such as carpenters, plumbers and electricians. It also includes computer consultants, casual gardeners and cleaners. Despite government denials, the re-classification from contractors to employee could also have taxation and insurance implications for self-employed contractors. The Coalition is opposed to the Bill and will seek to prevent its passing when it next comes before Parliament on 29 August 2000.

Contact Details:

Office: 55 Carrington Street  LISMORE
Postal: PO Box 52  LISMORE  NSW  2480
Telephone: 1800 336 166 or 02 6621 3624
Facsimile: 02 6622 1403  Email: lismore@parliament.nsw.gov.au

Authorised by Thomas George MP. Funded using Parliamentary entitlements.