Dairy - The Outcome

Echo 6 July 00

Dairy - The Outcome

I have received a number of supporting calls and messages from local dairy farmers following last Thursday's weeklong deadlock and the passing of the Dairy Industry Bill. The Coalition secured a guarantee from the Carr Government that will assess the financial impacts of dairy deregulation on farmers and their communities. After protracted negotiations, the Coalition secured an undertaking from Agriculture Minister, Richard Amery to establish a committee to investigate the financial impacts of dairy deregulation and make recommendations to the Minister for assistance. This will see the Federal Government's compensation package flow to dairy farmers as planned. I was pleased the Carr Government had finally conceded the State had a role to assist farmers through the extremely difficult process of deregulation. The Coalition and I will keenly follow the Committee's formation, investigations and recommended outcomes. Those outcomes will be pursued vigorously by the Coalition to ensure NSW dairy farmers get the best deal, be it State-based financial assistance or other measures.

$140M Olympic Black Hole

The Carr Government used its numbers, at 1am in the morning, to force through the Legislative Assembly, a Bill to provide an additional $140 million for the Sydney Olympic Games, refusing an Opposition request to have the issue properly examined. With no satisfactory explanation or warning, the Government suddenly announced it would have to advance SOCOG another $140m. This is despite the Premier and Treasurer boasting just last month that the Olympics have been fully paid for. In just two months the Carr Government has revealed that NSW taxpayers are footing the bill for $280 million in Olympic Games budget contingency blowouts. NSW residents have a right to know what happened to the $140 million taxpayer funded contingency fund already spent by SOCOG and why the Parliament needs to authorise another $140 million to underwrite SOCOG. The Coalition moved in the Parliament to refer SOCOG's request to an Estimates Committee where Mr Knight and SOCOG would have had to explain why the state's finances were again being drained for unexpected Olympic expenses. However, the Government refused. In the blink of an eyelid the Government can find $140 million for the Olympics yet they refuse to open the purse strings for dairy farmers or provide extra cent for rural and regional infrastructure. This again highlights the Carr Government's attitude and its treatment with contempt of regional areas of NSW such as the Lismore electorate, who desperately would appreciate just 10% of the $140m for our roads.

National Parks Fires

Recently, it was my honour to represent the Lismore electorate at the Memorial Service for the National Parks and Wildlife Service firefighters who lost their lives and those still struggling with their injuries. The Service reminded me of the great contribution our National Park rangers and firefighters make together with the other emergency services, including local bush fire brigades, police and ambulance.

Country Commuters to Sydney

I have recently been advised of an independent analysis of problems associated with the Airport Rail Link, following recent difficulties incurred at the introduction of the service. Any country travellers who may have encountered disruptions or wish to convey their views about the service, can do so by writing or contacting my office.

ACCC - CD ROM

For the interest of local small businesses, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has supplied a pricing kit CD ROM to my office. I would like to make this CD ROM available for use by local small businesses and anyone wishing to obtain more details should contact 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