Volunteers - The Heroes Behind The Games
Echo 6 October 00
Parliament resumed this week and its time to get back on with business. The
Olympics is over and many matters need attention.
Volunteers - The Heroes Behind The Games
Congratulations and a big thank you to everyone from the electorate who
volunteered and took positions at the Sydney Olympics. These include young local
talents that were involved in performing in the opening and closing ceremonies.
From every report, our special country contribution has been very well received
and has contributed to the great success of the Olympics. Local bus drivers,
venue assistants etc have all made us very proud and have greatly benefited from
such an inspirational and rewarding experience.
The fever from the games continues with the lead up to the Paralympics,
showcasing the North Coast are local paralympians Scott Brockenshire and Brett
Boylan. Many volunteers are continuing their support by assisting at the
Paralympic Games. Their involvement together with public support will ensure the
success it deserves. We wish them well in their events.
I was pleased to attend and do the honours of officially opening the first show
on the local circuit at Nimbin recently. The Lismore electorate hosted a visit
by The Hon Kerry Chikarovski MP, Leader of the Opposition, last Saturday with
the main focus of her visit to officially open the 92nd Kyogle Show. Whilst in
the area Mrs Chikarovski was a guest at a Zonta International function held at
Tulloona House and she also met with representatives of Kyogle Shire Council,
Kyogle business community as well as inspecting local roads.
Higher School Certificate
I would like to extend my best wishes to all our local HSC students who are
preparing for the HSC. A 2000 HSC advice line, 13 11 12 which is accessible
between 10am to 10pm puts students in contact with teachers in various fields
who can handle enquiries about subject matter for the cost of a local call.
Police Assistance Line (PAL) 131 444
After conducting stock theft forums, it has become evident that many rural
people are not utilising this assistance line. It is a convenient
around-the-clock way to report a range of non-urgent crimes or any suspicious
criminal activity. PAL handles break, enter and steal offences, motor vehicle
theft, stealing from a vehicle, malicious damage, minor motor vehicle crash
reports and lost property. I strongly encourage the use of this assistance line
that provides intelligence, enabling the logging of statistics regarding types
and incidence of criminal activity.
North Coast Area Assistance Scheme
Non profit organisations and local councils have been invited to apply for
funding for social and community development projects under the Area Assistance
Scheme. The scheme funds projects that improve the physical and social
infrastructure in communities with existing and emerging social, economic and
environmental problems. Contact should be made with the Community Project
Officers at local councils to obtain further details.
Water - Its Time To Get It Right
From information to now hand, the Carr Government is not withdrawing its Water
Management Bill as previously indicated, however it will continue to be debated
with the National Party pursing changes to provide real solutions to the
concerns raised in the public consultation process. The National Party
submission has called for some major changes to provisions for water security
and compensation. Water users must have a guarantee that if they lose part of
their water entitlement they will be adequately and promptly compensated by the
Government. The National Party is also concerned about the abolishment of common
law riparian rights and the proposed structure of Water Management Committees
which leaves water users grossly outnumbered.
Legal Indemnity For Volunteer Firefighters
Confirmation that current legislation indemnifies Rural Fire Service volunteers
from possible legal action is very welcome. The NSW Coalition raised the issue
following a decision made by Deputy State Coroner, Jan Stevenson, at an inquest
into the December 1997 Lithgow fires which raised serious concerns about the
legal position of volunteer firefighters. Now it has been confirmed that section
128 of the Rural Fire Act is adequate protection against prosecution, Rural Fire
Service volunteers across the State can proceed confidently into the new bush