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.

Paralypmics

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.

Local Shows

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 firefighting season.

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