Challenge to Carr Government

Echo 7 December 00

Challenge to Carr Government

Following the Federal Government's $1.2 billion Roads to Recovery funding package, I have challenged the Carr Government to demonstrate its commitment to the people of the Northern Rivers and boost its State allocations for roads, immediately. The responsibility of roads ultimately rests with the State Government and as funding is still a critical issue, the Carr Government need to come good and follow suit. The allocations are tied to ensure every cent is spent on local roads, with the first round of funding expected to flow to local government authorities early in the New Year. Following allocations by local government;

Council

Roads to Recovery Additional Annual Grant

Roads to Recovery total over 4 years

Kyogle
Tenterfield
Lismore
Richmond Valley

$635,811
$635,121
$803,148
$593,573

$2,543,243
$2,540,484
$3,212,591
$2,374,293

Water Management Bill

The Carr Government has failed to get right the most significant elements of the Bill and in doing so has let down regional NSW. The National Party, the NSW Irrigators Council and NSW Farmers have made continuous approaches to the NSW Government and the Minister, requesting them to deliver a more equitable outcome for rural communities. They have provided no real security to water users at the end of a 10 year water management plan. There is no prospect of compensation with loss of entitlement at that time and no assurance that if a plan is working and fulfilling all of its objectives that its provision will continue into a new plan. Neither have they provided security for water users in the renewal of water access licences. They have imposed a Water Investment Trust on water users, without proper consultation of the stakeholders involved, and water users have been unified in their opposition to the Trust as it now exists. The Government has missed a real opportunity to develop an equitable and practical piece of legislation that provides for environmental requirements and sustainable management of water resources, whilst also presenting regional communities with certainty and security.

Collins Visits Lismore

Former Leader of the Liberal Party, Minister for Health and Minister for the Arts, Peter Collins visited his home origin of Lismore this week to inspect and familiarise himself with local art facilities and exhibitions. Whilst here Mr Collins enjoyed meeting with visiting Japan Medical Professionals, an inspection of Lismore Base Hospital, the International Day and Year of the Volunteer presentation in Spinks Park, calling into Waldron Studios and the Lismore Regional Art Gallery.

$30,000 for Aboriginal Fathers Family Worker

Recurrent funding has been approved for a family worker (Aboriginal Fathers) service in Lismore. The funds have been allocated under the NSW Government's Families First strategy that aims to provide an integrated network of early intervention services to support parents/carers with children up to 8 years old, specifically 0 to 3 years.

Workers Compensation

Employers would be aware of the multi-billion accumulated deficit in the workers' compensation scheme. Recently at Parliament, Mr Della Bosca could not rule out some form of levy on employers to eliminate the deficit, which is very concerning. One of the most significant impediments to regional and rural employment is the high premium regime of workers compensation. Any levy on top of these premiums would cost jobs and prevent new development.

Motor Vehicle Purchases - Cooling Off Period

A discussion paper considering the implementations of a cooling off period has recently been released. The paper looks at issues such as; the advantages and costs of cooling-off periods; the types of vehicles and transactions that could be subject to a cooling-off period; the length of a cooling-off period; and the consequences of cancelling a sale. I have circulated this information to many dealers in my electorate and all interested parties are being given the opportunity to comment over the next two months.

Public Private Infrastructure Green Paper

A green paper has been released into public and private sector infrastructure partnerships, which have the ability to benefit taxpayers in NSW. It is expected that feedback will incorporate innovative and practical ideas. Public and private infrastructure is an important channel for providing community infrastructure, not only in Australia but also throughout Europe and the United States. Copies are available upon request.


As 2000 draws to a close, Karen, Bronwyn, Rhonda & I extend Season Greetings for a safe, happy and holy Christmas. I trust everyone will be blest with good health for the year 2001.

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