Water Reform Legislation

Echo 9 November 00

Water Reform Legislation

The Carr Government's Water Management Bill 2000 is about to be debated in NSW Parliament. This follows a considerable period of negotiations with the National Party since the Bill was first exposed. The Government has now offered some 160 amendments to the original Bill and negotiations are still continuing as vital issues remain. The Government has agreed to increase the Water Management Plans from 5 to 10 years. The issue of riparian rights has also been addressed and the Water Management Committee will work on consensus rather than majority. However, I remain concerned over the lack of a proper register for water licences that will satisfy lending institutions. The Water Investment Trust's modus operandi needs clarification to ensure it is not a revenue raising mechanism.

Nationals Make 1st Submission To Dairy Deregulation Committee

The National Party has made the first submission to the Committee charged with investigating the impacts of deregulation of the NSW dairy industry. In July the National / Liberal Parties forced the Carr Labor Government to establish the Dairy Deregulation Committee. Although the Committee has not yet formally called for submissions, the National Party has made a submission setting out what we believe should be the aims of the committee and the issues which it should consider. We believe the aims of the committee should be to:
identify the regions most affected by the dramatic loss of income to farmers, processors and associated stakeholders;
estimate the economic impacts on those regions, in terms of lost income and unemployment;
identify likely social impacts in those regions, including effects on poverty levels, domestic violence, drug and alcohol abuse, family breakdown, and suicide;
consider the likely efficacy of existing Federal and State Government responses; and
recommend the implementation of existing or new programs and/or legislation for addressing assessed shortfalls in Government responses to affected regions. The National Party's submission recommends widespread consultation with farmers and their representatives, as well as an examination of the roles played by dairy processors and retailers in relation to prices received by farmers for their milk. It is not good enough for the State Government to remove all legislated protection for dairy farmers and then simply wipe their hands of the whole affair. The Federal Government's assistance package will not totally ameliorate the devastating impacts upon dairy farmers in NSW. In its submission, the National Party has recommended additional State assistance, as has been provided in Western Australia, to be funded in part through National Competition Policy payments from the Federal Government to the State. Our submission states that the Carr Government's provision of $500,000 through the Regional Economic Transition Scheme should only be regarded as a `first instalment'. It is absolutely essential that the committee begin its deliberations as a matter of urgency and that public hearings be conducted in dairy regions around NSW.

Horse Slaughter

It was very disturbing to see photographs taken from Guy Fawkes National Park near Dorrigo of the wholesale slaughter of wild horses. The most inhumane way to cull horses is the method adopted by the National Parks and Wildlife Service in that area - using helicopters and shooting them from the air. Photographs do not lie. The horses had multiple bullet wounds, jaws shot out and even a mare was killed foaling, while others had their front legs shattered by bullets. The carcasses were left to rot, feed feral animals and pollute waterways. I can only assume the RSPCA will consider exercising their prosecution powers and nothing less than a full, open and transparent inquiry will suffice.

LifeForce Suicide Prevention Week

From November 6 to 10, LifeForce is aiming to bring the issue of suicide out into the open. LifeForce is committee to working towards significantly reducing Australia's high suicide rate by implementing strategies that focus on prevention and intervention.

RR-ISK Project

The Reducing Risk - Increasing Student Knowledge RR-ISK project is being conducted to provide high school students with the appropriate skills, attitudes and knowledge needed to make informed decisions around driving, drug and alcohol use, risking taking behaviours and celebration activities. The special evening is being held on Wednesday 15 November, 7.30pm at the Lismore Workers Club. For information contact Wendy Johnston Road Safety Officer for Lismore City Council.

Provision of Special Transport Services For Students With Disabilities.

Expressions of interest are being invited from mature, experienced and licensed drives with their own registered motor vehicles and from operators of vehicle fleets who have the ability to provide transport services for students with disabilities, learning difficulties and behaviour disorders within Lismore and surrounding areas.

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