Parliament Activities

Echo 13 December 01

Parliament Activities

As the International Year of Volunteers draws to an end, I was pleased to have the opportunity in Parliament to pay tribute to the valuable contributions made by numerous local people in our community. Acknowledgement of volunteer importance has been the focus of many occasions held in their honour throughout the year. At Christmas time, volunteers are called on to help those less fortunate. Celebrating this special occasion can be a difficult time for some members of our community and with the kind generosity of our local charities, this is made a little more bearable. I commend the commitment and work of volunteers.

Workers Compensation

The debate continued last week in Parliament on the Workers Compensation Legislation Further Amendment Bill 2001 that was recently passed. I have information on the amendments to the Bill that the Coalition supported. We were disappointed that the Carr Government did not support these changes to include access to common law for police, ambulance officers and firefighters, provisions for privately underwriting the workers compensation scheme, protecting commutation access for self-insurers and implementing an IPART review of the legislation. Anyone wishing to receive this information should contact my office.

$37,783 Regional Community Funding

I was very pleased with the announcement by Deputy Premier and Minister for Planning, Dr Andrew Refshauge that five rural communities in the Lismore electorate benefited from the first round of funding in the Community Partnerships Grants available under the Living Centres Program. The grants are designed to help with projects such as attractive lively town centres and main streets, community halls and cultural and recreational opportunities. The Councils and community groups that are successful match allocations dollar for dollar. Allocations were:

$13,083
$7,100
$6,000
$4,000
$7,600

Channon Craft Market and Lismore City Council towards a new building
Clunes Old School Association to repaint the heritage listed school buildings and create an outdoor undercover area
Blue Knob Community Hall Committee to build a toilet for disabled people
Rosebank Public Hall Committee for new main entrance doors
Bonalbo Heritage Gardens to establish a public recreation area and native garden at the entrance to the village

Government Refuses Support For Building Inquiry

The Carr Labor Government is to be condemned for its refusal to support a call by the Coalition to consider the urgent need for an inquiry into the state's home building industry. This Government's point blank refusal to debate the urgent need for an inquiry into the state's home building industry is a scathing indictment on their complete lack of support for this vital industry. Home building and supporting industries comprise the largest sector of the NSW economy. The industry is in crisis and this government has chosen to turn their back on more than 150,000 builders and contractors and the hundreds of thousands of people that rely on the home building industry for their livelihood, not to mention all of the home owners in this state. The Coalition has proposed an inquiry into the home building industry that is still reeling from the effects of the collapse of HIH. With only two insurers offering insurance policies to commercial home builders under this government's compulsory insurance scheme, builders are being squeezed out of the industry and home owners are suffering. This compulsory insurance scheme is unsustainable in its current form which is why it is important that the Parliament consider the options available to reform the system to make it work. For the sake of the building industry and all current and potential home owners, it was vitally important that the Parliament debated this issue. It is extremely inconsiderate of a major industry that the Carr Labor Government did not agree.

Christmas Message

It has been an honour being your State representative in Parliament this year and may I congratulate all those who have gained scholastic, sporting or citizenship satisfaction this year.

Please remember to drive safely and enjoy the festive season.

May joy be your gift this Christmas,
and Peace and Hope follow everyone into the New Year.

Thomas and Rhonda George,
together with staff Karen and Bronwyn.

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