Centenary of Federation
Echo 17 May 01
Centenary of Federation
Whilst primarily this is a Commonwealth responsibility, during last
week I had the pleasure of representing my Federal colleague, The Hon
Ian Causley MP, at a number of local school ceremonies and activities.
It was wonderful to witness the enthusiasm and pride in our electorate
instilled with the younger generation, who were taking part in this the
Centenary Year of Federation.
Secondary School Captains Visit Parliament House
Last week 10 young secondary school captains representing five local
schools took the opportunity to visit Parliament House. It was part of
a leadership program organised in conjunction with the Governor and the
Department of Education. The visit consisted of an address by Parliamentary
Officers, a visit to one of the Chambers, morning tea concluding with a
visit to Government House to meet the Governor. Local students were:
Stacey Whittacker and Stephen Gray from Bonalbo Central, Ashley Wilson
and Michael Davis from Kadina High, Adam Bradfield and Linda Murphy from
Lismore High, Cara Walsh and Svantje Mertens from Nimbin Central, Leah
Sanderson and Beau Weekes from Richmond River High, Kendel Johnson and
Glen Wadsworth from Woodenbong Central, Paddy Atkinson and Zeah Behrend
from Kyogle High.
The State Opposition met last week's announcement from the Australian
Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) on the proposal, to merge three
State owned electricity companies, with caution. The ACCC confirmed that
it had cleared the way for the merger of Advance Energy, Great Southern
Energy and NorthPower to proceed. While the announcement was expected,
the Coalition is cautious about the impact of this merger on employment
levels, service standards and electricity prices, particularly country
areas where problems have been eminent. There are still some outstanding
issues that will need to be addressed before Country Energy begins operations.
Those issues include tariff structures for the new company, as well as
the contentious issue of service standards. I will be meeting with Country
Energy representatives and seeking a guarantee that service levels and
access to reliable electricity supplies will be improved to the this area.
20th Casino Beef Week
I will be having the pleasure of officially opening Beek Week 2001
tomorrow and I hope people will take advantage of the many organised
festivities and celebrations highlighting the Beef industry's importance
to our area.
Community and Courtesy Transport Services
NSW Department of Transport is currently reviewing the regulatory
framework for community and courtesy transport services and the
relationship of these services to the Passenger Transport Act 1990,
and the Passenger Transport (Bus Service) Regulation 2001 and associated
Standards. Anyone involved in operating, funding or provided such a
service is invited to make written submissions which close Friday 15
June 2001, further information can be requested from my
Sale O Sale O
It was my honour to participate and officially launch the book by
local author and historian Helen Trustum. A booked out dinner indicated
the community interest and enthusiasm for preserving the times gone by
of Livestock Auctioneers, Meat Operators, Drovers and Carriers. The
publication provides an insight and has captured in detail up to four
generations in the one business. It is a momento capturing past history
since the first auctioneer in the 1870's, outlining history of the livestock
industry in this district and recording perspectives of our shared
Housing Budget Underspent
The Coalition has questioned the underspending of the NSW Housing
Budget by the Carr Labor Government of $225 million last financial year.
Housing is one of the major issues in the Lismore electorate and I am
very aware of the differences that exist between demand and supply.
The Carr Government secretly slashed $255 million from the 1999/2000
program at a time when they were blaming the Federal Government for
funding cuts. The NSW 1999-2000 Financial Outcomes Report showed that
Housing and Community Amenities (total capital outlays) expenditure was
only $381 million when $536m was budgeted. It has been evidenced that
in NSW, public housing properties can be vacant for an average of five
weeks whilst new tenants are found. There is a record public housing
waiting list of 9,571 for the Northern Region, which is almost 10% of
the State's total.