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.

Country Energy

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 knowledge.

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.

Contact Details:

Office: 55 Carrington Street  LISMORE
Postal: PO Box 52  LISMORE  NSW  2480
Telephone: 1800 336 166 or 02 6621 3624
Facsimile: 02 6622 1403  Email: lismore@parliament.nsw.gov.au

Authorised by Thomas George MP. Funded using Parliamentary entitlements.