Business Lunch with Duncan Armstrong

Echo 1 November 01

Business Lunch with Duncan Armstrong

Today, together with Telstra Countrywide, I will be hosting a Business Luncheon with former Olympian Duncan Armstrong today. The purpose of the gathering is not political, but to create and promote positive network for young people in business.

Dairy Report

The State Government recently released a report by the Dairy Deregulation Impact and Assessment Committee, copies of which area available from my office. This report found that in NSW during 2000/01, total dairy farm numbers dropped by 15.71%, total NSW milk production dropped by 4.7% and market milk prices received by farmers dropped from over 53 cents per litre to around 28 cents per litre.

International Teachers Day

I wish to pay tribute to the teachers and support staff all involved in public and private education in this area which was celebrated last Friday. The devotion and commitment to bettering our children's future are to be acknowledged and applauded. Teachers play a very integral and valuable role in the academic and social development of students.

New HSC Information Kit

Available from my office for loan, is an information kit on the new Higher School Certificate that has been sent to every high school in NSW. The kit contains fact sheets and a CD-rom of a PowerPoint slide presentation

Nurses Action

Nurses across the State went on strike recently calling for better pay and conditions. Thousands of nurses marched on Parliament House in Sydney and rallies were held in many rural and regional areas. I attended the rally, while Premier Carr and Health Minister, Craig Knowles, refused to address the rally. The Opposition told the rally that we believe nurses are entitled to a better deal and we support them in their claim. Recently I was made aware that there are no refresher courses available in this area and I have approached the Minister Knowles to have this matter addressed. The Carr Government must immediately increase hospital funding to improve conditions and give nurses a fair hearing on wage claims. Nurses should be properly recognised for the wonderful work they do in our community.

Debits Tax

The debits tax will be abolished in NSW on January 1, 2002. The debits tax is levied on every bank and credit account linked to cheque-drawing facilities and is worth $315 million a year. The abolition of the debits tax is welcome and will be of benefit to both individuals and businesses.

Parks vs Weeds

Whilst allocations of $254,182 to Far North Coast County Council; $22,500 to Tenterfield Shire Council, $151,000 to North Coast Noxious Weeds Advisory Committee worth is welcomed and acknowledged, I question the Carr Government to explain why $25 million was being spent on maintaining Sydney's major parks, compared to just $6.9 million on fighting noxious weeds across the State. Agriculture Minister, Richard Amery was asked how, in light of the money being spent on Sydney's parks, could he justify allocating just $6.9 million to noxious weeds control? Noxious weeds cost NSW more than $500 million a year through impacts on the environment, primary industry and human health. The Carr Government is spending a net $25 million maintaining Sydney's Botanic Gardens and Centennial and Moore Park Trust - an area totalling 449 hectares, equating to almost $56,000 a hectare. The contrast is clear - Carr Government spending on Sydney spaces equates to almost $56,000.00 a hectare versus $0.09 a hectare to fight noxious weeds in the rest of NSW. These figures again highlight the growing differential between funding for metropolitan and rural and regional NSW. The Carr Labor Government has its priorities wrong - it's time the Carr Labor Government made noxious weeds a priority.

Reports and Awards

The following are available from my office upon request -

Review into Offices of the Protective Commissioner and Public Guardian.
Premier's Seniors Achievement Awards - These awards are to recognise seniors for their contribution in the development of our community, and for their leadership and initiative.
Australian of the Year Awards for 2002.

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