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.
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
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.
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.