Echo 26 July 01
Following the Fire Brigade's Open Day in Lismore on Saturday 14 July, I
believe it was opportune to reinforce the call on the Carr Government to ensure
all firefighters are treated equally if they are killed or injured on the job.
Fewer than half of the state's firefighters have adequate death and disability
cover because they were not members of the pre 1985 State Superannuation Scheme.
Firefighters put their future and that of their families at risk every time they
go out on a job. The NSW Coalition held meetings with firefighters from around
the State concerning this issue and as a result the Carr Government has finally
been forced to react to the issue of providing 24-hour death and disability
cover for firefighters. A seven-point agreement has finally been reached with
Union officials for the progression of the dispute, subject to approval from the
Union's members. However, the issue of gaining equity in the area of death and
disability cover still remains. The Carr Government needs to recognise the
dangerous work performed by firefighters who protect our community.
$145,349 for Rural Skills Centres
The announcement by Minister Aquilina of an $145,349 allocation for the
establishment of local Rural Skills Centres in the Lismore electorate was
welcomed recently. The program will assist in the development of vocational
education and training for school students by encouragement, including the
provision of part-time school-based traineeships and apprenticeships. The Rural
Skills Centre will operate through Kyogle High School, Bonalbo, Woodenbong and
Nimbin Central Schools. Training will be offered in Information Technology,
Business Services, Retail, Agriculture and Forestry.
West of the Range Visit
My West of the Range visit has been rescheduled to Friday 17 August, my
apologies for any inconvenience. I will be calling into Bonalbo, Old Bonalbo,
Urbenville, Woodenbong and Legume on Friday 17 August and during my visit to
Kyogle on Monday 13 August, I will also call into Grevillia and Wiangaree. For
appointment times and enquiries please contact my electorate office on 6621
Bentley Art Show
Arts guru and former Opposition Leader, The Hon Peter Collins MP will
officially open the Bentley Art Prize Show this weekend. Many people travel to
view the varied mediums of art, from photographs and paintings to sculptures and
pottery works. This exhibition will be the 16th Annual Bentley Art Prize Show
and each year talented local artists enjoy the widespread community recognition
that the show is renowned for. Congratulations to Reg Hartley, the organising
committee and to the many entrants for a successful presentation.
Kyogle Skate Park Opening
This community facility has been made possible through the combined effort
of the Kyogle Youth Action group, the local community in fundraising and
allocations from Sport and Recreation under the Capital Assistance Program
together with the assistance of Kyogle Council. It was my pleasure to attend the
official opening the town's newest youth facility, which is a major achievement
for the Kyogle townspeople.
Goolmangar Speed Zone
As a result of raising this important safety issue during Parliament, I have
received advice from RTA Sydney that the speed zone will be reduced to 40km/h at
Goolmangar School. Lismore Council will undertake arrangements for the
installation of signs and correction of existing patches.
Taxi Industry Discussion Paper
The Department of Transport is inviting interested parties to provide
comment on a discussion paper on the Rural Taxi Industry in NSW, relationships
with other transport service providers and regulating community transport and
courtesy buses. This follows a review in 1999 of the taxi and hire car
industries and IPART's recommendation of an investigation into the feasibility
of delegating the authority to regulate taxi operations in rural areas to local
councils. Anyone interested in obtaining a copy of the paper should contact my
office. Closing date is 31 August 2001.
Sustainable Rural Communities Resource Kit
The Strengthening Communities Unit of the NSW Premier's Department has
recently produced a major report and set of practitioner tools called the
Sustainable Rural Communities Resource Kit. The Kit is a result of 12 months
research, consultation and trialling in five diverse small rural communities. It
has been developed with the assistance of several businesses, farming,
indigenous, community and Government organisations and individuals. A copy of
the Kit is available for loan from my office.
Learning Community Grants Program
This program aims to assist young people who experience significant
difficulties participating in formal learning environments to access, remain in
or return to education and training. Guidelines and application forms are
available upon request. Applications close 14 August 2001.
Action for the Environment
The Carr Labor Government has announced a range of initiatives aimed at
improving air quality in NSW. Copies of the NSW Government Environment Statement
2001 or a 4-page summary are available to interested parties.
Inquiry into Feral Animals
The Legislative Council General Purpose Standing Committee is calling for
public submissions in relation to Feral Animals. Details on the Terms of
Reference and inquiry contacts are available from the Committee's website at
www.parliament.nsw.gov.au or my office. Closing date is 31 August 2001.