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 3624.

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 or my office. Closing date is 31 August 2001.

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:

Authorised by Thomas George MP. Funded using Parliamentary entitlements.