Parliament Barricaded by Workers Compensation Protest

Echo 28 June 01

Parliament Barricaded by Workers Compensation Protest

Last week saw unprecedented scenes in the history of the NSW Parliament with a barricade preventing Parliament from sitting at the appointed time, due to a protest about the proposed changes to the Workers Compensation Legislation Amendment Bill No 2. The issue of workers' compensation reform is a vital one and requires appropriate debate. Disappointingly, the Labor Party used its numbers in the Lower House to `gag' the debate and stop any criticism of the controversial legislation. The Coalition fully supports moves to reform the workers compensation scheme to ensure a reduction in premiums for employers, whilst protecting the entitlements of injured employees. However, the Coalition was given less than two days to consider this extremely complex Bill.

$10,000 for Lismore Target Pistol Club

Local group Lismore Target Pistol Club has been successful in attaining $10,000 under the Shooting Facility Development Program. The funding will go towards the installation of turning targets, enabling the Club to host regional and interstate competitions as well as creating the capacity to offer high level coaching. I would like to thank The Hon John Watkins, Minister for Sport and Recreation who has continued to support local sporting organisations, which benefits many sportspeople.

Drug Awareness Week 2001

Following the 1999 NSW Drug Summit, I established a local drug advisory group, of which a number of members progressed to become part of the Lismore Community Drug Action Team (LCDAT). This local group was initiated over 18 months ago to examine drug issues in the Lismore electorate. This week in my absence, Mayor Bob Gates officially launched Drug Awareness Week, at the Riverlands Detoxification Centre, which will run from Monday 25 until Friday 29 June.

School Captains Morning Tea

Tomorrow I will have the pleasure of meeting with another four local school captains at Parliament House. I always appreciate the chance to meet school representatives from my electorate and provide them with the opportunity to learn about the State's parliamentary process.

Lantern Parade

Congratulations to Jyllie Jackson and her team who organised the 2001 Lismore Lantern Parade held last week. I appreciate and thank the Minister for Tourism, Sandra Nori for her support in providing $1,500 funding. This allocation follows the Lismore Lantern Parade's recent achievement in being awarded the Significant Regional Festivals and Special Events Award at the Northern Rivers Tropical NSW Tourism Awards for Business Excellence.

Country Athletes Rewarded

Funding totalling $7,865 under the 2001 Country Athletes Scheme has recognised the talent of nine local sports people. This allocation is a contribution to the expenses that they have incurred during travelling to first class training, accessing coaching and various competitions. Lee Jones (Indoor Cricket), Aaron Heffernan (Soccer), Desmond Baglin and Fiona Armfield (Indoor Bowls), Katrina Lawrence (Canoeing), Hannah Gibson (Swimming), Luke Edwards (Tennis), Deanne and Patricik Egan (Tenpin Bowling).

Warning - Increased Fines

Under a recently gazetted regulation, the penalty for certain traffic offences, primarily relating to the wearing of seatbelts by drivers and passengers, the wearing of motorbike helmets by riders and passengers, and the fitting of child restraints, will increase from $115 to $220. The effectiveness of significant fine increases, as a deterrent is questionable. Many leading road safety experts believe that a considerable proportion of traffic offences can be traced back to a basic lack of knowledge by road users, and thus the effectiveness of fine increases as a deterrent must be called into question. Education programs must be introduced and people must be taught that they have a personal, as well as a collective responsibility for road safety, including such personal issues as wearing seatbelts.

Parliament will recess today and I will be organising a number of interview days for Casino, Kyogle and West of the Range. Enquiries can be made to my electorate office on 6621 3624 for appointments.

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