Echo 3 May 01
I have raised my concerns in relation to the Richmond Local Area
Command missing out on police hours due to officers on leave or
restricted duties and not performing frontline police work. Of 172
positions in Lismore, Ballina, Casino and outlying areas, a total of 35
are either on long-term sick or stress leave, restricted duties, or
their positions were vacant. The formula for working out police numbers
in NSW had not been reviewed since 1985. It is obvious that this formula
is outdated and does not take account of areas facing massive population
growth, like the Northern Rivers. The job appeals system also allowed
unfilled positions to remain vacant for months at a time. Don Page and
myself will be raising our concerns in Parliament in an effort to get
more police for the region.
Ben Carey - Cycle for Life
As your representative, I had the pleasure of officially welcoming
Ben Carey, a remarkable young 23 year old, who is taking 12 months to
cycle around Australia to raise awareness that "suicide is preventable".
Ben will be cycling over 22,000 klm in 365 days, covering every state
and territory visiting and talking with some 185 communities seeking
real solutions and feedback to the tragedy of suicide. A small informal
gathering of representative groups joined me in meeting with Ben and
discussing various issues.
Coalition to Abolish Tax on Anglers
The Carr Government's new tax on anglers will be abolished by a
Liberal/National Government. The Coalition is committed to abolishing
the Carr Government's new tax on anglers and ensuring that the equivalent
funding remains in place to enhance fish stocks, breeding and waterways
health. There has been a considerable reaction against fishing licences
(both salt water and inland) from people all over the State. These
licences can add up to quite a sum for the typical occasional fishing
outing. It is anti-tourism and is subject to very costly administration
and policing. Anglers are already taxed on their gear, they pay licence
and registration fees for boats and motor vehicles; this is yet another
cost burden on their recreation. The Liberal and National Parties strongly
believe that the fishing licence fee is a tax grab by NSW Treasurer,
Mr Egan, that flick passes the financial burden of core responsibilities
of NSW Fisheries to anglers.
Anzac Day 2001
Local commemorative services were well attended and I trust the
community enjoyed participating in the Remembrance Day celebrations.
One aspect of this year's Anzac Day that I believe is commendable and
deserving of attention, was the attendance of many local school children
especially during school holidays, particularly at the dawn services,
which emphasises our young's reflection on the importance of this day.
I am sure this respect will ensure the future of Anzac Day to the
Hospital Quality of Care and Value for Money
A General Purpose Standing Committee, chaired by The Hon Dr Brian
Pezzutti is calling for submissions to its inquiry into the quality of
care for public patients and value for money in major non-metropolitan
hospitals. Public participation is being encouraged and the Committee
is inviting written submissions from interested persons and organisations.
The closing date is 18 May 2001. Terms of reference and further
information is available upon request.
Centenary of Federation
Despite this being a significant part of our democratic history, I
will not be attending the commemorative sitting of Parliament in
Melbourne to celebrate Australia's Centenary of Federation.