Capital Assistance Grants announced

Echo 10 January 02

The year had not ended when many local volunteers were called upon to assist in fighting fires near Bungawalbyn. Typically, these people did not hesitate to leave their families and loved ones, forego Christmas festivities and answer the call to help those in need. The community's overwhelming gratitude has been well publicised and I trust the volunteers, their families and the team of supporters will continue to receive the well-deserved appreciation for their efforts.

I have received a number of enquiries regarding the late gazettal of Monday 28 January 2002 as a public holiday in NSW. Please do not hesitate to contact my office for confirmation of this and other gazettals, furthermore details can also be attained at

Capital Assistance Grants announced

Nine Lismore electorate sporting organisations benefited from the allocation of $43,167 under the 2001/02 Capital Assistance Program. Local successful projects include:





Legume Tennis Club Inc for the drainage, excavation, elevation and levelling of playing surface, erection of a safety fence and planting of trees at the Legume Public Recreational Ground
Casino Town Tennis Club Inc for the replacement of fencing
Casino Croquet Club Inc for the installation of water pipes to clubhouse and playing courts
for the erection of a storage shed for equipment at Balzer Park
The Channon Tennis Club for the resurfacing of two courts, fence boundary and construction of children's play area
Casino Rifle Range for the provision of silhouette targets and underground power cabling
for the installation of lighting for night use at Kyogle High School field
for the provision of a full size soccer field and grass at netball court at Dunoon Public School
Eltham Tennis Club for the resurfacing of one court with synthetic grass

The aim of the program is to work in partnership with the general sporting community and to support those groups who have shown they are prepared to help themselves.

Privatisation of Energy Providers

From 1 January 2002 households and small businesses are now able to choose where they buy their energy. This initiative aims to allow all electricity and gas customers to compare prices and services when shopping around for a better deal. A booklet on the new competitive energy market will be sent out to all households in the next few weeks. General information is available from 1800 671 650. EWON (Energy and Water Ombudsman of NSW) warns that customers should be aware that if they change, you are only changing your retailer (the company which sells you energy and bills you for it). You will not be changing your network provider (the company which delivers energy to you through the existing poles and wires).

RTA Fees Rise

The Carr Government has decided to charge a $30 fee for the issue of number plates and a $30 fee for driver knowledge and hazard perception tests. The RTA road rules handbook will also no longer be free, attracting a new fee of $25; all from January 1. There will also be rises in inspection charges for heavy vehicles, trailers, buses, taxis and hire cars in March 2002. The total increase in charges statewide will result in between $335 million and $400 million extra revenue for the Government.


I was pleased to see the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics (ABARE) is predicting better farm gate prices for dairy production next year. In its December quarter forecast released, ABARE says strong export demand and the competitive Australian dollar would help push up domestic dairy prices. Domestic prices for milk are expected to rise 7 per cent to 30.2 cents/litre. Cow numbers are expected to rise 4.7 per cent to 2.3 million and manufacturing milk is expected to rise eight per cent to 9.3 billion litres. Total milk production is expected to rise 6.5 per cent to 11.2 billion litres. Total value of dairy exports is expected to rise 20 per cent to $3.6 billion. The industry, following a slump through deregulation, is bouncing back.

Churchill Fellowships 2003

The Churchill Trust is calling for Australians over 18 to apply to undertake an overseas study project that will enhance their usefulness to the Australian Community. No prescribed qualifications are required, merit being the primary test based on past achievements or demonstrated ability for future achievement. Closing date is 29 February 2002 and further information can be obtained by contacting my office.

Best wishes for a very successful and prosperous 2002.

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.