$150,000 Beautification for Schools

Echo 11 July 02

$150,000 Beautification for Schools

I was pleased to receive advice that the following Lismore electorate Schools will receive assistance to improve access and amenity through upgraded fencing and school identification, pedestrian access to administration, signage and improvements to the external and internal front entry of the school. Schools to benefit were Clunes Public School, Goonellabah Public School, Kyogle Public School, Lismore Heights Public School and Richmond River High School.

Water Reforms

The Government's water reforms, which began to take effect last week, will cost country communities hundreds of millions of dollars and thousands of jobs. The NSW Government has ignored completely the social dislocation and economic impacts these reforms will have on country water users and the communities that rely on them. There has been a failure to balance sustainable agriculture, good natural resource management and the socio-economic viability of the regions. Some water users are facing cuts to their allocations of almost 90 per cent. Organisations such as the Coopers Creek Water User's Group have already voice concerns regarding the devastation that they will experience which will have a flow-on to businesses, suppliers, contractors and workers. The reforms will have a significant impact on the livelihoods and quality of life of rural and regional communities yet the Government has failed to clearly demonstrate that its reform process will have any long-term benefits for the community and the environment. The burden of environmental and conservation repair is being placed exclusively on the shoulders of country people. It is my belief that individual farmers and rural communities should not be forced to carry the full cost of conservation for the public good.

Public Liability

The NSW Coalition has launched a Public Liability Premium Watch Hotline to collect information about increases in public liability insurance. I am very concerned about the future of small community groups, organisations and businesses due to increasing insurance premiums. At the very least, I believe the State Government should be actively monitoring premiums in order to gauge the effectiveness of its reforms to date. I encourage members of the public, business and community groups to phone the Premium Watch Hotline on 02 - 9230 2395 to report any changes in their public liability premium renewal notices. You can also post them, addressed to Premium Watch, Level 10 Room 1036 Parliament House, Sydney NSW 2000. Alternatively, an Internet site and an email address have been established. The website address is www.nswcoalition.com while the e-mail address is premiumwatch@parliament.nsw.gov.au

Radio Licences issued

New Community Radio Licences have been allocated to Casino's COW FM and Nimbin's Nim FM, both to serve the general community. Respectively the new services will broadcase on 107.9 MHz and 102.3MHz. They are permanent licences to commence on 1 July 2002 and will add to the range and diversity of radio services in the region.

Drought Assistance Urgent

The current drought is shaping up as one of the worst on record. The National Party has called on the NSW Government to urgently introduce drought assistance measures as drought conditions worsen across the State. Immediate measures should include transport assistance for the cartage of fodder and water, as Casino and Richmond/Tweed Rural Lands Protection Boards (RLPB's) are restricted in movement of livestock to other RLPB's. Two weeks ago in Parliament, the National Party asked the Premier to consider such assistance. He said he would consider it. However, we have heard nothing since and the situation continues to worsen.

LawAccess NSW

This new service launched by the Attorney Generals Department provides a single point of access for people in NSW to assistance with legal problems. It is a central telephone and web based service that provides a mix of legal information referral and advice. It is staffed by trained customer service officers who can help constituents identify the type of legal problem they may have and the options and services that may be available to them. The service also provides free telephone legal advice in straightforward matters where the constituents has limited financial means and/or has difficulty accessing legal services because they live in a rural and remote area or have a disability. General enquiries 1300 888 529 or www.lawaccess.nsw.gov.au.

Seniors Card mailout

Constituents may have already received contact from me in relation to the NSW Seniors Card. A number of people who already have a card may be unaware that my office provides a local directory, which lists all the local participating businesses and the offers that are available. Should you wish to receive this publication, please do not hesitate to contact my office and you will automatically an updated version each time it is revised.

Trustee Members wanted

Applications are being invited from persons interested in being considered for appointment as a member of the Trust Board to manage the affairs of the Gundurimba Flood Refuge Trust. Applications should be lodged with the Land Access Unit of the Department of Land & Water Conservation, for further information contact Ph 6640 2061 or my office.

Census Information

Available for viewing at my office is a Census publication on Population and Housing - selected Social and Housing Characteristics. 2001 Census data will be progressively posted to the Australia Bureau of Statistics website from 17 June 2002. www.abs.gov.au/census.

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: lismore@parliament.nsw.gov.au

Authorised by Thomas George MP. Funded using Parliamentary entitlements.