NSW Budget

Echo 13 June 02

NSW Budget

The 2002/03 State Budget contained no unexpected allocations as it was handed down last week Whilst a few items in the electorate were mentioned, I was disappointed in the overall lack of allocations;
$1.9 M for Kyogle hospital and MPS, estimated total cost $10.4M;
maintenance and upgrade funding for country rail track in Casino;
new radio systems for Richmond/Tweed Divisions (already previously mentioned in State budgets);
from August 1, the halving of stamp duty on all general insurance, including public liability insurance from 10 to 5%;
The abolition of payroll tax on the wages of apprentices from July 1, has been highlighted as a neutralised bonus because any benefit derived is taken away with the broadened Payroll tax base from 1 July. This will certainly be of no comfort to businesses in the Lismore electorate who are competing against its Queensland counterparts. I am continuing to view further budget papers and detailed documents to ascertain funding allocations for minor projects.

Primex 2002

The opening of Primex 2002 will be officiated by The Hon Mark Vaile, Federal Minister for Trade, tomorrow. This exhibition provides a focus on our region's industries and continues to attract exhibitors from all parts of Eastern Australia. I encourage everyone to visit the exhibition and experience the wonderful showcase of our industries.

Police Commissioner

Quite a number of people would realise that the newly appointed Police Commissioner was previously an officer from Lismore. It is quite an achievement for a local officer to be appointed to such a position and I am sure his experience and knowledge of the Lismore area will be beneficial in dealing with issues as they arise.

2002 National CommunityLink Volunteer Awards

Nominations have opened and the main objective of the Awards is to promote, encourage and develop community service and volunteers. The objective is to help people make a difference in their community, to celebrate and promote the contribution which volunteers make to our society and facilitate a sharing of innovative ideas and best practice in volunteer management among communities. Nomination forms are available from my office or online at www.national.com.au/Community/ and I encourage all local volunteer groups to nominate. Closing date 26 July 2002.

Gambling Services funding

Minister for Gaming and Racing, The Hon Richard Face recently announced the grants for the continuation of treatment services for problem gamblers and their families throughout NSW under the Casino Community Benefit Fund. Lifeline Northern Rivers received $63,144 and Northern Rivers Gambling Service received $186,817.

Environmental Trust

The NSW Environmental Trust invites grant applications for a number of programs. A workshop and briefing will be held on 21 June 2002 in Ballina and those interested must register by telephoning 9995 5366 or further information is available from www.epa.nsw.gov.au/envtrust

Liquor Laws

The Parliament, with bi-partisan support, agreed to adjust hotel trading hours to account for the telecast of the upcoming Soccer World Cup Final. Trading hours were previously extended to accommodate the 2001 Rugby League Grand Final. The legislation also allows the Minister to extend Sunday trading hours in the future by regulation for events of International, National or State significance. The forthcoming 2003 Rugby Union World Cup, to be staged in Australia, would be another example.

Women on Wheels

The Women on Wheels team will be visiting Lismore and surrounding towns on Thursday 27 and Friday 28 June 2002 to hold a range of events and exchange information with women in the region. This program is designed to:
increase women's access to government services in regional and rural NSW
increase the Department for Women and Premier's Council for Women understanding of issues affecting women in regional and rural NSW and utilise these in future policy and project development;
stimulate and utilise public and private sector partnership, to provide greater services and opportunities for women in regional and rural NSW; and
act as a catalyst for action in regional and rural NSW communities.
For further details, please contact my office.

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