Bali horror

Echo 17 October 02

Bali horror

The horrifying explosions in Bali have shocked the Australian community with so many fellow lives being lost. I am deeply shocked by this hideously targeted attack on the Indonesian holiday island that is so frequently visited by Australians. It is unclear of how many victims are local, however Rhonda and I are praying for the families and loved ones of all those who perished or were wounded in this tragedy.

State Treasurer visits

It was my pleasure to host a visit to the Lismore electorate by The Hon Michael Egan, Treasurer and Minister for State Development. During his visit he undertook an inspection of the Riverlands Rehabilitation Unit, Richmond Clinic and discussions with the Northern Cooperative Meat Company in relation to insurance costs and the Legume Woodenbong Road and its benefits to this region.

Country Public Libraries

Following deputations by the representatives of the Richmond Tweed Regional Library the NSW Coalition recently announced that Liberal/National Government would increase per capita funding grants to country libraries by 20 per cent. Public libraries in the Lismore Electorate will benefit from this initiative. A Brogden/Souris Government will give due recognition to the important role that public libraries play in country communities. The NSW Government provides less funding for libraries than the Victorian and Queensland Governments, despite NSW having a significantly larger population. In 2002-03, Victoria will spend $26.2 million, Queensland will spend $22.5m and NSW will spend only $20.9 million. The proportion of annual library funding provided by the State Government has fallen from 23.6 per cent in 1980 to only 9 per cent today. This has left local councils to pick up 91 per cent of the annual tab. Fifty per cent of NSW's population are registered members of public libraries, with 67 per cent of these people using their local public library at least once a fortnight.

Farmhand Foundation

Some of the biggest corporate identifies in Australia have established a Foundation to raise money to help ease the burden on drought affected country communities. They include Foxtel Chairman, Mr Sam Chisholm; News Limited CEO, Mr John Hartigan; Mr Alan Jones; Telstra Chairman, Mr Bob Mansfield; CPH Chairman, Mr Kerry Packer; Visy Industries Chairman, Mr Richard Pratt and from STW Group, Mr John Singleton. The businessmen kicked off the campaign with a $4.5 million donation. The funds raised will be distributed by the Red Cross and will provide urgent relief to rural families. With its established network of branches and proven track record of helping Australian families in times of hardship, the Red Cross is the ideal choice to allocate the assistance. I applaud those behind the Farmhand Foundation for exerting their considerable influence, ability and experience to make the concept a reality. The concept extends the philosophies of equity, opportunity and Australian compassion at a time when everybody is focused on the need for a permanent strategy to address recurring natural disasters. Unfortunately, the NSW Labor Government has not grasped the enormity of the drought besetting NSW and the damage, both directly and indirectly, this crisis is inflicting. With summer yet to arrive, the situation looks set to worsen. Donations can be sent by cheque or money to The Australian Red Cross Farmhand Foundation Appeal, Australian Red Cross, GPO Box 9949, Sydney. Alternatively, donations can be made at any Westpac branch or any Australian Red Cross office or online at: www.farmhand.org.au

Safe Gathering Information Kit

As the year draws to a close, I recently became aware of a Ballina Shire Crime Prevention Committee initiative in association with the Police and the Ballina Youth Service which is funded by the NSW Attorney General's Department. This was an informational pamphlet with tips for a stress free gathering, particularly containing hints and tips for parents, hosts and guests to ensure successful, enjoyable and safe gatherings for everyone.

General Purpose Standing Committee Reports

Final reports on the Quality of Care for Public Patients and Value for Money in Major non-metropolitan hospitals in NSW and the NSW Workers Compensation Scheme. Anyone wishing to view this information can do so upon calling into my office.

National Carer's Week

From 20 to 27 October National Carers Week is being celebrated to acknowledge the work of those people who care for relatives or friends with disabilities, chronic or mental illness or who are frail aged. This year's theme is a "Week for the Strong". There is a sub theme, "Are you a Family Carer?" to help identify those many people in a caring role who do not identify with the term "carer". During Carer's Week the Commonwealth Carer Respite Centre is organising with carers and other services a range of activities intended to care for the carer. I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the importance of carers in our community and congratulate them on their role which provides such comfort to those less fortunate. If any carer would like further information on events anywhere across the Far North Coast, please call 1800 059 059 for more details.

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