Regional Vegetation Management Plans
Echo 19 September 02
Regional Vegetation Management Plans
Landholders, producers and interest groups are now calling for the rejection
of the Regional Vegetation Management Plans. Presently the extended time for
submission/responses to the Plan expires on the 23 September, 2002. Regardless
of action taken, I urge all Landholders, producers and interest groups to submit
your response/submission to the plan.
In Parliament this week, I tabled a Notice of Motion calling on the Legislative
Assembly to note that:
over 300 people attending public meetings in the Kyogle Shire Council
area, have rejected in its entirety the Draft Richmond Regional Management
over 1, 000 signatures have already have been received on Petitions being
tabled in Parliament.
Kyogle Shire Council resolved unanimously "that Council reject in its
entirety the draft Richmond Regional Management Plan". And furthermore,
Council on behalf of the rural ratepayers request the Minister to reject the
Plan and authorise a six-month extension to enable a rewrite of the Management
the New South Wales Farmers representative on the Committee, after public
pressure will still only be an observer of submissions made on the Plan.
calls for the Minister for Land and Water Conservation, Mr John Aquilina
to visit the area immediately to hear concerns about the Plan.
West of the Range visit
Once again my visit West of the Range, last week proved beneficial in being
available in local villages to discuss matters of concern with constituents. I
enjoyed the opportunity to again visit West of the Range to meet with people
that would not otherwise travel to see me and bring their views to my attention.
Foot & Mouth Disease Exercise
Casino recently held a National Simulation Exercise as a NSW initiate to
build on and test the work done by the local emergency management group in
preparing for an outbreak of Foot & Mouth at the Casino Saleyards. This exercise
was very valuable in accessing and identifying the areas of need which also
provided the opportunity for the Minister for Agriculture, The Hon Amery to
visit the Casino area. Minister Amery also met with the executive of the NCM
Shadow Minister for Local Government
The Hon Duncan Gay, Shadow Minister for Local Government, Energy, Mineral
Resources and State Development visited the electorate last week and met with
NORCO representatives, visited and spoke with Southern Cross University
Club Industry Assistance Scheme
An industry assistance scheme has been established to provide financial
assistance to Registered Clubs in NSW that are in financial need or hardship.
There will be two phases of funds distribution for eligible Registered Clubs.
Phase one provides funding of up to $5,000 for a business health check and
identification of improvement strategies. Phase two provides funding of up to
$50,000 for business improvement projects, which may include ongoing business
strategies or capital improvements. Clubs are an integral part of life in the
Electorate and provide many facilities we enjoy. I encourage Clubs in the
Electorate facing financial hardship to take advantage of the Club Industry
Assistance Scheme. For further information or to make an application for
assistance, call 1300 766 100. The deadline for submissions for funding for
Round 1 is 5pm, Friday 27 September 2002.
The insurance crisis is tearing at the fabric of our rural and regional way
of life. Hundreds of traditional country events, shows, rodeos, pony club
events, gymkhanas, equestrian events, annual community festivals, art shows, and
virtually all risk events are being cancelled or are under threat. I was pleased
that the Government has finally moved on the second stage of proposals, which
could help small business, and community organisations stay in business.
Some of the provisions of the draft Bill include:
increasing the legal weight of waivers and risk warnings,
banning people from winning damages for an activity that a reasonable
person would consider to be inherently or obviously dangerous;
banning people from winning damages if they were intoxicated or committing
a crime at the time of an accident;
protecting volunteers from litigation,
I am also pleased that Insurance Australia Group, working in conjunction
with QBE Insurance and Alliance, has announced its intention to participate in a
public liability Not-For-Profit Insurance Pool. The not-for-profit insurance
pool will offer cover to organisations displaying the following characteristics:
they provide services to the broader community;
they are an organisation with a not-for-profit tax status or
turnover/funding less than $2,000,000;
they do not distribute profits to their members;
they comprise mainly of "volunteer" members.
Extension for $3.5m Regional Sports Facilities
I would like to remind and urge local sporting committees to consider
applying for funds under the 2002/03 Regional Sports Facility Program that
provides funds to develop and enhance the network of sporting and recreational
facilities that meets the needs of the general community and may incorporate
uses for talented and elite athletes. This region has produced many
representatives and to be able to provide local facilities to foster our future
talent would benefit the community as a whole. Application forms are available
from my office upon request. The closing date has now been extended to 25