Drug Awareness Week 2002
Echo 27 June 02
Drug Awareness Week 2002
This week, from Monday 24 to Saturday 29 June, is to promote and highlight the
great work being done to address alcohol and other drug related issues. Each day
will have a theme: Monday: Prevention, Tuesday: Treatment, Wednesday, Young
People, Thursday: indigenous Issues, Friday: Drugs and the Law, Saturday: Drugs
and the Media. Activities in the area commenced on Tuesday with Lismore hosting
an information day and Casino sponsoring a drug free dance party tomorrow.
Hospital waiting lists
In Parliament last week, Don Page as part of the Coalition, was able to
highlight the concerns of the electorate regarding elective surgery waiting
lists at hospitals, in particular in Lismore 463 were on the waiting list in
1995 which has increased to the current list of 1476. So we have again called on
the Carr Government to increase funding to the Northern Rivers Area Health
Service to address this issue.
Pastoral & Agriculture Crimes Bill
The Opposition has been calling for a legislative response to rural crime for a
long time. The Government ignored a pressing issue facing rural and regional New
South Wales and sat on the report of the working party for more than 12 months.
The bill is the belated response from the Government to the report of the
working party. The Coalition will monitor the appointment of rural crime
investigators to ensure they are not drawn from existing resources, and I
reiterate the Coalition's policy commitment to create a specialist rural crime
squad consisting of additional police. The Coalition's rural crime policy also
includes a commitment to provide incentives to the livestock industry to assist
in the uptake of the national livestock identification scheme in New South
Wales. We now call on the Government to match our commitment to provide 32
additional police to fight rural crime and to provide financial assistance to
help develop the national livestock identification scheme in New South Wales.
In Parliament Don Page and myself both became Charter Members of the first every
State Parliamentary Lion's Club in Australia. A Charter Dinner was held at
Parliament House last Monday and we both played a special role. Comfortable with
auctioning I sold many items on the night that in total raised $42,500. I took
the opportunity of informing attendees that I represented the Electorate of
Lismore, where Lions started in Australia in 1947. Mr Page, Member for Ballina
also highlighted he was the nephew of Australia's longest surviving Lion, Mr
Doug Page, from Lismore.
I am keen to see the reintroduction of nurse training in our hospitals. Nothing
beats practical experience, particularly in country hospitals, where medical
staff are exposed daily to a wide variety of health issues. The ability for
country students to undergo nurse training in country hospitals would also limit
their time away from family and friends and increase the likelihood of them
choosing to work and live in rural and regional communities. I envisage a
program initially targeting 100 nurses and expanding the program in succeeding
National Party Leader, George Souris highlighted in Parliament for the
Government to provide drought assistance to NSW farmers. Sixty-two per cent of
NSW is now in the grip of drought - the largest proportion of the state
suffering such conditions since 1997. A further 10 per cent is experiencing
marginal drought conditions. Only 28 per cent of NSW is classified as
It has been a year since there has been sustained rain in the North and Western
parts of the Electorate. Whilst the country might look green, a large part of
the electorate will struggle through winter with no feed at all. Farmers need a
helping hand with assistance for the transport of fodder, livestock and water.
DeafBlind Awareness Week
The mission is to "facilitate the inclusion of all people who are deafblind in
to the community, by raising public awareness of their unique disability,
promoting the use of a variety of communication techniques and promoting the
improvement of services and facilities for persons who are deafblind.
The loss of Mr Doug Moppett last week was unfortunate. Doug was a tireless and
passionate advocate for the people of rural and regional NSW for decades. Doug
was a great inspiration and friend to me during my initial Parliament days and
he visited the Lismore electorate a number of times during his term in the
Arthritis Foundation - I have received contact from the Foundation of NSW and
will be in receipt of its magazine "Arthritis Action and Joint Action".
Australian Institute of Criminology
Crime and Justice Bulletin
Anyone wishing to access the above publications can visit my office.