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.

Lions

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.

Nurses

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 years.

Drought

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 satisfactory.
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.

Doug Moppett

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 Legislative Council.

Publications

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.

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