Regional Vegetation Management Plans

Echo 28 November 02

As the Parliamentary session draws to a close it is becoming increasingly apparent that a number of issues will remain unresolved until after the 2003 March State Election. However I had the opportunity to raise the following matters of concern during Parliament last week..

Regional Vegetation Management Plans

Last week I acknowledged the work of many in the Kyogle community and West of the Range in relation to informing people and bringing to their attention the implications of the Richmond and Tenterfield Regional Vegetation Management Plans. Over 3000 signatures have now been presented in Parliament calling on the Government to listen and change the current plans.

Upper Clarence Mobile Phone Coverage

Many people from this area have brought to me their concerns and the difficulties faced by local communities in accessing mobile phone coverage and this last week in Parliament I had the opportunity to raise these. The Upper Clarence Community and Economic Development Organisation was successful in attaining a commitment of $290,000 from Networking the Nation to provide regional code division multiple access coverage. In an unprecedented response, the socioeconomically disadvantaged communities of the area raised a community contribution of $30,000 for the project-which was three times the Networking the Nation requirement of $10,000. I also paid tribute to the Upper Clarence West of the Range Lions Club, which ran the appeal and organised the banking of the money. This money was raised because the community realised the necessity and the importance of mobile coverage. I raised concerns that the Networking the Nation Projects had to be operational by 30 June 2003 and that delay over the Christmas/New Year and 2003 State Election periods would leave insufficient time for this to be achieved. I was able to voice the concerns of the community that the Upper Clarence may miss out, not only on mobile coverage, but on $1 million of investment and the flow-on social economic benefits. It is important that this project be approved immediately, and I called on the Minister to do so before the end of the session. The communities of the Upper Clarence area deserve to have the tower completed. They have raised money against all odds; even the National Parks and Wildlife Service has contributed to this fund.

Delegation for Radiotherapy Unit

I organised a delegation of people representative of the local community to present to the Minister for Health, Craig Knowles the need for a Radiotherapy Unit in Lismore. We were able to address the Minister, highlighting the priority needs of a Unit in Lismore and Minister Knowles was very responsive to our case. He has now asked for a further submission to enable him to pursue the Unit in Lismore at a Federal level. We will continue to pursue this on a Commonwealth basis through the Member for Page, Ian Causley.

General Information

Asthma Friendly Schools Project

I recently joined with the Hon Michael Lee, Asthma Friendly Schools ambassador for the Asthma Foundation of NSW to register St Carthage's School in the project. An opportunity exists, thanks to the support of Country Energy, for all schools to register and participate in the asthma emergency training sessions taking place over the next couple of weeks. To find out more about the project or to enrol your school, contact Rebecca Stephenson, Program Coordinator, Asthma NSW on (02) 9906 3233 or via email at

2002 Premier's Christmas Concert

I am pleased to advise that tickets are available to 2002 Seniors for the Premier's Christmas Concert in Sydney for the performance on Wednesday 11 December at 3pm. Enquiries and tickets can be requested upon contacting my office.

Urbenville & District Bowling Club funding

I was advised by the Minister for Gaming and Racing, Richard Face, that the Club had been allocated a grant of up to $5,000 under the ClubBIZ Scheme. This scheme is a special industry assistance scheme for clubs needing financial advice. The Self-help scheme, funded entirely from unclaimed Keno prize money from as far back as 1991 will help as many as 500 clubs.

Livestock Grazing In National Parks

The National Party has called on the NSW Government to open selected National Parks to livestock grazing in an effort to assist struggling farmers through the drought. The move would make available to farmers much needed feed for starving livestock. Most paddocks, road sides and travelling stock routes have been eaten out and fodder prices have gone through the roof. One of the few areas where there is any stock feed left is in National Parks. Farmers are desperately trying to keep valuable breeding stock alive. The Government should recognise the severity of the situation and open selected National Parks to grazing as the Coalition did during the 1994/95 drought. Every effort must be made to help farmers maintain livestock herds throughout the drought. The use of certain parts of some National Parks for grazing livestock is one such measure. The initiative would have the added benefit of helping to reduce dangerous fuel loads in National Parks.

2003 Australia Day Awards

Lismore City Council is calling for nominations for Australia Day Awards in the following categories; Citizens, Young Citizen, Community Award (Arts/Cultural/Community Services) Sportsperson (senior or junior) Environmental and Reconciliation. Forms are available from my office.

Please note my office will be opened limited hours on Friday 29 November 2002 from 10 am to 3 pm.

Contact Details:

Office: 55 Carrington Street  LISMORE
Postal: PO Box 52  LISMORE  NSW  2480
Telephone: 1800 336 166 or 02 6621 3624
Facsimile: 02 6622 1403  Email:

Authorised by Thomas George MP. Funded using Parliamentary entitlements.