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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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
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.