Facsimile machine

Echo 7 February 02

I will be interviewing in Casino next week on Tuesday 12 February, for an appointment, please contact my office on 66213624.

Facsimile machine

The electorate office has a Canon L900FX facsimile machine, in good working order to donate to a registered charitable organisation or to a locally based organisation. In order to give equal opportunity to all, I am calling for expressions of interest to put organisations' names into a lucky draw. Please telephone my office to notify your details before 5pm Tuesday 12 February, as the draw will be undertaken on Wednesday 13 February 2002 and I will notify the successful organisation on this day.

Public Liability Reform

The Federal Government last week announced a proposal to cut the cost of crippling public liability insurance premiums. It is looking at replacing State-based systems with an Australia-wide public liability scheme with fixed pay-out levels. I welcome this proposal and think it deserves serious consideration. Dozens of community events, particularly in country areas, have had to be abandoned because of the prohibitive cost of spiralling public liability premiums.
In our own region problems exist for local shows, hall committees, community events etc. Also, some businesses are considering shutting their doors due to unrealistic premiums, leaving many people facing unemployment. While it is important to ensure people who are genuinely injured through negligence are properly compensated the situation at the moment is clearly unsustainable. It is businesses and communities that foot the bill for these pay-outs through higher insurance costs. This is an issue we must get on top of so community spirit and local economies are not jeopardised.

Rural Crime

I welcome the pressure being placed on new Police Minister, Michael Costa, to make fighting rural crime a top priority. Stock theft and rural crime has reached unacceptable levels as a result of high stock prices and the abolition of the stock squad by the Carr Government. Crime prevention techniques such as the permanent identification of livestock in NSW through systems such as the National Livestock Identification Scheme (NLIS) must be implemented in NSW. 15 months ago recommendations made by the Pastoral and Rural Crime Working Party were handed to the State Government. Labor's only response has been the designation of 32 Rural Crime Investigators. These Rural Crime Investigators, however, are not additional officers and it simply means a new title and extra duties for already stretched rural police. The previous Police Minister, Paul Whelan, said in The Land on 27 September 2001 that there would be action on the recommendations of the Working Party "within the next month", but nearly four months later the Parliament and stock owners are still waiting for the Carr Government's response. (The Land, 27 September 2001, p.9). On behalf of the NSW National Party I made a submission to the Working Party and emphasising the need for greater police powers to investigate suspected stock theft in transit and on properties, greater promotion and use of the police assistance line and magistrates specialising in rural crime. I have also consistently called for the restoration of the NSW Stock Squad to full operating capacity.

Pesticides Rules

New rules regarding record keeping for pesticides use have been released by the NSW Environment Protection Authority. The new regulation commences on 31 July 2002 and applies to all commercial users, farmers and horticulturalists. The requirements are contained in a new EPA pamphlet called "Pesticides 32" and copies can be forwarded by my Electorate office upon request.

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