Parliamentary Secretary Visit

Echo 18 September 2003

Parliamentary Secretary Visit

Last week, Mr Bryce Gaudry, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs visited the Lismore Electorate. Local bus operators met with Mr Gaudry to raise concerns in relation to private bus operators. Mr Gaudry and I inspected Mulli Mulli and the Urbenville/Woodenbong Water Supply holding discussions with Mayors, General Managers of Kyogle and Tenterfield Shire Council. Bryce also joined me in the presentation of a State Sports Representative Certificate to Joshua Hanley.

Pollies For Small Business

The Annual Pollies for Small Business Week again was a great success providing me with the opportunity to meet constituents and work with local business owners, becoming more familiar with their particular business issues. Many thanks to the team at Daleys Homeware and Monogramming of Lismore, Stuart Brothers Butchery, Kyogle and Flair, Casino for their support and participation in this scheme.

Housing - Expression of Interests

Crisis Accommodation Program - Expressions of interest (EOI) are being invited for the Office of Community Housing's Crisis Accommodation Program (CAP). The objective of CAP are to improve service and accommodation options for homeless people, increase accommodation options for Aboriginal people, help clients move from crisis accommodation into transitional support and exit housing and improve the condition of suitability of CAP properties. Interest is sought from not-for-profit organisations to manage accommodation that links both support and housing. This can be provided by individual organisations or support and housing providers working in partnership.

Community Housing Assistance Program- Expressions of interest are being sought for this program which aims to expand the supply of long-term accommodation for low-income households in high needs areas. Under this year's program, not-for-profit organisations will be allocated community housing in NSW through construction of housing on redevelopment sites and purchase of properties on the private market. EOI for both programs should be lodged by 31 October 2003.

Parry Transport Report - Call For Submissions

The interim report of the Ministerial Inquiry into Public Passenger Transport (The Parry Report) has been released. Written submissions outlining comments on the Interim Report are welcomed and should be forwarded to either:

Ministerial Inquiry into Public Passenger Transport
C/- Ministry of Transport
GPO Box 1620
SYDNEY NSW 2000
Or by email to: inquiry@transport.nsw.gov.au.

The deadline for written submissions, commenting on the Interim Report, is Friday 10 October 2003. A final report will be presented to the Minister for Transport Services in December 2003. If you have any further enquiries, please contact the Inquiry's Secretariat by phone on (02) 9268 2825, or by email to inquiry@transport.nsw.gov.au.

Costa's Regional Transport Visit

Last week Minister Michael Costa came to Grafton as a result of the above report and the Ministerial Inquiry into Sustainable Transport in NSW - Options for the Future. A delegation from Lismore City Council, including Mayor Merv King, representatives from Kirklands and the Northern Rivers Community Transport raised concerns over the existence of public transport in rural areas and the threats posed by this Report. Due to the number of issues being covered, I urge people to examine this document and make a submission.

Electorate Functions;

Lismore Garden Club Competition Presentation - It was a pleasure to attend the presentation of the Lismore Garden Club and I congratulate all prize winners and entrants in the competition which due to the drought conditions have still managed to provide outstanding gardens and I urge people to enjoy the work of these wonderful gardeners.

Opening of Oatens Retravision in Casino - Friday last week, I had the honour of reopening of Oatens Superstore ran by Bill and Mark Oaten and staff. Congratulations and I wish them every success with the confidence that they have placed in Retravision in Casino.

Interchange AGM - it was my pleasure to be present at the Interchange AGM. Many worthy recipients were presented with certificates including hosts who have volunteered for between 1 and 18 years. Special awards for the Most Improved Host, Most Outstanding Host, and the Host of the Year were also announced. Congratulations to everyone.

State Reception on Monday this week, I was my honour indeed to attend the State Reception held in honour of his Excellency Major General Michael Jeffery,

Countrylink Services

I was prompted by concern over the rumoured replacement of CountryLink rail services with buses to call on the Minister for Transport Michael Costa to guarantee the retention of the Casino to Murwillumbah rail service. The IPART Ministerial Inquiry into Sustainable Transport in New South Wales reported the replacement of rail services with buses as a viable option. The report also notes that community sentiment favours the retention and even expansion of rail services. They obviously aren't listening to the people if their choice is to scrap a rail service that is widely supported by its community. The Minister has previously accused the Opposition of scare mongering when we have mentioned the Government's plans to scrap the Casino to Murwillumbah rail line, yet he has mentioned this very option is his report. I want the Minister to publicly confirm that CountryLink services will be maintained on the Casino to Murwillumbah line.

Locally Gazetted Holidays

Following a number of enquiries made to my office, I wish to advise that both the Lismore Cup Race Day ( day Thursday 25 September) and Lismore Show Day (full day Thursday 16 October) have been gazetted under the Banks and Bank Holidays Act 1912. Verification or further information can be obtained from the Department of Industrial Relations website; www.dir.nsw.gov.au/holidays or by contacting 131 628.

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