Echo 1 May 2003
After a lengthy recess from Parliament I returned this week to Macquarie Street,
which is the commencement of the 53rd Parliament following the recent Election,
held in March. 22 new members will be welcomed and sworn in. I am certainly
looking forward to continuing to bring the needs and achievements of the Lismore
Electorate to the attention of the Parliament.
I trust everyone enjoyed the school holidays, which incorporated the Easter
break as well as Anzac Day celebrations. I pay tribute to everyone as drivers
during the recent break as it is becoming more evident that people are becoming
more responsible and taking heed of the driver safety messages. This is evident
by the decrease in the number of accidents during the holiday break.
Small Biz Minister Needs To Commit To Tax Cuts
In the lead up to the 2003 State Budget the NSW Labor Government must make a
real commitment to reducing the financial imposts and red tape faced by small
businesses. Apparently it is reported that Mr Campbell, the new Small Business
Minister, advised that he could not promise that there would be no tax
increases. As small businesses in NSW employ almost 50% of all workers in the
State and continued growth in the sector was vital for the NSW economy. NSW
remains the highest taxing state in Australia and the State Labor Government has
made little progress in addressing issues of concern to small business like
reforming unfair dismissal laws, reducing regulatory burdens and lowering
worker's compensation premiums. As a former businessman, I am very much aware
and will continue to highlight the discrepancies of the unlevel playing field
that local business have to compete against in being so close to the border.
Action Needed On Home Warranty Insurance
Over recent months I have again spoken with many small builders in the
electorate who have told me that they are either unable to get insurance or have
to put their family home in `hock' so they can keep working. Many builders who
had been working for decades and who enjoyed an excellent record for workmanship
were unable to get insurance. In 1997 the NSW Labor Government privatised Home
Warranty Insurance. The building industry and particularly small builders are
too important to our economy for this problem to not be reformed or addressed.
As a Coalition we will continue to seek a suitable solution to this matter.
The new Minister for Police, The Hon John Watkins, recently made a visit to the
Lismore Electorate. This provided me with the opportunity to highlight to him
the needs for the electorate, in particular a new station in Lismore. Mr Watkins
gave indications that he would investigate this further, therefore I will
continue to pursue this with him.
Congratulations to the many worthy recipients who have recently been awarded
Centenary Medals. There were numerous awardees from our area. Each of these
people have been recognised for their outstanding and tireless service to the
School Visits to Parliament House
I am always pleased to welcome students and school visits to Parliament House,
when possible. Arrangements can be made by contacting my office with relevant
particulars of anticipated date, number of students and representatives
The NSW Environment Trust applications open on 3 May for the following programs
Environmental Restoration & Rehabilitation ($5,000-10,000)
"Protecting our Places" Program ($2,000-20,000)
Eco Schools Grants Program ($1,500)
Environmental Research (up to $250,000)
Environmental Education ($5,000-100,000)
Forms and further information can be obtained from my office or the Trust's
website - www.epa.nsw.gov.au/envtrust.