Parliament resumes

Echo 1 May 2003

Parliament resumes

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.

Easter Break

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.

Watkins Visit

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.

Centenary Medals

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 community.

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 involved.

Environmental Trust

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.

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