Echo 3 April 2003
I would like to thank residents of the Lismore Electorate for their confidence
in re-electing me as their State Member for the ensuing Parliamentary term. I
was overwhelmed and humbled by the increased majority both on primary votes and
on the two-Party preferred results. I congratulate the State Labor Party on its
historic third term victory, which will see a 12 year period of office for Labor
in NSW. Being a Member of Parliament has been a wonderful challenge and an
immense learning experience. My association and support from local businesses,
organisations, Councils and the community has been wonderful. Rhonda and I enjoy
the opportunities to become acquainted with so many various organisations and
people from all walks of life. Please be assured I will continue this term to
pursue for such issues as more police, increased funding for mental and dental
health services and better roads.
Once again express my thanks to the Electorate and pledge that I will continue
to represent all constituents with their respective needs.
It is with great honour that I have accepted my new position of National Party
Whip as well as congratulating my North Coast colleagues, Member for Oxley,
Andrew Stoner on his election as the Parliamentary Leader of the NSW National
Party and Member for Ballina, Don Page as Deputy. Mr Stoner represents the new
generation of the National Party, and I look forward to working with Mr Stoner's
team over the next four years. The team of Andrew Stoner and Don Page will make
an outstanding contribution, offering youth and experience. I am looking forward
to being part of the team, in supporting them in providing a strong voice and
greater recognition for rural and regional communities. I would also like to pay
tribute to George Souris and John Turner and on behalf of the Lismore Electorate
thank them for their leadership and contribution during the past five years.
Bob Gates Legacy
Having a long and varied association with Bob Gates and his wife Helen, I was
very saddened to hear of Bob's passing. Bob's contribution to Local Government
through Rous County Council then Mayor of Lismore City Council, the community
and Lismore was unequalled and will be sadly missed. I always admired Bob's
proficiency to get the job done, make sound decisions, guidance in the Council's
planning, his communication and negotiating skills, his understanding of the
principles of management and ability to supervise and deliver. These qualities
will remain as Bob's legacy contributing to the history of Lismore and Local
Government. I also recognise that Bob's achievements would not have been
possible without the love and support of Helen and his family. On behalf Lismore
residents, our thoughts and condolences are with them and Rhonda and I trust
that God will bless Helen and the family at this difficult time.
My thoughts are with our troops involved in the war in Iraq. I pray for the safe
return of our Australian servicemen and women who are involved in Iraq and that
they return to a welcoming and grateful Australia. Whatever your beliefs on the
war in Iraq, I believe it is paramount that any public criticism is not directed
towards our servicemen and women. If anyone in the Electorate is a parent or a
relative of one of our servicemen or women in the Gulf, please contact the
Electorate Office with details of their name, unit and address particulars as I
would like to write a personal letter of support to them. My thoughts are
constantly with our troops abroad and the letter might just help to reinforce
our full support.
Hot Water Relays
During the coming weeks, Country Energy will be upgrading equipment on some
customers' meter boards to improve the effectiveness of their hot water relays.
Country Energy approved contractors, Formway, or local staff will attend
premises with authorised identification. In the interests of safety, it may be
necessary to disconnect electricity support for approximately 15 minutes whilst
this work is being undertaken. Further information please contact Country Energy
on 13 20 80.