Australia Day Public Holiday

Echo 9 January 03

Rhonda & I would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a prosperous 2003 and trust that a joyous and relaxing festive season was had by all.

Australia Day Public Holiday

I have received a number of enquiries regarding Australia Day and its public holiday. This has been gazetted for Monday 27 January 2003.

Capital Assistance Grants Announced

Six Lismore Electorate sporting organisations benefited from the allocation of $45,284 under the 2002/03 Capital Assistance Program. Local successful projects include:

$2,186 for the provision of lighting, amenities, goal posts and storage shed at Hanging Rock Hall Sportsground;

$9,120 for the upgrading of lighting to competition standards at Queen Elizabeth Park Oval;

$2,311 for the upgrade of fencing with 1000W with control gear at Lismore Croquet Lawn;

$8,177 for the installation of playground equipment to meet Australian Standards at Federal Village;

$1,490 for the extension of existing building for storage and construction of access road at Hepburn Park;

$22,000 for the enhancement of five tennis courts with artificial grass at Weston Park, Goonellabah.

The aim of the program is to work in partnership with the general sporting community and to support those groups who have shown they are prepared to help themselves.

Nurses Pay Rise

A decision by the NSW Industrial Relations Commission to grant a 6% pay increase for nurses, effective from January 1, is a positive first step in addressing the acute shortages of nursing staff in rural and regional NSW. There are almost 2000 nursing vacancies in NSW. The critical shortage of nurses in rural communities is hampering the health system's ability to provide adequate and suitable care to patients. With so many vacancies in country areas, operating theatres and maternity wards are being closed and patients are being forced to travel long distances for basic medical treatment. A pay rise for nurses is long overdue.

HSC Results

Congratulations to all HSC students who received their results just prior to Christmas. I trust your hard work and ability are reflected in your results and I am sure that you will be able to achieve your goals by either embarking upon further education or a career. Our thanks also to the teachers whose efforts and dedication must also not be forgotten.

Seniors Week Awards

Applications are open for the Premier's Seniors Week Awards 2003. The Awards celebrate individuals and organizations in the community who promote the well being of older people. It also acknowledges NSW seniors for their contribution to the development of local communities. Forms are available from my office or copies can be obtained from www.seniorscard.nsw.gov.au. Applications close on 20 January.

New Website

I wish to advise that I recently launched my new website. The address is www.thomasgeorge.com.au. The site obtains copies of press releases and newspaper articles, such as this, Parliament speeches, an online survey and much more. I trust the constituents of the Lismore Electorate will find this to be a useful resource. Any feedback on this site would be welcome.

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