Parliamentary Secretary Visit

Echo 1 April 2004

Parliamentary Secretary Visit

I was pleased to host a visit by Parliamentary Secretary to the Premier and the Parliamentary Secretary to the NSW Minister for Health, Miss Cherie Burton, MP for the opening of the main Foyer/Reception, Emergency Department Waiting Area, Day Therapy Unit and Aged Respite Day Care refurbishments at the Casino & District Memorial Hospital. In addition, Miss Burton announced funding of, $6,000 for Clovass Community Centre to provide a disabled/pram ramp and shade area; and $4,000 for the Goonellabah Senior Citizens Club to undertake urgent repairs and painting. Both groups were delighted that Miss Burton personally attended functions to advise the organisations and its members of their success.

2003 Election Anniversary

22 March 2004 was the first anniversary of the 2003 State Election and during the week it was the ninth anniversary of Carr's election to Government. Part of the reason the Carr Government has been under so much pressure is because of the teamwork, unity and discipline that is being shown by The Nationals and the Liberals.

Minister Campbell opens Lismore State and Regional Development Office

The Hon David Campbell, Minister for Regional Development and Small Business was present to perform the official opening of the office in the Rous Water building in Molesworth Street, Lismore last week. I was honored to attend and that Lismore was selected and recognised as the business central of the Northern Rivers region. Also located in the building are the Lismore Economic Development Unit, Lismore Unlimited and the Business Enterprise Centre enabling all agencies to work closely together.

$45,065 for Sporting Organisations

Seven Lismore Electorate sporting organisations will certainly benefit from assistance announced recently under the 2003/2004 Capital Assistance Program. The following projects to benefit from this year's funding are:

$4,645 for the extension of courts and upgrading of fencing and lighting at Cawongla District Tennis and Recreation Centre $8,500 for the upgrade of three tennis courts at Lismore Tennis Courts $3,000 for the upgrading completion of the junior playing field and improvements to the surface of existing fields at Nimbin Headers Sport Fields $3,000 for the upgrading of lighting on court five at Weston Park $2,920 for the provision of eleven retractable shade units at Spinks Park $20,000 for the construction of an amenities block, canteen and storeroom at Crawford Square Park $3,000 for the construction of cattle grid and concrete footpaths for easier access for disabled members at Casino Rifle Range

Commercial Leasing of Crown Lands

The Department of Lands has adopted specific rules to guide the commercial leasing of Crown land in NSW. These rules imply significant changes in the way the Department now deals with commercial leasing of Crown Lands. Previous practices created an expectation over time that leases over Crown lands are automatically re granted to existing holders on expiry of a term. Despite the fact conditions of these leases generally did not contain such a provision this expectation gained wide acceptance. However as a result of the National Competition Policy reform package, all levels of government are now committed to open and competitive approaches to dealings by their agencies. The rules provide a framework for public competition; ensuring commercial leasing is a fair, open, impartial and transparent process. For a copy of the rules or further information, please do not hesitate to contact my office.

A Positive Day: The NSW Dairy Roundtable

The over arching cry from delegates at the NSW Nationals' Dairy Roundtable on 19 February was the need for a positive and united approach to the dairy industry's future. The Roundtable brought together more than 35 key industry players to discuss the difficult situation currently facing the NSW and Australian dairy industry, and what can be done to address these problems. The Roundtable unanimously agreed on the following resolution:

This Roundtable is committed to cooperation across the supply chain, and the growth of a domestically and internationally competitive, innovative and sustainable dairy industry.

We agree that the industry must work together to:

increase cooperation and communication across the supply chain, expand beyond traditional markets, increase transparency in pricing, pursue collective bargaining processes, tackle issues of innovation and value adding, reduce freight and input costs, respond to changing consumer demands, commit to animal health and biosecurity as absolute priorities

The Nationals are committed to taking this resolution forward with action and cooperation. For a copy of the Roundtable minutes, please contact my office.

Government sells 3 more NSW Ag Research Stations

It was revealed recently that the Carr Government has decided to sell off a further 3 Department of Agriculture Research Stations. There are: the highly respected sheep research unit, Shannon Vale field station on the eastern side of Glenn Innes, part of Pearces Creek field Station near Wollongbar and the Murwillumbah cattle tick station. Once the State looses research facilities like these, there's no way we will get it back.

Losing track of legal gun owners and firearms

It has been revealed the Carr Government's register of legal gun owners and firearms is in disarray with no record of some supposedly "registered" weapons. Bob Carr can't even get paperwork done for legal gun owners, its no wonder criminals run rings around the government. I share the anger of legal gun owners who have found out that their weapons aren't registered, as they thought, all because the Carr Government's registry is incompetent.

2003 Election Anniversary

22 March 2004 was the first anniversary of the 2003 State Election and during the week it was the ninth anniversary of Carr's election to Government. Part of the reason the Carr Government has been under so much pressure is because of the teamwork, unity and discipline that is being shown by The Nationals and the Liberals.

Civil Liability Protection for Stock and Station Agents

A Bill was introduced to NSW Parliament this week that would protect Stock and station agents from liability when required to disclose information under the Stock Diseases and the Exotic Diseases of Animals Act. This proposed amendment to the above Acts has come about because of concerns raised by stock and station agents about their exposure to liability arising from the disclosure of information in accordance with the requirements of both Acts. It will protect agents required to provide information from any personal action, liability, claim or demand. This bill is well and truly overdue. In order to comply with the legislation, stock and station agents must, when requested to do so, disclose to an inspector what could sometimes be considered confidential information. This could be done by answering a question or by giving a notice, other document or record in accordance with the Act. Stock and station agents are often called upon to do that. The Nationals will be review the Bill and discuss it with the affected parties before voting in the Upper House this March.

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