Echo 2 September 2004


I had the pleasure of attending a meeting with Deputy Prime Minister, John Anderson, Richmond MP, Larry Anthony and Page MP, Ian Causley ensuring funding arrangements for the reinstatement of the Casino to Murwillumbah rail line were in the best interests of local communities. The roundtable meeting at the Tweed Shire Chambers with local Mayors and State Parliamentarians from the North Coast was to discuss the Commonwealth's commitment to the line and canvas the way ahead for trains on the branch line. The Australian Government had offered $15 million on the table to immediately get the train running and a further $15 million next year but would negotiate future funding with the NSW Transport Minister with realistic futures and operational plans. I want to see the rail workers keep their jobs and a train running on the line as soon as possible - we do not want to wait until the election. At the end of the day this is a State responsibility and Minister Costa closed the line. Now that the Federal Government has made this promise, I call on and challenge Minister Costa to immediately reinstate our service from Casino to Murwillumbah immediately.

Clinical and Community Advisory Group

Rt Hon Ian Sinclair and Wendy McCarthy will be in Lismore on 8 September 2004 at Invercauld House, from 11.00 am to 12.30 pm to conduct consultations with clinicians and the community about;
The functions of the proposed Area Health Advisory Councils (AHAC),
the composition and operation of the proposed AHAC,
how the functions and operative of the proposed AHAC will assist in ensuing that the principles of consumer and community participation,
exploring the linkages between existing Area Clinician, consumer and community participation structures and the proposed Area Health Advisory Councils, and
the ongoing role of the health Participation Council given the changes to statewide and Area clinical an community participation structures. Further information can be obtained off the health website; my office Submissions can be sent to The Director-General, NSW Health, Locked Bag 961 NORTH SYDNEY 2059, fax 02 9424 5888 or email;

Herb Festival

I attended the very successful Herb Festival recently much to the credit of Jenny de Greenlaw, Festival Co-ordinator and her wonderful team of helpers. Many people took advantage of the great weather to soak up the sunshine, savour the tastes of our local eateries, and enjoy the tremendous local produce and products which were available at the festival.

Lismore Parking Times and the Disabled

It has been bought to my attention that some concerns have been raised that the length of existing parking time limits within the CBC were not adequate for those who were less mobile. I understand that generally time limits radiated out in length from the centre of the CBD, due to the higher demand for parking close to the shops. It was noted that anyone with a mobility problem may apply to the RTA to obtain a mobility parking permit. This permit allows the holder to park their vehicle in areas where the parking is limited by more that 20 minutes for an unlimited time, and additional time for any limit less than 30 minutes as well.

Seniors Week 2005

"The Best Time for Ages!" is the theme for 2005 Seniors Week program with the aim of the program to assist the development and/or organization of local Seniors Week Projects and activities which is held between 13 and 30 March next year. Copies of application forms and accompanying funding application handbooks are available from my office. Following Seniors Week 2004, DADHC undertook a review of the Seniors Week Grants Program in consultation with key stakeholders including Local Government, Peak Aging Bodies and the Premier's Department. This review recommended that the following changes be implemented. In 2005, there will be two funding categories available in the Seniors Week Grants program:
Up to $500 - applicants may apply for any amount up to $500; this does not need to be matched.
$1,000 - this is a set amount and must be matched in cash or in-kind. Applications will close at 5pm on 24 September 2004, with all applicants informed of a decision in early December 2004.

JP Reappointments

I have received notification from the Attorney General that the rate of incomplete reappointment applications is significantly high. Please carefully read the instructions to ensure your reappointment application is lodged in full. The turn around time for an application to be finalised is currently 4 to 5 months. An existing JP will only be prohibited from performing JP services during the period between reappointment and the swearing of the oaths of office. Reappointment only occurs when all background and criminal checks have been finalised and the person's appointment is made by the Governor.

Electoral Roll

With the Federal Election announced for the 9 October, it is timely to advise recent amendments of the Commonwealth Electoral Act. Electors can now verify their enrolment online through the Australian Electoral Commission's (AEC) website Furthermore electors may still confirm their enrolment by contacting 13 23 26.

Contact Details:

Office: 55 Carrington Street  LISMORE
Postal: PO Box 52  LISMORE  NSW  2480
Telephone: 1800 336 166 or 02 6621 3624
Facsimile: 02 6622 1403  Email:

Authorised by Thomas George MP. Funded using Parliamentary entitlements.