2004/2005 State Budget
Echo 24 June 2004
2004/2005 State Budget
This week in the State Budget it was hoped that the Labor Government would have
reversed the decision to close the Casino to Murwillumbah Rail line, the
closure of Business Enterprise Centres as well as the vendor/land tax charges.
Whilst I am pleased to see confirmation of funds for the rebuilding of Richmond
Clinic, $4m to conclude works at Kyogle Hospital, funds for the Wiangaree Bridge
project, as well as a mention of new works for Lismore in the overall TAFE
allocation, there is not a significant recognition of the funds being ripped
from our area. There are indications that other minor works/projects may be
covered however more specific details will be available in the coming weeks,
when portfolio analysis' are provided to Members.
Primex 2004 - With the 20th Anniversary celebrations this year and a NSW
Premier's Community Service Award presented to Mr John Wright of Exhibition
Marketing, Primex 2004 excelled expectations with many visitors relishing in the
wonderful exhibits and popular attractions.
Lantern Parade - The cool winds calmed to provide a wonderful setting for
the parade, last Saturday night, which delighted the thousands of people and
children who were in awe of the spectacular ambiance created during the parade
of various lanterns and the extravaganza finale at Heritage Park.
Congratulations to Jyllie Jackson and her team, for the best ever lantern
Men's "Shed" Opening - The Richmond Mobile Men's Shed (MMS or "Shed")
provides a focus point for men to access services and referrals that cater to
men's needs. The official opening was conducted at Primex last week
I had the pleasure of attending the launch of the Country Week campaign earlier
in the year. I am very supportive of the "Country Week" campaign as it aims to
get metropolitan industries, companies and individuals to consider a new life in
country areas of the State. I encourage everyone from local Councils, businesses
and community organisations to get behind the initiative. There are so many
opportunities for this campaign to focus the minds of metropolitan residents and
business on life outside the city has the potential to help stem one of the most
pressing issues facing the nation - the population drift from the country to the
city. The three-day "Country Week" Expo will be held at the Homebush Exhibition
Centre on August 13, 14, and 15. I also encourage people to visit the Country
Week website at: www.countrynsw.com.au.
2004/05 Capital Assistance Program
The Program provides grants to assist with the development of new local
community sporting and recreational facilities throughout NSW. All applications
need to be forwarded to the local regional office of the Department by closing
date of 31 August 2004. Hard copies of guidance notes and application forms are
available from my office or www.dsr.nsw.gov.au.
Plastic Bags Reduction Initiatives Award
This Award recently launched by Keep Australian Beautiful NSW is to recognize
the efforts of community groups, schools, businesses and councils. Projects can
include attempts to reduce the use of plastic bags, exploration of alternatives
to plastic bags, initiatives that assist with the recycling of plastic bags or
successful campaigns that help raise the issue of the plastic bag debate.
Further information and entry forms are available from our website at
Board Trust Members
Applications are being sought for appointment as Trust Board members of the
Bonalbo Showground Trust and the Wyrallah Flood Refuge Reserve Trust and Eden
Creek Public Recreation & Public Hall Reserve Trust. Term of appointment is for
a period of five years with application forms available from and to be lodged
with the Department of Lands. As various closing dates apply, please contact the
Department direct on Ph 6640 2061.
Primary Industries Petition
I wish to advise constituents of a petition calling on the NSW Labor Government
to back off form any plans to cut key front line services, research and
development capacity and field staff when the new Department of Primary
Industries is formed on July 1, 2004. This petition outlines the concerns that
Labor's decision to curt $37 million from the next two years' Department of
Primary Industries budget (rising to $58 million in 2007/2008) is likely to
result in the loss of important services and jobs throughout regional NSW.
Petitions will be asking the Legislative Council to support Primary Producers by
opposing any cuts to key field staff, front line services and research and
Northern Region Community Economic Development Forum
This forum will be held in Grafton this year on Tuesday 13 (noon) and Wednesday
14 July 2004 (after lunch). Further information can be obtained from the
Department of State and Regional Development Grafton 6642 6511.
Farm Policy Journal
This publication is produced by the Australian Farm Institute, titled "The
Future of Farmers and Farming" and is available for viewing at my office.
NIDA on tour to Regional Australia
The National Institute of Dramatic Art is the Australian national theatre school
and a center of excellence in education and training for careers in theartre,
film and television. This year they are taking the Open Program to a number of
centers in regional Australia, including the Electorate of Lismore and will be
visiting Lismore through the Northern Rivers Conservatorium Arts Centre in early
October. For further information contact my office of www.nida.unsw.edu.au.