Liquor Store Deregulation

Echo 4 March 2004

Liquor Store Deregulation

The Nationals have opposed the legislation introduced by Premier Carr to allow a significant increase in the number of liquor stores and the number of supermarkets selling liquor throughout NSW. Deregulation of the industry would seriously jeopardise the outcomes of last year's alcohol summit, the responsible sale and service of alcohol, risk under-age consumption and diminish the importance of the anti drink-driving campaign. The National Competition Council which is driving the so-called competition agenda was created by a Conference of Australian Governments (COAG) in 1995 and was signed by the six State Premiers (Mr. Carr being the only Premier still in office), the two Territories and Prime Minister, Paul Keating. The proliferation of liquor outlets would create too many adverse social impacts; I cannot think of any benefits.

Audit Needed Of School Air-Conditioning

The NSW Nationals have called on the Sydney Labor Government to undertake an urgent audit of all school air conditioning facilities in country and coastal areas. Locally, students have sweltered in recent weeks with temperatures reaching in excess of 40 degrees Celsius. Around the State many schools have been unable to cope with either no air conditioning or inadequate electrical supplies. This is causing stress and illness for some students and teachers. How can children concentrate and thrive at school when they are baking in their classrooms? Premier Carr must commence an audit immediately to identify the air conditioning needs of each and every school in country and coastal NSW and ensure our kids are not faced with a repeat of this situation next summer.

2004 Telstra & Australian Governments' Small Business Awards

In its 12th year, the annual program has given hundreds of small businesses the opportunity to achieve national recognition for their work, develop new business relationships, reward hard working staff, as well as share in a national prize pool of $358,000. Make 2004 a stand out year for your business visit www.smallbusinessawards.telstra.com or call 1800 262 323.

Local Government

The Carr Labor Government has shattered its pre-election promise of no forced amalgamations of local government with the sacking of councils in northern and southern NSW and the forced merger of Sydney City and South Sydney Councils. This puts every Council in NSW on notice. Labor has made clear that no matter what the cost to our communities it is going to create 'mega councils' across country and coastal NSW. Again Sydney Labor is moving to centralise services with no thought to the impacts it will have on country and coastal communities. The Nationals are committed to keeping the `local' in Local Government.

Senior Card Local Business Directory

Over the next couple of days, anyone registered with my office as a Seniors Card holder will be receiving the 2004 Local Business Directory, which lists numerous businesses in the North Coast region who participate and provide offers to Senior Card members. Anyone not registered who would like a copy, should contact my office.

The Nationals Welcome "Country Week" Campaign

Recently I attended the launch of the Country Week campaign. 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.

Dairy Roundtable

The NSW Nationals held a Dairy Roundtable in a bid to address the current crisis facing the dairy industry. Drought, deregulation, changing world markets and a strong Australian dollar have all combined to create a situation where farmers are receiving unsustainably low milk prices and rising on-farm costs. The forum held at Parliament House was chaired by Shadow Agriculture Minister, Duncan Gay, and attended by more than 35 industry players, including producers, processors, retailers and representatives from State and Federal Government. Items on the agenda included the farm gate milk price and realistic ways to improve it, such as a collective bargaining exemption under the Trade Practices Act. Despite the highly complex nature of the industry's problems, we hope that by bringing the industry together, we can work to find realistic solutions.

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