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.
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
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.
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.