IPTASS Petition

Echo 5 February 2004

IPTASS Petition

The Nationals have launched a petition calling on the Carr Labor Government to review the criterion country cancer patients had to meet to access financial assistance under the NSW Isolated Patients' Travel and Accommodation Assistance Scheme (IPTAAS). In order to qualify for financial assistance in NSW, cancer patients must travel in excess of 200 kilometres one way for treatment, whereas in South Australia and Victoria, the distance is 100 kilometres, and in Queensland it is 50 kilometres. These distance criteria are the toughest in Australia and this inequity is simply unfair. The petition also called on the Sydney Labor Government to give patients the chance to choose their own specialist. Patients are currently required to see only their nearest treating specialist. This not only restricts patients' access to the best available treatment but also fails to take into account that the waiting times for the nearest specialist may be sky high. These conditions meant rural and regional cancer patients faced an unfair financial burden and were detrimentally affected by waiting times, varying quality of care and an inability to participate in clinical trials. The petition for a better deal for cancer patients in country areas had the support of a number of cancer advocacy and support groups. I would strongly encourage people to come into my office or call for a copy to join the State-wide push for a fair go for country cancer patients.

Senior Citizens Week Grants

The following organisations in the Lismore Electorate have been successful in gaining funds to contribute to the Seniors Week 2004 theme "Best Time for Ages" and activities which will be held 14 -21 March 2004.

$500 Caroona Kalina Nursing Home - The Merry Widows of Kalina $2,500 Casino Neighbourhood Centre - The ATSI Healthy Ageing and Wellbeing $1,000 Casino/Kyogle HACC Flexible Service Inc - Seniors Month of March Celebrations 2004 "A Time to Remember" $500 CPSA Lismore Branch - Annual Seniors Week Picnic Day $500 Lismore Neighbourhood Centre Inc - You're never too old to get involved $500 Nimbin Health & Welfare Assoc Inc - Across Generations $500 Richmond Valley Council - Seniors of the World $500 Upper Clarence Valley Seniors Week Committee - Cabaret and Concert $2,500 Bundjalung Aboriginal Home Care - Koori Seniors Get Together

Reporting of Crime Statistics

The NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research have recently announced that from April this year onwards, it will be posting quarterly updates on State crime trends in its web-site www.lawlink.nsw.gov.au/bocsar. The quarterly updates will cover the same range of offences as the annual report but the regional analysis will cover statistical subdivisions in urban areas and statistical divisions in rural and regional NSW.

Seniors & IT Grants Program

The NSW Department of Ageing, Disability and Home Care is seeking the services of organisations with experience and practical strategies to assist with the training of older people in the use and application of information technology (IT). Applications are invited from incorporated organisations that have strong links with their local communities. Expressions of Interest much be lodged with the Department by 12 noon Friday 20 February 2004. www.dadhac.nsw.gov.au/seniorsit.

NSW Dairy Roundtable

The Nationals will convene a NSW Dairy Roundtable to be held on 19 February at Parliament House in a bid to address the difficult situation facing dairy farmers. The agenda for the day will focus on the farm gate milk price and realistic ways to improve it, such as the collective bargaining exemption under the Trade Practices Act. Key dairy farmers' representatives, such as Norco Co-operative, have been invited to join with spokespeople from the NSW Farmers' Association, Dairy Australia, the retail sector and both State and Federal Government.

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