Echo 5 February 2004
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.
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