Kyogle Hospital Opening
Northern Rivers Echo 7 December 2005
Kyogle Hospital Opening
I attended the opening of the Kyogle Memorial Health Centre on Monday 28
November and I was honoured to recognise Ian Causley, Federal Member for Page,
the Federal and NSW Governments for their support in providing this facility for
Kyogle. I was privileged to join with the Minister for Health, John Hatzistergos
and Tom Fitzgerald in unveiling the plaque. The opening and day of celebrations
was a tribute to Tom Fitzgerald, his Committee and the community of Kyogle for
their dedication, commitment and persistence which reflects over ten years of
hard work in turning this dream into a reality. Congratulations everyone, well
Extra Police Needed Now
I recently called on the Minister for Police to provide the Richmond Local Area
Command (LAC) with extra police. The LAC has 13 officers on long term sick or
stress leave, 12 on restricted duties and nine vacancies. This equates to
approximately 20% of the allocated numbers to the Command. Add these figures to
those that are on regular holidays and it leaves the LAC with a critical
shortage. The result of this is police are being drawn from all stations to
cover these shift vacancies, which in turn leaves some areas without the
expected police presence. For example, a vacancy in Lismore could draw police
from Nimbin or Casino, therefore leaving a shortage there. I understand that the
vacancies at Nimbin, Tabulam & Woodburn are being advertised however there is a
critical need to have not only these positions immediately filled but also the
other five vacancies throughout the Command. I called on Minister Scully to have
these problems addressed immediately as the pressure of having 20% of the
workforce unavailable is creating a unacceptable work environment for those
police doing a tremendous job in not only carrying out their normal policing
duties but covering the shortfall as well.
Self-Funded Retirees Winners Under New Nationals' Policy
Country and coastal self-funded retirees will benefit from a Nationals' policy
to establish a NSW Seniors Concession Allowance of $300 a year for self-funded
retirees. Under a Nationals/Liberal Coalition Government, the Allowance would be
provided to self-funded retirees to assist them in meeting State Government fees
and charges, such as motor vehicle registration, electricity bills and council
rates. For more information, contact my office.
International Day of People with a Disability
The Department of Ageing, Disability and Home Care (DADHC) will for the 2nd year
lead the NSW campaign "Don't DIS my ABILITY". A "Sports for All" theme will be
utilised as part of this international day of celebration on and around Saturday
3 December 2005. Locally, Lismore City Council's Access Committee will be
holding a free day of sporting activities for local people with a disability on
Friday 2 December, a "Sport for All" will be held, for more information contact
Shauna McIntyre at Lismore City Council on 6625 0458.
Teach and Reinforce Stranger Danger to Children
Whilst children are often taught `stranger danger' at school and following a
recent incident, I urge all parents to talk to their children about "Stranger
Danger". As parents we should inform or remind children about the dangers in
talking to or accepting rides or gifts from strangers. Children should be
encouraged to walk or wait in groups with friends to deter predators. Children
are not only our most precious members of the community but also our future. We
as a community need to be aware of what's happening around us, especially when
we see young children out on the streets alone. If you see or hear a problem,
notify 000 immediately. Police need information to act and catch these
predators. We certainly don't want this behaviour in our community.
The Protection of the Environment Operations Amendment Bill 2005
Ridiculous Labor legislation will see country families fined thousands of
dollars for smokey chimneys. The Protection of the Environment Operations
Amendment Bill 2005 was passed in the Legislative Council last week. The
legislation allows $3,300 fines to be slapped on families who fail to comply
with Smoke Abatement Notices for "excessive smoke" - defined as a visible plume
of smoke for 10 minutes, including a 30 second period when it is at least 10
metres long. This new legislation will force many country families with wood
heaters and/or wood stoves to go without heating during winter. While others
will be forced to buy bottled gas or install electric heaters at great expense -
an expense particularly the old and frail cannot afford.
I recently attended the following Electorate functions and enjoyed the
opportunity to join with my constituents.
Commissioning of Janet Gates
Trinity Year 12 Graduation Ball
Interrelate Office Opening
The Channon Children's Centre
St John's Woodlawn Appreciation Gathering
Quota Club Cheque Presentation, Kyogle
Lismore Senior Citizens Christmas Party
Pacific Highway Meeting at Grafton
Lismore Challenge Graduation Ceremony Dinner
Schools Spectacular, Sydney
Important Toy Safety
When we think about Christmas, many of us think of kids and toys. Sadly in some
instances, the very same toys that bring joy to young children are capable of
causing injury due to poor design or improper use. You don't have to be a
qualified industrial designer to spot a potentially dangerous toy. Some of the
more obvious signs are:
Small Parts - Check for any small parts on the toy that may pose a choking
Stuffed Toys - Avoid toys with weak seams.
Sharp Edges and Points - Always check toys for sharp, serrated edges or sharp
Projectiles - These items should have protective tips.
Pinch Points -Check there are adequate locking devices to prevent the toy
Ventilation - Ensure the item has adequate ventilation, particularly if it is
likely to be used outdoors in hot weather.
Toxicity -Labelling provides a guide when buying items such as paints, crayons
or other toys containing gels and liquids.
Noise Producing Toys - Be wary of excessive noise levels, which could damage
Strangulation Hazards - Be wary when buying toys intended to be attached to a
string, such as those used in cots and playpens.
Flotation Toys - These are not designed for life saving and are not substitute
for competent supervision.
Age of Child - When purchasing toys it is important to consider the age of the
child for whom you are buying. Most toys now carry age labelling and this is
usually a reliable guide of the age group the toy will suit. However, recognise
your own judgement of the level of skill and development of your child is
invaluable in making product choices.
By following the warning labels notices on toys and checking your children's
gifts, you can help make certain that children enjoy a safe and happy Christmas.