Bruce Duncan

Echo 24 March 2005

Bruce Duncan

I like a lot of people in the area was saddened to learn of the passing of Mr Bruce Duncan, the former Member for Lismore from 1965 to 1987. Mr Duncan was well respected not only this area but throughout the State and around Parliament House with people continually asking me about his progress. Mr Duncan was a true gentleman and a favorite son of our region. He certainly left a legacy and an example for me to follow. I attended his funeral in Sydney and was able to express the thoughts, prayers and sympathy to Mrs Duncan, Ian and Peter, and their families.

Director-General Visits Lismore

As I pen this weeks column it is rather ironical that it is 12 months since the last train travelled between Murwillumbah and Casino and we all can well remember the efforts of everyone in trying to have the service saved or reinstated. However that has not been achieved but I can assure everyone that the Mayors, Don Page and myself will continue to pursue a commuter service and the extension of the line through to Queensland to provide every opportunity to both States for passengers, tourism and freight.

I said earlier that it is ironical because for the last two weeks my office and myself have again experienced the Community's anger again in a much stronger revolt with Kirklands change in their schedule of bus timetables and routes.

The campaign by all stakeholders has been continual resulting in The Ministry of Transport conducting an audit, viewing first hand, listening and experiencing the majority of users anger and frustration. As a result Mr John Lee, Director General for The Ministry of Transport visited Lismore and district on Friday to meet with a representation of stakeholders, convened by me, culminating with a meeting with the Management of Kirklands. Kirklands were listened to and in the end were informed they had a week to address the problems or under the power of the Director General have their contract reviewed.

Since then I have continued to meet with Kirklands and Stakeholders and problems are being listened to and attended to resulting in a better working relationship with everyone.

Yes there are still problems however there is a marked improvement and finally everyone is working together. At the end of the day we cannot afford for Kirklands to loose their contract because where are we going to find another company overnight to provide the service that Kirklands covers.

Everyone has gone to great lengths to express that prior to these changes Kirklands have always provided an outstanding service with their drivers still doing and providing a friendly service.

Nimbin Health Service

I was pleased to attend the opening of Nimbin's new Health Service facilities. Minister for Health Morris Iemma visited the electorate to officiate and also took time to visit the Emergency Unit at Lismore Base Hospital. I also had the opportunity together with Dr Chris Ingall and Dr Drew Mumford to reinforce our case for a Cardiac Catheterisation Lab.

Police Graduates

I was disappointed to see that despite the recent Graduation of 117 probationary constables, only one extra police officer will be located in a rural and regional area of NSW. 114 of the 117 strong graduating class have been placed in Local Area Commands in the Greater Sydney Metropolitan Region while two new officers will be stationed in the Lake Illawarra Local Area Command. One third of the population lives outside of metropolitan NSW yet here we have Labor allocating less than one per cent of the new probationary constables to non-metropolitan NSW. Rural and regional commands, including the Richmond Command, deserve enough police and resources to ensure the command is properly policed. Not only have we been seeking extra police for Nimbin but we continue to have officers off on long term sick and stress leave creating a major problem as the Police Force do not have a relief pool creating further pressure on the rest of the team to properly carry out their duties

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