2005/06 Budget

Echo 2 June 2005

2005/06 Budget

I was again disappointed with the State Budget handed down last week. The Treasurer did not announce anything new for the Lismore Electorate. We had already been told about the funding of the following projects -
$1.6M for Lismore Police Station ($13.206M total cost)
$10.4M for Richmond Clinic
$2M for a new Child & Adolescent Mental Health Unit ($8M total cost)

Whilst it has been a win for the community for funding for the above, I am disappointed not to see listed Stage 3 of Lismore Base Hospital redevelopment or major roads assistance.

Other allocations included
$3 M for a new electricity substation in Lismore
$91,000 to complete refurbishment of Lismore TAFE's Learner Support Centre
$250,000 for Lismore & District Women's Health Centre
$584,000 for Department of Housing crisis accommodation

Following widespread backlash from the constituency and the Coalition, the Government has announced it will reintroduce a threshold of $330,000 from 1 January 2006 for land tax. Once I have viewed more detailed documents, I can assess if there is hope of receiving ongoing funding for both major and minor projects.

Old Timetable Reinstated

Last week Director-General John Lee announced that recent changes made by Kirklands to its newly implemented timetable to rectify problems had not gone far enough and many problems still remained. Apparently research showed more than half of all people who had originally made serious complaints about the new timetable remained unsatisfied with the adjustments. Kirklands was originally given one week to solve these problems that was extended to two weeks. Mr Lee has directed Kirklands to follow a four step plan to resolve the problems which requires; re-instate the previous timetable as an interim measure
build the structure of a new timetable
conduct extensive consultation that ensures the new timetable gets the support of the whole community.
in the second half of this year implement a new timetable that has more modest changes and reflect the needs and views of the community.

Beef Week

2005 Beef Week celebrations were launched last week and once again a tremendous success. I was pleased to be involved and congratulations to Terry Serone and his harding working team of volunteers.

Tidy Towns

I recently attended and officially opened the 2005 Tidy Towns Regional Forum held in Kyogle earlier this month. The aims are to
recognise and acknowledge outstanding environmental initiatives implemented by community groups, local government authorities and schools.
encourage and involve community groups, local government authorities, schools, local business and industry in environmental projects.
raise public awareness of a range of environmental issues and related projects.

There are 10 individual categories for recognising outstanding achievements as well as the overall category.

NSW Regional Achievement and Community Awards

This year is the inaugural year for these awards, which are an amalgamation of both the Regional Achievers and Community of the Year Award and the Community Enterprise Awards. Individuals, businesses, communities or organisations that have made a difference to regional and rural NSW in one of the following categories are being encouraged to apply. Categories are; Business Enterprise Award
Events and Tourism Award
Regional Service Award
Environment and Landcare Award
Community of the Year

Nominations can be made online at www.awardsaustralia.com or by contact my office. Closing date is 5 August 2005.

2005 Capital Assistance Program

This program assists local government authorities and not-for profit sporting and recreational organisations to develop community orientated local sporting and recreational facilities throughout NSW. All projects must improve access for the general public to participate in sport, recreation and/or physical activities. Guidance notes and application forms are available from my office. Closing date is 31 July 2005.

New Homework Centre

Community Connections has extended its commitment to young people in Lismore by opening a new Homework Centre in its new Youth Space called C-Block.   This program will be open to students for use from this week and throughout the remainder of term 2, each Tuesday and Thursday.  The program is funded by Department of Community Services and is staffed by a qualified teacher, and local Aboriginal worker.  It is located in a relaxed, safe and friendly environment that is completely reserved for use by young people only. 

Environmental Trust

Applications are opening in the next couple of weeks for the following Environmental Trust programs - Environmental Research (major & minor categories), Environmental Education, Protecting our Places Aboriginal Grants Program, Eco Schools Grant Program and Environmental Restoration & Rehabilitation. Guidelines, application forms and more information is available on the website - www.environment.nsw.gov.au/envtrust or phone 8837 6093.

Seniors Information Service

A special function for seniors is being held on Wednesday 29 June 2005 in Lismore at the Presbyterian Hall in Keen Street. This information session is free and is to assist seniors access a wide range of interests such as gardening tips, security, taking care of finances, wills, power of attorney and guardianship to name a few.

OOSH placements

Lismore Public School OOSH is the first facility on the Far North Coast to be accredited and meet the standards of Quality Assurance Childcare. Having passed the National Childcare Accreditation Association standards the facility has been allocated additional places for after school care. The service has grown from 45 places in 2003 to 75 in 2005.

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