$362million Preschool Policy Released

Northern Rivers Echo 30 March 2006

$362million Preschool Policy Released

A Liberal/Nationals Government will provide a better start for NSW children by investing more than $362 million over four years to boost affordability and access to preschools.

Many local families have expressed their concern to me about current opportunities to access Preschool. Everyone agrees on the benefits of preschool for children, yet NSW has the lowest preschool participation rates in Australia and the highest fees in the country. The Preschool Policy will reduce fees for parents, increase participation for children and improve the quality of NSW preschools. It will also move funding for the preschool sector to the Department of Community Services.

New Police Allocation Should Include Richmond Local Area Command

Following the recent announcement of 750 new police for NSW, I have called on the Police Minister, the Hon. Carl Scully to ensure at least 15 of the 750 new police are allocated to the Richmond Area Command to address problems in areas like Casino, Goonellabah and Nimbin.

Unfortunately, as the population grows in centres like Ballina and Lennox Head, more and more police within the Richmond Local Area Command are being taken from centres like Kyogle, Casino and Lismore to address increasing coastal demands. he Mayors of these towns have indicated to me their strong objection to police being taken from their towns to meet these growing needs.

Overall the Richmond Local Area Command needs at least 15 new officers to address problems across the region and I have called on Minister Scully to consider the needs of the growing Northern Rivers region when allocating police resources.

Good News for Patients Travelling for Treatment

It is pleasing to see the State Government has taken on board the number of concerns and
Petitions I presented on behalf of country patients and changed the eligibility rules for the Patients Travel Scheme so that assistance is now available for patients travelling more than 100km. Previously to be eligible a patient had to be travelling more than 200km. This meant many residents of Northern NSW were missing out on assistance when travelling over the border. The change brings NSW into line with other state and is long overdue.

NSW Seniors Week 2-9 April

My office has received the program for NSW Seniors Week between 2-9 April. The program includes a variety of events including the Seniors Week concert in Sydney which many Lismore Electorate residents attend.

Seniors Week events occurring in this region include; Lismore Over 50's Seniors Learning Day, Lismore Over 50s Learning Centre
Living Life to the Fullest, Lismore Senior Citizens Social Club Inc.
Elders Cultural Gardens Walkabout, Casino Neighbourhood Centre
Stepping Out in Murwillumbah, Murwillumbah Bowls and Sports Club
Get Connected- Seniors Computer Courses, Kyogle CTC

Seniors Week provides an excellent opportunity to celebrate the contribution made by Seniors to the community. It is also a week of great fund and activity. Any Seniors wishing to find out more about the week can do so by contacting my office.

Welcome Back Apex

I recently met with Andrew Davidson and Trevor Lyle who are re- forming the Apex Club in Lismore. They have already held their first meeting and are looking for young people between the ages of 18 to 45 years to join the club.

Apex not only provides service to the community, but also provides an opportunity for members to grow, learn, make friends and have fun. Anyone wishing to join the Lismore Apex Club can phone the Secretary on 6624 5524 or write to PO Box 4070 Goonellabah.

Celebration of 100 years of the Lismore Saleyards

Last week, I was pleased to be Chairman at a dinner to celebrate the 100 year anniversary of saleyards in Lismore. It was an excellent evening where we were all reminded that despite the hardships of drought, floods and low returns the saleyards and livestock industry continues to be a major part and contributor to the Lismore economy

Congratulations to Ian & Florence Weir, Ron & Lyn Chittick and Alan & Helen Trustum for organising such a great event.

Daylight Saving Reminder

Daylight Saving ends a week later this year, on 2 April 2006 at 3.00am when clocks are put back one hour. The one week delay was put in place because of the Commonwealth Games, and next year will revert back to the standard period.

Dealing with Sport Rage

The Department of Sport and Recreation has developed an on-line kit for sporting clubs to help deal with the issue of sport rage.

Sport rage, which can take many forms is becoming a major issue for sporting clubs. Behaviour such as abusing a referee, punching another player, or unreasonable verbal abuse of other players can take away the fun of participating in sport.

The on-line kit provides guidelines for sports clubs dealing with the issue as well as tools to crack down on bad behaviour. There are also free posters available to sporting clubs.

For further information about the on-line kit please contact my office or visit the Department of Sport and Recreation at www.dsr.nsw.gov.au

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