Health Concerns

Express Examiner November 99

Last week, Parliamentary debate was initiated on the Drug Summit Legislation Response Bill and I will be continuing my fight against this Bill. My position in this matter is quite clear; I will not accept an injecting room in this electorate.

Health Concerns

The continued threats of budget cutbacks to the Northern Rivers Area Health Service are still a major concern. Many constituents have conveyed their strong objections in letters, to the Northern Star and me that were recently presented to the Health Minister. The Minister reaffirmed that he is reviewing the regional distribution formula but has not come to a final decision about possible changes.

Dairy Deregulation Update

The Coalition has called on the Minister for Agriculture to develop a package over and above the Federal Compensation Package to NSW dairy farmers. The "Farm Deregulation Assistance Committee" will try to address problems; however, dairy farmers need more than counselling. Farmers need assistance that will help ease the burden of deregulation as it will be a further blow to regional areas and will have devastating effects on small country towns. The Nationals will continue to pursue the extra package to assist dairy farmers to stay in the industry.

Country Labor Fails Firearms Test

A National Party motion in the Upper House to establish a Parliamentary Committee to conduct the Review of the Firearms Act was defeated by Country Labor. Thanks to Country Labor, it is now guaranteed that the mandatory legislative review of the Firearms Act will be conducted in secret and that the legitimate concerns of firearms owners will not be heard. The review will now go ahead as an in-house review, conducted by a Departmental Director-General answerable to his Minister.

Countrylink Bookings

Recently, it was brought to my attention that the introduction of a new ticket booking system by Countrylink could have cause a great deal of inconvenience for local and country travellers. When booking to areas further than Sydney, travel could only be arranged and booked upon arrival in Sydney. After making representations to the Minister for Transport, I have been successful in altering part of the situation, bringing to his attention the unpracticality of such changes. The Minister is still to finalise a further problem that I have highlighted.

CCT Inquiry

The Standing Committee on State Development is conducting an inquiry into Compulsory Competitive Tendering. Written submissions are being called for by 17 December 1999.

Group Homes Inquiry Update

I am pleased that local people have made representations to the inquiry into the re-auspicing of DOCS group homes, which was forced on the Carr Government by the opposition. The Upper House agreed to the inquiry despite the reluctance of Minister Lo Po to be accountable for her policy. I am confident the Inquiry will establish; that this policy was hatched in secret by Treasury, agreed to by the Minister with the primary objective of saving money and that the Government did not consult with or respect the interest of people with disabilities. The deadline for part two of the inquiry has been extended from 12 November to 31 January 2000. More information can be obtained from my office.

Community Legal Education Week

Monday 29 November to Friday 3 December: This is a program about community legal education that will be conducted in this area. Two components of the program: Free, confidential legal advice

Lismore: Monday 29 November (12 noon to 4 pm) and Tuesday 30 November (9.30 to 11.30 am). Solicitors involved have particular expertise in the areas of child support/maintenance (for both carer and paying parents). Advice can be provided on all child support and family law issues. Appointments only on 6621 2082.

Workshop for Community Workers and other interested people:

Tuesday 30 November - 9.30 am to 4 pm at 29 Molesworth Street Lismore. Covering issues involving child support and will be concentrating specifically on the recent amendments. Aimed at community workers, counsellors, staff from agencies.

Tick, BJD and Laboratory

I am continually receiving enquiries about these issues. I would like to assure constituents that I have been in contact with the Department, the Minister and his key advisers expressing their concerns of virtually moving ownership from Government to producers, at a cost that is totally unacceptable.

Seniors Week 2000

Award application forms for individuals and groups for Seniors Week next year are available from my office. Closing date is 26 November 1999.

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