Express Examiner January 00
I trust everyone enjoyed the festive season and I relished the opportunity to
attend many community gatherings. Rhonda and I extend our regards to all for the
New Year. My resolution for the year 2000 is to continue pursuing the Carr
Government for funding for our region's health and road systems.
Despite the fact Newcastle Disease devastated the poultry industry in NSW last
year, the Carr Government has refused to contribute funds to establish a
national Newcastle Disease Eradication Strategy. The Commonwealth and all other
state and territories are willing to recognise the importance of developing this
strategy by volunteering a $50,000 contribution, yet Minister Amery has flatly
refused to take part. The Minister's refusal shows a complete disregard for the
future of poultry producers and workers in the multi-million dollar industry
that is now well established in this area.
Knowles' Health Stop
Unfortunately, I believe extra funding for the Northern Rivers Area Health
Service would not necessarily mean a change in proposals to downsize hospitals
at Casino and Coraki. These changes are not purely budgetary but, as explained
by the Minister for Health, The Hon Craig Knowles, are being carried out on
efficiency grounds as well. I met with the Minister, who acknowledged the
inadequate allocations for health services are an ongoing problem. The Minister
came to get "a feel" for local concerns, and after these discussions I feel
confident that part of the funding shortfall should be addressed in the near
future. Also in February, I expect the release of the Ministerial Advisory
Committee Report, which may hopefully come with good news for Kyogle.
Nursery Owners Beware
I am cautious of proposed legislation being introduced by the Minister for Land
& Water Conservation, The Hon Richard Amery. A number of concerns from industry
representatives, about the Horticultural Stock and Nurseries Act, have been
expressed to me. I invite all nursery owners to have input into the legislation.
Copies of the "Review of the Horticultural Stock and Nurseries Act" are
available from my office.
With many fishing enthusiasts visiting our region, people throughout NSW are
experiencing confusion over contradictory practices of the Carr Government in
allowing fishing in some town water supplies, but not others. Recreational
fishing is allowed in some town water supplies, irrigation supplies and power
station supplies. Furthermore, NSW Fisheries stocks some water storage's
throughout NSW, but not others. Summarising the absurdity of the current policy
is that not only fishing allowed in some locations that aren't stocked, but also
fishing is prohibited in some locations that are stocked.
Children's Criminal Capacity
The Criminal Law Review Division's Discussion Paper on the age of criminal
responsibility of children is now available. The paper examines the current
common law presumption that children up to the age of 14 are incapable of
knowing their criminal conduct is wrong. I welcome this report in providing the
opportunity to change the onus in establishing children's criminal capacity.