Express Examiner 25 April 01
It is pleasing to hear the discussions and preparations for today's
celebrations. It is a day of remembrance for servicemen and women who gave and
risked their lives to protect our country. I trust local communities will attend
and participate in the march and dawn services paying respect to these wonderful
An Interim Report of the Impact of Dairy Deregulation and Assessment Committee
was tabled in Parliament recently and copies are available upon request.
Cattle Tick Meeting
Following indications by the Minister for Agriculture that forecasted changes to
the cattle tick control program will proceed. A meeting is being convened by the
Casino Tick Committee (elected at the last meeting) on Tuesday 1 May at the
Casino RSM, commencing 7.00pm.
Hospital Quality of Care and Value for Money
A General Purpose Standing Committee, chaired by The Hon Dr Brian Pezzutti is
calling for submissions to its inquiry into the quality of care for public
patients and value for money in major non-metropolitan hospitals. Public
participation is being encouraged and the Committee is inviting written
submissions from interested persons and organisations. The closing date is 18
May 2001. Terms of reference and further information is available upon request.
NorthPower Community Support Schemes
Following my representations on behalf of numerous non-profit organisations,
NorthPower has announced its commitment to sponsor local halls relieving some of
their financial burdens. The Scheme targets community halls that are used by the
general public and non-profit organisations like the Scouts and Girl Guides.
Sponsorship also applies to premises of voluntary emergency services such as the
Rural Fire Service and the State Emergency Service. The assistance is in the
form of $200 towards electricity bills. Inquiries can be made direct to
NorthPower on 132 066 or application forms are available from my office.
Country Shows - Country Halls
In Parliament last week I had the opportunity of highlighting the financial
struggle of Show Societies, in meeting rising running costs. To the individual
rural communities the annual show means so much more than an annual cash
injection. Shows provide a focal point for many of the far-flung communities in
rural and regional NSW. It is their window of local achievement - from livestock
to sewing, preserving of jam, cake making and lots more. I am concerned about
the decline in shows, being experienced both locally and regionally. Many
country people are just too busy trying to make ends meet to dedicate the hours
necessary to running shows. A large contingent of voluntary workers enable shows
to function and assist in the survival of community halls. I have asked Minister
Amery to acknowledge the difficulties being faced and to increase funding meet
increasing costs of maintaining showgrounds and community halls.
Changes to Workers Compensation Legislation
A number of people have conveyed to me their concerns about the Workers
Compensation Legislation Amendment Bill 2001. The Opposition has been equally
concerned about the Carr Government's absence of a reform program to stem the
escalating unfunded liability which, has blown out by $500 million in the last 6
months to a total of $2.18 billion. Recently the Carr Labor Government hurriedly
introduced the Bill with virtually no prior consultation with employers,
employees, unions, legal or medical professions. Since then dissension within
Government ranks, together with threats of industrial disputation by the union
movement, has now seen the Government forced to delay the passage of this
legislation. This means that debate has been postponed until Parliament resumes
in late May. The Coalition wishes to see what amendments the Government may be
considering and will comment on these when details are available.