The Week that Was

Express Examiner 26 September 01

The Week that Was

Last week in Parliament all members took the opportunity to express both the State and our communities' sense of outrage and grief for the loss of life in the recent terrorist attacks in supporting a condolence motion. As in other nations, many people have been affected by the attacks and we all share a deep sorrow for those who have suffered. We assure them of our prayers and continuing support.

Rural Issues

In Parliament I have continued my addressing of rural matters. Again I attacked Minister Amery regarding the ongoing issue with the decision to start charging producers for tick treatments that commenced on 1 September. I highlighted stock theft and rural crime, which needs to be prioritised and addressed appropriately. Furthermore I supported the matter of public importance relating to the NSW dairy industry, I reiterated that dairy farmers are the main players in the milk industry and that processors should pass on any gains to dairy farmers who deserve a fair and reasonable price.

Ansett Collapse

The Casino community has been fortunate to enjoy and receive the courteous services from the dedicated staff at Hazelton and I was personally saddened to hear of the loss of employment and support from our region. The compassion and understanding shown by customers is a tribute to the service they afforded to all travellers. I am sure that I am not alone in hoping that management discussions and negotiations will prove beneficial for the future of Hazelton and the local staff, to be re-established at Casino and in our region, as we deserve.

Home Warranty Insurance Inquiry

The Coalition also proposed that a Parliamentary Committee investigate the ongoing crisis faced by builders desperately trying to obtain building insurance and the resultant thousands who have been inconvenienced by this nuisance. The building industry and other associated businesses have been troubled by this crisis as well as constituents who are all the more affected by not knowing when projects will be completed or even started. Builders are losing confidence in the State Government's ability to control this situation and businesses are in jeopardy because they can't get the compulsory insurance they need to keep working. Every day desperate builders request help to get or renew their insurance with one of the two remaining insurance providers. Despite the Minister's assurances three months ago that another insurer had applied to offer building insurance, there has been no sign of this new insurer. This is unacceptable.

Rural Vet Crisis

A new crisis is emerging in the provision of veterinarians for rural and regional NSW. It seems that vets are no different to other professionals such as doctors, nurses, dentists, pharmacists and teachers in terms of practising in country areas.

NSW Real Estate Industry Practices

Last week in Parliament, Fair Trading Minister, John Watkins released a consultation paper that outlined the proposed changes to the Property, Stock and Business Agents Act 1941, and invited comments over the next four weeks. The Department will be undertaking a series of public forums to inform consumers and industry members about these reforms. Full details are available from my office or the Department of Fair Trading.

2001/02 Regional Sports Facility Program

The programme provides funds to develop and enhance the network of regional sporting and recreational facilities that meet the needs of the general community and incorporates uses for talented and elite athletes. Application forms are available from my office upon request.

Power Supply - Have Your Say

In the coming weeks Country Energy's Northern customers will receive a survey in the mail offering them the chance to influence its services. Country Energy wants to hear from its customers, they want customers to tell them their needs and set a clear direction for the services they expect Country Energy to offer in the future. I encourage people of the Lismore electorate to become involved and comment and enable Country Energy to determine the appropriate community needs for the future.

Rural Women's Award

Applications are now being received for the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation Rural Women's Award for 2002. Applications close 15 October with 7 State winners each receiving a $20,000 bursary. www.ruralwomensaward.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