Dairy Report urgently needed

Express Examiner 4 March 01

Dairy Report urgently needed

Urgent calls have been made on the Labor Government to immediately fast-track the work of the Dairy Deregulation Impact and Assessment Committee, following its recent visit to North Coast areas. Sources have revealed that the report would not be completed until October and not tabled in Parliament until the end of this year, which is not good enough. It is revealed that 200 NSW dairy farms have shut down since deregulation. The National Party tried in vain last year to amend the Carr Government's dairy deregulation legislation to include a State-based Structural Adjustment Price Support Scheme to enable producers to weather the impacts of deregulation. Days after this matter was raised in the house, the Government has advised that it will be reviewing an interim report in the near future.

Country Energy Proposal

I believe the announcement that the Carr Labor Government will proceed with a merger of NorthPower, Great Southern Energy and Advance Energy to form a new country based electricity distributor needs careful examination. The NSW Coalition has some very real and serious concerns about the announcement made by the Premier in Parliament last week. When the 22 County Councils were merged to form the six State owned electricity retailers, some 2500 jobs were lost, mainly in rural and regional areas. The National Party will be seeking support to refer this matter to the State Development Committee for further inquiry. Calls on the Premier to deliver a written guarantee to every existing customer of NorthPower, Great Southern Energy and Advance Energy assuring them that service levels and electricity supplies will be improved by this merger are also being made.

Country Athletes Rewarded

The following local talented athletes have been successful in obtaining grants under the Country Athletes Scheme;
Jacqui and Katrina Lawrence (Bonalbo), Robert Penman (Kyogle), Corey Benn, Joshua Innes and Mitchell Montgomery (all from Casino).

Labor Government Buries Stock Theft Report

As NSW National Party Stock Theft Spokesperson, I believe the Carr Labor Government must outline how it will tackle the growing scourge of stock theft. Labor had buried a report on stock theft, which was ordered by the Government after much pressure from the NSW National Party late last year. The Rural Crime Working Party was set up to seek recommendations for changes to policy and legislation to deal with this problem. It took submissions from a wide variety of stakeholder groups across NSW. The Committee delivered its recommendations to the Government in October and there has not been a word on the issue since. After slashing the number of stock squad police across NSW Labor has an obligation to rural and regional areas to ensure that something is done about the issue.

Spokesperson For Firearms Visit

Mr Adrian Piccoli spokesperson for the National Party on firearms issues will be visiting Lismore and Casino on Saturday 10 March. A meeting will be held at the Casino Kyogle Full Bore Rifle Club at 11.30am and also at the Lismore Target Rifle Club at 2.30pm. Further details or enquiries can be made by contacting my office.

Road Safety Comments

A Road Safety Taskforce has been established and is calling for suggestions about curbing the road toll. Anyone interested in commenting can write to the Taskforce at PO Box K198, Haymarket 1238 or by emailing to roadsafety@rta.nsw.gov.au.

Vegetation Management Plan

The Richmond Regional Vegetation Committee is currently developing a Regional Vegetation Management Plan for the Richmond Vegetation Region, covering local government areas of Richmond Valley, Kyogle, Lismore and Ballina. The Plan will provide for the conservation and management of native vegetation, including where vegetation may be cleared with or without consent. To make commenting on the plan as easy as possible, a web page has been created for people to submit their comments: www.rrvc.org.au. Further information may be obtained from my office upon request. Closing date: 31 March 2001.

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