Drought Assistance Urgent
Express Examiner July 02
Drought Assistance Urgent
The current drought is shaping up as one of the worst on record - 66% of the
State. The National Party has called on the NSW Government to urgently introduce
drought assistance measures as drought conditions worsen across the State.
Immediate measures should include transport assistance for the cartage of fodder
and water, as Casino and Richmond/Tweed Rural Lands Protection Boards (RLPB's)
are restricted in movement of livestock to other RLPB's. Recent media reports
suggest that the NSW Government was only proposing resource management subsidies
and education and training measures. This is hardly appropriate at a time at a
time when farmers are handfeeding livestock. Immediate assistance to transport
livestock to the few remaining agistment areas and assistance to transport
fodder and/or water to drought stricken livestock is what is needed.
Shadow Minister for Emergency Services visits
Andrew Stoner undertook a familiarisation tour to the Lismore Electorate, last
week. We visited the Casino Unit of the State Emergency Service as part of the
tour, it was a great opportunity for him to become more aware of the need for
new facilities to provide services during times of flooding, Natural disasters,
bushfires etc, particularly from the perspective of our area.
The Government's water reforms will cost country communities hundreds of
millions of dollars and thousands of jobs. The NSW Government has ignored
completely the social dislocation and economic impacts these reforms will have
on country water users and the communities that rely on them. There has been a
failure to balance sustainable agriculture, good natural resource management and
the socio-economic viability of the regions. Some water users are facing cuts to
their allocations of almost 90 per cent. Organisations have already voiced
concerns regarding the devastation that they will experience which will have a
flow-on to businesses, suppliers, contractors and workers. The reforms will have
a significant impact on the livelihoods and quality of life of rural and
regional communities yet the Government has failed to clearly demonstrate that
its reform process will have any long-term benefits for the community and the
environment. It is my belief that individual farmers and rural communities
should not be forced to carry the full cost of conservation for the public good.
Seniors Card mailout
Local seniors may have received contact from me in relation to the NSW Seniors
Card; the response to this contact has been overwhelming. The telephone has been
very busy and a number of people have mentioned that they have had difficult
getting through to my office. Please be patient as there is no time limit on
this matter. A lot of people already have a card but may be unaware that my
office provides a local directory, which lists all the participating businesses
and the offers that are available in the Lismore, Casino, Kyogle, Ballina, Byron
and surrounding towns. Should you wish to receive this publication, please do
not hesitate to contact my office and you will automatically receive an updated
version each time it is revised.
Trustee Members wanted
Applications are being invited from persons interested in being considered for
appointment as a member of the Trust Board to manage the affairs of the
Greenridge Recreation Reserve Trust. Applications should be lodged with the Land
Access Unit of the Department of Land & Water Conservation, for further
information contact Ph 6640 2061 or my office.
The NSW Coalition has launched a Public Liability Premium Watch Hotline to
collect information about increases in public liability insurance. I am very
concerned about the future of small community groups, organisations and
businesses due to increasing insurance premiums. I encourage members of the
public, business and community groups to phone the Premium Watch Hotline on 02 -
9230 2395 to report any changes in their public liability premium renewal
notices. You can also post them, addressed to Premium Watch, Level 10 Room 1036
Parliament House, Sydney NSW 2000. Alternatively, an Internet site and an email
address have been established. The website address is www.nswcoalition.com while
the e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org
Furthermore, most organisations may have received a letter stating..
" 4. Public Liability Insurance - no longer required
The Government recognises that Associations undertake a variety of activities
with differing levels of risk and that Associations themselves are the best
judges of their insurance needs. Accordingly, effectively 10 May 2002 the
Associations Incorporation legislation no longer requires Associations to have
public liability insurance to become or remain incorporated."
Despite this advice, I strongly suggest that each and every organisation should
to seek its own advice on what type of insurance it should/needs to have.
This new service launched by the Attorney Generals Department provides a single
point of access for people in NSW to assistance with legal problems. It is a
central telephone and web based service that provides a mix of legal information
referral and advice. It is staffed by trained customer service officers who can
help constituents identify the type of legal problem they may have and the
options and services that may be available to them. The service also provides
free telephone legal advice in straightforward matters where the constituents
has limited financial means and/or has difficulty accessing legal services
because they live in a rural and remote area or have a disability. General
enquiries 1300 888 529 or www.lawaccess.nsw.gov.au.