Seniors Week 2002

Express Examiner March 02

I will be conducting another West of the Range visit today anyone wishing to contact me should contact my office on 6621 3624.

Seniors Week 2002

It was my pleasure to attend and officially launch Casino's Seniors Week celebrations and I trust the week's activities and organised functions were enjoyed by all.

Recent appointments

Last week at Parliament, I was very honoured to be voted and elected as Deputy National Party Whip. I also welcome the challenges that this position will bring together with my appointment to the NSW Joint Standing Committee on Road Safety (STAYSAFE). In my Staysafe position, I will be advocating a better deal on country roads and increasing road safety in rural and regional NSW, as well as providing the opportunity to reinforce School Student Transport Scheme concerns associated with rural isolation, road issues and transport problems.

Ministerial visits - Watkins, Scully, Costa and Face

The opportunity to welcome both Carl Scully, Minister for Roads and Transport, John Watkins, Minister for Education and Training, Michael Costa, Minister for Police and Richard Face, Minister for Gaming and Racing during their recent visits to the Lismore electorate was appreciated.

Minister Watkins visited Casino High School, as well as launching the Northern Rivers Employment Skills Project.

It was disappointing that I became aware through unofficial sources that Michael Costa, made a fleeting visit a couple of weeks ago. However, last week Richmond Valley Council, Mayor Col Sullivan was part of a delegation who saw the Minister. During this appointment, I was pleased to be able to present the Minister with part of the petition (comprising of 5,500 signatures) that was presented to me by Mrs Susannah Williams at the recent public meeting, the remainder of this petition will be tabled when Parliament resumes.

Richard Face met this week with Club, Hotel and Race Industry representatives.

Royal Easter Show

I was honoured to be part of the National Party team that hosted a morning tea and a tour of Parliament House for this year's finalists for the Royal Easter Show Miss Showgirl and the Rural Achievers Award. Country NSW can be very proud of our representative, Monique Amor. These finalists are our ambassadors who help raise the motivation of young people and make a contribution to the advancement of country communities. Furthermore, I was pleased to attend the Young Auctioneers Competition and to see local auctioneer, Innes Fahey from Grafton, judged as the Australian Young Auctioneer.

Inquiry into Hospitals - Quality of Care & Value for Money

The General Purpose Standing Committee is inquiring into and will report upon the quality of care for public patients and value for money in major non-metropolitan hospitals. Together with my colleague, The Hon Brian Pezzutti, I call on constituents, including clinicians, health care workers and private individuals to participate and have their say on how the Lismore Base Hospital is performing. A copy of the discussion paper and terms of reference, on this issue are available from my office upon request. Submissions close 30 April 2002.

Bushfires Inquiry

A Joint Parliamentary Committee has been established to conduct the investigation into the recent bushfires. The National Party's representative on the Committee is Rick Colless, MLC. Terms of Reference are available from my office upon request. It is important that the public - particularly those who had lost their homes or other property and those involved in the recent firefighting as well as natural resource and land managers - take the opportunity to raise their experiences and to make suggestions so action could be taken to minimise and prevent future risks. I urge any interested parties to contact Mr Colless by phoning 9230 2397 or by writing to: Room 1117, Parliament House SYDNEY NSW 2000.

Native Vegetation

The first operational day of NSW Parliament was used to call on the Carr Government to amend the Native Vegetation Conservation Act to ease the inequitable financial burden the Act places on landowners. A recent study by Associate Professor Sinden of the University of New England has quantified what farmers in NSW have known since the Native Vegetation Act was introduced in January 1998 - that the Act is severely affecting their livelihoods. The report revealed that the Native Vegetation Conservation Act has reduced land values and has reduced annual incomes dramatically, this loss of income affects not only farmers, but also the entire community. The Coalition will implement a major overhaul of the Carr Government's natural resource management legislation should it win Government in March 2003.

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 Collins Creek, North Codrington Flood Refuge and Woodenbong War Memorial Reserve Trusts. Applications should be lodged before Tues 2 Aril 2002 with the Land Access Unit of the Department of Land & Water Conservation, for further information contact Ph 6640 2061 or my office.

Camphor Laurel Conference

A regional conference on the containment of Camphor Laurel will be held in the conference rooms at Lismore City Council, Oliver Avenue, Goonellabah on Monday 8 April 2002. Industry representatives, stakeholders and the general public are invited to be involved. Enquiries can be made direct to the Camphor Laurel Research Centre, Mr Joe Friend Ph/fax 02 6688 6150.

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