Self-funded retiree announcement
Express Examiner September 02
Self-funded retiree announcement
Last week the NSW Coalition Government announced that it will extend
pensioner concessions to self funded retirees who hold a Commonwealth Seniors'
Health Card. The Brogden-Souris Government would, in conjunction with the
Federal Government, extend a number of concessions currently available to
pensioners to self-funded retirees who hold a Commonwealth Seniors' Health Card,
such as motor vehicle registration, electricity, rates, water and sewerage.
I believe there were about 1600 eligible self-funded retirees in the Lismore
Electorate who would benefit cardholders including:
Free registration for one motor vehicle, which is used mainly for private
purposes (a saving of $187 to $327 depending on the weight of the vehicle) per
A $112 a year rebate on electricity bills (per household) and
Discounts of up to $250 a year or 50% on council rates (per household)
Discounts of up to $87.50 a year or 50% on council water rates (per
Discounts of up to $87.50 a year or 50% on council sewerage rates (per
Local Councils and businesses will be fully reimbursed for the cost of this
initiative by the State Government. I recently addressed a meeting of North
Coast Independent Retirees where they indicated they were working towards this
outcome. I am sure North Coast independent retires would welcome this initiative
by the NSW Coalition.
Regional Vegetation Management Plans
Landholders, producers and interest groups are now calling for the rejection
of the Regional Vegetation Management Plans. I trust all Landholders, producers
and interest groups took advantage of the opportunity to submit a
response/submission to the plan.
I tabled a Notice of Motion calling on the Legislative Assembly to note that:
over 300 people attending public meetings in the Kyogle Shire Council
area, have rejected in its entirety the Draft Richmond Regional Management
over 1, 000 signatures have already have been received on Petitions being
tabled in Parliament.
Kyogle Shire Council resolved unanimously "that Council reject in its
entirety the draft Richmond Regional Management Plan". And furthermore,
Council on behalf of the rural ratepayers request the Minister to reject the
Plan and authorise a six-month extension to enable a rewrite of the Management
the New South Wales Farmers representative on the Committee, after public
pressure will still only be an observer of submissions made on the Plan.
calls for the Minister for Land and Water Conservation, Mr John Aquilina
to visit the area immediately to hear concerns about the Plan.
As a result of the above motion the Minister has asked the Director General,
Mr Bob Smith to attend a meeting at my office today, which will be attended by a
cross section of representative, interest and farming groups. The present status
of these Plans develop each week and I am happy to supply copies of Hansard and
press releases. Those wishing to receive this information should contact my
office and a copy shall be forwarded of the above.
West of the Range visit
Once again my recent visit West of the Range, proved beneficial in being
available in local villages to discuss matters of concern with constituents. I
enjoyed the opportunity to again visit West of the Range to meet with people
that would not otherwise travel to see me and bring their views to my attention.
Foot & Mouth Disease Exercise
Casino recently held a National Simulation Exercise as a NSW initiate to
build on and test the work done by the local emergency management group in
preparing for an outbreak of Foot & Mouth at the Casino Saleyards. This exercise
was very valuable in accessing and identifying the areas of need, which also
provided the opportunity for the Minister for Agriculture, The Hon Richard
Amery, to visit the Casino area and also meet with the executive of the Northern
Cooperative Meat Company.
Shadow Minister for Local Government
The Hon Duncan Gay, Shadow Minister for Local Government, Energy, Mineral
Resources and State Development visited the electorate and met with NOROC
representatives, he also accompanied me to speak with Southern Cross University
The insurance crisis is pressuring our rural and regional way of life, with
hundreds of traditional country events, shows, rodeos, pony club events,
gymkhanas, equestrian events, annual community festivals, art shows, under
threat. I was pleased that the Government has finally moved on the second stage
of proposals, which could help small business, and community organisations stay
Some of the provisions of the draft Bill include:
increasing the legal weight of waivers and risk warnings,
banning people from winning damages for an activity that a reasonable
person would consider to be inherently or obviously dangerous;
banning people from winning damages if they were intoxicated or committing
a crime at the time of an accident;
protecting volunteers from litigation,
I am also pleased that Insurance Australia Group, working in conjunction
with QBE Insurance and Alliance, has announced its intention to participate in a
public liability Not-For-Profit Insurance Pool. The not-for-profit insurance
pool will offer cover to organisations displaying the following characteristics:
they provide services to the broader community;
they are an organisation with a not-for-profit tax status or
turnover/funding less than $2,000,000;
they do not distribute profits to their members;
they comprise mainly of "volunteer" members.