Casino Beef Week
Express Examiner 4 June 2003
Casino Beef Week
I had the pleasure of attending and participating in the official opening and
crowning of Miss Casino Beef Week. Congratulations to Stacey Clark who will now
be the ambassador for Beef Week for the next 12 months. This promotion is now
the envy of many towns and districts throughout Australia and the region can be
very proud and look forward to enjoying the benefits of its success.
Congratulations to President Terry Serone, Co-ordinator Sandra Humphrys and
everyone associated with the organising of another successful Beef Week, the
I was also delighted to attend the rally and have the opportunity to meet
hundreds of travellers in Casino for this event. It has been a tremendous
success and a well organised event, which benefited Casino and the region.
Congratulations to the organisers, Richmond Valley Council, Casino Chamber of
Commerce and the people of Casino confirming that Casino is "the friendliest
Crimes Amendment (Sexual Offences) Bill
One of the items that have dominated Parliament recently, was Labor's
legislation Crimes Amendment (Sexual Offences) Bill to lower the age of consent
for gay men from 18 years of age to 16. While disappointedly the provisions to
lower the age of consent passed through the Lower House of the Parliament, of
which I had no hesitation or worry in voting against, I was glad that the
Government adopted the amendment to the Bill removing the retrospectivity
clause. As it was, the Bill would have allowed men who had engaged in under-age
gay sex to gain immunity from prosecution. In other words, it would have allowed
people who previously had broken the law to be let off scot-free. It offered a
get-out-of-jail-free card. In the end the Government adopted the Nationals'
amendment and removed this worrying clause from the Bill.
Medical Trial of Marijuana
In answer to Bob Carr's recent announcement, the Nationals gave in-principle
support to a four-year trial for the medical use of cannabis, provided that it
related only to marijuana-derived medication and that supply and prescription
was tightly regulated. As long as these conditions were met, the Nationals'
would support a trial for palliative care patients and those with certain other
conditions. At this point, insufficient detail has been provided to address
concerns about the uncontrolled supply of marijuana, the form in which the
government intends to allow the marijuana to be consumed and the proven harmful
and negative effects of the drug. We certainly do not want to see the situation,
as previously outlined by the Premier, whereby sufferers and/or carers would be
able to grow marijuana plants in their backyards. Once the Bill becomes
available, the National Party will be studying it carefully to ensure these
conditions are met.
Schools Captains visit
Last Friday I had the pleasure to meet and host a morning tea for the Schools
Captains from Bonalbo Central, Kyogle High, Casino High and Woodenbong Central
who visited Parliament House on a School Leaders Visit. This visit was part of a
leadership program organised in conjunction with the Office of the Governor of
NSW, the Department of Education and Non Government schools each year. I enjoyed
the opportunity to meet with these fine young leaders of our schools, who
attended a full day of activities that consist of a tour of the Parliament
Chambers and Theatrette, followed by a visit to Government House to meet Her
Excellency, the Governor.
In a Private Members Statement recently, I had the opportunity of highlighting
and expressing my concern in relation to the problem of bicycles skateboards and
scooters being ridden on footpaths in the Lismore Electorate. As a member of the
Local Traffic Committees that meet with Lismore, Casino and Kyogle Councils and
as a member of the Police Accountability Community Team (PACT), this issue has
been raised a number of times at these meetings. The concern directed to the
Minister for Local Government is that people are powerless to take action
against the riders. This activity has escalated in recent times and has become a
hazard to public safety. An amendment to the Local Government Act in March 2001
has prevented local councils from erecting signage to prohibit such activity.
Conflict exists with this Act and the Australian Road Rules giving uncertain and
unclear guidelines to address and restrict this problem. I have urged the
Minister to examine Section 632 (2A) (b) of the Act and take decisive action to
give police and councils the power to control this situation that exists not
only in my electorate but other areas of regional and rural NSW.