Express 28 April 04


I am pleased to be supporting the call by the Mayors of the Northern Rivers Councils who have called on Premier Carr to honour his promise to keep the Casino-Murwillumbah rail line open. I will be travelling to Sydney on the protest train with other people to relay this message to further encourage the government to honour their promise. The community support is overwhelming with well over 98% for the retention of the train.

Also I remind people to write individual letters to The Premier, The Hon Bob Carr: Level 40, Governor Macquarie Tower, 1 Farrer Place, SYDNEY NSW 2000. These letters can be dropped off at all Council offices or at my office (55 Carrington Street, LISMORE). I will be personally delivering them to The Premier when parliament resumes on 4 May 2004.

RAS Showgirl and Rural Achievers

It was a pleasure to attend the morning tea held in Sydney recently and hosted by the Nationals in special recognition of the 2004 Showgirl Finalists and the Young Rural Achievers Awardees for the 2004 Royal Easter Show. I was honoured to see Matt McCormack from Casino as a finalist in the National Young Auctioneers Competition at the Royal Easter Show judging.

New Mental Health Clinic for the Northern Rivers Area

I was very pleased the State Government has recognised the urgent need for a new mental health clinic to service the Northern Rivers area. The announcement by the NSW State Government to redevelop the Richmond Mental Health Clinic at Lismore from the 2004/2005 budget of $1.1 million allocated to enable the project to progress through the planning, consultation and tender process. The new clinic will include 15 extra beds and an eight-bed Child and Adolescent Unit.

Northern Rivers Parkinson Support Group

This group is extending an open invitation to the whole community of the Northern Rivers Area to attend their regular meetings. The meetings are to offer support, social contact, information and encouragement for those who live with Parkinson's. Meetings are held at the Ballina Hospital. For further information please phone 6628 8278 or 6629 1458.

Mummulgum Rural Fire Service helps out Make a Wish Foundation

I wish to convey my appreciation on my behalf, as well as the "Make a Wish Foundation" and acknowledge the assistance of Rodney Botfield and his fellow brigade members who did a great job to assemble a cubby house for Mummulgum's Nathan Bell. Last Sunday, Mummulgum Rural Fire Service members participated in a special presentation to Nathan.

Review of Rural Lands Protection Act

I recently attended the public meeting held in Casino as part of the Review. I encourage interested parties, particularly primary producers to make submissions on RLPBs. Copies of the Issue Paper is available from my office.

10th SCU Celebrations

I congratulate the Council, Executive and staff of Southern Cross University on this milestone and its achievements over this decade are well and truly documented. The North Coast community needs to appreciate, the contribution and dedication of the staff and students, and continue to acknowledge the importance and benefits, not only economic, but also the Research and Cultural faculties. Furthermore, I was honoured to be present at the Graduation Ceremonies last weekend and to attend the dedication of the new Alumni Court and the announcement of the Alumnus of the Decade.

NLIS: Farmers Deserve a Tag Subsidy

I was disappointed that I have not been able to attend the meetings on National Livestock Identification Scheme (NLIS). However, The Nationals Shadow Minister for Agriculture, The Hon Duncan Gay has been calling on Minister Macdonald to approve a $1 start up subsidy on National Livestock Identification Scheme (NLIS) tags for all NSW cattle. This kind of one-off assistance during the NLIS implementation phase would be a fair and reasonable way to help get the scheme underway, especially in light of the financial pressures that farmers are already facing this winter because of the ongoing drought. The Nationals' have been historically committed to supporting farmers with NLIS implementation; in fact, one of our key policies at the last State election was a subsidy on NLIS tags. Unfortunately the NSW Labor Government has never considered this kind of support and is already lagging behind the other states in supporting farmers. NLIS won't work if farmers can't afford to get on board.

Senior Card Local Business Directory

The new revised version of the 2004 Local Business Directory is available. Anyone who has not already received a copy direct, should contact my office.

Contact Details:

Office: 55 Carrington Street  LISMORE
Postal: PO Box 52  LISMORE  NSW  2480
Telephone: 1800 336 166 or 02 6621 3624
Facsimile: 02 6622 1403  Email:

Authorised by Thomas George MP. Funded using Parliamentary entitlements.