Express 29 September 04


Last week PriceWaterhouseCoopers released its independent report on the feasibility for passenger and/or commuter services on the Casino-Murwillumbah railway line as requested by Tweed Shire Council. The report indicated a commuter train is affordable and realistic. This type of service has always been the principal focus of the Northern Rivers Councils and community groups.

Enclosure Permits

I have received contact from Minister Kelly's Office advising that in the Northern Region, some reminder notices, which are computer generated, were inadvertently sent. There is no need to act upon reminder notices until the current Moratorium is resolved. Even when an agreement is reached, landholders will have a further three months thereafter to finalise adjustments. It is anticipated that an early resolution by end of the month will be achieved. I have written to those who have contacted my office regarding this issue, supplying a copy of a press release from the Shadow Minister for Rural Affairs, Andrew Fraser, for their interest. As information comes to hand, I will endeavour to keep you informed.

Blood Bank Forum

Last week, I had the pleasure of opening the 90th Anniversary of Zone 27 Red Cross Conference, which was a celebration of 90 years of serving humanity, through telecross, cosmetic care, emergency services during floods, junior red cross, trauma teddy's and bloodbank. During this conference, I announced I would be holding a workshop on blood bank services, particularly mobile centres outside Lismore. I will be meeting with the Public Relations Manager in the next 2 or 3 weeks to have some issues resolved that have been bought to my attention.

Kyogle and Casino to Lismore Bus Service

Kirklands buslines in conjunction with Northern Rivers Community Transport have added another benefit to the standard Friday bus run from Kyogle to Lismore via Casino. Elderly residents of Kyogle or people with a disability, will be able to be picked up from their home if needed and dropped off at selected destinations in Lismore eg Hospitals, doctor's surgery etc.

ALTAS & PSO Funding

Last week outside Parliament House large numbers of people gathered to let the Carr Government know of its heartless decision to reform the programs and slash funding. I supported those who made the effort to travel down from Lismore, in particular, Theo McPherson, Zion Stewart, Julie Rose, Natasha Ulyatt, Toby Gulliver and Mathew Wiggins, who were supported by three volunteers from Realising Every Dream [RED] Inc. who came with them, that is, Carl Paola from Ocean Shores and Luke Wiggins and Perry Libeau from Lismore. They asked me to present a big heart, a metre high, to the Premier, which I have assured them I will when Parliament resumes in three weeks.


The Nationals' have welcomed the Federal Coalition's significant boost in funding of $20 million for the implementation of the National Livestock Identification System (NLIS). $15 million of the NLIS funding will go to the beef industry, and the rest will be shared between other sectors. Farmers, stock and station agents and sale-yard operators in NSW have experienced a raft of problems in getting NLIS off the ground. it is unreasonable to expect producers to carry the full cost of devices in the implementation stage. The Federal Government's funding injection will help cattle producers shoulder the cost of a system that studies have shown to have a 25% public benefit. This commitment shows that the Federal Coalition is serious about NLIS, and understands the importance of ensuring food safety, access to overseas markets and the management of any possible outbreaks. NLIS will improve the cattle industry's disease and quality control, and in the current environment of ongoing animal disease scares, it's vital we have a strong trace back system in place.

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.