Express Examiner 27 April 2005
I will be conducting interviews throughout the electorate over the next
couple of weeks. A West of the Range Tour on Wednesday 11 May, Kyogle interviews
Tuesday 17 May and Casino interviews on Thursday 19 May. Should you wish to make
an appointment, please contact my office.
Flashing Lights At School Zones
A Liberal/Nationals' Coalition Government will install flashing lights at
NSW schools indicating the operation of 40km/h school zones. We believe it is
necessary to increase motorists' awareness of the operation of school zones. NSW
is already lagging behind South Australia, Queensland and Victoria who have been
effective in reducing speed up to 12km/hour and child pedestrian injuries. The
Carr Labor Government announced a trial of flashing lights in February 2003 and
is still yet to report its findings. Many drivers ignore or are unaware they are
entering a school zone. Flashing lights indicate to drivers days and times that
the zones are enforceable. The Coalition will ensure high risks schools will
receive flashing lights first and re-enforces the commitment by the Opposition's
policy of saving children's lives.
Rotary Centennial Conference
I was honoured to attend and officially open the Rotary International
District 9640, Centennial Conference at the Lismore Workers Club recently.
Congratulations to Brian Wheatley and his committee on the wonderful program for
the weekend which included speakers such as Father Chris Riley, Maj Gen Peter
Arnison, Sir Clem Renouf and Dame Carol Kidu.
Workplace Fatalities Bill
In a significant win for the National/Liberal Coalition and people power,
the Carr Labor Government has withdrawn its flawed Workplace Fatalities Bill. I
held a forum to inform local business people of the impacts of the Bill, which
would have been disastrous for employers. Recently Minister Della Bosca's wrote
a letter indicating I was scaring local businesspeople. Obviously my concerns
were legitimate with the Minister now withdrawing the Bill.
Country shows are under threat from State Government charges and red tape
and recently in Parliament The Nationals moved a motion to debate the future of
country shows. During the debate I declared that we would not stand by and watch
Labor destroy one of regional Australia's greatest institutions - the country
show. The major issue currently facing country and regional shows is the extra
cost to have police attend and the introduction of the National Livestock
Identification Scheme (NLIS). I also called on the Carr Labor Government to
waive the excessive charges for police attendance and grant a three-year
moratorium to enable show societies to phase in the NLIS. I highlighted show
society concerns regarding OH&S requirements, public liability insurance and
maintenance of buildings on showground property. Mr Carr must immediately act
now to withdraw the police charges, support the introduction of NLIS and provide
further support for maintenance of buildings.
Minister's Rail Visit
I took the opportunity of meeting the Minister for Transport Services, John
Watkins, at the Casino Railway Station in the early hours, during his trip from
Sydney to Murwillumbah on the rail/bus system. I was able to explain to him the
full operation of the afternoon XPT service and its use of the interchange. I
also re-enforced the desire for a commuter train service to run between Casino &
Murwillumbah should the XPT not be reinstated. I indicated that if we were
successful with a commuter train its viability would depend on having the
contract to transport passengers from Casino to Murwillumbah, as a tourist
operation would not be enough.
Legislative Council Standing Committee on Social Issues
This Committee is undertaking an inquiry into Dental Services, that closes
Friday 27 May 2005. Terms of reference and other information relating to this
inquiry is available at
Anzac Day - I was honoured to attend Anzac Day commemorations starting with
the Dawn Service at Kyogle, the march and a luncheon at Casino and a Battle of
Britain Tribute at Lismore.
Harmony Day - I had the recent pleasure of opening Harmony Day and the Wake-Up
Time Art Exhibition at North Casino. Harmony Day provides an opportunity for us
to celebrate our successes as a culturally diverse society, re-commit ourselves
to harmony and say "no" to racism. This allowed the North Casino community to
come together to enjoy themselves and celebrate their community.
SCU Graduations - 400 students graduated from Arts, Business, and Health and
Applied Sciences. Congratulations to all the graduates, and especially to nine
students who were awarded University Medals.