Ambulance Service Medal Proposal

Express Examiner 3 March 2005

Ambulance Service Medal Proposal

Last week in Parliament, I also took the opportunity to seek support of the Minister for Health to recognise Ambulance Officers in NSW who give great service to this state. The Service is only one of the three major emergency service agencies that does not offer its officers a medal for 10 years of diligent and ethical service. I believe encouragement is needed and I have urged the Minister to look at the possibility of a medal in appreciation of 10 years of service by ambulance officers.

Labor on backfoot with NLIS

Long standing pressure by The NSW Nationals and the agricultural industry has paid dividends with the NSW Primary Industries Minister Ian Macdonald finally delivering on his promise to make three million NLIS devices available to cattle producers at a reduced rate of $2.60. Whilst many local rural producers have welcomed this long-awaited announcement, it is unacceptable that the Minister has moved at a snail's pace in providing affordable NLIS technology to industry. My office and those of my colleagues have been inundated with phone calls from angry cattle producers who bought their NLIS ear tags for approximately $4 when the system was first introduced on 1 July 2004. Cattle producers who did the right thing and got organised when NLIS was first implemented have been penalised by Minister Macdonald's inaction and inefficiency in getting the subsidy for ear tags off the ground. The NSW and Victorian Governments first signed off on an agreement to bulk-order NLIS devices in October 2004. It's taken over five months for Labor to actually deliver on the promise. This is simply not good enough. Cattle producers should have been able to access the subsidised ear-tags from 1 July 2004. This is just one example of an issue that should have been ironed out before the system started. I believe those producers who had bought unsubsidised NLIS tags should be compensated by the NSW Labor Government. I have called on Minister Macdonald to immediately provide a reimbursement of up to $1.40 (the difference between the subsided and unsubsidised NLIS tags) to all cattle producers who have already purchased NLIS tags.

Road Enclosure petitions

The Nationals have launched a state-wide petition protesting the Carr Labor Government's increases in Crown Land Leases, particularly Enclosed Road Permits. The petition forwarded last week to those who have contacted my office on this issue, calls on the Carr Labor Government to withdraw its proposed rent increases for Crown Land Leases and implement a new and fair system that is acceptable to all parties. Road enclosures are often very small unproductive pockets of land that were set aside as potential roads many years ago. Labor has recently doubled or tripled rental payments on these pieces of land from what farmers had been paying ($50) and in three years time the annual rental will cost between $350 and $750 -plus depending on the size of the road enclosure permit. And if farmers choose to convert these road enclosure leases to freehold they still face exorbitant Government administrative costs - approximately $1700 - and then have to pay the market value of the land. Or if farmers want to hand the land back to the Crown, the landholder must fence the area at their own cost. All this imposing a massive cost burden on the State's farmers. The Minister was forced to implement a review last year after a major uproar over the rent hikes but despite some changes, the rent increases will still take the cost from $50 to $350 minimum in three years time.

Clean Up Australia Day 2005

Clean Up Australia Day is on this Sunday 6 March. I hope as many people as possible participate in this worthwhile activity, be it in the local park, the street you live in, a waterway or bushland. Business Clean Up Day was Tuesday 1 March and Schools Clean Up Day is this Friday 4 March.

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.