Casino Constituent Interviews

Express Examiner 29 March 2006

Casino Constituent Interviews

I will be holding constituent interviews in Casino on the afternoon of 17 May 2006 at the Richmond Valley Council chambers. If you wish to arrange a time to discuss a State Government issue with me in Casino on that day please contact my office on 6621 3624.

Kyogle to Casino Bus Concerns

After being contacted by a number of concerned parents about changes to the Kyogle to Casino school bus, I have been liaising with the Ministry of Transport to look at resolving the issue.

A meeting of concerned parents last week highlighted the level of concern about the safety of students travelling on the bus. At the meeting Kirkland's promised to reinstate the second bus and a committee representing the parents, schools and Kirklands was elected to work with Kirklands at arriving at a suitable compromise. I am confident that the action taken by parents has delivered a strong message to Kirklands regarding their concerns.

At the end of the day, all concerns registered were about children's safety.

Good News for Patients Travelling for Treatment

It is pleasing to hear the State Government has taken on board the concerns of country patients and changed the eligibility rules for the Patients Travel Scheme so that assistance is now available for patients travelling more than 100km. Previously to be eligible a patient had to be travelling more than 200km. This meant many residents of Northern NSW were missing out on assistance when travelling over the border. The change brings NSW into line with other state and is long overdue.

FirstFarmer Program Funds Still Needed

The FirstFarmer program, first announced by the State Government in July last year, is yet to be funded leaving young farmers without the opportunity to introduce sustainable agriculture practices. Some young farmers have been left waiting for the funding to help with the purchase of their first property.

The FirstFarmer scheme is supposed to provide concessional finance to help young farmers establish viable and sustainable farming properties and to encourage them to introduce cutting edge management practices and technology. It was announced as a means to address the decline in the number of young people entering farming.

It appears the $1 million FirstFarmer scheme was stalled whilst an external consultant was engaged to review the merits of the scheme. It is a shame such a worthwhile scheme has been announced, but not delivered.

NRMA Community Road Safety Grants on Offer

The NRMA is now accepting applications from community groups for the 2006-07 round of NRMA Community Road Safety Grants. The grants of up to $5000 are distributed for programs and solutions that address local road safety problems.

The grants can be for stand alone projects or to enhance an existing roads project. To be eligible for funding community organizations must demonstrate the project will benefit the local community, reduce crash risk, have clear goals, outcomes and performance indicators and must include a clear outline of how the money will be spent.

Applications are available from my office and must be submitted by 24 April 2006.

Taking a Stand Against Scams

The 2006 Australasian Consumer Fraud Taskforce is campaigning to increase the community's awareness of scams with the message "delete it, destroy it or hang up." Scams come in many forms, they can include; telephone calls, mail or e-mail or SMS. Some recent examples include; The Spanish Lottery Scam- you are told you have won the lottery without even entering! All you need to do is send $50 overseas.
Financial Chain Letters- by forwarding a letter to 200 people and sending $10 to the first person you can make up to $70,000.
Bogus Banking Institution E-mails- e-mails request your banking details and password to help upgrade security.
Stockbroking Offers- fraudulent brokers call and offer an investment opportunity with high returns.

Each of these are scams which are best dealt with by hanging up, deleting the e-mail, or destroying the letter. Further information about the campaign is available by contacting my office or for those with access to the Internet by visiting www.scamwatch.gov.au

NSW Seniors Week 2-9 April

My office has received the program for NSW Seniors Week between 2-9 April. The program includes a variety of events including the Seniors Week concert in Sydney which many Lismore Electorate residents attend.

Some of the Seniors Week events occurring in this region include; Lismore Over 50's Seniors Learning Day, Lismore Over 50s Learning Centre
Living Life to the Fullest, Lismore Senior Citizens Social Club Inc.
Elders Cultural Gardens Walkabout, Casino Neighbourhood Centre
Stepping Out in Murwillumbah, Murwillumbah Bowls and Sports Club
Get Connected- Seniors Computer Courses, Kyogle CTC

Seniors Week provides an excellent opportunity to celebrate the contribution made by Seniors to the community. It is also a week of great fun and activity. Any Seniors wishing to find out more about the week can do so by contacting my office.

Lismore Contact Details:

Office: 55 Carrington Street  LISMORE
Postal: PO Box 52  LISMORE  NSW  2480
Telephone: 02 6621 3624
Facsimile: 02 6622 1403
Email: lismore@parliament.nsw.gov.au

Murwillumbah Contact Details:

Telephone: 02 6672 7577