Thomas GeorgeMember for Lismore- State Matters
Woman of the Year
I was pleased to host the Lismore Electorate Woman of the Year presentation last week, where 18 worthy nominees were recognised for their hard work in the local community.
Nominees have contributed to the community through a range of volunteer activities and by contributing to local organisations. Whilst Bronwyn Watson was awarded 2006 Lismore Electorate Woman of the Year for her work within the deaf community, I would like to extend my congratulations to all of the nominees and thank them for their contribution to our local area.
The nominees were: Bronwyn Watson, Rebekka Battista, Lynette Bolin, Janet Gates, Lisa Gava, Julie Gerrish, Mandie Hale, Christine Hartley, Helen Hargreaves, Jenny London, Judith Light, Diana Roberts, Lorelle Schrofler, Dot Smith, Shirley Smith, Liz Terracini, Colette Tierney and Gloria Wilton.
$40,800 in sport grants for locals
Five Lismore electorate sporting organisations will benefit from $40,800 worth of assistance under the 2005/06 Capital Assistance Program.
The projects receiving funding this year include:
$3,000 for the installation of security fencing and light pole safety padding at Casino Town Tennis Court;
$10,000 for the installation of artificial grass on tennis courts at Green Pigeon Community Centre Reserve Trust;
$7,000 for the provision of new playground equipment at Crawford Square;
$5,800 for the construction of young childrens playground including sunshade at Federal Community Park; and
$15,000 for the upgrading of lighting at Riverview Park.
The Capital Assistance Program is an important source of funding for local sporting organisations and helps to develop community sporting and recreational facilities in the local area. The specific aim of the program is to work in partnership with the general sporting community and to support groups who have shown they are also prepared to help themselves.
Rural Fire Service
It has recently been revealed that the NSW Governments claim that there are currently 70,000 volunteer firefighters in NSW is incorrect and the true figure is closer to 45,000.
This is a problem because not only does the Iemma Government use the figure of 70,000 to justify maintaining a salaried staff of more than 650 in the Rural Fire Service, but it also gives a false sense of security about true firefighting capabilities.
Firefighters are being further let down by reductions in the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) firefighting budget. The NSW Governments recurrent funding for the six million hectare National Park estate has fallen in real terms by 4.3 per cent over the past two years, yet the National Park estate has continued to grow.
It is vital that our hard working Rural Fire Service resources are properly assessed and the NSW Government assists where it can by ensuring proper hazard reduction is undertaken in Nationals Parks.
Visiting State Parliament
Residents of the Lismore electorate visiting Sydney can now take a free public tour of Parliament House on the first Thursday of each month from 1-2pm (next tour March 2).
The tour visits both the Legislative Assembly and Legislative Council and includes commentary on the history and heritage of the building and how our system of government works. Parliament House is located in Macquarie Street opposite Martin Place. No bookings are necessary, however, further information about the tours can be obtained by calling Parliament House on 9230 2047 or by contacting my office.
NSW Rape Crisis Centre
The NSW Rape Crisis Centre provides a statewide 24-hour telephone and online crisis intervention, support and referral service for anyone who has been sexually assaulted. One of the services provided by the service is Rape Crisis Online. This internet service is aimed at young people who want information before deciding to ring for help. It can be accessed at www.nswrapecrisis.com.au.
Support and information from a sexual assault counsellor is also available at anytime of the day by calling 1800 424 017.
Support for Lupus sufferers
I have recently been provided with information from the Lupus Association of NSW outlining symptoms of the disease and support contact details for sufferers. Lupus affects more than 20,000 people in Australia and is more common than multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy and leukaemia.
Lupus is an autoimmune disease which can start with a variety of symptoms including facial rashes, flu-like symptoms of fatigue, weakness and lack of energy. The symptoms can vary widely from person to person.
The Lupus Association of NSW has been formed to allow sufferers to communicate with other sufferers and discuss how they handle problems related to the disease. T
he Lupus Association can be contacted toll free on 1800 802 088 or 9878 6055. Further information is also available by visiting www.lupusnsw.org.au.
Phone: 6621 3624
Fax: 6622 1403
Address: PO Box 52, Lismore, NSW, 2480