Thomas GeorgeMember for Lismore- State Matters

Office contactsPhone: 6621 3624Fax: 6622 1403Address: PO Box 52, Lismore, NSW, 2480Email: Parliament resumed this week following the winter recess. It will now sit until the end of the year. This will be the last sitting period before the next election.

Reporting crime

I encourage members of the Lismore community to continue reporting crimes. At a recent PACT (Police Accountability Community Team) meeting it was pointed out that unless members of the community report crimes, proper statistics cannot be kept, which makes it difficult to lobby for extra police. It is vital the community assists police by contacting them if they suspect an offence, which in turn could provide intelligence in helping the officers to solve crime.

Pollies for Small Business Day

For Pollies for Small Business Day earlier this month I took part in some work experience at Luv A Coffee caf in Lismore and JH Williams rural store in Murwillumbah. As a former business owner, I certainly appreciated the opportunity to spend some time with local small business owners and get a better understanding of the current issues they face each day in their businesses, particularly in regard to the amount of red tape caused by decisions of government.

Seniors Week Awards

Applications are now open for 2007 Seniors Week Achievement Awards. The awards recognise seniors from across NSW for their contribution to the development of the community, for their leadership and initiative. Nomination forms are available from my office.

Forestry Code

Further to my last column, the Minister for Natural Resources and Primary Industries, Ian Macdonald, has bowed to public pressure and good sense and announced it will re-start its consultation process on a code to regulate private native forestry.

The announcement is a huge relief for the timber industry, farmers and private property owners.

The Minister should now go further and implement transparent public consultation on this matter, not just refer the matter back to the Natural Resources Advisory Council. Minister Macdonald needs to ensure the consultation process is truly open, involving the real stakeholders. This means holding public meetings state-wide, and listening to what the timber workers, farmers and private property owners are saying.

In the end, the correct thing for the Minister to do is to amend the Native Vegetation Act to include Private Native Forestry as a Routine Agricultural Management Activity (RAMA) with operators following Best Operating Standards (BOS).

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