On Friday 17 May 2019 the Blue Mountains celebrated 10 years of International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia [IDAHOT].Read more
Recently the Government tried to sneakily pass on the costs of its new measures to increase workers compensation coverage for volunteer and career firefighters to ordinary people across New South Wales, including those emergency service workers whom the Government's measures are meant to assist. Instead of funding its workers compensation package from Consolidated Revenue and the workers compensation scheme, the Government decided—without telling the public—that funding for the changes would be collected from the emergency services levy.Read more
I congratulate Claire Dunning and Tessa Hitchens from the 1st Blaxland Scout Group on receiving the prestigious Queen's Scout Award.Read more
As it is National Reconciliation Week, I acknowledge the recent publication ofAboriginal Heritage of the Blue Mountains: Recent Research and Reflections and the intense, crucial work that was done in its creation. This tome was authored by Bruce Cameron, Michael Jackson, Evan Yanna Muru Gallard, Grace Karskens, Wayne R. Brennan, Jim Smith and Eugene Stockton; edited by Kelvin Knox and Reverend Dr Eugene Stockton; and published by the Blue Mountains Education and Research Trust from Lawson. Its design and layout was by Allan Walsh of Hazelbrook and it was printed by Bennetts of Leura. This is indeed a truly local publication.Read more
On the weekend in Wentworth Falls I had the pleasure of attending and speaking at an art exhibition entitled Fractured Fairytales, featuring photographic works of local artist Livonne Larkins.Read more
My motion, which urges this House to recognise the need for urgent action on climate change and express concern that the Treasurer of New South Wales has defended climate change sceptics while describing spending on climate change as a "gratuitous waste", should have precedence tomorrow. It is crucial that we reorder business for tomorrow so that we can establish on the record in this place just how deeply the climate scepticism of the New South Wales Liberals runs and how the leadership of this Government is compromised by hard Right faction ideologues like Dominic Perrottet.
I thank the member for Heathcote for bringing forward this matter of public importance. It gives me great pleasure to speak about National Road Safety Week and to join with my colleagues in Parliament to acknowledge National Road Safety Week. It is especially important to me as I acknowledge the important work done by Peter Frazer, from the Blue Mountains, through the Safer Australian Roads and Highways Group. Peter Frazer tragically lost his daughter Sarah Frazer, one of my constituents, to a road accident on the Hume Highway in 2012. I acknowledge the tragic consequences of this event on the lives of Sarah's friends and family, and on the loved ones of the tow truck driver who was also killed in that accident.Read more
October is Mental Health Month. Today I will speak about the Mental Health First Aid [MHFA] program. One in three people will experience some kind of mental illness in their lifetime. Those numbers clearly show it is a common health problem, yet many people feel isolated and stigmatised by their illness. In the Blue Mountains there is a groundswell of community support for people living with mental illness as well as their family and friends. Local organisations are working together to raise community awareness, and bring an end to stigma and health discrimination. I have long been an advocate for people affected by mental illness. Recently I joined with local neighbourhood centres in my electorate to champion the cause and show my support for skills training through the Mental Health First Aid program.Read more
The Valley Heights Rural Fire Brigade celebrated its sixtieth anniversary on Saturday 20 October and many of its firefighters received medals.
National medals were presented to members in recognition of their years of diligent service—people who go above and beyond what is expected of active members of brigades.Read more
I will make a brief contribution to debate on the Workers Compensation (Firefighters' Presumptive Rights to Compensation) Bill 2018.In doing so, I acknowledge that once again Labor and its shadow ministerial team are leading the way from Opposition, within a policy and legislative vacuum created by the laziness of the Government.
Labor has been engaging with and listening to the community on this and many other matters. The Fire Brigade Employees Union [FBEU] and the Rural Fire Services Association have both pledged their support for this legislation and have been at the forefront of the push to protect firefighters in both agencies against the long-term health impacts of the vital work they perform.Read more