Local, Independant and Effective

(Belated) News from 117 Murphy Street - July 15, 2014

Posted July 15, 2014



The news of 60 jobs being lost at major Wangaratta manufacturer, Bruck Textiles, was a very disappointing end to last week. Cathy had planned to tour the factory on Friday afternoon, to hear how the company had reacted to the recent cut to the Clothing and Household Textile (Building Innovative Capability) scheme. The visit was postponed at lunchtime Friday and a hasty meeting organised at 117 Murphy Street between Cathy and new Australian Textile Mills CEO Geoff Parker. 

Cathy invited Member for Murray Valley, Tim McCurdy, to the briefing which outlined the decision taken to offer 130 people positions in a newly restructured textiles company.

In Parliament on Monday Cathy called on the Wangaratta community to rally behind the ex-employees. Lawyer firm, Nevin, Lenne & Gross, has kindly offered to assist the terminated workers with the Fair Entitlements Guarantee paperwork. The Independent Member for Indi met with senior staff from the office of the Minister for Employment, Senator Eric Abetz, to discuss speedy implication of the Fair Entitlements Guarantee so ex-employees can get their entitlements.

On other matters, NAIDOC Week celebrations were a significant part of the week, ending with the Dirrawarra Indigenous network event in Wangaratta last Saturday. The theme was 'Serving Country: Centenary and Beyond’ and Cathy gave the opening address around this topic. It was a big community day and wonderful to see so much participation in recognition of NAIDOC Week.

Last Thursday the Independent Member for Indi was in Mansfield and attended two events with NAIDOC Week significance. Local kids put on a performance in the CWA Hall to mark the week, with original hip-hop and rap routines. Liam Bradley certainly entertained the crowd with his dancing! At the end of the day the Gadhaba Local Indigenous Network presented a mural to the Mansfield Library. The striking mural comprises Taungurung words and accompanying images and symbols to show the meaning of each traditional word. It was created as an educational tool, showing the important role of culture, language and community. Cathy received a lovely gift - a traditional boomerang made by Talitha Annuscheit. This was presented to Cathy by the artist's mother, Tandy Annuscheit and Peter Olver (pictured).

In between the two events, Cathy called into Café Connect and was given a grand tour of the venue which attracts many teens to the popular spot. Cathy was impressed with the level of community support, including Mansfield Shire, and local service group interaction.  

This was Cathy’s second ‘valley visit’ and first stop on the road trip was Benalla, where Cathy welcomed Benalla Ensign editor Libby Price to her new role. Cathy also visited Bertalli’s Alpine Breads Bakery, which won the 2014 Victorian Baking Association of Australia vanilla slice competition. The innovative food manufacturer has also risen to the challenge of growing its business. The $400,000 investment in a shrink-wrapping machine allows distribution interstate and also expands the shelf life of the products.

Earlier in the week, the Burgoigee Creek Landcare group AGM attracted about 50 people on Tuesday evening. Cathy gave a short talk on how significant the Landcare movement continues to be in the North East. Cathy committed to championing the Landcare cause in Parliament. She also encouraged the Landcare groups to be pro-active in accessing funding available through the Federal Government’s Green Army and Carbon Farming initiatives. 

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