Cathy McGowan: Member for Indi

Community consultation to guide Cathy McGowan on Budget vote

May 13, 2014
Contact: Simon Crase


Federal Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, will be consulting her constituents to assist her in understanding the full impact of the Federal Government’s 2014-15 Budget on Indi.

Ms McGowan said the 2014-15 Budget has strong financial management measures aimed at returning the Budget to surplus and finding efficiencies in the public service and government departments, as well as funding for important projects in Indi.

“I am pleased to see the Government commit to $1.84 million for the Indigo Shire Roads program, $200,000 for the Bright Hospital Feasibility Study, and $5 million for the Albury Wodonga Health Cardiac Laboratory and the CCTV mobile camera for Myrtleford,” Ms McGowan said.

“I also welcome many of the initiatives, including additional funding for Roads to Recovery and the Road Blackspots program, and fulfilling the election commitment to provide $100 million for agriculture research and development.

“However I am concerned about the impact that $7 patient contributions for GP visits will have on the health system and already stretched public hospital system. I’m concerned this levy will force people to choose the emergency department over their local GP. I will be consulting with the community on this issue.

“I am also very keen to talk to young people about how the work for the dole scheme will affect them and their families. New social security policies for young people will put more pressure and stress on young people who aren’t earning an income and have few job or skills-training options. Youth unemployment is high and education options are few in Wodonga, Wangaratta and Benalla and small country towns. I am concerned that these new welfare policies will be difficult to implement in my electorate. I will be consulting about this with the community in coming weeks.”

 Ms McGowan welcomed the funding for mental health research, services and support allocated in the Budget.

 “It’s important these new services are designed to help people who live in rural and regional Australia. I will be lobbying Government to make sure this happens,” Ms McGowan said.   

 The Budget contained the $100 million to help fix mobile phone blackspots across Australia and Ms McGowan supports the collaborative approach to solving the coverage issues with industry, Local Government and community groups. Co-contributions will be sought to match the grant funding.

“I know my Indi Blackspot LGA committee which is meeting next Monday, will be pleased with this news,” she said.

Ms McGowan will consult with residents to gain a clear understanding of whether they are prepared to accept the financial impact on them and their communities in return for the promise of improved management of our nation’s economy.  

“We have at least three weeks before the Budget is voted on. As an Independent, I’m not restricted by the standard political party process. My constituents are my party room and I need their input,” Ms McGowan said.

“My election commitment was to consult and engage with the communities in Indi. I really want to hear from the people of Indi on how this Budget will affect them and their communities.”

When Ms McGowan returns to Indi at the end of the week, she will start an intensive process of community consultation seeking feedback.

“Every resident of Indi is invited to tell me their three priority issues; especially families, students, pensioners, business owners, farmers, veterans and young people. I want to hear the stories of how people think their lives and businesses will be affected as a result of the Budget,” Ms McGowan said.

“Please contact my office by phone, email or comment on my website and take to social media. Over the next three weeks I will be travelling through the electorate, holding listening posts, doing street walks, talking with people at events and speaking with local media.” 

For more information, contact the office of Cathy McGowan on 03 5721 7077 or visit

Ms McGowan will also be seeking comment on other Budget announcements, including

  • Increase in fuel excise
  • Changes to higher education loan scheme
  • Potential changes to the age pension
  • Changes to welfare payments, including means testing and disability assessment
  • Cutting funding to the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation
  • the Albury Wodonga Corporation being wound up

Go to top

Showing 3 reactions

commented 2014-05-15 10:53:33 +1000
Anybody who so obviously and deliberately targets the old, the sick, the young and the poor while subsidizing rich Multinational mining companies to rape our country of mineral resources, foregoes billions in superannuation tax concessions, negative gearing, FBT rorts and other tax loopholes for the rich, undermines and threatens our social institutions through cuts to health, education, Medicare, The ABC, SBS and many others, Stymies the opportunities for growth and prosperity through (basically), the abolition of science, technology and the environment, Ignores global climate threats and poverty and treats the worlds most vulnerable people and foreign neighbors with contempt, is NOT acting in the best interests of this country.

They are working to an ideological agenda of Corporatization, power and greed.

But Hey, That’s just my opinion…
commented 2014-05-14 16:39:02 +1000
I am concerned that the federal funding (5 hours of the 15) for Universal Access in Kinders will be cut. This is so disappointing! The children desperately deserve a good start to their education. This government is showing little regard to our future Australian leaders.
Andrea O’Connor NERPSA board member and mother
commented 2014-05-13 23:01:48 +1000
I believe that the old and poor shouldn’t have to pay to see a doctor. Companies should insted pay for the medical certificate that employees are required to get even if they have sick days, this would take some of the burden of our medicare.
Is this fuel tax going to be used on the roads or is it going to be like the last fuel tax?
I agree with work for the dole but it needs to be sold better. Have them cleaning up our waterways and try and give them a sense of pride. Disabled should be included in this but with compassion. Have them teamed up with the work for the dole participants that want to be there, this I believe would be great for their mental health.

Maybe it should be earn, learn or military?

As I’m studying, I’m not to keen on paying higher interest on my education debt but I would be happy to pay a bit more once I’m earning more then $50,000.

Overall, it’s not as bad as I thought.
I can understand that things had to be done because of the way Labour left us but we need to look after our old, poor and sick.

I would let ve to talk with you more about the disability testing?