Indi is set for visits from high-level MPs to get an understanding of how Government policy and funding impacts communities across a range of key issues. Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, said invitations have been extended to four ministers to discuss aged care, access to disability services, trade and export opportunities, health and telecommunications.
“Communities in Indi have been working hard on these issues. People will welcome the opportunity to present their cases to the Ministers about how improvements can be made to get better outcomes for people,” Ms McGowan said. “I am committed to working with the Government of the day to get the infrastructure and services Indi needs. The decision makers are listening to Indi concerns.”
Newly appointed Assistant Minister for Disability Services, Jane Prentice, has been invited to tour successful disability services, including the Disability Advocacy and Information Service and Aware Industries in Wodonga, Merriwa Industries in Wangaratta and Wangaratta District Specialist School, and Mansfield Autism Statewide Services.
Deputy Leader of the Nationals, Fiona Nash, has been invited to meet with Upper Murray Community Health Service in Corryong and Alpine Health, covering Myrtleford, Mount Beauty and Bright to discuss the Multi-Purpose Service funding agreement. The funding model needs to be changed to allow these health services to continue providing quality healthcare.
“As Minister for Regional Development, Rural Health and Regional Communications, Ms Nash will be keen to hear about our infrastructure, health and communications needs,” Ms McGowan said.
Government responded to the 2015 Regional Telecommunications Review this week. Ms McGowan will be lobbying Ms Nash to get key recommendations introduced to meet the Government’s aim of regional Australia having equitable access to telecommunications.
“Many people living in regional Australia face higher internet and phone bills than people receive in the cities,” Ms McGowan said. “Changes to the Universal Service Regulation and consumer safeguards must be fair to rural people.”
Ms McGowan said Assistant Minister for Health and Aged Care, Ken Wyatt, has been invited to discuss issues with the Home Care Package system. “Competition for package funding will not deliver the best outcomes in much of Indi because of geographic and social challenges,” she said.
Several constituents have asked Special Envoy for Trade, Andrew Robb, to bring the Trade roadshow to Indi to show agribusiness the opportunities arising from the recent free-trade agreements.