Local, Independant and Effective

"Your voice matters" - Indi way alive and well in inquiry submissions

Posted October 18, 2017


"The Indi way is alive and well in my electorate — the idea of engaging in politics, of putting a call out and having it answered, of people taking responsibility for speaking up and for having a say, of democracy in action."

Cathy has congratulated and acknowledged in Parliament the many submissions from Indi to the inquiry into regional development and decentralisation. 

Ms McGOWAN (Indi) (19:40):  Tonight I would like to honour, acknowledge and thank the 38 Indi residents who have taken the trouble and made the time to make submissions to the House committee inquiry into regional development and decentralisation: 20 organisations, seven of the nine local governments, and numerous businesses and individuals. I would particularly like to acknowledge the role of NESAY YouthForIndi, who actively worked with the young people in my electorate to get their involvement; to Mitch, the teacher at GOTAFE who coordinated and helped; and to Leah, Noni, Georgie and Casey, the staff who made such a difference. Colleagues, the Indi way is alive and well in my electorate—the idea of engaging in politics, of putting a call out and having it answered, of people taking responsibility for speaking up and for having a say, of democracy in action, and of knowing that what they say matters and how they engage matters.

The submissions have been published on the website and people can follow them up. The next stage in the process is that we are having hearings. In my electorate, I will publish the Indi submissions and they will inform the process of the kitchen table conversations and the Indi summit which we will have next year, leading to policy formation for the next state and federal election.

I would particularly like to acknowledge the role of the Prime Minister in supporting the inquiry and to acknowledge the chair, John McVeigh, the member for Groom, and the nine other committee members. We have four Liberals, two Nats, three Labor and me, so it truly is a representative committee. The committee has such a passion for the future of rural and regional Australia. All together we've received 174 submissions. Last week we were in Bendigo, Launceston and Burnie. As soon as parliament rises, we go across to Western Australia, and then to South Australia, the Northern Territory and Queensland over the next four weeks.

What I want to say tonight is that this inquiry is about getting best practice. It's about working out what the government can do and what the role for business is. It demonstrates that, for regional policy to work—to deliver better education and job opportunities, economic growth, infrastructure and a healthy, vibrant community—we need to work together: Commonwealth, state and local governments, and community and individuals. This is what we have seen in the submissions from Indi and from those people who presented at the hearings in Wodonga. So to those who answered the call, thank you. To those who shared your knowledge, thank you. Thank you for telling us what works and what best practice is. I look forward to playing a part in the draft report and the recommendations and to forwarding the draft copy for feedback before Christmas.

I would particularly like to acknowledge Bronwyn Martin; Murrindindee Shire Council; Albury and Wodonga city councils, who have proudly signed a memorandum of understanding; Wodonga TAFE; Rural Australians for Refugees; Northern Victoria Refugee Support Network; David Corben of the union movement; Goulburn Murray Water; Edith Peters; Northeast Health Wangaratta; Benalla Rural City; Wangaratta Rural City; Alpine Shire Council; Moira Shire Council; and Tolmie Sustainable Transport Group. In particular, I would like to acknowledge the five NESAY participants: Jarvis—more about him in a minute—Jordan, Grayce, Corey and Sam; and also Brown Brothers of Milawa; the Central Hume Primary Care Partnership; Tomorrow Today Foundation; Ant Packer; Voices for Indi; Parklands Albury Wodonga; Regional Development Australia Committee—Hume; Indigo Shire Council; Jordan Wilson; Brian Vial; Andrea Stevenson; Russell Sully; Narelle Martin; Rivers and Ranges Community Leadership Program; Peter Kenyon; Beverley Dick; Michael Gobel; Murray Hume Business Enterprise Centre; and La Trobe University. And there are more, but I want your names to go into the record because I want you to know it matters that your voice is coming to parliament and that we care about what you say.

But the last word goes to Jarvis, because it's for him and the young people of Australia that we are really working. Travis says:

I live in the Wangaratta region. I am 17 years of age. I am going to write about what we need more of in our town. I am writing about this because I think there can be more to do in our town.

Our town needs more community swap meets for young people that are into cars. The reason I'm writing this is that I believe it will have a positive outcome for the youth of Wangaratta.

Jarvis, I hear you. I hear you say it will be good for socialising and teaching young people about cars and money, and to share and develop skills. It's good for recycling and reusing parts. To Jarvis and to all the people who contributed, but particularly to the young people of north east Victoria: we hear you and parliament hears you. Thank you.

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