Local, Independant and Effective

Indi Weekly Scoop - Canberra edition - December 5, 2014

Posted December 05, 2014



The final Parliamentary sitting week for 2014 has capped an exciting year for Cathy representing the people of Indi. The week coincided with the 12-month anniversary of Cathy’s First Speech in Parliament. She used the opportunity in a speech on the need for a regional policy to call on the Leader of the Nationals and Minister for Infrastructure, Warren Truss, to fight for regional Australia in Cabinet. Cathy has spent the year in Parliament talking about the infrastructure needs of Indi and rural and regional Australia. More investment is needed in telecommunications, transport infrastructure, health and mental health, education and agriculture to grow Indi and regional Australia. Cathy will continue the fight for these important issues in 2015.


Wangaratta was the big winner in the NBN fixed line rollout announcement earlier this week. About 8000 premises will have fixed line rollout when construction is completed in coming years.

Further rounds of fixed rollout are expected to be announced in 2015. The NBN Long Term Satellite Service needs to be made available for households and businesses in Indi. Minister for Communications, Malcolm Turnbull, told Parliament yesterday it would be up by this time next year and plans available in early 2016. This was in response to Cathy’s question in Question Time.  

Yesterday, Cathy met with NBN CO Government Relations liaison Chris Wilcox. The meeting included discussion on the continuing NBN rollout and telecommunications forum to be held in 2015 on how the NBN will benefit communities.

‘Tis the season to be jolly and Cathy was particularly jolly when the Senate rejected the Government’s Higher Education reforms on Tuesday afternoon. Cathy was quick to ‘tweet’ that common sense had prevailed. She still believes the vast majority of the deregulation reforms will be detrimental for regional students. Minister for Education, Christopher Pyne, has re-introduced an amended Bill to be debated when Parliament resumes in 2015.

Cathy voted against the migration legislation that was put to the House this morning to conclude Parliament for 2015. According to the Madam Speaker’s statistics, this year the House has dealt with:

  • 212 bills
  • considered 91 committee reports
  • met for 682.23 hours
  • debated 171 amendments
  • and a further 177 amendments from the Senate.

Cathy visited the Australian War Memorial on Tuesday to see the latest renovations. She met director Dr Brendan Nelson, and toured the museum with North East residents, including Marita and Bill Perry, and Jill Briggs, and Ralph Wilga Clarke.

Two suitcases were delivered to Parliament House on Wednesday. These contained the Monster Climate Petition and it certainly lived up to its name. Well over 70,000 signatures were received for this climate change initiative. Cathy will table part of the ‘Monster’ petition next year.

Transporting freight in the North East by rail will reportedly be boosted with a rail terminal at the Logic industrial hub. It is understood Perth-based company Blanalko Pty Ltd will build the inter-modal terminal. This significant multi-million dollar investment would create local many jobs and increase productivity. The commitment demonstrates how the business community is confident the North East has a strong future. 

Cathy was saddened by the news a Great Victorian Bike Ride rider was killed in tragic circumstances on Wednesday. Her thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of Echuca man, Trevor Pearce. The impact of his death will be felt deeply in his local community and the thousands of people in the Bike Ride.

Almost 120 Benalla P12 College students, along with teachers and parents, paid a visit to Parliament House on Wednesday. The students watched Question Time and asked Cathy interesting questions and told her what surprised them the most about Parliament House. Yesterday, it was the Kiewa Valley Primary School’s turn to tour APH and meet with Cathy for a certificate presentation and Q&A session. You can see photos on Cathy’s Facebook page.

Cathy made a number of speeches praising community organisations and schools. You can view them here and transcripts here.

National Emergency Management Projects (NEMP) Grants Program 2015-16 funding round is now open. The NEMP website atwww.em.gov.au/nemp includes the FY2015-16 NEMP Program Guidelines and Application Form and a Frequently Asked Questions page.  You can also contact the NEMP Team at nationalprojects@ag.gov.au. The funding round closes on Friday 30 January 2015.

This Sunday Cathy is hosting her Volunteer Christmas Picnic in Chiltern.

IMAGE: Cathy, Liz Walpole, Wilga and Raplh Clarke, Marita and Bill Perry, and Jill Briggs meet with Cathy in her office in Parliament House.

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