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Indi Weekly Scoop - February 13, 2015

Posted February 13, 2015



  • Cathy gives key Senators Education Forum briefing
  • Question Time – Minister Pyne gives assurance to regional students
  • Cathy speaks during debate on Higher Education and Research Reform Bill
  • Indi ATSI communities praised in Closing the Gap
  • MDBA chair Neil Andrew visits Cathy
  • Indi Funding News
  • Indi NBN news – 400 premises to gain from fixed wireless towers
  • Community funding opportunities
  • Governor-General visit - #indiGG

 Key Senators receive Education Forum briefing

Parliament resumed for 2015 this week. This meant a resumption of Cathy standing up for regional students, families and businesses against the proposed Higher Education reforms in Canberra. Fuelling the fight were the outcomes from the Forum on Regional and Rural Higher Education held on February 2.  Cathy took the findings from the Forum to key cross-bench senators, Ricky Muir, John Madigan and Jacqui Lambie to discuss the Forum outcomes and everyone agreed regional Australia would be impacted under the current proposal.

Question Time – Minister Pyne gives assurance to regional students

Minister for Education, Christopher Pyne, responded to Cathy’s question regarding the structural adjustment fund on Wednesday in Question Time. Minister Pyne also gave an assurance regional Australia would not be disadvantaged in the Government’s higher education reforms.

Debate on Higher Education and Research Reform Bill 2014

On Wednesday Cathy spoke to the Higher Education and Research Reform Bill 2014. In the speech Cathy outlined how students, families and businesses would be impacted by the deregulation of universities. She does support reform in the sector and believes it is necessary; however students must have fair access to studying in regional universities. Cathy also met with a senior adviser to Minister Pyne to talk about the Forum outcomes and how the proposed legislation could be amended. She was also interviewed by The Age political reporter Mark Kenny about higher education reform.

Indi ATSI communities praised in Closing the Gap

Cathy delivered her second Closing the Gap speech on Tuesday. The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (ATSI) communities play an important cultural and social role in Indi. It gave Cathy great pride to acknowledge the community leaders for their leadership and guidance, and leading organisations for the support they provide. Government needs to do much more to improve the lot of ATSI communities across the country. Cathy will remain a strong advocate for ATSI programs to help ‘Close the Gap’ and hopes to see a much improved Closing the Gap report in 2016.

Important water connection

Murray Darling Basin Authority chairman Neil Andrew met with Cathy on Thursday. They discussed the constraint management strategy which was an outcome from the Forum hosted by Senator Madigan in Yea last Saturday. Indi contributes 50 per cent of the water to the Murray Darling system and Cathy wants the voice of Indi primary producers to be heard in any Murray Darling Basin Plan considerations.

‘How I Vote’

People are always interested in how Cathy decides on which way to vote in Parliament. A set of guiding principles helps her determine the vote. A short video outlines how she arrives at her decision using the principles.

Indi Funding News   

In Indi Funding News, the Bonegilla Hall Management Committee has received $1287 for a bronze plaque commemorating 28 Bonegilla soldiers who served in the First World War. This is the final ANZAC Centenary Local Grants program Indi submission to be approved. The Indi ANZAC Centenary Grants Committee meets again next week.

Indi NBN News

The NBN rollout continues in Indi. Three more fixed wireless towers will be constructed in coming months. Cathy believes the NBN wireless tower installations across rural and regional Australia can help solve the mobile phone black spot problems. In 2015 she will continue working closely with Telstra, Optus, Vodafone, councils and the Government on sharing facilities.


Wireless Service area name

Site name

Approx premises count






Howqua Inlet



Wangaratta North West


(Maps can be found at www.nbnco.com.au/rollout/rollout-map)

Community funding opportunities

Round 7 Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal Grants for Resilience & Wellness are now open. The program assists communities affected by the 2009 Victorian bushfires to undertake community strengthening and resilience-building projects. Applications close on March 12. Cathy would like to hear from successful applicants and the projects planned to help the community.

Indi community groups should also consider applying for a 2015 Commonwealth Bank Community Grant. The program is awarding $2 million in community grants to organisations across Australia to improve the health and wellbeing of young people. Applications close on Friday 27 February 2015. Information and application forms can be found at www.commbank.com.au/grants.

Schools and youth groups can apply for a $1000 grant from the 2015 Coles Junior Landcare Grants will be given to fund vegetable and native gardens, composting and green waste recycling activities, education on ‘food miles’ through growing your own produce, Waterwise and Carbon gardening activities, and purchasing kids gardening equipment.

Cathy has a busy schedule in her week between parliamentary sittings. This will be dominated by the Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove and Lady Cosgrove visiting Indi last week. We’ll be using #indiGG as out hashtag during the social media coverage.


  • Tolmie Sports - Tolmie Sports and Recreation Reserve

 Next week:

  • Monday, Tuesday - Governor General Sir Peter Cosgrove and Lady Cosgrove visit
  • Wednesday - Rutherglen High School meeting with School Leaders and SRC Executive, Rutherglen Rotary Club – guest speaker, 6.30pm
  • Thursday - Alpine Community and Health Advisory Group – guest speaker, 6pm
  • Friday - Gateway Health Wangaratta official opening, 9am


IMAGE: Cathy volunteer Sasha McPavian (left) and Cathy meet Heywire winner, Olivia Carmody from the Barnawartha Football Netball Club in Canberra.

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