Indi Weekly Scoop - February 26, 2016
Posted February 26, 2016
Millions for Indi in major defence investment
The defence industry in Indi is a big winner today, with significant long-term Federal Government investment announced. Cathy welcomed the projects included in the 2016 Defence White Paper. A major redevelopment to key military infrastructure will take place in Albury-Wodonga in the next 10 years, with an estimated cost of $350 million. Jobs will be created in construction, transport, logistics and this investment will have a big flow-on effect throughout many sectors. Indi matters and funding continues to flow, this time the benefits are coming to defence. Read the press release online.
Government releases telco review response
The Government’s response to the 2015 Regional Telecommunications Review was tabled this week. The review looked at whether people in regional and rural Australia have equitable access to telecommunications services compared to those delivered in metropolitan centres. Cathy welcomed key recommendations, including the Productivity Commission review into the Universal Service Obligations (USO). Any changes to the USO must not disadvantage people in regional Australia, and consumer safeguards must also ensure equitable access is achieved. Government response can be found online.
Local media needs protection
People in Indi rely on strong local news, sport and events coverage. Media reform is needed and Cathy agreed with the Federal Cabinet decision to get rid of the “reach rule” and “two-out-of-three” ownership rule. However, local content must be protected and more detail is required to explain the expansion of the points system which currently acts as to preserve local content. Laws have to keep up with the fast-changing media landscape and mechanisms must be put in place to ensure the reforms deliver.
Senate reform heads to…Senate
Cathy supported the Government’s Commonwealth Electoral Amendment Bill 2016 to introduce a simpler voting system for the Senate. The main change in the Bill was the optional preferential voting above the line, with voters to number at least six numbers in sequence. Many people find the system complicated, hard to understand and confusing. Cathy believes independents will continue to play a pivotal role in Australian politics and it won’t be the end of independents in the Senate. The Bill also abolishes individual and group voting tickets, changes the rules for informal voting, and allows party logos to be printed on ballot papers for the House of Representatives and the Senate.
Speeches – Feb 22-25
Legislation – passed by House of Reps on the voices
Commonwealth Electoral Amendment Bill 2016
Tax Laws Amendment (Small Business Restructure Roll-over)
Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage Amendment
Narcotic Drugs Amendment
Tax and Superannuation Laws Amendment (2016 Measures No. 1)
Dairy Produce Amendment (Dairy Service Levy Poll)
Parliamentary Entitlements Amendment (Injury compensation Scheme)
Out and About in Indi
Mount Beauty locals can catch up with Cathy on Tuesday, March 8. A ‘Listening Post’ is being set up near the CFA on Lakeside Avenue. Then it’s off to the International Women’s day being recognised at Tawonga in an event themed ‘intergenerational inclusiveness’. Cathy is chuffed to be a guest panellist and was delighted to hear Year 11 and 12 girls at Mount Beauty Secondary College have been invited to take part. This is a direct result of a Kitchen Table Conversation at the college, in which Global Politics students identified a lack of interaction between generations in the area. Cathy congratulates organisers for bringing together women of all ages.
Grow your own Food
Round two funding for Grow Your Idea is now open. This is a small grants scheme for projects under $3000 being offered by Gateway Health in Wangaratta. This funding comes from the Federal Government Department of Social Services. It aims to improve healthy eating for local low income families with children. Email Gateway Health at email@example.com.
- New Energy Fund – Victorian Government, community energy projects up to $100,000 for business case, up to $1 million for project. Closes 16 March. Information here
- Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal
° Small Grants for Rural Communities – Closes 24 March. Grants up to $5000 are available. Priority is given to communities of 10,000 or under. Information here
° Gardiner Dairy Foundation Working in Dairy Communities – $5000 grants for Victorian dairy community projects. Closes 14 March. Information here
Cathy’s diary – 27 February-6 March
Saturday, 27 February – Comedy fundraiser, Yackandandah
Monday, 29 February -3 March - Parliament
Thursday, 3 March – School visits to APH: Sacred Heart Corryong, Wodonga South Primary School, International Women’s Day Parliamentary Breakfast
Saturday, 5 March – Arts Rutherglen International Women’s Day, Fundraiser film, Suffragette
Sunday, 6 March – Pollie Panel at Youth Politics Camp, Howman’s Gap
IMAGE: St Augustine’s Primary School visits Parliament House and ask Cathy plenty of interesting questions about her role as the Independent Member for Indi.