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Indi Weekly Scoop, June 5, 2015

Posted June 05, 2015




  •  Indi seat on major Parliamentary committee
  • Indi ag news
  • AMFP success
  • 2015 Budget Speech - Vision for Indi
  • Taking action to represent Indi – Loaves and Fishes
  • Indi Funding News
  • Vale Joan Kirner – legacy beyond politics
  • Australian citizenship values - community have your say

In a considerable vote of confidence and recognition of respect, Cathy has been appointed to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights. The committee, which sits weekly during Parliament, scrutinises all Bills coming to Parliament for compatibility with Human Rights covenants. Along with all Human Rights, Cathy’s focus will be on ensuring people in regional Australia have access to government services, as set out under Human Rights guidelines. The appointment is an honour for Cathy, who is the first Independent MP to be given a seat on the committee.


Indi ag news

Country of Origin labelling on products was an issue raised at last week’s Australian Manufacturing and Farming Program (AMFP). Cathy asked the Minister for Industry and Science, Ian Macfarlane, for clarification of the Government’s action in Question Time. The Minister stressed that consultation would be taking place with industry groups, businesses and primary producers to get labelling that consumers understand. Market research and consumer testing is also taking place along with a community survey for public feedback. Details will be available via the Scoop when the survey comes on line.

AMFP success

Following on from the AMFP last Friday, Cathy made three speeches in Parliament this week. The industry forum attracted 40 exhibitors and 150 people, including students from Wodonga Middle Years College and Corryong College. In Parliament, Cathy praised Wodonga TAFE for the role it played in the event’s success, and thanked Raymond Bertazzo and Jon Retford for taking the time to inspire and educate students. Cathy also delivered speeches about the Building a Local Food Future Forum held in Wodonga, and the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal. FRRR has a number of grants open now. Congratulations to Benalla and Harrietville organisations for success in the last round.   

2015 Budget Speech - Vision for Indi

The 2015-16 Budget Impact Tour ended last weekend and Cathy used this material to inform the 2015 Budget Speech. Feedback showed people were more content with the Budget than 2014 and it was a step in the right direction. Cathy welcomed the inclusion of the Partnership for Regional Growth as a step towards recognising the needs of regional Australia. However people remained concerned about key areas, including:

  • Taxation – agriculture and farming
  • Social services and pension
  • Education
  • Job creation
  • Building capacity

The Budget Impact Tour Report will be launched on Friday June 12.

Taking Action to represent Indi – Loaves and Fishes

Cathy has had a preliminary meeting with Minister for Social Services, Scott Morrison, regarding funding for Emergency Relief programs in Indi.  This will be followed up with a more detailed meeting in the next sitting of Parliament. Emergency Relief programs play a vital role in Indi. Cathy is seeking clarification on the funding, contracts and transition between programs and the impact on the most vulnerable in our communities.

Indi Funding News

Bonegilla Migrant Centre has received $771,000 from the Federal Government’s Protecting National Historic Sites programme. The funding will go towards upgrading existing huts and replacing entry steps. The Bonegilla Migrant Experience is a major tourism feature of the North East, and continues to attract thousands of migrant families and descendants each year.

Vale Joan Kirner – legacy beyond politics

Former Victorian Premier Joan Kirner passed away on June 1. Cathy made a speech today about her legacy to the social, economic and environmental future of regional Australia and the role of Joan Kirner and the Rural Affairs Committee of Cabinet. Legacy programs included the Landcare movement, The Rural Enterprise Victoria Program and the Victorian Rural Women’s Network.  Cathy also spoke of the impact of the RACC and her role as a Rural Affairs Advisor in the Victorian Department of Agriculture in the 1980s.

Australian citizenship values - community have your say

Government is seeking community feedback on the values and obligations in Australian citizenship. The Discussion Paper Australian Citizenship – Your Right, Your Responsibility can be found here. You can submit your views on the discussion paper by 30 June 2015 online, email: CitizenshipPaper2015@immi.gov.au or mail Citizenship Policy, Department of Immigration and Border Protection, PO Box 25, Belconnen, ACT 2616

Cathy’s Diary

  • Friday, June 5 - Nepal Before, During and After the Earthquakes - St Stephen's Uniting Church, Wodonga – 7pm
  • Saturday, June 6 - Barb Strand's art exhibition – official opening - George Kerferd Hotel, Beechworth – 3pm
  • Saturday, June 6 - Alexandra Truck & Ute Show Dinner – Mt Pleasant Hotel, Alexandra – 6.30pm
  • Sunday, June 7 - Rutherglen Wine Stomp – 2pm, Main Street, Rutherglen

IMAGE: Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal board members Ian Allen, Annie Grindrod, CEO Alexandra Gartmann and chair Ian Sinclair, with Cathy talking leadership and community resilience. 

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