Local, Independant and Effective

Indi Weekly Scoop - March 27, 2015

Posted March 27, 2015

 

cropped_merrijig_students_March_27_2015.jpg 

  • Action in Parliament
  • Mobile phone coverage - Government acts on community safety concerns
  • Spirit of ANZAC to kick off in Indi
  • Indi students converge on Canberra!
  • Team Cathy gets busy in APH
  • Indi Newsletter No. 3 in mailboxes

Looking back at the autumn session of Parliament, Cathy’s focus has been on four key areas:

  • Mobile Phone Coverage
    • Read Karen Purss letter in Parliament, calling on Government to act on mobile phone black spots for improved community safety  
    • Wrote to Minister Turnbull calling for action to address black spots
    • called on the Government to increase funding the Mobile Black Spot Program in Private Member’s Motion
    • Higher Education
      • Speaking about Rural and Regional Higher Education forum in Wodonga, higher education paper being developed by La Trobe Albury Wodonga Head of Campus Dr Guinever Threlkeld
      • Asked Minister for Education, Christopher Pyne, for assurance structural fund would not disadvantage rural and regional students and families
      • Higher Education and Research Reform Amendment Bill 2014 defeated for a second time
    • NBN
      • 18-month NBN rollout program announced, towers continue to be constructed
      • Cathy continues to press Minister for Communications Malcolm Turnbull and NBN Co for NBN rollout information for frustrated communities
    • Trains
      • questions in writing, determined speed restrictions will not be lifted
      • called for Government to consider High Speed Rail project
      • Community consultation for Regional Network Development Plan

The week before Parliament started Cathy took a train trip to Melbourne to visit Premier Daniel Andrews. Cathy was accompanied by Member for Murray, the Hon Dr Sharman Stone, and Border Rail Action Group. Positive meetings were also held with senior V/Line executives, Public Transport Victoria, and Public Transport Users Association. Cathy has written to Minister for Transport, Jacinta Allan, asking for a community consultation plan to be produced for the draft Regional Network Development Plan this year.

Charter of Budget Honesty Amendment

Cathy presented her first Private Members Bill this week. The Charter of Budget Honesty Amendment called on the Government to include Regional Impact Statements in the 2015-16 Budget and all future budgets. Cathy took this step in response to the community concerns in Indi about the impact of Government policy in regional Australia.

Cathy calls on the Government to include Regional Australia Statements in the Budget in regard to the following:

  • the economic, social, cultural and environmental impacts of government initiatives;
  • the economic drivers of regional communities; and
  • the disproportionate effect that government initiatives may have in regional communities due to a lack of infrastructure including
    • mobile phone coverage;
    • reliable internet connections; and
    • access to public transport

 Mobile Phone Government acts on community safety concerns

Improving mobile phone black spots and community safety in regional Australia and Indi could be a small step closer. In a positive move the Productivity Commission will look at the potential for creating a national mobile broadband network solely for emergency services purposes. Cathy congratulates Treasurer Joe Hockey, Minister for Communications Malcolm Turnbull, and Minister for Justice Michael Keenan for tasking the Commission with this important study. For more information, see the Government’s joint release and visit the Productivity Commission site. Cathy encourages individuals, groups and organisations to make a submission; information can be found here

Spirit of ANZAC kicks off in Indi

Cathy is delighted the Spirit of Anzac Centenary Experience will begin its national tour in Wodonga in September.  She is encouraging the local community to get right behind the exhibition and take full advantage of it being in Indi. Bookings are essential and can be made at www.spiritofanzac.gov.au. There is no cost involved to take the tour, which will last up to an hour. Former deputy prime minister, Tim Fischer, will be envoy for the exhibition which tells the story of Australia’s involvement in World War I. Local story ‘zones’ will be a key part of the exhibition and will be a chance for everyone to find out the role Indi service men and women played in the conflict.   

Indi students converge on Canberra!

Primary school students from across Indi experienced the last autumn sitting week of Parliament for 2015. Tallangatta, Eskdale, Wodonga, Jamieson and Merrijig primary schools (pictured) met Cathy during tours of Parliament House. It’s always a privilege for Cathy to hand out certificates and hold Q&As. The students asked many interesting questions and highlighting the need for better internet access and mobile services for the schools, farming families and community members.    

Team Cathy gets busy in APH

Team Cathy volunteers are vital for running the office and representing the Independent Member for Indi at official functions and events. This sitting, 18 volunteers have put in 670 hours in Canberra. Thanks everyone! Volunteers always get noticed around the building and are asked many questions about the volunteer program and how it helps Cathy do the job in Parliament.

Indi Newsletter No. 3 in mailboxes

Cathy’s latest Indi newsletter is now being delivered across the electorate by Australia Post. The newsletter gives a packed overview of Cathy’s actions in the past six months. If you would like a copy of the newsletter, please call the Wangaratta office on 03 5721 7077.

Cathy’s diary

 Friday, March 27 

  • Friday Night Conversation – Special Guest La Trobe Albury Wodonga Head of Campus, Dr Guinever Threlkeld – 5.30pm, Albury Wodonga Community College

 Saturday, March 28

  •  Ulysses Club Street Parade – Baranduda to Wodonga – 8am

 Monday, March 30

 Cathy in the cafes

  •  Hide Out Cafe, 42 Waratah St, Wodonga – 2pm
  • Deli Bean Café, 237 Beechworth Road, Wodonga – 3pm

 SS&A OMFNL 2015 Season Launch, SS&A Club – 6pm

 Tuesday, March 31

  • Tour of Wangaratta Police Station, Road Safety message for Easter with acting local area commander Senior Sergeant Garry Barton – 10am
  • Launch of The Access Spot (formerly Travellers Aid) – King George Gardens, Wangaratta – 11.30pm