Indi Weekly Scoop - March 6, 2015
Posted March 06, 2015
- “Wherever you are in Australia, you should be able to use your mobile phone”
- ARTC response not good enough
- NBN rollout – where’s it at in Indi?
- High fuel prices in Indi
- Community speeches
- Funding opportunities
“Wherever you are in Australia, you should be able to use your mobile phone”. Cathy started the week in Parliament with this statement in leading debate on the need for improved mobile phone coverage. Poor mobile phone reception remains the number one issue for Indi, and much of regional Australia. Cathy called on the Government during her notice of motion to provide significantly more funding for the Mobile Black Spot Programme. Indi has 274 mobile phone black spots registered from the 6000 nominated Australia-wide. In leading the debate, Cathy welcomed Coalition MPs Angus Taylor and Sarah Henderson, who seconded the motion, ALP MPs Michelle Rowland and Sharon Bird, and National Party MP Dr David Gillespie speaking to the motion. During the 2013 election campaign Cathy committed to working across party lines on issues common to regional areas to seek solutions from Government.
ARTC response not good enough
Teyha Hanley’s story arising from the Wodonga-Melbourne train delay referred to in the Border Mail on February 26 prompted Cathy to speak in Parliament. Teyha missing an important scholarship celebration was bad enough; however, the worst thing about the delay was the Australian Rail Track Corporation response. There had been a signal fault along the Wodonga Melbourne line and they could not ensure this signal problem would not occur again. Cathy called on the government to investigate this problem. We need to rely on our signals, our trains and our public transport.
NBN rollout – where’s it at in Indi?
Minister for Communications, Malcolm Turnbull, told Parliament four fixed wireless sites in the north of Indi have been activated: Ebden, Kiewa, Kiewa South and Baranduda. This was in response to Cathy asking the Minister the current status on the NBN rollout in Indi, and what was the plan to finish the job? Constituents continue to contact Cathy’s office for information on when they will be able to access the NBN. Cathy will continue to press NBN to release rollout information to the public at the earliest opportunity.
High fuel prices continue in Indi
The first Australian Competition and Consumer Commission petrol pricing quarterly report spurred Cathy to call for Government interaction. Regional prices remain high and Benalla was used as an example in the report. Regional motorists paid about 20 cents per litre more for petrol than their city counterparts. Cathy is pleased with Minister for Small Business, Bruce Billson’s commitment to increased fuel price monitoring; however, solutions have to be found to lessen the disparity in prices permanently.
Cathy made a number of community-related speeches in parliament this week, including:
- Off to the races - 2015 Alexandra Cup!
- IWD, Indi women ‘Making It Happen’
- Wodonga Arts Space
- John and June Brown, significant contributors to NE
- Albury Wodonga headspace, improving mental health on the Border
- Young people benefit from innovative education programs
Well done to Mansfield sheep and cattle producer Kim Stoney, now in the running for the state’s 2015 Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation (RIRDC) Rural Women’s Award. Kim has developed ‘The Farmhouse’ Child Care Centre to encourage a learning environment for children based on the natural environment around them. Good luck in the final on March 19, Kim!
Round three of the Green Army is now open for community groups to apply for environmental enhancement and conservation projects. Applications close on March 17, and guidelines can be found here. Cathy encourages groups with environmental projects to apply.
- Café Grove, press gathering - 8.45-9.15am
- Myrtleford Festival official opening – 6.30pm
Tuesday, March 10 – Ovens Valley Visit - Keep an eye out for the Cathyvan!
- Porepunkah - 9.30am – Nicholson Street
- Bright - 11.30am – Ireland Street
- Wandiligong - 1pm – opposite Post Office
- Harrietville - 2.15pm – Bella’s Café
Wednesday, March 11
- Official Opening of Trades Skills Centre, Victory Lutheran College – 10am
Thursday, March 12
- Zonta Year 11 Girls Career Breakfast, Gateway Hotel, Wangaratta – 7.30am
- Mental Health Awareness Day, Wangaratta High School
Saturday, March 14
- North East Food and Wine Festival, Wodonga
Following week: March 16-19 Parliament
IMAGE: Volunteers Cynthia Mahoney, Julie Miller, and Lin Starke with Salvation Army Major Kelvin Alley, enjoying an 'orange' cuppa with Cathy in Canberra this week.