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Indi Weekly Scoop, November 27, 2015

Posted November 27, 2015



The Government decision to seek clarification on the Australian Citizenship Amendment (Allegiance to Australia) was an important decision. Cathy has concerns over the constitutional viability of the Bill, as well as the retrospectivity provision. The Government is clearly listening to the Independents in Parliament and has taken steps to ensure the legislation is of the highest standard. Read Cathy's acknowledgement of the decision online.

Mental health reforms welcomed

Cathy congratulated the Government and Minister for Health, Sussan Ley, for announcing major mental health reforms on November 26 in the Government Response – Review of Mental health Programmes and Services.

Mental health, particularly youth mental health, was a major 2013 election commitment for Cathy. Since then she has made ongoing representations to Government, lobbied for mental health reforms, established a youth mental health group, and moved a Motion calling on the Government to make Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mental health a national priority. Cathy welcomed more help for young people suffering mental health issues and a greater focus on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mental health and thanked the Government for listening to her concerns.

Cathy will be ensuring people in regional Australia get equitable services to major centres. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2014 figures show people in rural and regional Australia were underfunded and under serviced. Cathy’s next action will be to meet with service providers and families to discuss the Government Response.

Legislation passed – November 23-26

  • Higher Education Legislation Amendment (Miscellaneous Measures)
  • Tax and Superannuation Laws Amendment (2015 Measures No. 5)
  • Crimes Legislation Amendment (Harming Australians)
  • Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Amendment
  • Aviation Transport Security Amendment (Cargo)
  • Maritime Legislation Amendment
  • Tax Laws Amendment (Gifts)
  • Health Insurance Amendment (Safety Net)
  • Maritime Transport and Offshore Facilities Security Amendment (Inter-state Voyages)
  • Social Services Legislation Amendment (Family Payments Structural Reform and Participation Measures) Bill


Press releases online

Visitors to Canberra next week

  • Victory College Leadership Group
  • Wodonga Youth Leadership Group

Locals and environment gain

Cathy congratulated nine Wangaratta Green Army participants graduating today. The Federal Government funded the Lower Ovens and Riverine Plains restoration project. This included planting almost 20,000 trees. One graduate has been employed by Parks Victoria through the skills gained in the program. More than 500 Green Army projects have rolled out across Australia and are having a positive impact on the environment and training people. Visit the Department of Environment website for more information.

Community information

Indi Arts community, get creative

Great news for the regional arts community! Arts funding for community programs opens today. Catalyst – Australian Arts and Culture Fund will fund $12 million in projects each year to arts organisations. Cathy welcomed the Government’s decision re-instate $8 million per year to support small to medium organisations. Projects that increase participation of regional Australians in the arts will be prioritised. To see guidelines and eligibility criteria, visit the Ministry for the Arts website.

Rural women- have your say

What do women in rural and regional Australia want? Cathy is encouraging women in rural and regional communities to take part in the National Rural Women’s Coalition survey. The survey runs until 18 December. Complete the survey here.


°         The House of Representatives Agriculture and Industry Committee’s Inquiry into Agricultural Innovation is now taking submissions. A public hearing will be conducted in Wodonga on January 28.

°         Project Kick Start: Tourism North East is running an Expression of Interest process to support fast tracking of tourism projects. More info here.

°         The Federal Government’s Business Consultation website connects business with Australian Government departments and agencies in one place. Learn more here.

°         Applications are now open for the National Landcare Programme Sustainable Agriculture Small Grants Round 2015-16 (Small Grants Round). Find out more here.

°         Sustainability Victoria is offering grants funding for eligible businesses to review their activities and to identify and implement energy and materials efficiency improvements. More information here.

Cathy’s Diary 27 November –December 4

°         Friday Night Conversation – 27 November details & RSVP here

°         Albury & District Law Society End of Year function – Friday, 27 November

°         Parliament resumes – Monday, 30 November


IMAGE: Canberra volunteers Kristy Howard, Karen Nankervis, Leah Nankervis and Pam Turnbull with Cathy in the office. Benalla RSL members visiting Canberra at Cathy’s invitation on Wednesday.


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