Local, Independant and Effective

Indi Weekly Scoop - November 28, 2014

Posted November 28, 2014

 

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  • ABC cuts unpopular
  • Telecommunications solutions
  • North East health organisation wins National Resilience Award
  • Indi Funding news
  • Final Parliamentary sitting week
  • Welcome to the Great Victorian Bike Ride!

The biggest issue of the week was ABC cutting a quality rural program with national reach. Feedback to the office shows cutting the ABC Radio National program Bush Telegraph was a mistake. Cathy’s statement of support for ‘Bush Tele’ and question to Minister for Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce, created plenty of comments on social media. The overwhelming majority of people do not want cuts to the ABC.

The ABC board needs to ensure rural issues are broadcast into the city. 'Bush Tele' is the major Radio National program covering rural matters. It is crucial this rural voice continues to be heard across Australia. Cathy welcomed the announcement that a new regional division would be created. She looks forward to seeing the full details and how this will impact coverage in Indi and regional Australia.

Cathy called for a national discussion about how telecommunications can better serve communities during her speech on the Telecommunications Legislation Amendment (Deregulation) Bill 2014. She covered four aspects in the speech:  

  • expanding the existing Mobile Phone Black Spot Program 
  • actively supporting co-location of mobile and broadband facilities
  • local governments, communities, businesses and telcos working cooperatively to solve problems, particularly black spots
  • government allowing the use of mobile phones, landlines and payphones, to satisfy USO obligations, increasing competition among telco providers

Congratulations to Women’s Women's Health Goulburn North East on winning the 2014 Resilient Australia Award for Gender and Disaster: Leading the Change initiative. Well done to WHGNE executive officer Susie Reid and her team for this innovative and critical work. It is a wonderful acknowledgement of the research done in the wake of the February 2009 bushfires. Cathy

Cathy reiterated her stance on marriage equality this week and continues to support the right of same-sex couples to marry. Senator for NSW, David Leyonhjelm, introduced a private Freedom to Marry Bill to amend the Marriage Act, prompting the issue to be raised again.

In Indi funding news, the Jamieson Community Group received $4250 from the ANZAC Centenary Local Grants Program. This funding will be used to plant a Memorial Avenue of trees in Matthews Reserve.

The Federal Government’s Green Army round 2 funding is now available. Indi community groups are never short of projects to improve the fantastic environment in the North East. Cathy encourages them to take advantage of this programme to get the projects done. Applications are open until December 9. Visit http://www.environment.gov.au/land/green-army/projects for guidelines and to make an application.

Cathy made a number of community-related speeches in Parliament. They can be viewed here and transcripts can be found on the website.

Tonight Cathy is attending the Graduation dinner at Montessori School in Beechworth.

Next week is the final sitting week for 2015. Cathy is meeting with Parliamentary Secretary for Communications, Paul Fletcher, about the Mobile Phone Black Spot Program and her ideas to maximise its potential in regional Australia. She will also meet with NBN Co National Manager Government Relations Chris Wilcox about effective ways to get the message out to residents about connecting with the NBN. As part of her ongoing campaign to improve communication, Cathy was very pleased to see NBN Co letting people know how to connect to broadband and encouraging them to contact their local provider.

In signing off this week’s Scoop, Cathy gives a warm welcome to the 1000s riding in the RACV Great Victorian Bike Ride this weekend. Enjoy the rail trails, magic scenery, fantastic food and renowned NE hospitality!