Innovation key to future of ag
The final Ag Innovation Inquiry public hearings finish in Sydney today. Cathy joined colleagues on the House Standing Committee on Agriculture and Industry to listen to the final presentations. The two-day public hearing included a number of presentations from industry stakeholders: staff and research projects from the universities of New England and Sydney, as well as industry organisations, NSW Farmers Association, Mick Keogh from the Australian Farm Institute and Ag Institute. Presentations included innovations in robotics, water use, IT, big data and the need for quality telecommunications throughout regional Australia to support innovation. The draft report is expected to be released in May. Information can be found online.
Young people are our future and should be encouraged to take part in our democracy and political process. Cathy welcomed the decision to strike out charges placed against two voters enrolled in Indi for the 2013 election. There was no case to answer. The AEC guidelines for enrolling are very clear. Cathy urges everyone to enrol for the 2016 election to make their vote count. As a community leader, Cathy will continue to stand up for young people and is proud to be their representative in Parliament. Read Cathy’s full statement online.Read more
Backflip on way for backpacker tax?
Farmers and small tourism operators will welcome the Government review into the backpacker tax proposal. On Wednesday, Minister for Tourism, Senator Richard Colbeck, announced the review and will consult with a wide range of industries, including agriculture and tourism. In response to the concern of constituents, Cathy called on the Government to backflip on the backpacker tax increase in Question Time on February 11. Following the review announcement, she congratulated the Victorian Farmers Federation and National Farmers’ Federation on its campaign to call on the Government to change its policy. The backpacker tax proposal would see an increase from 19 per cent to 32.5 per cent from 1 July onwards. Cathy supports keeping the current rate.Read more
The Australian Rail Track Corporation released the Ballast Rehabilitation Program final report this week. When the program started, temporary speed restrictions applied to 18 per cent of the track between Melbourne and Sydney. This has now been reduced to one per cent. Cathy welcomed this improvement and will continue monitoring performance. Mudholes have been a major issue and isolated parts of the track will require ongoing targeted maintenance above the regular maintenance program. Cathy will receive regular V/Line reports on any track issues that impact their service and will also report directly to the Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Darren Chester. V/Line feedback is encouraged:
- email – email@example.com
- Twitter, Instagram and Facebook - VLine
- My Line mobile phone app
- Phone - 1800 800 007
Millions for Indi in major defence investment
The defence industry in Indi is a big winner today, with significant long-term Federal Government investment announced. Cathy welcomed the projects included in the 2016 Defence White Paper. A major redevelopment to key military infrastructure will take place in Albury-Wodonga in the next 10 years, with an estimated cost of $350 million. Jobs will be created in construction, transport, logistics and this investment will have a big flow-on effect throughout many sectors. Indi matters and funding continues to flow, this time the benefits are coming to defence. Read the press release online.Read more
Time for backflip on #backpackertax
An increase in the ‘backpacker tax’ will have a negative impact on farms and food producers reliant on temporary workers. In Question Time today, Cathy asked Treasurer Scott Morrison what the Government would do to stop this tax change. Cathy is supporting constituents in Indi concerned with the tax increase, and the National Farmers Federation and Victorian Farmers Federation #backpackertax campaign. The tax increase was included in the 2015-16 Budget and legislation is yet to be presented in the House of Reps. Cathy shares concerns the increase in tax from 19 to 32.5 per cent will deter backpackers and overseas workers from working on farms in regional Australia. View the response here.Read more
Cuppa with the Prime Minister
Cathy and partner David Wolfenden are looking forward to joining Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Ms Lucy Turnbull AO on Sunday for afternoon tea at The Lodge and to inspect the renovations.
Childcare support vital for rural families
Families relying on mobile childcare in the North East need Government support. In Question Time, Cathy called on the Government to guarantee new funding arrangements will give hundreds of families adequate financial help to access this important service. Mobile childcare services are effective, deliver positive outcomes and must be supported. Cathy has written to the Minister for Education, Simon Birmingham, and will continue to press the Government to ensure families have adequate support for this effective childcare service. View the Minister for Vocational Education and Skills Luke Hartsuyker’s response to the question here.Read more
Historic Indi Community Summit Report now available
The community vision for Indi was unveiled this week at the launch of the Indi Community Summit Report – Delivering Our Vision. In a first for Indi, people from the electorate came together on 24 October 2015 to talk about what communities need to reach their potential. The report is an historic document, outlining actions to make Indi a caring, prosperous electorate alive with opportunities for all. About 90 people gathered to hear guest speakers share their experiences from the Summit. Hothouse’s Tahni Froudist explained how the arts group formed at the Summit was acting on issues canvassed at the event to create a more collaborative approach to grow the sector. Mount Beauty Secondary College students Marvin Smith and Tallon Smith told the audience their participation had given them a voice in a constructive and inclusive environment. The Indi Community Report can be downloaded from the website. Full Indi Summit reports also online.Read more
Indi mobile phone black spot nominations
A list of 42 mobile phone black spots has been submitted to Government. Under Round Two of the Federal Government’s Mobile Black Spot Programme, Cathy was invited by the Minister for Communications, Senator Mitch Fifield, to submit three new priority locations for Indi. She worked with the Indi Telecommunications Action Group (ITAG), with representatives from each council, to nominate the following locations based on people’s safety in emergencies and community support: King Valley, including Cheshunt South and Rose River, Kevington in the Mansfield Shire and the Tallangatta and Mitta valleys. Kancoona will be carried over from Round One. Cathy will continue to advocate for improved mobile phone coverage for all communities.Read more