Local, Independant and Effective


Indi Weekly Scoop - first edition for 2016


The Indi Community Summit Report – Delivering Our Vision will be launched on Wednesday, January 27 in Wodonga at the Huon Hill Hotel. The report is the culmination of an extensive community consultation phase. During 2015, well over 2000 people were actively engaged in our democracy through the Budget Impact Tour, Get in Cathy’s Ear Postcard and Kitchen Table Conversations, as well as community meetings across Indi. On 24 October 2015 in Benalla, more than 220 participants, under the guidance of facilitators, worked in 16 groups at the inaugural Indi Summit to help make Indi a prosperous, caring community which is alive with opportunities for everyone. The report provides a summary of practical outcomes, across a range of areas including small business, transport, telecommunications, education, agriculture, arts, social services, heritage preservation, community building and environment. The public are welcome to attend the Report Launch, RSVP at the website.

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Indi Weekly Scoop Festive Edition

Cropped_Benalla_Skate_Park_Stronger_Communities_Programme_Dec_18_2015.jpg Season’s Greetings! Cathy thanks everyone for their contribution to making the North East a special place. In recognising the high level of community service in Indi, it’s important we come together as a community at Christmas time and acknowledge the efforts in caring for each other throughout the year. Christmas is the ideal time to connect with neighbours and to make that special effort to welcome people to our community, and join in community barbecues and gatherings to celebrate the festive season. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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Indi Weekly Scoop, December 11, 2015

IMAGE: Indi Stronger Communities Programme Advisory Committee members meet with Cathy to discuss the process for Round 2 of the Stronger Communities Programme. Cathy, Kate Biglin from Indigo Shire Council, Francine Stacey from Alpine Shire Council, Cheryl Impink from Rural City of Wangaratta, Jo Shannon from Towong Shore Council, Sheree Brown from Benalla Rural City Council, and Kirsten Lingard from Mansfield Shire Council.

Indi Matters!

Five community projects, the highest number for any Victorian electorate, received almost $5 million under the Federal Government’s National Stronger Regions Fund (NSRF). Tallangatta was the big winner, with $2.6 million allocated for the ‘Destination Tallangatta’ project. Cathy congratulated councils and communities for their successful applications. These projects take a whole-of-community approach and will continue to build communities. Indi is becoming a stronger region and has received about $17 million under NSRF funding this year. Indi matters and funding continues to flow. Having an Independent member gets results.

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Indi Weekly Scoop, December 4, 2015


Eight projects in Indi are waiting on the announcement of Round Two of the National Stronger Regions Fund. In response to Cathy’s last question in Parliament for 2016, Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development, Warren Truss, announced the successful projects would be announced next week. These projects are important to build community capacity in Indi. Indi was a big winner in Round One, with $12 million in funding for Wodonga ($10million), Bright ($1.87 million) and Wahgunyah ($200,000) announced in May this year.

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Indi Weekly Scoop, 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.

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Indi Weekly Scoop - November 20, 2015


Indi priorities in action

°         Mental Health – as part of her continuing familiarisation with the mental health sector Cathy chaired the Beyond Blue forum in Wangaratta last Friday night and toured the Kerferd Clinic on Thursday. The Mental Health Expert Reference Group is yet to hand down its findings. More here.

°         Climate change – in the lead-up to the Paris Climate Summit, local citizens of the Wangaratta Sustainability Network today presented a climate change petition signed by over 500 locals calling on the Government to take action. Picture above (L to R): Deb Goodson, Marg Brickhill, Helen van Riet and Cathy Oddie.

°         Transport and Education –Premier Daniel Andrews and Minister for Training and Skills, Steve Herbert, met with Cathy at Wodonga TAFE Tuesday. Discussion centred on education and transport needs for Indi. She also welcomed the increased support for TAFE and the Premier’s newly-announced Victorian rural strategy focussing attention to more targeted regions. Cathy used the opportunity to press the Premier for more action on transport and trains. More here.

°         Small business – Cathy is speaking tonight to the Albury Wodonga branch of the Certified Practicing Accountants’ organisation and discussing the needs of small business.

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Indi Weekly Scoop - November 13, 2015


Cathy at the Australian War Memorial for Remembrance Day commemorations Wednesday with Kevin Hogan MP (Page, NSW) and Wyatt Roy MP (Longman, Qld)

The Week in Parliament

Indi priorities in action

°         Regional Telecommunications Review recommendations must be implemented

°         Manufacturing in Indi remains healthy with Mars Petcare’s expansion

°         Cathy supports Indi calls for posthumous promotion of John Monash

°         Commending community: Tolmie TOAST community transport solution

°         Recognising producers: supporting the call for those who feed us and care for the land with a National Day of Farmers

°         Called on government to commit to mental health for all Australians, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples

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Indi Weekly Scoop - November 6, 2015


Wodonga Mayor Cr Rod Wangman and Cathy welcomed Mr Sanjaykumar and Mrs Danya Patel as new citizens on Wednesday (with 17 week-old baby boy Kayan) 
  • Australian Regional Wellbeing Survey 2015
  • Indi Summit – positive feedback
  • Young people’s leadership opportunity
  • Grants / Nominations / Inquiries
  • Diary Highlights

Third Annual Survey underway

The University of Canberra is now conducting its third, annual, academically-based survey of people in rural and regional Australia. This year’s report will also allow the university team to commence making projections, vital for crafting appropriate policy and the provision of government services. The survey is voluntary but Cathy encourages as many people from Indi to take part as possible to ensure the data for our area is relevant and broadly-based. All householders can take part individually. Survey here.

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Indi Weekly Scoop - October 30, 2015


 Cathy visited Beechworth Secondary College Wednesday, where she met Shaun Rogers and Eamon Maher outside the school's Indigo FM studio 

  • Indi Summit – register for the report
  • Regional telecommunications review released
  • Young people’s leadership opportunity
  • Grants / Nominations / Inquiries
  • Diary Highlights

Indi Summit delivers

More than 220 people gathered in Benalla last Saturday to talk about the major short-, medium- and long-term actions for our communities. Pre-discussion papers and workshops on the day guided robust discussion around a wide variety of topics.  Overall consultation has included around 2000 people over the past 18 months, with major outcome the guiding document, the Indi Community Strategy. This report is currently being compiled and will be ready before Christmas. Register at the website for a copy of the report. Media release here.

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Indi Weekly Scoop October 22, 2015


Students from Wangaratta's Cathedral College visited Parliament House on Wednesday 21 October

• This Week in Parliament
• Speeches / Press Releases
• Bills Passed by the House
• Indi Summit this Saturday
• Opportunities for Young People
• Community Services
• Grants / Nominations / Inquiries / Events
• Diary Highlights

This Week in Parliament

Family Law Loophole closed

Cathy moved her Private Members’ motion in the Federation Chamber on Monday, calling on the Government to close a loophole that allows perpetrators of family violence to cross-examine their victims in the Family Court. Cathy was supported in the Motion by fellow MPs Karen McNamara (Dobell), Graham Perrett (Moreton), and Sharon Claydon (Newcastle).

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