News from 117 Murphy Street - July 18, 2014
Posted July 18, 2014
Bruck Textiles and the future of 60 dismissed workers dominated the news this week in Indi. On Monday, the Independent Member for Indi met with senior staff from the office of Minister for Employment, Senator Eric Abetz, to give a briefing on the situation and seek an assurance the Government was taking action. Cathy was pleased to hear the Government was acting swiftly and agreed to her request to expedite the Fair Entitlements Guarantee (FEG) process.
The Government and opposition shared some common ground in the Senate on Tuesday. Victorian Senator and Shadow Minister for Industry, the Hon Kim Carr, and Minister for Employment, the Hon Senator Eric Abetz, agreed the circumstances surrounding the Bruck Textiles dissolution should be investigated by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) and the need for a speedy FEG resolution. Sen Abetz also confirmed his department was holding an information session for the affected people.
Today Sen Carr was due to meet with the Department to discuss the Bruck Textiles situation and Cathy will speak with him to learn of the outcomes. Yesterday she contacted Australian Textiles Mills CEO Geoff Parker on Thursday for an update on the situation with the Wangaratta manufacturer. Mr Parker said he expected the 130 workers who received letter of offers to appear at work next Monday, July 21. Cathy asked for a company commitment to employ some of the ex-workers if all the positions were not taken up, and Mr Parker agreed this would occur if necessary.
In Canberra this week Cathy delivered six speeches, two of these on Bruck. The first opportunity was on Monday when she called for the full support of Government for the 60 workers left without employment after Bruck Textiles was dissolved. The second highlighted the caring community of Wangaratta and how help was being offered to their fellow residents.
In other speeches, Cathy acted on a red tape problem raised by Rutherglen district winemakers. The group want the Government to introduce a national Responsible Service of Alcohol program, which will reduce the need for multiple RSA cetrtificates. This will reduce costs and paperwork for winemakers and time, money and effort for staff, many of them young, to become certified.
One of the highlights of the week was the participation of two young volunteers in the Canberra office. Michael Ryan and Angus Goodman represented the Independent Member for Indi at many functions and forums. As a co-convenor of the Parliamentary Friends of Youth Mental Health, Cathy was joined at the PFYMH event Reachout delivered a presentation on the youth mental health online and social media campaign it is running. Cathy was also pleased to deliver donated children’s books from Wangaratta siblings Mitchell and Brodie Harris, and Fergus and Moira Dale to the Buk Bilong Pukini book drive. Minister for Foreign Affairs, Julie, Bishop, who has been sponsoring the cause, greatly appreciated these donations.
Today’s postponed media conference regarding telecommunications infrastructure for Indi has been scheduled for 10.30am next Friday, July 25, at Café Grove in Wodonga. The ‘Cathyvan’ launch will also take place next Friday. This will act as a mobile office and will be hard to miss covered in the distinctive orange synonymous with the Independent Member for Indi. In other news, the Wodonga office official opening is being held on Wednesday July 30.
Parliament has now risen for the mid-winter break. Cathy was due to leave at 7.30pm last night however the Government decided to introduce legislation today. There is now a five-week break before Parliament resumes on August 26.
IMAGE: Cathy McGowan volunteer Michael Ryan, National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) president Jeannie Rea, Cathy, NTEU national secretary Matthew McGowan and Cathy volunteer Angus Goodman after a meeting with the union representatives in Cathy's office on Monday, July 14.