Local, Independant and Effective

News from 117 Murphy Street - June 13, 2014

Posted June 13, 2014



It’s been a big week of visits – the first diplomatic visit of many, first Valley Visit to the Yea area, and first visit from a prominent Liberal MP to Wangaratta since the election.

US Consul General Mary Burce Warlick (pictured) returned to Melbourne today following a two-day tour of the North East. As the Independent Member, Cathy is proud to showcase Indi and take every opportunity to promote trade ties and relationship-building among business and America. This is pivotal for long-term growth and prosperity of Indi with local producers looking to create more business opportunities with a major trading partner.  

Beginning at the iconic Brown Brothers winery in Milawa the tour headed to Beechworth’s Burke Museum to meet Indigo Shire councillors and tour of the historical site. Ms Warlick then met with Beechworth Honey operators who are keen to re-start the exporting of bees to America. This was an important component of their business and halted due to scientific reasons.  

Today Ms Warlick paid a visit to the Wangaratta office and lunch with staff before meeting with Voices For Indi to get a sense of the grassroots political organisation and how the community became re-engaged in politics last year to produce an upset result come election day.

The Report of the Budget Impact Tour has been printed and Cathy was pleased to see it has grabbed the Government’s attention. Member for Higgins, Kelly O’Dwyer, visited Wangaratta to talk to locals about the Budget. Cathy thanked the Member for Higgins for taking the time to read the Report, which shares the Budget views of 726 respondents. It’s great to know Ms O’Dwyer has read their views and she is not the only one in Government to do so. Cathy has discussed the report with staff from the Treasurer and Deputy Prime Minister’s office and Minister for Health, Peter Dutton, Minister for Education, Christopher Pyne, and Minister for Employment, Senator Eric Abetz to discuss the response from Indi to the Budget.  

The Wangaratta Chronicle has done a professional job this week highlighting the keen interest the Federal Government has recently taken in Indi. Senator Bridget McKenzie visited Galen College this week, and Ms O’Dwyer met with small business operators. This follows the visit in April of Minister for Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce, to the Agricultural Industry Advisory Council’s first meeting held at Wahgunyah and Parliamentary Secretary for Agriculture, Senator Richard Colbeck’s visit to Benalla last week. It’s pleasing to see the Government taking an active interest in Indi and Cathy looks forward to this continuing into the future.

In other news, the Wodonga office is almost ready and Cathy welcomed the first constituents to it yesterday in Upper Murray Family Care (UFMC) CEO Paul Rumbold and executive committee president Greg Pearl. In wonderful news for UMFC, they have won an Ian Potter Foundation grant of $500,000 (in partnership with Oz Child, Mallee Family Care and University of Melbourne). This will be used to develop and trial an innovative client data management system that will be an important tool for the family care services sector. An official opening date for the Wodonga office has been set for July 30.  

Conducting another productive Valley Visit this week, Cathy went to Benalla, Yarck and Yea, where she spoke about the Budget Report and local issues. Top of the list for residents was mobile phone coverage, followed by concerns in cuts to education funding. Joining Cathy on the visit was office manager Jill Smith and Yea volunteer, Adam Dennis.

IndiShares is being held tomorrow at Oxley. Cathy is a guest speaker and is looking forward to meeting many people at the event. It’s important for people to have confidence in parliamentary process knowing their elected representatives will act in their interests.

Cathy returns to Parliament for the next two weeks to keep fighting for Indi and continuing to push colleagues, cross-benchers and Senators for better outcomes for our communities.

And in the office we farewelled interim political advisor Tasman Vaughan who is off to study law, and welcome back Karen Keegan, fresh off the plane from an invigorating holiday in Europe. 

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