News from 117 Murphy Street, May 30, 2014
Posted May 30, 2014
It’s been another memorable week for Cathy in Parliament this week, with five speeches on the agenda, focusing on the Budget, a local environmental issue, and fulfilling a key pre-election commitment which drew praise from the community and beyond.
Cathy captured attention and gratitude of many on Wednesday after giving her promised Apology to the Stolen Generations on behalf of Indi. She chose to deliver this speech in conjunction with National Reconciliation Week and described it as one of the most important she will give in her time as a parliamentarian and local representative for Indi. The response was overwhelmingly positive with plenty of comments left on Cathy’s Facebook page, thanking her for making the speech.
She also lauded the excellent community development work being done at the Koori First Steps Preschool in Wodonga, which is run by the Mungabareena Aboriginal Corporation. Cathy saw this firsthand during a visit to the facility last week, seeing how the children and families are thriving in the caring and nurturing learning environment and programs being provided.
Following the extensive feedback collected during the Budget Impact Tour, Cathy moved an amendment on Tuesday to the Tax Laws Amendment (Temporary Budget Repair Levy). She called on Government to increase the length of time the ‘Debt Levy’ from three to seven years as a way of spreading the burden with more fairness. Cathy believes the more wealthy people in Australian society not only have the capacity to pay a small impost for longer, but also would be comfortable with doing so to help others less fortunate. Disappointingly neither side of Government supported the amendment when it was put to Parliament the following day.
This led into a speech in Parliament about the response to the Budget Impact Tour, with Cathy outlining the community consultation process. She told Parliament about 700 people had provided feedback on the Budget. There was a majority view something had to be done to reduce debt and it was good to see the Coalition election commitments for Indi had been met.
During the week a meeting was convened with senior staff from the offices of the Treasurer, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Agriculture Barnaby Joyce. It was an opportunity for Cathy to elaborate on how the Budget was being viewed in Indi and the Government was very interested to know what the people of Indi think. All in all, it was a very positive and fruitful meeting. Next week, Cathy has meetings scheduled with a number of Victorian Senators and cross-benchers.
Cathy also spoke to ABC Bush Telegraph this week about how people in Indi had reacted to the Budget. People had made their views known during Listening Posts around the electorate, and they also spoke about rail service, mobile phone blackspots, NBN, mental health and youth.
A deft little wave to the Kinglake West visitors in Parliament signed off Cathy’s final speech for the week. It was a pleasure for her to meet the families from the southern part of Indi and she hoped they remembered their visit to Canberra. In another nod to the Murrindindi patch, the first speech of the week Cathy explained how the Toolangi Forest was a unique ecosystem worthy of protection, praised the work of local environmental groups and urged people to visit this enchanting slice of Indi.
Tomorrow Cathy is attending the official opening of the Spring Spur Stay and Riders Lounge in Tawonga and returns to Canberra next week for another sitting of Parliament.
Cathy is pictured with Bulgarian Ambassador, Her Excellency Mrs Emilia Stefanova-Veleva, her husband Mr Rumen Velev, and Helen McGowan at the Argentinian National Day reception at Yarralumla last Monday.