News from 117 Murphy Street, September 12, 2014
Posted September 12, 2014
The highlight for Cathy this week was the announcement the Federal Government is supporting Thales Australia munitions factories in Benalla and Mulwala. This was a positive outcome for workers and families after months of anxiety in both communities. The new interim Domestic Munitions Manufacturing Arrangements will secure about 550 jobs at both factories although some job losses will occur. The Government’s decision gives Thales Australia and its workforce the confidence it needs to keep producing internationally renowned munitions.
Following discussions with the head of CSIRO, Dr Megan Clarke, Cathy invited Professor Maurice Maloney and Dr Chris Downs to Indi for an informal fact-finding mission. A small number of key agricultural people met with the CSIRO representatives today to discuss the future of agriculture in Indi. Cathy will convene public forums on agriculture in the first half of 2015, and will invite CSIRO to visit again and present at these forums to a wider audience. (Pictured, Dr Chris Downs, Cathy, Prof Maurice Maloney, Mikaela Baker, Julie Aldous and Greg Hayes.)
Cathy visited three schools this week, Wodonga Catholic College, Dederang Primary School and Wodonga Secondary College. These visits confirmed how the North East has strong school communities teaching and nurturing wonderful students. Cathy will continue to work with Government to ensure rural and regional education have adequate resources.
The Year 11 Youth Ministry class at Wodonga Catholic College had plenty of questions for the Independent Member for Indi. These included asking about her role representing the electorate and working in Parliament House and what action she was taking to help asylum seekers. Students also took to Facebook to ask how more Independents could benefit the system of democracy in Australia.
On Tuesday evening Cathy was a guest to the Dederang Primary School annual fundraiser and joined 70 people from the school community for dinner. A key issue is the future of chaplaincy funding and the important role played by Rachel Cosgriff in supporting the community. The Independent Member for Indi spoke about ‘Blooming where you’re planted’ and enjoyed chatting with students from Mt Beauty Secondary College who are studying politics.
Cathy’s visit to Wodonga Secondary College was a follow-up with Bhutanese and Nepalese young people who visited Parliament House last month. The students took part in the Regional Youth Leadership and Participation Project this year and Cathy was keen to be debriefed about their experience at the home of Australian democracy.
Last night, Cathy delivered the 2014 Mann Lecture. The theme was Parallel Living: Communities along the River and how invisible boundaries are the hardest to overcome. Cathy spoke about her family connection to the Murray River. Cathy called on local people and communities to seek solutions to the cross-border anomalies and issues that can hamper progress and work with Government to remove the ‘invisible boundaries’.
Tomorrow Cathy will take a look at the Tallangatta and District Football League grand finals. She wishes all the competing football and netball teams and clubs the best of luck, especially the Barnawartha netball teams and footy team involved.
Next week Cathy is attending the annual Queensland Rural, Regional and Remote Women’s Network, the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences Regional Outlook Conference in Wodonga, Yackandandah Health AGM and opening the Time and Place Indigenous art show at Bright Art Gallery. Then it’s back to Canberra on September 22-October 2.