The second sitting week of the 44th Parliament is now behind us and it has been another busy week for Cathy and her team.
While in Canberra Cathy followed up last week’s meeting with the CEO of the ARTC by meeting with the Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Rail Association, Mr Brian Nye. He gave her a briefing on inland freight rail, community transport and agricultural transport as well as the high speed rail project. Cathy invited him to Indi next year to talk with constituents about the long term strategic plan around integrated public transport.
Cathy also caught up with senior advisors to the deputy PM and minister infrastructure, Mr Warren Truss to discuss the fate of the local RDA grants, including the Wangaratta Saleyards, the revamp of the Wodonga city centre and the rejuvenation of the Rutherglen main street. She said it was a productive meeting and requested that Mr Truss reassess each of these projects on a one-for-one basis and he committed to making a decision on the projects before Christmas.
Over the course of the week she also caught up with representatives from Landcare who were concerned about funding cuts, as well as some former colleagues from the National Farmer’s Federation.
Along with the meeting there were also important bills that Cathy voted on.
On Wednesday Cathy voted with the government to repeal the minerals resource rent tax, stating that although she supports the concept of a ‘mining tax’, she didn’t believe the previous one was well implemented.
On Thursday Cathy was called on to vote on the repeal of the carbon price legislation. Over the past few weeks she has spoken across the spectrum to constituents about the legislation, including manufacturers, tourism operators in the Alpine region, transport businesses, young people and farmers. She also met with the office of Mr Hunt prior to voting as well as the Chief Executive Officer of the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, Mr Oliver Yates.
Cathy chose to vote against the repeal of the carbon tax. Her decision has sparked a vigorous debate in Indi, with people with a diverse range of opinions contacting the office and their local newspapers with their views on Cathy’s vote.
Today also was the last day of work for Barb Strand, our transitional office manager. Barb was an absolute tour de force in setting up our office and we couldn’t have managed the transition from campaign to running an effective office without her. We’re sure she’ll enjoy the break and we wish her luck in her future endeavours.
With Canberra not sitting next week, Cathy is looking forward to spending a week in Indi! Applications for the office jobs and political advisor role close on the 24th, and she will be interviewing candidates over the course of the week.
Cathy will be meeting with the Indigo Shire about upgrades to regional roads, the Rutherglen RDA proposal among other issues. She will also be attending her last ever WAW annual general meeting after nine years on the WAW board.
We are continuing to organise preparations for her first speech, and we have already got over 200 people who have said confirmed their attendance. It would be great to get as many local journalists up there as well, so send me an email on Cambell.firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to put your name on the list.
In preparation for her first speech, Cathy will be workshopping her speech throughout the week.
We have been contacted by a group of residents who are concerned about the proposed changes to the NBN and they will present their petition to Cathy’s office on Tuesday. The petition will call on Mr Turnbull to continue the current fibre to the home roll out.
And on a lighter note, Cathy and some of her team will be at the Hothouse Theatre next Friday for the play, ‘The Member for Indi’! It should be a great night.
We’ll keep you updated with any other events as they come up.