This past week Cathy met with local government representatives and Telstra to form a partnership for fixing blackspots across the electorate. CEOs from every council in Indi were involved and Cathy said she would like to work closely with community groups to ensure funding could be allocated most effectively.
"It's communities that understand where their blackspots are and the communities understand where best to put the towers," she said.
"So we actually need to make sure that all the ducks are lined up so that when the money does come through we use it expediently."
While Parliament is sitting next week Cathy has requested an interview with Minister Turnbull to discuss the blackspot issues in Indi, as well as express her concern about the Coalition’s proposed changes to the NBN.
Questions about funding of projects have been widespread and ongoing and yesterday Cathy met with Tourism North East in Beechworth. With the uncertainty surrounding the status of the T-Qual grants, affecting three organisations in Indi, Cathy has contacted Minister Robb’s office and they returned this statement:
The Australian Government is currently assessing all grants spending for consistency with government priorities and commitments. This includes tourism grants. While the assessment process is under way, there is an additional approval step by the Minister for Finance before any spending can proceed. Successful applicants will be contacted once programme arrangements have been decided by the Government.
The Trade and Investment Minister’s desire is to give businesses clarity as soon as possible and applicants will be contacted once programme arrangements have been decided by the Government.
When Cathy finds out what the resolution is regarding the T-Qual grants she will be able to take further action. Likewise, she also toured the saleyards in Wangaratta who have missed out on RDA funding to hear alternative proposals.
This weekend Cathy will be at the Voice for Indi meeting in Benalla from 10am, where Voice for Indi will begin planning what the future holds for them. She will attend the Remembrance Day ceremony in Rutherglen on Monday before driving to Canberra for the first sitting of the new parliament.
She will be sworn in on Tuesday, with close friends and family members present. It will be an exceptionally busy few days, including setting up her Canberra office for Indi residents and groups to access.
While in Canberra, Cathy has meetings with the Australian Railtrack Corporation to discuss the troubled Vline track. She will also be meeting with Landcare to discuss funding concerns.
Closer to home and position descriptions for the four office roles and one political adviser position have been drawn up and will be advertised starting this weekend. The jobs will be posted on the website.
We’ll keep you updated with what is happening in Canberra next week.
If you have any requests or questions, feel free to contact me at the office on 03 5721 7077 or my mobile 0459 323 562 when in Canberra.