Local, Independant and Effective

News from Murphy Street, May 2

Posted May 02, 2014



Forums, future planning, fantastic new facilities and friends and a bit of fun have been the highlights from Murphy Street this week.

The week started with the first volunteer information session for the Cathy McGowan Volunteer Program. Thirty people attended and many signed up to help with office and administration roles, media monitoring and policy analysis. 

Cathy was overwhelmed with the response from volunteers and the energy and enthusiasm of everyone who came along and their willingness to help her in the huge role in representing the people of Indi. More information sessions will be held in coming months, including Wodonga when the new office is opened. Work is beginning in Wodonga next week so fingers crossed.

On Tuesday Cathy hosted her first Economic and Industry Development Forum in Wangaratta, bringing together people from business, industry and local government to hear about programs and financing initiatives to spur clean energy installation. It was a great information-sharing and networking opportunity and there was plenty of informal discussion following the forum.

Information provided at the forum demonstrated how business, industry and local government can access money available in the system to fund clean-energy innovation. This includes ways of generating electricity such as solar panels to cut down on distribution costs which make up more than 65 per cent of bills. Other measures include retrofitting buildings and installing new low-energy lighting to reduce costs in the long term.

Feedback from attendees was all positive and the action now is for Indi businesses to work individually and collaboratively to decrease energy costs and also help reduce the carbon footprint in Indi.

The forum also attracted plenty of media attention, with local outlets keen to talk to Cathy (pictured with Wangaratta Chronicle senior journalist Steven Burke) about the outcome of the forum and the role of clean energy in Indi in the future. 

Yesterday Cathy was a guest at the official opening of Science and Food Technology Facilities at Cathedral College in Wangaratta. It’s important for government to be providing our children with the best possible education environment to get the best possible education outcomes. College house captains told Cathy the new facilities would be beneficial for the younger students as they rise through the grades and help boost their interest in science and cooking.

Earlier this week, Cathy visited the Wangaratta Primary School to talk about the school’s recent tour of Parliament House in Canberra. If the questions from the students to Cathy were anything to go by, the Year 5 and 6 students learnt plenty during their time in Canberra about how Parliament runs. Cathy handed out school certificates to the students who went on the school excursion. Schools are always welcome to visit Parliament House and can contact the office on 03 5721 7077.

Cathy extended a warm welcome to Federal Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Education Senator, the Hon Scott Ryan, who was in Wangaratta yesterday to open the Science and Food Technology Facilities, the Youth North East Trade Training Centre at GOTAFE, and the new day operating theatre at Wangaratta Hospital.

Commonwealth funding for these projects totalled almost $5.7 million ($3.5m Wangaratta Hospital, $1.168m GOTAFE YouthNETT, $600,000 Science and Food Facilities) and it is great to have Federal Government funding and support for these important initiatives in health and education for Indi.

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