Cathy McGowan: Member for Indi

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Dairy meeting yields results for Indi farmers

Independent Member for Indi Cathy McGowan has congratulated the Alpine Valley Dairy Pathway Project on its effective delegation to Canberra on 22 March.

Ms McGowan said the AVDPP’s meetings with senior government ministers were productive and demonstrated the leadership in the dairy industry in Indi.

Issues discussed included farm succession and transitions, improving agricultural education outcomes, efficient and productive use of water, access to reliable and affordable power and connectivity, and sustainable employment and investment growth.

“As a result the...

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Rail action rolls on for North East

Independent Member for Indi Cathy McGowan is taking action to require rail projects to maximise passenger benefits for communities along the rail line.

The details are contained in a Private Members Bill, the National Land Transport Amendment (Best Practice Rail Investment) Bill 2017 to be tabled in Parliament on Monday. The Bill also requires rail projects under the National Land Transport Act 2014 to detail the regional impact.

“The strong community reaction to the appalling service disruptions last weekend has...

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McGowan vows to continue childcare fight for rural and regional families

Independent Member for Indi Cathy McGowan has spoken passionately about her commitment to making sure rural and regional families are “front and centre” in childcare policy, after proposing amendments to the government’s Omnibus Bill in Parliament on Monday.

Ms McGowan has been lobbying for the government to provide assurances that mobile childcare services will not be adversely impacted by childcare reforms included in the Bill.

The amendments include a requirement to publish guidelines as to how funding...

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Indi dairy farmers to go to Canberra for action on industry plan

More than 100 people gathered in Tangambalanga today to discuss a vision for doubling milk production in the Alpine Valleys by 2050.

A delegation from the Alpine Valleys Dairy Pathways Project who led the meeting will come to Canberra in March at the invitation of Independent Member for Indi Cathy McGowan.

“Dairy farmers are taking effective action to embrace opportunities in a global market,” Ms McGowan said.

The meeting heard about great opportunities in the dairy...

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Certainty in childcare needed for rural and regional families

Independent Member for Indi Cathy McGowan says the government’s explanation of its childcare reform package fails to provide certainty for rural and regional families.

Ms McGowan said more work was needed following the response from the government to a Question tabled in the Parliament in October 2016. The question asks for information about how the planned transition from Budget-Based Funding Services would impact on rural families. (The question and answer are below.)

“The government has admitted it has not done...

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Migration amendment unnecessary and open to abuse

 Independent Member for Indi Cathy McGowan voted against legislation proposed by the government that could allow visas to be denied to people based on nationality or religion.

“I believe the proposed amendment puts too much power in the hands of the Minister without parliamentary oversight,” Ms McGowan said.

“The measures are unnecessary and give the Minister power to discriminate purely on the basis of nationality or religion.

“It is not in Australia’s best interests to go...

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Dairy roundtables report welcomed, action now required

Independent Member for Indi Cathy McGowan has welcomed a report which recommends a review of the Farm Household Allowance application process.

Ms McGowan called on the Minister for Agriculture and Water Deputy PM Barnaby Joyce in Parliament on Wednesday 8 Feb for the report on recent dairy roundtable meetings to be delivered.

“This is a great result,” Ms McGowan said.

“The real issue is that people can’t get access to Centrelink because there aren’t enough resources to process applications.

“I...

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Independents back call for action on Centrelink

Independent Member for Indi Cathy McGowan backed a call in Parliament on Tuesday to urgently review Centrelink debt recovery activities.

Ms McGowan supported a motion by Independent Member for Denison Andrew Wilkie to acknowledge the severe financial and emotional toll the current debt recovery system is having on thousands of people.

“It is very disappointing that the government prevented the issue being debated in the Parliament,” Ms McGowan said.

“The Centrelink debt issue is part of a bigger problem of...

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Government challenged to act now on rail woes

Independent Member for Indi Cathy McGowan challenged the Australian Government in Parliament on Monday to act now on poor rail services for North East Victoria.

Ms McGowan said for more than eight years, regional communities in North East Victoria have been frustrated by significant engineering failings on the Wodonga-Melbourne rail line. In 2016 the trains were on time 79.7 per cent of the time, with the rate dropping to 55.2 per cent in November. There are 23 sections with speed...

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Don’t forget regional families in childcare package, urges McGowan

Independent Member for Indi Cathy McGowan is working with the government to ensure that regional Australians get a good deal in the latest round of negotiations around childcare reforms.

Ms McGowan is urging the government to make sure rural and regional families will not lose access to vital mobile childcare services.

“The proposed reforms may mean budget-based mobile services such as that offered by Albury Wodonga Community Early Years Childcare may no longer be viable,” Ms McGowan said.

“These services...

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Veterans groups encouraged to apply for grants to improve quality of life

Independent Member for Indi Cathy McGowan has encouraged veteran’s groups throughout Indi to apply for grants for projects through the Commonwealth-funded Veteran and Community Grants program.

“Ex-service and veterans groups play an important role supporting those who have served their country,” Ms McGowan said.

“The grants are an opportunity to honour the sacrifice of our veterans through projects that have an ongoing benefit to their health or quality of life.”

Recipients under previous rounds of grants include the Vietnam Veterans...

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Australia Day message 2017

An Australia Day message from Cathy McGowan, Independent Member for Indi

"Australia Day is an opportunity to celebrate what is great about living in Australia, and particularly in Indi.

"Indi has a strong tradition of volunteering and being involved. Congratulations to all those who are receiving Australia Day awards today in recognition of their generous efforts. A special welcome goes out to those becoming new citizens.  Welcome to Indi!

"In our communities there are many opportunities for everyone to make...

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People urged to use mobile service centres in January and February

People in rural areas who need access to a Centrelink or Medicare personnel are being urged to make use of Department of Human Services Mobile Service Centres. The mobile services are visiting North East Victoria in January and February.

Independent Member for Indi Cathy McGowan said face to face contact with Centrelink and Medicare officers was important for many people. The problem was particularly apparent in the difficulties faced by dairy farmers trying to access Farm Household Assistance.

Ms McGowan...

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PM challenged to reveal budget impact on regional Australia

Independent Member for Indi Cathy McGowan has challenged the government to reveal the impact of budgets on rural and regional Australia.

Ms McGowan introduced a Private Members Bill into the parliament in October to this effect and is calling on the Prime Minister to agree to debate and pass the legislation as a matter of urgency.

The Charter of Budget Honesty Amendment (Regional Australia Statements) Bill 2016 calls for detailed regional impact statements to be included in each Budget and...

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New staff member Steve Cooper welcomed to Indi office

Independent Member for Indi Cathy McGowan has welcomed Steve Cooper to the team as a constituent officer. Mr Cooper replaces Elise Wenden who was farewelled in December 2016 after two years in the role.

Mr Cooper worked with former Member for Murray Dr Sharman Stone for seven years. Prior to that he worked as an insurance assessor and fraud investigator. He also spent ten years in the Royal Australian Navy and is currently finishing an MBA through La Trobe University.

...

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Christmas message from Cathy

Season’s Greetings!

There are so many people in North East Victoria who work hard to make it a place where people can belong. Christmas is a great opportunity to stop and say “thank you”.

Thank you to all who give generously to their communities. The Carevan program is one such organisation seeking to create a sense of belonging for people who are homeless and disadvantaged. It has been good to spend time with them in person in Wangaratta and Wodonga...

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Indi youth recognised in sports grants

Thirteen young people from across Indi have been assisted in achieving their sporting dream thanks to the announcement in December of Commonwealth funded Local Sporting Champions grants.

Independent Member for Indi Cathy McGowan has congratulated all the recipients who each received a $500 grant from the Australian Institute of Sport.

The grants assist people aged 12-18 with the cost of competing in regional, state, national and international sporting championships.

Joanna Garoni from Wodonga, aged 13, is in the Under 15...

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Community lobbying drives big win for Rutherglen detour

Effective lobbying from the Rutherglen community has resulted in a win for safety, according to Independent Member for Indi Cathy McGowan.

The Victorian Government has pledged $2 million to match federal funding announced earlier this year for the Rutherglen heavy vehicle detour. Ms McGowan said that the leadership of local people such as former Indigo Shire councillor Roberta Horne had delivered a great result.

“Roberta Horne, Indigo Shire and others identified the problem and were creative in the ways they...

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Community backs independence

Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, has thanked the 1490 donors whose contributions totalling almost $204,000 supported the grassroots campaign to “keep the seat orange” at the July 2016 federal election.

The Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) has released details of campaign expenditures by candidates who stood at this year’s election. The independent campaign for Indi was eligible for a payment of $81,000 by the AEC, based upon the number of formal first preference votes received at the election.

Donations...

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Wine tax rebate win for Indi winemakers

Independent Member for Indi Cathy McGowan has welcomed the Turnbull Government’s announcement of changes to the Wine Equalisation Tax (WET) Rebate to assist Indi winemakers and associated tourism.

Indi winemakers were included in a national consultation in recent weeks led by Ministers Kelly O’Dwyer and Anne Ruston. The discussions led to key changes to the eligibility criteria for the WET rebate scheme which protect the integrity of the scheme while not disadvantaging regional winemakers’ cellar door businesses.

Ms McGowan met...

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Compromise reached on 15 per cent backpacker tax

Independent Member for Indi Cathy McGowan has welcomed the compromise of a 15 per cent backpacker tax.

Ms McGowan said the backpacker tax legislation needed to be sorted out after the Senate voted for the lower rate of 10.5 per cent on Wednesday.

“I thought the compromise position of 15 per cent was worthy of support. This situation needed to be sorted,” she said.

“I will be supporting the Government on its position. The alternative is 32 per cent.”

Ms...

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Indi wins again under Mobile Blackspot Programme

Effective lobbying for telecommunications has led to another great result for mobile phone black spots in Indi. The electorate has been allocated eight more mobile base stations from Round 2 of the Mobile Blackspot Programme, funded by the Commonwealth and State Governments and Telstra.

The locations are Baranduda Range in the City of Wodonga; Beechworth-Wodonga Road in Indigo Shire; Kevington in Mansfield Shire; Mt Dom Dom in Murrindindi Shire; Omeo Highway, Tallangatta South and Tallangatta Valley in Towong Shire; and...

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Media reform has two years to prove value to rural and regional Australia

The government has been put on notice by the Independent Member for Indi Cathy McGowan that the impact of media reform on Indi and all rural and regional Australians will be watched closely before a review in two years.

“Now the government needs to do the work to make sure the reform is effective and does not further disadvantage rural and regional Australia. The key to doing this is by providing adequate access to nbn™ and mobile phone coverage,” Ms...

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Government should act now to improve NBN for Indi

The government should act now to improve access to nbn™ for Indi and all rural and regional Australians, according to Independent Member for Indi Cathy McGowan.

In a Notice of Motion before the Parliament Ms McGowan urged the government to review the nbnTM Fair Use Policy and implement recommendations of the 2015 Regional Telecommunications Review.

“Recent stories about lack of access to adequate data and download speeds under the SkyMuster satellite service are not news,” Ms McGowan said.

“The off-peak...

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Government challenged - commit to rural and regional budget statements

Independent Member for Indi Cathy McGowan has called for rural and regional Australia to be at the forefront of the Government’s Budget and economic considerations.

In introducing a Private Members’ Bill to the Parliament, Ms McGowan said the Government must explain the impact of budget decisions on rural and regional Australians.

Ms McGowan said the Treasurer should be obliged to release a Regional Australia Statement with each Budget and Mid-year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO).

“We see the problem of...

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ABC Board comes Back to Yack

The Board of the ABC will be encouraged to continue its investment in rural and regional programming when it visits Yackandandah on Friday 25 November.

The ABC Board will be in town for the “Back to Yack” street party, a celebration of the return of the Back Roads program set in Yackandandah.

Independent Member for Indi Cathy McGowan told parliament on Monday:

“Spending by the ABC on rural and regional programming is an investment, not a cost.

“The Board of...

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Indi farmers get action on dairy assistance delays

The Minister for Agriculture Barnaby Joyce has responded to Independent Member for Indi Cathy McGowan’s call for action to assist Indi dairy farmers.

A roundtable meeting will be held in Tangambalanga in the Kiewa Valley on 12 December at 10.30am. It will address the long delays dairy farmers are facing to access emergency financial assistance.

“It’s time now for action to fix the delays,” Ms McGowan said.

“The dairy industry is vital to Indi and to the national economy. The...

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Much needed track maintenance for rail line welcome

Work to be done on the railway line between Benalla and Wodonga by the Australian Rail Track Corporation during November has been welcomed by the Independent Member for Indi Cathy McGowan.

“This maintenance work by the ARTC to address ‘mud holes’ under the track is long overdue and welcome,” Ms McGowan said.

“The quality of the track and its impact on comfort and safety has been a significant issue for passengers and staff using the service.

“A year ago the...

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Delays for dairy farmer assistance to be addressed after Minister commits to meeting

Relief may be in sight for dairy farmers facing long waits to get financial assistance. Independent Member for Indi Cathy McGowan has received a commitment from the government to a round-table meeting in Indi to address the delays.

Ms McGowan asked Minister for Agriculture Barnaby Joyce for the commitment in parliament today. The Minister delegated Victorian Senator Bridget McKenzie to conduct the round-table meeting to address actions needed to clear the backlog. There have been delays of up to 20...

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Indi says "We can do better" on asylum seekers

Independent Member for Indi Cathy McGowan has spoken out against proposed changes to the Migration Act following an overwhelming response from her electorate, telling the government “we can do better”.

Ms McGowan and Independent Member for Denison Andrew Wilkie have put forward an amendment to the Migration Legislation Amendment (Regional Processing Cohort) Bill 2016 calling for a sophisticated response to the issue of asylum seekers rather than one based on fear.

Ms McGowan acknowledged the difficult task of addressing the...

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Indi dairy farmers’ long wait for assistance to be heard by Minister’s office

Dairy farmers in Indi facing long delays for Centrelink assistance will have their case heard on Wednesday 9 November during a briefing between the office of Minister for Agriculture Barnaby Joyce and Independent Member for Indi Cathy McGowan.

Ms McGowan will also press for action to get the assistance flowing where it is needed in a Notice of Motion to the parliament detailing the hardship faced by Indi’s dairy farmers. The Notice of Motion asks for a proactive approach to...

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Water authority commits to actions after round-table meeting

Landholders downstream of Lake Hume weir received a commitment today from the Murray Darling Basin Authority for action to improve the impact of water releases.

The commitment was made during a round-table meeting today in Wodonga organised and led by Independent Member for Indi Cathy McGowan.

Landholders were able to voice their concerns directly to the Chair of the MDBA Neil Andrew AO, Executive Director David Dreverman, and representatives from the Bureau of Meteorology and NSW Water.

“Today’s meeting was...

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Wodonga could show way for regional education across Australia

Models of innovation in education in Wodonga could break down barriers to higher education faced by rural, regional and remote students, and potentially deliver benefits across Australia.

This was the message for the Minister for Education and Training the Hon Senator Simon Birmingham who was invited to Wodonga today by Independent Member for Indi Cathy McGowan.

“Rural and regional education needs to be at the centre of higher education reform,” Ms McGowan said.

“The future of Australia relies on thriving...

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Australia Post delivers for two neighbourhoods in Indi

Two Indi community groups have been granted more than $12,000 for projects to help provide services in their areas, courtesy of Australia Post.

Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, congratulated the Walwa & District Community Support Group and Flowerdale Men’s Shed on receiving Australia Post 2014 Our Neighbourhood Community Grants funding.

“These groups play a valuable role in their communities and the projects being funded will help improve people’s lives,” Ms McGowan said.

“Thanks to Australia Post...

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Time to find another way forward on marriage equality

It’s time for parliament to find a way forward to resolve the marriage equality issue. That’s the message from Independent Member for Indi Cathy McGowan.

“It is so disappointing that this is still dragging on. Like many others I was looking forward to seeing a resolution on 11 February 2017,” Ms McGowan said.

“My first preference has always been for a conscience vote by the Parliament on marriage equality.

“In the absence of a conscience vote I agreed to support...

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Government must guarantee data funding for rural and regional growth

Rural and regional economies will suffer if the government does not guarantee funding for the provision of regional economic data, says Independent Member for Indi Cathy McGowan.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics has said that it does not have the resources to carry out all its current activities and that it will review the provision of regional economic data as part of its Forward Work Plan.

Today in parliament Ms McGowan asked the Minister for Small Business Michael McCormack for...

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Cathy McGowan urges government to support young people in community life

Independent Member for Indi Cathy McGowan has called on the government to show how it will encourage and support young people to participate in democratic processes and community life.

In a speech in Parliament on Tuesday Ms McGowan said there are significant barriers to young people enrolling to vote and a failure of the institutions to advocate on their behalf.

“There is confusion about enrolment rules. The involvement of the Australian Federal Police, Australian Electoral Commission and media in the...

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Cathy McGowan calls on Minister for Water to visit Indi following water releases from Lake Hume

Independent Member for Indi Cathy McGowan has called on the Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources Barnaby Joyce to visit North East Victoria to answer questions about the recent releases of water from Lake Hume weir by the Murray Darling Basin Authority (MDBA).

In a speech to parliament on Monday 10 October Ms McGowan said there was a serious problem with communication from the MDBA about the rate of outflows from the weir.

“Who is responsible? The minister for water...

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Victory for landholders in Indi as water authority agrees to round-table

Landholders affected by recent releases of water from Lake Hume weir will have their concerns heard directly after the Murray Darling Basin Authority committed to a round-table discussion with them in November.

Independent Member for Indi Cathy McGowan secured the round-table discussion to be held in Wodonga after meeting last week with representatives of the MDBA to put the case for the landholders.

Ms McGowan had earlier called on the Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources Barnaby Joyce to answer...

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Indi receives $2.28 million in infrastructure funding

Independent Member for Indi Cathy McGowan has welcomed the Federal Government’s investment of $2,285,000 for three projects from the National Stronger Regions Fund.

The projects receiving funds are the Great River Road (Towong Shire) and Alpine Better Places (Alpine Shire).

“Congratulations to the communities of Corryong, Myrtleford and Porepunkah. They have put in the hard work in partnership with all levels of government to attract this funding,” Ms McGowan said.

“As a result Indi is clearly on the federal government’s...

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Cathy McGowan welcomes new staff

Independent Member for Indi Cathy today welcomed four new staff members to her team.

“I am delighted to welcome the new and expanding team and excited about all the work we will be able to do for Indi,” Ms McGowan said.

The new staff members are:

  • Chief of Staff: Di Thomas – Di was previously the Editor at the Shepparton News and has recently completed her law degree. She is also a former Editor of The Border Mail....

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Government must treat rural and regional Australia better: McGowan

Independent Member for Indi Cathy McGowan has welcomed the change of heart on the Backpacker Tax and says the Government should learn from its mistake.

Ms McGowan called on the Government to commit to conducting extensive research before making decisions that impact rural and regional Australia.

“The government could get its policies right the first time if it consulted relevant industries and engaged with rural and regional communities before making uninformed decisions,” Ms McGowan said.

“This would save considerable time...

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NBN committee to seek answers for rural and regional Australia: McGowan

Independent Member for Indi Cathy McGowan has a new weapon to use in the battle to achieve better telecommunications for Indi.

Ms McGowan’s appointment to a Joint Parliamentary Standing Committee on the National Broadband Network (NBN) is the latest step she has taken to address constituent’s frustrations, after heavily advocating for mobile blackspot funding.

“The NBN rollout has been a massive issue in Indi, with about 100 constituent inquiries coming through my Wodonga and Wangaratta offices in the past month,”...

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Digging deep to support youth services in Mansfield

Independent Member for Indi Cathy McGowan congratulated the Mansfield community on Monday, as it took the next step towards the development of its Youth Hub and Skate Park.

Minister for Regional Development, Senator Fiona Nash, conducted the official sod-turning on site at the Mansfield Recreation Reserve.

“Young people are a priority in Indi and this project really caters for the needs of these important members of our community,” said Ms McGowan, who also attended.

“I’m proud Mansfield is providing quality...

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Mobile children’s services under threat: Cathy McGowan

Independent Member for Indi Cathy McGowan is calling upon the Turnbull government to consider a rural and remote funding stream to continue essential mobile child care services.

The move would save 45 mobile children’s services across Australia, including one that operates out of the Albury Wodonga Community College (AWCC). AWCC delivers early child care and education services to about 330 families in rural locations in North East Victoria and southern NSW, from its regional centre in Wodonga.

The Budget Based...

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Rural Australians, particularly women, must be heard: Cathy McGowan

Independent Member for Indi Cathy McGowan is encouraging women to take responsibility for having their issues heard and addressed.

Ms McGowan will deliver an address titled “Looking forward, looking back” at the Australian Women in Agriculture Conference being held in Canberra on Sunday, September 11.

“Residents in rural and regional Australia are poorly represented and this is particularly the case for women,” Ms McGowan said.

“Looking forward we’re actually looking back.”

Cathy told the conference that the average representation of...

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Benalla receives funding for community centre upgrade

Benalla residents will soon be able to access a new multipurpose community meeting room.

Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan, congratulated the Benalla Rural City Council on receiving $18,125 federal funding for the Senior Citizens Community Centre Renovation Project.

The project will include converting an under-utilised area within the centre to establish a multipurpose community meeting room. This will involve the installation of storage cupboards, a data projector and meeting room facilities.

The Community Centre Auditorium will also be reconfigured...

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Federal funding to repair Corryong hall roof

Help is at hand to repair the leaky roof of the Corryong Memorial Hall.

Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan, congratulated the Towong Shire Council on receiving $18,125 for the Corryong Memorial Hall Roofing Upgrade Project.

“The Committee of Management, who are the main partner in this project have been seeking support funding since the roof started leaking three to four years ago causing flow-on damage inside the hall,” she said.

“I met with them in April to see...

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Renovation ahead for 93-year-old Bright building

Bright RSL Sub-Branch will be upgrading its kitchen facilities with the assistance of Federal funding.

Independent Member for Indi Cathy McGowan congratulated the organisation for securing the funding of $33,525.

“I applaud the members of the Bright RSL Sub-Branch for the work they have put into this project,” Ms McGowan said.

“The works will ensure the 93-year-old building is well looked after and of greatest use to the community in the years ahead.

“I look forward to seeing the end...

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Minister commits to honouring Indi roads funding promises

Independent Member for Indi Cathy McGowan today secured a commitment from Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester to honour all roads funding announced for the electorate during the election.

The people of Indi were made a series of funding commitments by the Government during the Federal Election campaign.

June 23: $10 million was announced for the Kiewa Highway; the Great Alpine Road and the Rutherglen Bypass.

June 3: $7.1 million was announced for roads in Shelly/Walwa; Hume Highway; Mansfield,...

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Dairy inquiry welcomed

Independent Member for Indi Cathy McGowan has welcomed the announcement that the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) will be conducting an inquiry into the national dairy industry.

“I will be following the ACCC inquiry really closely,” Ms McGowan said.

“I hope it sheds light on what happened and how it can be prevented from happening again.

“The findings could have far reaching implications for all Australian agricultural industries.”

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Digital inclusion report reveals stark facts

A national report has revealed that Northern Victoria is one of the least digitally connected regions in Australia.

Measuring Australia’s Digital Divide: Australian Digital Inclusion Index 2016, a project by Telstra, Swinburne University of Technology and Roy Morgan Research, was released recently.

Independent Member for Indi Cathy McGowan said she was proud of the progress that had been made in the past two years, but the report showed there was a lot more work to do.

“We will continue to...

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Benalla Munitions Factory rates issue

Independent Member for Indi Cathy McGowan will be seeking answers from the relevant ministers following revelations the Rural City of Benalla can no longer collect rates from the government-owned Benalla Munitions Facility.

“This is of great concern as it will have a huge impact on the council’s financial capabilities,” Ms McGowan said.

The Benalla Munitions Facility is the single largest contributor to the rates and charges revenue base of the Rural City of Benalla.

In 2016-17 this was valued at...

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Back to Parliament

Independent Member for Indi Cathy McGowan returns to Canberra this week, for the first sitting of the newly elected Parliament.

“There is a lot to do,” Ms McGowan said.

“We made significant progress for Indi in my first term as the Federal Member for Indi and the hard work will continue.”

The first week back in Canberra will include official ceremonies such as the swearing in of members, the address by the Governor General and Welcome...

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Federal funding shining spotlight on Wodonga CBD

Independent Member for Indi Cathy McGowan met with Wodonga City Council Chief Executive Officer Patience Harrington and Mayor Anna Speedie yesterday to personally congratulate the organisation on receiving a $18,125 federal grant for the Light Box Public Art Projection Project.

Ms McGowan said the outdoor art gallery project will increase visitation to the recently developed Junction Square and Cube Courtyard.

“The project will create silhouetted images on the side of The Cube using projected colour,” Ms McGowan...

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Federal Government steps into CFA dispute

Independent Member for Indi Cathy McGowan is pleased the Coalition Government is following through with its election commitment to Victorian Country Fire Authority (CFA) volunteers.

Ms McGowan said she would be keeping a close eye on the progress of draft legislation released today.

“In principle I am supportive of the Prime Minister’s proposal to change the Fair Work Act to protect the role of the CFA and other volunteers,” Ms McGowan said.

“I look forward to reading The Fair Work...

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Commemorating the Battle of Long Tan 50 years on

Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan, will mark Vietnam Veterans’ Day by attending commemoration services in Wodonga and Wangaratta on Thursday.

On the 50th anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan (18 August 1966) it is timely to acknowledge the courage Australian and New Zealand soldiers exhibited during the Vietnam War.

“To the veterans of Indi, those who perished while serving, those who returned and have now passed on, and those who remain cherished members of our communities, we thank...

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Have your say on the Backpacker Tax

Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan, is urging residents and businesses to make their views known by making submissions to the Working Holiday Maker Visa Review.

The review was announced on Monday and submissions are due by Friday, September 2.

“There isn’t much time, so start your submission today,” Ms McGowan said.

“It is important that the voices of business that rely on backpacker labour and the wider communities which will be impacted if the tax...

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Federal funding to build picnic shelter in Myrtleford

A Federal funding initiative aimed at building community infrastructure will provide shelter for those utilising a Myrtleford park. Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan, congratulated the Alpine Shire Council on receiving $18,125 for the Cundy Park Picnic Shelter.

The project will include:

  • Paving;

  • The replacement of the old barbecue and its relocation under cover of the shelter;

  • The implementation of picnic table/s in the shelter;

  • Provision...

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Federal funding splash for Jamieson Memorial Hall

A Federal funding initiative aimed at building community infrastructure is delivering for Jamieson. Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan, congratulated the Mansfield Shire Council on receiving $18,125 for the Jamieson Memorial Hall Renovation Project.

The project renovation will include:

  • Installation of new kitchen;

  • Repair and paint total exterior of the hall including replacement of north-facing window and weatherboards where required;

  • Basic landscape and garden area including topsoil, seed and garden edge; and,

  • Repair...

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Rising stars in spotlight for awards night

Rising stars in football and netball was recognised at the Ovens and King League presentation night held last night.

The Cathy McGowan MP Rising Star Award for 2016 has been hotly contested again this year.

Eight nominees in both football and netball were selected from across the league after clubs nominated players they believe to be rising stars of the competition. All nominees were under 21 at the start of the year.

The nominees are:

Football: Sam Peters, Tarrawingee; Bryce...

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Chief of Staff appointed

Independent Member for Indi Cathy McGowan has announced that Di Thomas has been appointed as her Chief of Staff.

"I am delighted to welcome Di Thomas to my team," Ms McGowan said.

Ms Thomas has been a well-known media identity across Indi. She has served as editor of The Border Mail and most recently at The Shepparton News.

Ms McGowan thanked current Chief of Staff Karen Keegan for her loyal service. Karen has been with the team since March 2014.

A...

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Indi information needed to guide effective future planning

Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, is encouraging the public to be patient with the 2016 Census process. Ms McGowan said residents who had not received a letter, either via mail or drop off, with the unique login number should contact the Enquiry Service on 1300 214 531 between 8.30am and 8pm.

“Census Field Officers will be dropping off forms in selected rural areas and these are expected to arrive before Census night on August 9,” Ms McGowan said.

...

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It’s official: Cathy McGowan declared Indi MP for 45th Parliament

Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, has been officially declared the winner of the 2016 Indi Federal poll. The Australian Electoral Commission Divisional Returning Officer – Division of Indi Jenny Essex made the announcement at the Declaration of the Poll on Thursday, August 4. Ms McGowan won with a two-party preferred vote of 49,421. This represented 54.83 per cent of the vote and a swing of 4.58 per cent. 

“It’s a privilege to be re-elected as Indi representative. Thanks...

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Corporate Sleepout in Wodonga to highlight homelessness in the region

Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, will pack the sleeping bag for the 2016 Corporate Sleepout at the Wodonga Race Club tonight. Ms McGowan will join local business owners at the event to recognise National Homeless Week.  

Ms McGowan said taking part in the Corporate Sleepout was an opportunity to highlight the issue, and recognise the volunteer work being done to help people in need.

“Solutions to the homelessness problem needed a whole-of-community approach, and without significant action...

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Splash of Federal funding for Yackandandah creek project

A Federal funding initiative aimed at building community infrastructure will help increase access through a popular part of Yackandandah. Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan, congratulated the Indigo Shire Council and Yackandandah Chamber of Commerce on receiving $17,972 for the Yackandandah Creek Pedestrian Bridge Project.

“Indi matters and funding continues to flow to build infrastructure and create local jobs,” Ms McGowan said.

Ms McGowan said the bridge would give people an alternative path to reach the sports park and add...

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Federal funding to get Wangaratta skate park upgrade rolling

A Federal funding initiative aimed at building community infrastructure is delivering for skate park users in Wangaratta. Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan, has congratulated the Rural City of Wangaratta Council on receiving $18,125 for the HP Barr Reserve Skate Park Upgrade Project.

“Indi matters and funding continues to flow to build infrastructure and create local jobs,” Ms McGowan said.

Ms McGowan said the ongoing expansion to skate park infrastructure includes:

  • security lighting
  • shade sails
  • extra rails for BMX,...

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Federal funding boost for artists shining spotlight on Wodonga CBD

A Federal funding initiative aimed at building community infrastructure will help shine a light on art in Wodonga. Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan, congratulated Wodonga City Council on receiving $18,125 for the Light Box Public Art Projection Project.

Ms McGowan said the outdoor art gallery project will increase visitation to the recently developed Junction Square and Cube Courtyard.

“The project will create silhouetted images on the side of The Cube using projected colour,” Ms McGowan said. “The images will...

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Cathy McGowan statement on 2016 Federal election

I appreciate how important it is for this current situation to be resolved. The country wants stable and settled government to enable everyone to get on with their lives and business.

As an independent I stand by my principle of no deals. A deal is when you agree to do something in exchange for something.

I will maintain my...

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Voters trust Cathy to deliver for Indi

Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, has acknowledged the overwhelming support of the people of Indi to elect her for a second term. Ms McGowan congratulated the nine other candidates for contesting the seat of Indi. 

“Democracy is alive and well,” Ms McGowan said. “Indi matters, this win was not a fluke, no wool has been pulled over anyone’s eyes and we’re a competitive seat.”

This morning Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull phoned Ms McGowan to congratulate her on...

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Arts to ‘fly’ into the Wodonga CBD

Junction Place will be swarming with fruit flies helping tell community stories in September this year. Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, has welcomed $15,000 in Federal funding from the Regional Arts Fund, towards a significant community arts production, led by the Flying Fruit Fly Circus.

The project, titled JUNCTION, will bring together students from local regional schools, residents of Westmont Aged Care, Flying Fruit Fly Circus artists, The Cube and City of Wodonga Council to create outdoor artworks...

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Cathy McGowan calls for Federal cross-border commissioner

A Federal cross-border commissioner would help get rid of red tape hindering businesses operating on the Border. In her second term, Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, will lobby for the establishment of a Federal cross-border commissioner to identify and resolve cross-border anomalies.

The commitment was made at the Master Builders Association Murray Division Annual Breakfast Meeting. Major red-tape issues for the MBA Murray Division include home warranty insurance duplication, multiple license categories and the need for mutual recognition...

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Cathy McGowan calls for commitment to improve regional higher education

Access to higher education remains a challenge in rural and regional areas. Universities and TAFE colleges in regional areas give students the chance to study locally and work locally. Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, said the current system continues to disadvantage students and the region’s ability to reach its potential.

Government funding in education must be viewed as an investment in our future, and take into account the needs of students in North East Victoria and regional Australia....

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Childcare models must suit needs of rural families: Cathy McGowan

A one size fits all childcare funding model continues to disadvantage families in rural and regional Australia. Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, said the growing number of young families living in small towns such as Chiltern, Barnawartha and the Indigo Valley need childcare in their community to allow parents to work.

“We need to ensure rural families are supported and have adequate access for their childcare needs,” Ms McGowan said. “This is an important basic service and without...

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CFA volunteers need full support of Government

Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, said CFA volunteers could count on her support if legislation presented to Federal Parliament helped resolve the ongoing EBA issue.    

“As a CFA member for more than 15 years, I understand how CFA volunteers play a fundamental role in keeping our communities safe,” Ms McGowan said.

Ms McGowan has been receiving regular briefings and been in constant contact with brigades across District 23 and 24.

“It’s disappointing the situation has got...

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Clarifying statement on Cathy McGowan’s voting record

The Parliamentary Library has compiled the following statistics on Cathy McGowan’s official voting record.

In the 44th Parliament 475 Bills were passed by the House of Representatives. Cathy voted with the Government 443 times.

Of Bills that went to a division, Cathy voted with the Government 28 times and with the Opposition 32 times. She voted against both the Government and Opposition 9 times.

Overall, Cathy has voted with the Government more than 90 per cent of the time.

These are...

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Wahgunyah Rec Reserve building upgrade a real team effort: Cathy McGowan

Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, had congratulated the Wahgunyah on a team effort for the Wahgunyah Rec Reserve building expansion and upgrade. The official opening of the revamped facility will be held this Thursday, June 16.

“This is such an important facility for Wahgunyah,” Ms McGowan said. “It’s amazing to see the transformation, the committee and community will be proud of the upgrade. This is reward for the hard work people have put in to get this result...

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Cathy McGowan stands by voting record representing Indi

Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, is proud of her voting record since being elected to represent the people of Indi. In the 44th Parliament, 475 Bills were passed, and Ms McGowan voted with the Government on a possible 443 occasions.

“My commitment before the 2013 election was to work with the Government of the day. As an effective Independent, I am not in opposition,” Ms McGowan said. “My first responsibility when voting is to the electorate and how...

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People power behind Keeping the Seat Orange

The 2013 Federal election win was no accident, according to Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO. Indi is now a model for other regional communities wanting greater acknowledgement and representation from their Federal Member of Parliament.

Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, said the 2016 Federal election campaign would be modelled on the successful grassroots movement that has put Indi on the map. “Indi matters, and for the first time in a long time, the seat is getting...

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Headspace Albury Wodonga makes difference in mental health struggle

Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, said communities in Indi were closely watching the rollout of mental health reforms to ensure people get help when going through tough times. National Youth Mental Health Foundation Headspace is celebrating its 10th anniversary and Ms McGowan was a guest speaker today at headspace Albury Wodonga to mark the occasion.

Ms McGowan praised the work headspace Albury Wodonga had done since opening in early 2015. This followed a strong community campaign...

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Telecommunications infrastructure key to increasing farm productivity

Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, is calling for a serious commitment from Government to fix the telecommunications infrastructure shortfall in regional Australia.

“Rural businesses are particularly disadvantaged from poor mobile and phone coverage and internet access,” Ms McGowan said. “This was confirmed in the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Agriculture and Industry the Smart Farming report.”

Ms McGowan said the report included 17 recommendations in four key areas, including telecommunications and data services.

“The Committee recommends that...

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NBN Potential must be maximised in Indi

Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, is welcoming the NBN Co switch-on next month in Wangaratta, and encouraging people and business owners to take advantage of the faster and more reliable internet connection.

“Wangaratta will be the first major centre in North East Victoria to enjoy the NBN fixed line* service, with almost 9000 homes and businesses being able to connect to better internet,” Ms McGowan said. “The opportunities delivered by the NBN will be significant for businesses and productivity, and will improve access...

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Indi Matters: $7 million Federal Government funding for major road projects

Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, has welcomed more than $7 million in Federal funding to help fix roads and upgrade rest stops in Indi. The funding announcement today was made under the Federal Government Black Spot Programme for roads.

Ms McGowan said Indi matters and being an Independent seat gets results. “These projects are important for improving safety on our country roads. Congratulations to councils and local groups for successfully lobbying for this funding,” she said.

...

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Social enterprise a winning formula for significant Wangaratta employer

A long-term Wangaratta company is supporting communities and helping people reach their potential. Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, toured Merriwa Industries with CEO Bart Crawley to learn the benefits being delivered through the social enterprise model and the plans for expected growth in the business.

Ms McGowan said Merriwa had been a local employer for the past 40 years and was a major contributor to Wangaratta and the North East. Merriwa employs more than 240 people at a...

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Regional Network Development Plan short on detail

Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, has welcomed the Regional Network Development Plan (RNDP). “However there are many unanswered questions about the Plan’s timeline, funding and ongoing implementation,” she said.

Ms McGowan said it was important the State Government had acknowledged her call for a long-term strategy. “This is the first time a Victorian Government has given serious consideration to a public transport plan for regional Victoria, and key concerns have been recognised,” Ms McGowan said. “However, much more...

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Cathy McGowan joins ATSI community to mark National Sorry Day 2016

Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, has joined Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people on the border to mark National Sorry Day.

Attending the Albury Wodonga Aboriginal Health Service National Sorry Day, Ms McGowan said the day was also a chance to recognise the importance of reliable and adequately funded Indigenous health services and mental health services. 

“We need to ensure Indigenous communities are supported and have equity of access to services,” Ms McGowan said.

Two years ago, Ms...

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Beechworth leading the way for youth entrepreneurship and job creation

There is a future for young people in regional Australia, and an innovative program in the North East is helping create a new mindset for sustainable job creation. Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, officially opened the Australian Centre for Rural (ACRE) entrepreneurship in Beechworth and declared herself proud to be ACRE’s first patron.

Ms McGowan said ACRE CEO Matt Pfahlert and the ACRE team had established a sustainable job creation model that would help rural and regional communities...

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Boost for manufacturing in Benalla

A long-term contract between a major employer in Benalla and world leading explosives company has given regional manufacturing in Indi a boost.

Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, has met with Thales Vice President Kevin Wall to learn more about the contract to produce five million boosters per year. Ms McGowan has met regularly with Thales executives and staff since being elected to Parliament, and this was the latest briefing on the company’s developments and initiatives.

The boosters are...

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Dairy farmers win much-needed Government support

Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, welcomes the emergency support package announced by the Federal Government today for the dairy industry, while calling for a long-term strategy to help dairy businesses remain sustainable.     

“Dairy farming businesses in Indi, including the Kiewa, Upper Murray, Mitta, Ovens and King valleys, have been desperately calling for a strong approach to this emergency,” Ms McGowan said.

As the daughter of a dairy farmer, and having 10 years’ experience...

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Government listens to call for increased funding for mobile phone infrastructure

Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, welcomed the Government’s announcement today of a further $60 million to fund the Mobile Black Spot Programme. Ms McGowan has been the strongest advocate for improving mobile phone coverage in Parliament since becoming the Independent Member for Indi. In her continued fight for improved mobile phone coverage in Indi, Ms McGowan has met her 2013 election commitment to continually pressure the Government for action. 

“There needs to be a greater focus in providing...

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Emergency response needed for dairy crisis: Cathy McGowan

Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, is very disappointed that dairy farmers are yet to receive significant Federal Government assistance in response to the dairy crisis. Ms McGowan said the drop in milk price will have a major impact and Government needs to take a much stronger approach to help dairy families in this stressful time.

Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce visited the area yesterday and offered little to dairy farmers in terms of assistance. Ms McGowan said Government...

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Volunteer groups in Indi win $250,000 Federal funding

 Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, has congratulated Indi-based volunteer groups on receiving $253,929 in Federal Government funding. Under the Federal Government Volunteer Grants 2015 program, 70 groups across Indi will share in this important funding.

“Congratulations to the groups on their successful applications,” Ms McGowan said. “I want to acknowledge the work the groups do in our communities and the role all volunteers play, giving their time to service clubs, organisations and emergency services.  

“Indi matters and...

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Arts funding cuts impact regional cultural economies

Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, believes the Federal Government decision to cut arts funding will have significant negative impacts. Ms McGowan said the Wangaratta Jazz and Blues Festival missing out on more than $200,000 in the revised Australia Council for the Arts funding arrangement would pressure organisers to seek other funding avenues.

“This is a disappointing outcome. The Wangaratta Jazz and Blues Festival is renowned internationally and organisers run a very professional event. It deserves financial support to...

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Immigration system must be fair and treat people with dignity

The Anglican Diocese of Wangaratta has called on Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, to represent their concerns about Government refugee policy.

At the Anglican Cathedral today, Bishop John Parkes will present Ms McGowan with a letter from the Synod calling on major political parties to work together to reach a fair and just solution.

“Treatment of refugees is an election issue in Indi, and I welcome the Bishop’s strong advocacy,” Ms McGowan said.

A recent survey conducted by...

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Win for farmers and ag tourism operators with backpackertax postponed

Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, has welcomed the Government decision to end speculation about the backpacker tax. Ms McGowan said farmers and ag tourism operators would be pleased the tax increase for backpacker workers is going to be reconsidered.

“Farmers, ag tourism operators and major stakeholders have been calling for the Government to act since February this year and will welcome this commmonsense decision,” Ms McGowan said. “Proposed changes have already had a significant impact on the horticulture...

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Backpacker tax will harm local economies: Cathy McGowan

Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO is repeating her call for the Government to listen to the agricultural and rural tourism sectors and scrap the backpacker tax increase. Ms McGowan has served on numerous committees with the National Farmers’ Federation and Victorian Farmers Federation and fully supports their ongoing campaign.

“I am joining the NFF and the VFF in calling on the Government to stop the increase of the backpacker tax,” Ms McGowan said. Ms McGowan supports the...

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Ellimatta Youth Centre in Kinglake gets Federal funding boost

A Federal funding initiative aimed at building community infrastructure is delivering for Kinglake. Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan, congratulated the Ellimatta Youth Inc on receiving $10,320 under Round Two of the Federal Government Stronger Communities Programme (SCP) for the Ellimatta Youth Centre Rejuvenation Project.

Ms McGowan established the Indi Stronger Communities Program Advisory Committee (ISCPAC) to deliver Round Two of the SCP. Community priorities guided the application process. Indi was allocated $150,000 in the Federal Budget for...

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Indi voters have clear choice for the future: Cathy McGowan

Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, has welcomed the election date beingofficially called. Indi voters will go to the polls on July 2.

“As a local I understand the issues, as an Independent I work with all governments to get results, and my effective approach is working,” Ms McGowan said. “I take the role very seriously, and there is unfinished business. This is not a one-term job.”

“This will be a competitive election and every vote will count,” Ms...

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NBN Sky Muster delivering reliable internet in Indi

Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, has welcomed the National Broadband Network (NBN) announcement that the long-term satellite rollout begins today. An estimated 250,000 homes and businesses across Australia are expected to benefit from this service.

“Rural and remote communities in Indi will be better connected with more access to online resources and business opportunities” Ms McGowan said.

“More than 3500 premises in Indi are expected to benefit from this exciting new technology. This is wonderful news for towns...

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Ag Innovation Inquiry recommendations to deliver productivity for farmers

Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, welcomed the tabling of the Smart Farming report in Parliament today. The report, commissioned by the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Agriculture and Industry, was established to make recommendations to address efficiencies in agricultural practice through new technology, emerging technology and barriers to the adoption of emerging technology.

Ms McGowan said the report includes 17 recommendations in four key areas, including:

  • Telecommunications and data services
  • Human Capital
  • Coordination of Research and...

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Federal Budget 2016-17- the good and not so good for Indi

Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, has had a mixed reaction to the 2016-17 Federal Budget delivered tonight in Parliament.   

"The Budget contains some good initiatives for regional Australia; however, it was disappointing that there was no commitment to ongoing funding to address mobile phone black spots, rural health and assistance for councils,” Ms McGowan said. “I welcome the Government’s commitment to further the Inland Freight Rail project, tax changes and concessions for small business, domestic violence, and...

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Improving telecommunications requires USO reform:

Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, has welcomed the Productivity Commission inquiry announced today into the Universal Service Obligation (USO). This is in direct response to the 2015 Regional Telecommunications Independent Review Committee report (RTIRC). Stronger customer service guarantees and USO reform were recommended in the report.

“We need a strong USO and customer service guarantees to ensure people and businesses in rural and regional Australia have equitable telecommunications services,” Ms McGowan said.

“The NBN will change the way people...

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Effective lobbying delivers better trains for North East line

A $15 million commitment to improve rollingstock has the North East service on track to deliver a better service for passengers. Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, welcomed the significant news announced in the Victorian 2016-17 Budget today. The Victorian Government also announced a major commitment for maintenance on regional rail services.

“The Victorian Government has listened to the people of Indi. Premier Daniel Andrews and Minister for Transport, Jacinta Allan, have delivered on their commitment to address this...

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Win for Indi owner-drivers in Parliament

Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, has helped secure a win for owner-drivers in Indi calling for the Government to scrap the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal (RSRT).

In the Parliament, Ms McGowan supported the Government Road Safety Remuneration Repeal Bill 2016, which was passed in the record time in the House and the Senate today. Ms McGowan said there was strong community support for getting rid of the RSRT in the wake of the controversial Contractor Driver Minimum Payments...

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Wangaratta community deserves answers to $10 million funding commitment claim

On behalf of the people of Wangaratta, Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, is calling on the Federal Government to answer questions about the claim of a $10 million funding commitment for an upgrade at the Wangaratta Hospital.

Ms McGowan wants Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Minster for Health, Sussan Ley, to clarify the situation about any funding commitment for the Wangaratta Hospital in place before the 2013 Federal election.

Appearing on Paul Murray Live on Thursday, April 21,...

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No case to answer for Indi voters

Charges against two young voters enrolled in Indi for the 2013 election have been struck out in the Melbourne Magistrates Court today, Tuesday, 5 April. Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, said the young people targeted in the Australian Federal Police (AFP) investigation followed the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) rules.

“I’m very pleased this matter has been resolved and I welcome the decision to strike out the charges,” Ms McGowan said. “There was never any case to answer, and...

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Delay to minimum rates welcome relief for owner-driver truckies

Independent member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, has welcomed the intervention by the Federal Court which has delayed the introduction of minimum pay rates for owner truck drivers. Ms McGowan said the Contractor Driver Minimum Payments Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal (RSRT) Order was due to come into effect from today.

Ms McGowan said many owner-drivers had contacted her to voice their concerns with the RSRT order.

“This Order would force owner and sub-contracted truck drivers to charge minimum pay rates,”...

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Telstra boosts mobile phone tower information for Indi

Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, has congratulated Telstra on launching the new Mobile Black Spot Program website. The website provides the latest information regarding the rollout of the Federal Government’s Mobile Black Spot Programme (MBSP).

Following the Round One MBSP announcement in June 2015, Ms McGowan has been calling on Telstra to release the rollout schedule for the 30 new base towers coming to Indi. The first tower under Round One will be constructed at Tatong,...

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Brakes need to be put on rush to introduce truckies minimum pay rates

Independent member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, is supporting the call for a six-month extension on the decision to introduce a minimum pay rate for contract truck drivers.

Following the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal (RSRT) Contractor Driver Minimum Payments Road Safety Remuneration Order, private trucking operators will be required to charge a minimum rate for trucking from April 4 onwards.

Ms McGowan said constituents were concerned with the proposed changes. Owner-operators, such as Graeme and Leonie Jackson (GE & LR...

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Win for farmers and regional tourism operators on backpacker tax

Independent member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, has welcomed the Government’s decision to review the proposed backpacker tax increase.

“This is a commonsense decision. This tax increase would have a major negative impact on agriculture and food production across regional Australia,” Ms McGowan said.

Minister for Tourism, Senator Richard Colbeck, announced the review today. Agriculture, industry, immigration and employment portfolios will be consulted during the review. No timeline for the review has been set.

On February 11 in Question...

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Kiewa Valley a caring community

The nurturing nature of small communities was on full display this week in the Kiewa Valley. Independent member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, spent a morning in Mount Beauty before joining more than 120 women at the International Women’s Day lunch in Tawonga. Ms McGowan said the lunch was a celebration of the role played by women of all ages in the community.

Mount Beauty Secondary College Year 12 student Jessica Powell was a guest speaker and provided everyone with...

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Cathy wins V/Line commitment for further improving train service

Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, has gained a number of commitments from V/Line to further improve the service on the North East line, including increased customer consultation. Ms McGowan discussed the long-standing issues with the train service with interim V/Line CEO Gary Liddle on the train to Wodonga this morning.

Ms McGowan was told performances have improved on the V/Line service; however, customers are still looking for a higher standard than currently experienced.

“The On Track RACV report...

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Splash of Federal funding for Corryong pool

A Federal funding initiative aimed at building community infrastructure is delivering for Corryong. Cathy McGowan AO, congratulated the Towong Shire Council on receiving $18,125 under Round One of the Federal Government Stronger Communities Programme (SCP) for the Corryong Swimming Pool social infrastructure project.

Ms McGowan established the Indi Stronger Communities Programme Advisory Committee (ISCPAC) to deliver Round One of the SCP. Community priorities guided the application process. Representatives from ICSPAC engaged with community groups to determine eligibility. Indi was allocated...

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Community stands up to end violence against women

Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, has put her full support behind the recent community push to get laws changed to introduce harsher sentencing for people who commit violent crimes against women and children. Ms McGowan said community safety was paramount, particularly for women living in rural and regional Australia.

“Women need to feel safe in their homes and communities. For many women this is currently not the case,” she said. “I believe that addressing the problem of violence...

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Yackandandah and Myrtleford latest towns in Indi to get NBN switched on

Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, said the NBN rollout continues across Indi, bringing benefits to businesses and residents. NBN in Yackandandah and Myrtleford turned on last Friday and joins Thornton South, Acheron, Taggerty North servicing Alexandra surrounds and Rennie’s Hill servicing Eildon surrounds being switched on to fixed wireless NBN.

The first NBN pits to service Wangaratta through fixed line were dug last month and completion is expected by the end of 2016. This will provide NBN to...

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Indi gas connection made in Canberra

A visit to Canberra by a senior Elgas official has sparked a gas pricing and account review in Indi for rural consumers. Elgas manager corporate affairs Warring Neilsen connected with Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, in response to her visit to the Mansfield Shire on February 18 this year.

In a speech following the visit, Ms McGowan told Parliament about the concerns people in Bonnie Doon had with the quality of gas being supplied to the area....

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Standing up for local hospital patients in health funding confusion

Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, is calling on the State and Federal Government to sort out their dispute about hospital funding. Ms McGowan said patients in Wangaratta, Wodonga and Benalla will be impacted if hospitals are forced to cutback services due to the disagreement in funding. 

Last week, the State Government announced that Albury Wodonga Health, North East Health Wangaratta and Benalla Health would lose $1.8 million from budgets. In Question Time today, Ms McGowan asked...

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Independent Cathy McGowan extends welcome to Government pollies in Indi

Indi is set for visits from high-level MPs to get an understanding of how Government policy and funding impacts communities across a range of key issues. Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, said invitations have been extended to four ministers to discuss aged care, access to disability services, trade and export opportunities, health and telecommunications.

“Communities in Indi have been working hard on these issues. People will welcome the opportunity to present their cases to the Ministers about how...

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More must be done to improve telecommunications for regional Australians

Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, has welcomed the Government response to the 2015 Regional Telecommunications Independent Review Report. The review looked at whether people in regional and rural Australia have equitable access to telecommunications services compared to those delivered in metropolitan centres.

“Progress has been made,” Ms McGowan said. “Indi has benefited from 30 mobile phone towers in Round One of the Mobile Black Spot Programme, and the NBN rollout to 44 towns is underway. However, more needs to...

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Local news content must be protected in media reforms

Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, has welcomed the Federal Government’s approval of media reform changes in Cabinet. According to media reports, the “reach rule” and two-out-of-three” ownership rule will be scrapped. Ms McGowan said more detail was required to explain the expansion of the points system for local content.

“People in Indi and across regional Australia rely on strong local TV content for information relevant to their communities,” Ms McGowan said.

“Changes must protect the production of local...

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Indi engineering student looking to build skills through Federal Government initiative

Wangaratta’s Scott Walsh is one of 100 hundred students to be accepted to the New Colombo Scholarship. Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, said the Federal Government Program aims to give Australian students a rich cultural experience in the developing Indo-Pacific region.

“Students can undertake a number of learning activities, including internships, mentorships and semester-based study for professional development,” Ms McGowan said. “The scholarship is flexible and open-ended which is ideal for students in long-term study.”

Mr Walsh is...

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Backflip needed on increase to #backpackertax

Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, is urging the Government to reverse a decision to introduce of a higher tax rate for backpackers. Ms McGowan is representing constituents concerned with the negative impact of a proposed increased tax rate for temporary workers.

Ms McGowan is supporting the Victorian Farmers Federation and National Farmers Federation campaign calling on the Government to change its policy for taxing backpackers. Backpackers earn about $15,000 on average working in Australia. Ms McGowan agrees with...

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Rural Families Need Mobile Childcare Support

Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, is critical of the new funding arrangements for childcare subsidies. Ms McGowan is pressuring the Government guarantees families using mobile childcare are eligible to receive subsidies.

“The new funding program fails to take into account families in rural and regional Australia who currently rely on mobile services,” Ms McGowan said.  

“In the proposed changes, there is no consideration for rural families that have no access to centre-based childcare centres. There are 42...

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Millions for Indi in significant Government investment in defence

Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, has welcomed significant long-term Federal Government investment to boost defence force infrastructure in Indi. A number of projects have been included in the 2016 Defence White Paper announced today.

A major redevelopment to key military infrastructure will take place in Albury-Wodonga in the next 10 years. The estimated cost of the upgrade is $350 million over that period, with another $50 million earmarked for the following decade.

“This announcement brings confidence to the...

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Cathy McGowan supports simpler Senate voting system

Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, voted for the Commonwealth Electoral Amendment Bill 2016, which passed the House of Reps on February 24.

Ms McGowan said this was important legislation and she was pleased to support the Government’s aim to make voting for the Senate easier.

“It needs to be simpler. Many people find the system complicated, hard to understand and confusing,” Ms McGowan said. “I believe independents will continue to play a pivotal role in Australian politics. I...

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$17 million infrastructure funding builds stronger Indi communities

Councils, community groups and organisations in Indi are encouraged to apply for National Stronger Regions Fund (NSRF) funding. Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, said Indi had been successful in applying for NSRF funding, with $17 million allocated for eight projects in rounds one and two.

Round three of NSRF closes on 15 March. Ms McGowan urges community groups to contact their council to discuss potential projects. Grants of between $20,000 and $10 million are available for...

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Competition key to cheaper fuel in Mansfield

Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, is calling on residents in the Mansfield area to take action about the high fuel prices in the town. Ms McGowan will support the community to get answers about the constant high fuel prices motorists are paying in Mansfield. 

“Mansfield residents have a right to know why prices are 20 cents a litre different to Wangaratta, and up to 25 cents different to metropolitan outlets,” Ms McGowan said. “Transport costs to truck fuel...

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Major cross-border issue addressed in Australian Grape and Wine Industry report

Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, has welcomed an Australian Grape and Wine Industry report recommendation to solve a cross-border issue for Indi wineries. Ms McGowan said as a direct result of the work of Winemakers of Rutherglen, the report recommends a national Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) accreditation be established. Winemakers of Rutherglen and Ms McGowan lobbied hard to solve this cross-border issue.

“Under current arrangements, each state requires its own RSA certificate,” Ms McGowan said. “This fix...

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Federal funding boost for Bonnie Doon Stroll Down Memory Lane project

A Federal funding initiative aimed at building community infrastructure is delivering for Mansfield. Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan, congratulated the Mansfield Shire Council on receiving $18,125 from Round One of the Federal Government Stronger Communities Programme (SCP) for the project, Stroll Down Memory Lane.

Ms McGowan established the Indi Stronger Communities Programme Advisory Committee (ISCPAC) to deliver the Stronger Communities Programme. Community priorities guided the application process. Representatives from ICSPAC engaged with community groups to determine eligibility.  Indi was...

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Dairy in North East Victoria a model for all of Australia

Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, is calling on the Federal Government to make a serious investment in agricultural innovation to drive growth in the industry.

“There needs to be a vision and target set for agricultural innovation,” Ms McGowan said. “The Government must invest in agricultural innovation. Farmers and related businesses, for example the dairy industry, are already innovating and creating strong partnerships in the North East. Agriculture and manufacturing when combined is the second largest...

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Effective mobile phone black spot process to guide increased mobile phone coverage

Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, has delivered a submission to Government outlining 42 locations in Indi needing mobile phone coverage through Round Two of the Mobile Black Spot Programme. Ms McGowan said there had been a strong community response to Round Two.

“Mobile phone coverage remains a major problem in Indi. Thanks to residents, community associations and councils who lobbied during this process,” Ms McGowan said. “We had great success in Round One, and much more needs to...

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More than $1 million flows to Indi in Federal Government infrastructure funding

Indi received $1.143 million in funding from the Round Two of the Bridges Renewal Programme announced today. Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, said Indi matters and funding continues to flow to the electorate.

“Bridges are essential for linking communities, this funding allows councils to assist rural communities in this vital way,” Ms McGowan said.

Ms McGowan said Mansfield Shire Council was the biggest winner, receiving $450,000 to replace two one-lane low level crossings with two-lane concrete...

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Benalla Skate Park to be even cooler place to hang

A Federal funding initiative aimed at building community infrastructure is delivering for Benalla. Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, congratulated the Benalla Skate Park Youth Committee and Benalla Rural City Council on receiving $18,125 under Round One of the Federal Government Stronger Communities Programme (SCP).

Ms McGowan established the Indi Stronger Communities Programme Advisory Committee (ISCPAC) to deliver Round One of the SCP. Community priorities guided the application process. Representatives from ICSPAC engaged with community groups to determine eligibility....

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Upper Murray Health & Community Services secures increased aged care funding

Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, has congratulated Upper Murray Health & Community Services (UMHCS) on the successful lobbying carried out with the Federal Government to get an increase of federal funding to help deliver more aged care to local residents.

The Federal Government has announced a $5.79 million funding increase for aged care places in Multi-Purpose Service (MPS) Program providers.

Ms McGowan said Corryong received additional funding for 15 new high level places to support people with higher...

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Federal funding gets Tungamah Lions Park seat at table for community project

A Federal funding initiative aimed at building community infrastructure is delivering for Tungamah. Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan, congratulated the Moira Shire Council on receiving $5000 under Round One of the Federal Government Stronger Communities Programme (SCP) for the Tungamah Lions Park seating and picnic area project.

Indi was allocated $150,000 in the Federal Budget for the SCP in 2015-16. Ms McGowan established the Indi Stronger Communities Program Advisory Committee (ISCPAC) to deliver Round One of the SCP. Community...

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Federal funding to enhance natural beauty of Nimmo Bridge Reserve

A Federal funding initiative aimed at building community infrastructure is delivering for Myrtleford. Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, congratulated the Alpine Shire Council and Ovens Landcare Group on receiving $18,125 under Round One of the Federal Government Stronger Communities Programme (SCP) for the Nimmo Bridge Reserve Upgrade at Buffalo River.

Ms McGowan established the Indi Stronger Communities Program Advisory Committee (ISCPAC) to deliver Round One of the SCP. Community priorities guided the application process. Representatives from...

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Yea flushed with Federal funding for amenity upgrade

A Federal funding initiative aimed at building community infrastructure is delivering for Yea.

Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan, congratulated the Murrindindi Shire Council on receiving $18,125 under Round One of the Federal Government Stronger Communities Programme (SCP) for the Yea ToilART refurbishment project.

Ms McGowan established the Indi Stronger Communities Program Advisory Committee (ISCPAC) to deliver Round One of the SCP. Community priorities guided the application process. Representatives from ICSPAC engaged with community groups to determine...

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Martin Park in Chiltern gets sizzle and shade in Federal Government funding win

A Federal funding initiative aimed at building community infrastructure is delivering for Chiltern.

Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan, congratulated the Indigo Shire Council on receiving $17,000 under Round One of the Federal Government Stronger Communities Programme (SCP) for the Chiltern Martin Park project upgrade.

Indi was allocated $150,000 in the Federal Budget for the Stronger Communities Programme (SCP) in 2015-16. Ms McGowan established the Indi Stronger Communities Program Advisory Committee (ISCPAC) to deliver Round One of the SCP. Community...

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Innovation roadshow comes to Indi

Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, is encouraging key organisations in the North East to attend the National Innovation and Science Agenda roadshow in Wodonga next week.

The roadshow is being held from 11am-12.30pm on Wednesday, December 16. Registrations can be made at the Innovation website. Venue information will be provided upon registration.

Ms McGowan said agriculture, industry and business representative groups, higher education organisations and council representatives would benefit from attending the information roadshow.

The National Innovation...

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Government asks Member for Indi to nominate priority mobile black spots

Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, is urging residents to nominate their mobile phone black spots before December 31, 2015.

Ms McGowan encourages people to work closely with their council to identify black spots. Representatives from each Indi council are on the Indi Telecommunications Action Group (ITAG).

Priority black spot areas will be chosen for Indi based on information provided by ITAG, people’s safety in emergencies and community support. Kancoona in the Alpine Shire will be...

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Federal Government support vital for addressing critical drug issue

Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, has welcomed the Government’s release of the National Ice Taskforce Final Report and $300 million funding to help tackle the ‘ice’ problem in communities.

"Congratulations to the Government on recognising the need for local input and allowing service providers on the ground to decide on the most effective strategies to deal with the issues,” Ms McGowan said.

“This Government money will lead to improved treatment, education and prevention, support and increased community engagement,...

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Agriculture wins in Innovation package

Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, is encouraging Indi agricultural industries and businesses to access the Federal Government’s National Innovation and Science Agenda announced today.

“I share Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s optimism for the future of Australia,” Ms McGowan said. “I believe regional Australia is well poised to capitalise on this program. This will help Indi become a prosperous, caring community alive with opportunities for everyone.”

Ms McGowan said agriculture was the main topic of discussion at the recent...

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Indi Matters: $5 million Federal Government funding win for infrastructure projects

Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, has welcomed almost $5million in Federal funding to help build stronger communities in Indi. Round 2 of the National Stronger Regions Fund (NSRF) was announced today and included five important projects in Indi.

Ms McGowan said Indi matters and being an Independent seat gets results. 

“Congratulations to the councils on these successful applications,” Ms McGowan said. “I want to acknowledge the huge amount of work communities and council put in planning...

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Building rural and regional communities through positive partnerships

Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan, has welcomed the Social Change 101 program and the collaborative approach being taken to build communities in regional Australia.

Ms McGowan met with School for Social Entrepreneurs (SSE) and Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal (FRRR) in Canberra about support for businesses and communities in Indi. She encouraged FRRR to assist the educational program proposed by SSE.

Social Change 101 Program is a four-month program for business owners and entrepreneurs in the Alpine and...

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Significant infrastructure funding announcement next week: Minister tells Cathy McGowan

Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, has secured a commitment from acting Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development, Warren Truss, to make a major infrastructure announcement for regional Australia.

Responding to a question today in Parliament from Ms McGowan, Mr Truss said he would announcement successful projects under Round 2 of the National Stronger Regions Fund (NSRF) next week.

Indi Round 2 applications:

  • Rural City of Wangaratta - Wangaratta Indoor Sports & Aquatic...

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Concerns about legal challenge to citizenship laws stalls Government legislation

Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, has acknowledged the government’s decision to seek clarification on an important piece of legislation.

The Australian Citizenship Amendment (Allegiance to Australia) legislation was scheduled to be voted on in the House of Representatives on Tuesday afternoon and today.

Minister for Immigration, Peter Dutton, told media today the Government was seeking advice of the Solicitor-General in relation to the potential for a High Court challenge. An amendment was likely to strengthen the Bill.  

...

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Mental health reforms will deliver positive outcomes for regional Australia

Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, congratulated the Government and Minister for Health, Sussan Ley, on the announcements regarding major mental health reforms. The Australian Government Response - Review of Mental Health Programmes and Services introduces significant changes to a system which has failed mental health sufferers and families.

“This is an important day and I am pleased the Government has listened to the concerns raised by the sector, mental health sufferers and families,” Ms McGowan said.

...

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Whole-of-community response needed to reduce violence in the home

A reduction in the level of family violence will happen when communities come together to change attitudes and violent behaviour. 

Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, has been taking action in Parliament to support people exposed to ongoing family violence.

As part of her strong representation on the issue, Ms McGowan moved a motion on October 19 calling on the Government to provide legislative protection for vulnerable witnesses in family law court proceedings. This requires...

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Government legislation must be strong and reliable: Cathy McGowan AO

Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, said her stance to oppose the Australian Citizenship Amendment (Allegiance to Australia) Bill was based on her belief Government must pass strong and reliable laws.

Speaking to the Bill, Ms McGowan said her focus was clearly on the inclusion of a retrospective provision and the cloud of uncertainty over the constitutional viability of the Bill.

Ms McGowan said the rule of law should be a paramount focus in Parliament.

“Our processes and procedures...

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Small businesses to benefit from changes to work-related car deductions

A simplified approach to motor vehicle claims will assist small businesses claim for the cost of motor vehicle use for work purposes.

Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, said the changes to simplify the system to two methods of calculation would be welcomed by small business owners.

Ms McGowan said the changes, introduced by the Government and passed in the House of Representatives yesterday, would remove two deduction methods, the 12 per cent of original value, and one-third of...

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Mental health reforms needed to give sector future direction for service delivery

Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, toured Kerferd Clinic in Wangaratta today with Albury Wodonga Health executive Michael Nuck and psychiatrist, Dr Jennifer Ellix.

Ms McGowan is committed to improving mental health in Indi. The visit is part of her continuing familiarisation with the mental health sector.

Last Friday, Ms McGowan chaired the Beyond Blue forum in Wangaratta. More than 60 people attended the forum to learn about mental health issues and what is needed to...

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Cathy presses State Government on education and transport needs for Indi

Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, welcomed the State Government to Indi today and praised the Government’s initiative to connect with regional Victorian communities.

“It’s pleasing to see the Victorian Cabinet in Wangaratta and Wodonga and investing heavily in education and regional development,” Ms McGowan said.

Ms McGowan met with Premier Daniel Andrews and Minister for Training and Skills, Steve Herbert, at Wodonga TAFE space today. Discussion centred on education and transport needs in Indi.

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Cathy wins significant mental health commitment from Government

Government must take firm and immediate action to address mental health issues in communities across Australia. In Question Time today, Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, called on Minister for Health, Sussan Ley, to respond on the Report of the National Review of Mental Health Programmes and Services, delivered to the Government in December last year. Consequently Ms Ley established the Mental Health Expert Reference Group to report to the Minister by October this year.

Ms McGowan said Government...

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Honouring Indi veterans on Remembrance Day 2015

Service to country, duty to family and community, and courage to fight for a better world, are values that remain relevant today. These values will be widely recognised across the North East as communities mark the 97th anniversary of the end of World War I.

Ms McGowan will attend the National Remembrance Day at the Australian War Memorial at 11am to acknowledge the military service of her grandfather and great-uncles. Prince Charles and Duchess Camilla will be among...

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Reduced ABC news coverage unacceptable for regional Australia

Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, wants ABC management to reverse its decision to drastically change its news delivery on ABC Local radio. The demise of structured local news bulletins at 8.30am, 10.30am, 12.30am and 5.30pm will seriously disadvantage regional Australia.

“This is extremely disappointing for ABC Local radio listeners. We rely on the ABC for our local news, particularly in emergencies, and farming families listen in the late afternoon for a summary of the day,” Ms McGowan said.

...

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The Indi Way - Making Stronger Communities

The community has produced practical and achievable outcomes at the inaugural Indi Summit. “This will guide me in my role representing the people of Indi for the next three years,” Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, said.

More than 220 people packed the Lakeside Community Centre on Saturday, October 24, for the Summit. Topics from the pre-discussion papers guided conversations in each group. The Summit attracted people with an interest in small business,...

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Government must fund regional telecommunications recommendations

The Federal Government must act on recommendations from the Regional Telecommunications Review 2015. The review was tabled in Parliament late last week.

Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, is calling on the Minister for Communications, Senator Mitch Fifield, to immediately fund the recommendations, including: 

  • Investing in filling market gaps
  • Creating Government Consumer Communications Fund to subsidise essential regional services
  • Expanding the Universal Service Obligation to include mobile phones and internet – with new customer communications standards
  • Establishing whole-of-Government...

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Government advertising crucial for rural communities and country newspaper viability

The Commonwealth Government is regularly failing to advertise in country newspapers. The ‘my Aged Care’ launch in 2014, recent Small Business ‘boost’ package and Green Army campaigns, and the upcoming Jobactive information campaign were not advertised in country weekly newspapers.

In Question Time today, Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, called on Special Minister of State, Mal Brough, to increase print advertising in rural and regional weekly newspapers. Government programs to assist communities and individuals should...

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Regional Australia will receive boost from China-Australia Free Trade Agreement

Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, has welcomed the agreement by the Government to pass the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA).

Ms McGowan congratulated Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Andrew Robb, for the work put in to reach the ChAFTA.  

“This is a significant agreement for Australia’s future prosperity and will help grow the economy,” Ms McGowan said. 

Ms McGowan said agriculture in particular would be a big winner!

 

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Time to further protect family violence victims: Cathy McGowan AO

Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, is standing up for women and children exposed to ongoing family violence by taking action to fix an inconsistency in our legal system.

Ms McGowan will move a Private Members’ Motion on Monday, October 19, calling on the Government to provide legislative protection for vulnerable witnesses in family law court proceedings. This will require an amendment to the Family Law Act to ensure that in family violence situations an unrepresented litigant,...

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Big ideas, innovation and ingenuity at Indi Summit

Indi’s future will be driven by creative thinking and a willingness to embrace new ideas, ways of doing business and collaborating in exciting partnerships.

At the Indi Summit on October 24 in Benalla, three speakers will feature in the Big Ideas Session, being facilitated by former Border Mail editor, Di Thomas. The focus is environment, job creation and the cultural economy. 

Guest speaker Sam Millar believes communities need to make their voice heard to get action on the...

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Continual lobbying for NBN in Indi delivers for thousands of families and businesses

Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, has welcomed the National Broadband Network three-year construction plan announced today. The plan details schedules for the fixed line and fixed wireless rollout across much of Indi. According to the NBN estimates, up to 25,000 new premises have been added to the existing construction plan. This takes the estimated premises to about 55,000 premises in Indi.

“This is a significant win for residents in more than 35 towns across Indi,” Ms McGowan said.

“Rural...

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Government assistance to aid bushfire recovery now available

Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, is encouraging anyone impacted by recent bushfires, including those in the Murrindindi Shire, to access Government relief.

Ms McGowan welcomed the announcement on October 14 that the Commonwealth-State jointly-funded Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA) has been activated.

“It’s important for Government to assist at this time,” Ms McGowan said. “People will be suffering and this financial support will be some comfort during this very stressful time.”

NDRRA...

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Unemployed in regional Australia need more support to gain work

In Parliament on October 14, Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, stood up for unemployed people in rural areas.  Ms McGowan voted against the Social Security Legislation Amendment (Further Strengthening Job Seeker Compliance) Bill 2015.

While the Bill passed the House of Representatives and will now go to the Senate, Ms McGowan said she was proud to stand up for the unemployed, particularly young people in Indi and regional Australia.

“People without a job need Government support. Requirements in...

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Century of farming family heritage worth acknowledging

Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, is encouraging farming families in Indi who have a history of being on the land for a century or more to apply for a new award.

The next round of Australian Century Farm & Station Awards (ACSFA) is open. The ACFSA aims to recognise the significant achievements of families that have passed the family farm or station.

“Farming heritage deserves to be recognised. Many families that settled in the North East have created...

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Cancer treatment partnership welcome news for patients in the North East

Independent member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, has welcomed a new partnership to deliver free radiation oncology treatments for local communities on the border.

Ms McGowan congratulated Albury Wodonga Health (AWH) and GenesisCare and the Victorian and NSW governments for providing world class radiation oncology cancer care.

“This delivers a quality service that will allow people in the North East to have treatment locally, instead of travelling to Melbourne or other major centres,” Ms McGowan said. “This...

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Federal MPs urge cooperative approach to solve rail issues on northern and central line

Local Federal MPs have called on the Victorian Minister for Transport Jacinta Allan to work in cooperation with the Federal Government to address the long-term sustainability issues with the Melbourne to Wodonga and Shepparton rail lines.

At a meeting in Spring Street, Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, and Member for Murray, Dr Sharman Stone, stressed the need to Ms Allan for a partnership approach between the Federal and State governments to solve the ongoing...

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Help Indi businesses kick goals this Grand Final Day long weekend

Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, is encouraging people to get out and about and help Indi businesses kick goals this Friday.

“Make the most of the public holiday and get out and shop to support the local small businesses that open. Saturday is the day to sit at home with family and friends and enjoy the AFL Grand Final,” Ms McGowan said.

“It’s a big long weekend on the Border, with a holiday in NSW...

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Sky Muster NBN satellite to boost interest services in Indi

Faster and more reliable internet is on the way for businesses and households in Indi with the launch of NBN’s new ‘Sky Muster’ satellite on October 1.

‘Sky Muster’ is expected to begin operating in the first half of 2016.

Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, welcomed the news that communities in Indi will soon have much better internet capability.

Ms McGowan said NBN Co has been working to deliver reliable broadband internet to Indi,...

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Take action for the future of Indi!

Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan calls on everyone in North East Victoria to be part of the “Vision for Indi”.

The inaugural Indi Summit will be held at the Lakeside Community Centre at the Benalla Showgrounds on Saturday, October 24.

More than 1600 people have already given input to two Budget Impact Tours, the Kitchen Conversations and Get in Cathy’s Ear Postcard campaign. People have identified the key issues affecting our region. These will be covered in...

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Wodonga the ideal permanent home for Spirit of ANZAC Centenary Experience

Tourism in the North East would get a significant boost if the Spirit of ANZAC Experience (SACE) was set up as a permanent feature in Wodonga.

Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, has thrown her full support behind the proposal being put forward by the Wodonga Chamber of Commerce.

“Congratulations to the Chamber members for having the foresight to look at the potential for this important military exhibition to become a permanent tourist attraction, it’s a...

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Indi welcomes the National Disability Insurance Scheme agreement

Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, congratulated Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews on signing the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) agreement to cover Victorians.

“I welcome the Government signing this historic agreement with the Victorian Government,” Ms McGowan said.

“This decision will also be welcomed by people who lobbied Government for this important commitment.

“This will benefit many people with a disability, their families and carers right across Indi. The NDIS...

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Cathy McGowan welcomes Senate decision to act for young unemployed

Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, has congratulated the Senate for voting down the Government’s proposal for people under 25 to wait four weeks for a social security support payment. This had been reduced from six months in response to strong community backlash, including people from Indi.

“Changes to social service payments proposed in the 2014-15 Budget were very unpopular with people surveyed in my Budget Impact Tour,” Ms McGowan said.

“I’m pleased the Senate has stood up for...

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Regional Australia shows strong support for ABC increased funding

Independent Member for Indi, Cathy Mcgowan AO, welcomes the Australia Institute report, Heartland – the bush loves its ABC, released today.

Ms McGowan congratulated the research Molly Johnson for the comprehensive report. The conclusions show there is exceptionally high support for increasing funding to the ABC to improve regional coverage.

“The ABC is highly regarded and trusted in Indi and has very strong support,” Ms McGowan said.

“It’s crucial the ABC has the resources to cover...

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Great news for Indigo roads, now let's see Government support for trains

Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, has welcomed the news that roadworks in Indigo Shire have been completed.

“Now let’s see Government support for the most pressing transport infrastructure problem in Indi, the train service,” Ms McGowan said.   

Ms McGowan thanked the Government for the $1.8million in funding for the Indigo Shire roads package. These upgrades will improve safety and connectivity for communities.

“These roadworks are important for the communities in Rutherglen, Yackandandah and Barnawartha,”...

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Men's Shed continue to grow in Indi

Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, has welcomed the Federal Government commitment of $4.5million to another three years of funding for important Men’s Shed projects. This ensures the programme continues beyond June 2016 when funding was due to cease. 

Ms McGowan also congratulated Wahgunyah on the news today the town would soon be home to the 21st Men’s Shed in Indi. The State Government has allocated up to $60,000 to fund the development of 15 new sheds across...

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Government must act on meat producer concerns

Government must act on evidence presented to the Senate Committee Public Hearing in Albury today.

In welcoming the Senators to the North East, Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, stressed the effectiveness of the process to introduce real change will be in the report and recommendations.

“It will be in the hands of Government to address the many issues raised by producers,” Ms McGowan said.

“Congratulations to local farmers for taking a strong leadership role in bringing the...

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Mount Dorothy base station provides improved coverage

Mobile phone coverage and reliability in the Murrindindi area has significantly improved following the installation of a new Telstra base station.

The recently installed base station at Mt Dorothy will mean less call drop outs and increased data speeds for customers in the area Telstra Central Victoria Area General Manager Steve Tinker said.

“The investment we have made is part of our on-going commitment to regional Victoria,” he said.

“We want to ensure we are the network who is continuing...

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Your chance to tell Government how to improve supply chains for red meat

Local primary producers need to have their say at next week’s Senate Standing Committee visit to Albury. Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, is urging people take the opportunity to speak directly with Government.

“It's important the voice of the local industry is heard,” Ms McGowan said. 

The Public Hearing related to the Senate Enquiry into the red meat processing sector is being held at the Albury Entertainment Centre on Wednesday, September 2. The hearing is running...

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Federal Government must commit to train service improvements on northern line

Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, has issued a challenge to Assistant Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development, Jamie Briggs: to accompany her on a train trip.

Ms McGowan is calling on Mr Briggs to re-visit Indi to experience firsthand how the train service on the Wodonga-Melbourne line needs improving.

“The last time Mr Briggs visited Indi he committed much-needed funding for roads; I would welcome a similar commitment for a business case to fix the...

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Cathy McGowan welcomes Regional Higher Education Forum to Wangaratta

Students and families should take the opportunity to attend the Regional Higher Education Forum this Thursday in Wangaratta to tell Government how to make education more accessible for regional students, according to Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO. 

Tertiary education participation rates in the Hume region, which takes in much of Indi, are about 10 per cent lower than the state average. At the Charles Sturt University-La Trobe Forum on Higher Education in February this year, it...

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Border veterans and war widows gain Federal Government support

Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, has welcomed almost $60,000 in funding for an important program on the Border to support veterans and war widows.

Hume Veterans’ Information Centre will receive $58,779 in Federal Government funding through the Building Excellence in Support and Training (BEST) program. This program is administered by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs. Ms McGowan thanked the Federal Government and Minister for Veteran’s Affairs, Senator Michael Ronaldson, on behalf of the local community.

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Community involvement encouraged for forums in Indi on telecommunications

Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, is urging residents in Indi with an interest in getting improved telecommunications for their area to attend community forums.

The Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN) is holding three community sessions in Indi this week.

Ms McGowan met with ACCAN CEO Teresa Corbin and director of policy Una Lawrence in Canberra recently, and invited them to Indi.

These community sessions will focus on consumer rights, and how communities can effectively lobby telco providers...

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Government plan for future of Australian agriculture arrives

Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, has welcomed the release of the Government’s Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper. The Paper will detail the Government’s policy commitments and long-term strategy to increase competitiveness, profitability, investment and jobs in the sector.

“The Paper has been eagerly awaited. Its release is a positive step in identifying what’s needed for agriculture and food production in Australia to have a sustainable future,” Ms McGowan said.

The Issues Paper provided farmers and stakeholders in...

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Indi big winners in major telecommunications infrastructure rollout

Almost 200 mobile phone blackspots will be fixed under the Federal Government’s Mobile Black Spot Programme (MBSP).

Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, was delighted that 30 new mobile base stations will improve mobile phone coverage for Indi communities. Ms McGowan attended the announcement made by Minister for Communications, Malcolm Turnbull, in Parliament this morning.

“Effective lobbying and a strategic approach have delivered for Indi,” Ms McGowan said.

The 30 new stations will result in improved coverage for 199...

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Messages from Indi business taken dirtect to Parliament

Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, presented a Notice of Motion today to call on Government to invest for growth in regional Australia.

On May 29 this year, about 40 major businesses gathered at the Australian Manufacturing and Farming Program (AMFP) Forum in Wodonga to showcase regional manufacturing and food production. This demonstrated Wodonga as the perfect position to become a regional hub.

Ms McGowan delivered this message from the regional business community: “They are concerned...

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Indi farmers make voice heard in Canberra

A trio of Ovens Valley VFF branch farmers told politicians what needs to occur at the political level to get more profits back in the hands of producers in Parliament this week. Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, invited these farmers to meet with key Government and opposition MPs and Senators.   

Loretta Carroll, Jane Carney and Julian Carroll met with senior advisors to Minister for Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce; Member for Calare and former NFF president Mr...

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Indi have your say on telecommunications

Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, is urging Indi residents to make a submission to the 2015 Regional Telecommunications Independent Review Committee (RTIRC) Issues Paper.

“Mobile phone coverage and internet access are two major issues facing businesses and communities in Indi,” Ms McGowan said.

The RTIRC is inviting submissions from the public on key telecommunications issues affecting people in regional and rural Australia. The Issues Paper is available online at the website. Submissions are due by Wednesday,...

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Growing agriculture sector in Indi remains major commitment for Cathy

Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, continues to work on improving agriculture in Indi. Her vision is for a prosperous and vibrant agriculture and food sector, encompassing production, processing, distribution and consumption.  

Ms McGowan said the major agricultural industries in Indi—beef, dairy, lamb, wine and horticulture—have room for growth and development.

“Working to create a more integrated system was at the core of my election commitment in 2013,” Ms McGowan said. “Indi has excellent water supply,...

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More work to be done for Indi: Cathy McGowan AO to stand for re-election

Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, will formally announce on Sunday, June 7, her intention to stand for re-election. Claiming unfinished business as a major factor in her decision, Ms McGowan has been inspired by the strong community backing since her election win.

“In 2013 I promised to always put Indi first. I am proud to be the representative for Indi and have the opportunity to act in the interests of people and communities,” Ms McGowan said.

...

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Border must have strong voice in crucial transport plan for regional Victoria

Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan, has called on the State Government to release the community consultation process which will provide feedback into the draft Regional Network Development Plan.

The Minister for Public Transport, Jacinta Allan, has recently announced a consultation and called on residents in the North East to provide feedback. Ms McGowan said it was vitally important that communities give input into what improvements need to be made. She also called on the rural communities to...

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Strong support for Australian Manufacturing and Farming Program forum in Albury Wodonga

About 40 manufacturers and food processors have confirmed they will be exhibiting at Wodonga TAFE on May 29 in a landmark event showcasing local businesses.

The Australian Manufacturing and Farming Program (AMFP) Albury Wodonga industry day has been organised by Independent Senator for Victoria John Madigan and Independent Member for Indi Cathy McGowan to promote the benefits of manufacturing, farming and food processing to the local community.

The event, themed “Albury Wodonga – Position Perfect”, will open to the public...

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Community input vital to future of transport services in Indi: Cathy McGowan AO

Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, has welcomed the Victorian Government’s commitment to community consultation during the formulation of a major regional transport plan.

The draft Regional Network Development Plan will outline regional public transport infrastructure needs for coming decades. The Plan will consider rollingstock, high capacity regional trains, and infrastructure upgrades.

“I call on the Government to put adequate resources into the Plan. Improving the train service is urgent and needs to be given a high priority,” Ms...

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Win for Regional Australia and Indi in 2015-16 Budget

Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO’s work in Parliament is paying dividends for her electorate of Indi and regional Australia.

On top of the Budget, Indi received more than $12 million in round one of the Stronger Regions Fund announced tonight. Wodonga was the big winner, with Bright and Wahgunyah also benefiting from the fund.

  • $10 million towards Wodonga City Heart project
  • $1.87 million towards alpine Events Centre in Bright
  • $200,000 to support Wahgunyah Recreation Reserve upgrade
...

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Telecommunications review must hear Indi concerns

Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, has welcomed the formation of the 2015 Regional Telecommunications Independent Review Committee (RTIRC) and will invite the committee to Indi.

The RTIRC will carry out the 2015 Regional Telecommunications Review to look at the adequacy of telecommunications services in regional Australia. This includes whether people in regional areas have fair access to telecommunications services in comparison to services available in urban areas. As part of the review, which is legislated to...

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Time for national discussion on Foreign Death Penalty Offences: Cathy McGowan AO

Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, will support the Member for Fairfax, Clive Palmer, presenting a Bill relating to Foreign Death Penalty Offences when Parliament resumes. 

The execution of Australian citizens Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran in Indonesia last night prompted Ms McGowan to support Mr Palmer’s Bill.

“I have deep sympathy for the families and friends of the two men and our thoughts are with them. This issue has caused distress in communities across Australia,”...

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King Valley Visit - Wednesday, May 6

Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, will visit the King Valley for her fifth ‘Valley Visit’ of 2015. The visit on Wednesday, May 6, is a chance for residents to meet with Ms McGowan to discuss important issues affecting communities in the area.

Ms McGowan will venture to three locations during her visit: Oxley, Moyhu and Whitfield. As part of the visit, Ms McGowan is guest speaker at the King Valley CWA Women of the Valleys Dinner....

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ANZAC Centenary projects add to memory of ANZAC in Indi

Cropped_Indi_Anzac_Grants_committee.jpgCommemorations in Indi to mark the landing at Gallipoli 100 years ago have been enhanced through ANZAC Centenary projects. Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, thanked the local groups responsible for planning and implementing ANZAC Centenary projects.

Ms McGowan said the ANZAC Centenary Local Grants Program had been a worthy and important initiative provided by the Federal Government. Local community groups were engaged in the process and RSLs in Indi...

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NBN rollout continues across Indi - Barnawartha, Bellbridge, Rennies Hill

About 800 premises in the North East will have access to the NBN with NBN Co. announcing construction of fixed wireless towers in Barnawartha, Bellbridge and Rennies Hill.  

Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, welcomed the news that construction is about to commence. Connection is expected to be switched on within 12 months of construction.

“This is great news for householders and business owners in these areas. They will have faster internet speeds and more reliable connection some time...

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Wodonga, Mt Beauty and Tawonga surrounds win in latest NBN rollout plan update

About 15,000 premises in the Wodonga area will have access to fixed line NBN. NBN Co. made the announcement today in its quarterly update. Another 147,000 homes have been added to the plan for Victoria. Mt Beauty and Tawonga surrounds have also been included in the latest update.   

Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, welcomed the news that the North East had again been included in the latest fixed line footprint. Construction is due to start...

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Community safety acknowledged in Productivity Commission study: Cathy McGowan AO

Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, has welcomed news the Productivity Commission will investigate the viability of a mobile broadband capability for public safety agencies.

Treasurer Joe Hockey, Minister for Communications Malcolm Turnbull and Minister for Justice Michael Keenan have tasked the Productivity Commission to conduct a study into the possibility of creating a national mobile broadband network.

“I want to thank the Government for acting on the concerns of communities in regional Australia. It shows...

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Cathy McGowan backs Senate inquiry into meat processor behaviour

Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, will fully support a Senate inquiry to investigate the behaviour of the meat processing industry.

Ms McGowan congratulated the National Party on its public support, led by Senator for Victoria, Bridget McKenzie, for a Senate inquiry into the current red meat processing and supply chain system. This long-standing issue came to a head recently when a buyer boycott occurred at the newly opened Northern Victoria Livestock Exchange at Barnawartha. Local beef producers are...

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Rural Financial Counselling Service commitment a positive step for farming families

Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan, has welcomed the decision by Minister for Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce, to continue the commitment to the Rural Financial Counselling Service (RFCS). This follows the National Rural Advisory Council (NRAC) review into the free service.  

Ms McGowan said Mr Joyce’s decision would help with the adjustment many families had to face during times of hardship. The Government’s decision not to implement a NRAC recommendation to cut 20 per cent funding to the program was...

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Indi to shine for Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove and Lady Cosgrove

 

The Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia, His Excellency General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove AK MC (Retd) and Her Excellency Lady Cosgrove will visit Indi from February 16-17, 2015.

Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, says she is delighted the Governor-General accepted her invitation to come to the electorate for a visit that will showcase the very best of communities in Indi.

“A packed itinerary will see the Governor-General and Lady...

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Positive discussions with Premier Daniel Andrews on NE and Central rail service

Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, and Liberal Member for Murray, the Hon. Dr Sharman Stone, held productive meetings with the Premier Daniel Andrews, V/Line management and Public Transport Victoria on Thursday, February 5.

The MPs key focus was the train services for Wodonga-Melbourne and Shepparton-Seymour.

Mr Andrews understood the issues and importance of the need for a more efficient and better scheduled set of services for both lines. He described the services as “critically important”...

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Regional and Rural Higher Education Forum agrees on eight key points

In planning for higher education in regional and rural communities, the following eight key points were reached. 

  1. Regional tertiary education warrants a higher order policy focus
  2. Regional tertiary education policy would benefit from a principle driven approach, which includes putting regional student, community and economic needs at the center of policy design
  3. There is a need to holistically consider relationships between communities, employers and individuals within regional tertiary education policy
  4. There is a need to stimulate demand for...

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Accessible regional higher education key to economic growth in Indi

Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, said the Forum on Regional and Rural Higher Education on Monday, February 2, would identify how the best outcomes for students, businesses and Indi could be reached.

“The forum will be a very broad ranging and open discussion on regional dimensions of tertiary education. There will be no preconceived views, or outcomes arrived at before the forum,” Ms McGowan said. “Our universities and TAFEs deliver high-quality education and this forum will ensure this...

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2015 Australia Day message

On Australia Day, we come together to celebrate.

We have so much to be grateful for  – our people, our land, our diversity, our lifestyle, our democracy and freedom. It’s a day to appreciate the community connectedness we have and how we work together through good times and hard. And during these times of uncertainty, it’s important not to lose these connections or take them for granted.

It’s also an opportune time to acknowledge the work our...

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Government called on to ask ACCC to investigate petrol costs in Indi

Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, has called on the Government to investigate the petrol pricing behaviour of fuel outlets in Indi. Many constituents have contacted Ms McGowan recently about the high cost of petrol in regional areas compared to prices in metropolitan outlets.   

“There has been considerable community concern regarding the recent high cost of petrol and the fact the price hasn’t decreased as motorists would expect,” Ms McGowan said.

“In some areas there appears...

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NBN rollout continues across Indi - another 1500 homes to be serviced

Another 1500 premises in Indi will soon have connection to the Federal Government’s NBN, with new construction underway across the North East.  

Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, welcomed news today that progress was being made with another six fixed wireless NBN towers (see list below) under construction. This follows the announcement of December 1 about the NBN rollout plan for the next 18 months.

“This is great news for householders who want better internet speeds, and small business...

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Sick patients in regional Australia forced to cough up more for GP visits

Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, says regional Australia will do more than its fair share to make Government savings if a $5 co-payment for non-concessional GP patients is introduced. Ms McGowan is calling on the Government to reconsider this decision. She will also work with the cross-bench Senators to ensure that people living in rural and regional Australia are not further disadvantaged.

“The Government doesn’t seem to have taken into account the impact this will have...

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Wangaratta and surrounds big winners in latest NBN fixed line rollout plan

About 8000 premises in the Wangaratta area will have access to fixed line NBN within 18 months. NBN Co. made the announcement today as part of the plan for the next 1.9 million homes and businesses to have access to the national network.

Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, welcomed the news that Wangaratta, Waldara and Wangaratta South had been included in the fixed line footprint.

“This is great news for Wangaratta householders and business owners who will have...

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2014 Indi ANZAC Grants approval process continues

Another ANZAC project to mark 2015 has been received funding from the Federal Government’s ANZAC Centenary Program. The latest recipient to be notified is the Jamieson Community Group ($4250).

Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, was pleased to hear the Federal Government’s ANZAC Centenary Local Grants Program had now given approval for 20 projects from 22 submissions from Indi. These were evaluated by the Indi ANZAC Committee - a group of Indi residents formed to assist Ms McGowan...

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Indi RSL clubs and Vietnam Veterans gain from Federal Government funding

Wodonga RSL Sub-branch ($15,041) and Vietnam Veterans Motorcycle Club ($11,411) (VVMC) will carry out community projects thanks to Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) Veteran and Community Grants program funding. The projects will allow Wodonga RSL to purchase outdoor equipment, and VVMC to purchase equipment for a community project in Greta South.  

Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, congratulated the groups on their successful applications. “These projects will be beneficial for each community and I look forward to seeing...

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Indi agriculture producers likely to gain from Australia-China Free Trade Agreement

Indi agriculture has been given a boost from the Australia-China Free Trade Agreement (FTA), with dairy, wine and beef producers potentially the big winners.

Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, congratulated the Government on completing the historic FTA deal, which is being hailed as a win-win for both countries.

Ms McGowan said the Minister for Trade and Investment, the Hon Andrew Robb, deserved praise for his effort in getting the FTA completed.

Full details of...

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More than 2200 premises to benefit from NBN fixed wireless tower construction in Indi

More than 2200 premises in Indi will soon have connection to the Federal Government’s NBN, with new construction underway across the North East.  

Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, welcomed news today that progress was being made with another 11 fixed wireless towers (see list below) under construction.

“The NBN rollout is picking up steam in Indi. This is great news for householders who want better internet speeds, and small business owners needing improved capability to be able to...

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Indi manufacturers and food producers should consider input to anti-dumping inquiry

Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, is urging food manufacturers and food producers in Indi to make a submission to an inquiry investigating the current anti-dumping regime.

‘Dumping’ is a kind of predatory pricing that occurs when overseas manufacturers export a product to Australia at a price below the price charged in their home market or under the cost of production.

Ms McGowan is a member of the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Agriculture and...

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Government should retain Albury-Wodonga Health border

Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, has urged the Government to re-think the proposed Murray Primary Health Network boundary change announced in the shake-up of the Medicare Local arrangement. 

Ms McGowan learnt of this proposed change last Friday. Taking the first opportunity in Parliament today, she asked the Minister for Health, Peter Dutton, to consider keeping the current Albury-Wodonga cross border arrangement.

“This is an outstanding example of how a cross-border service can work successfully for...

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Two more Indi ANZAC Day projects receive Centenary funding

Two more ANZAC projects to mark 2015 have been received funding from the Federal Government’s ANZAC Centenary Program. The latest recipients to be notified are the Chiltern Athenaeum ($505) and Eskdale Primary School ($750).

Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, was pleased to hear the Federal Government’s ANZAC Centenary Local Grants Program had now given approval for 17 projects from 22 submissions from Indi. These were evaluated by the Indi ANZAC Committee - a group of Indi...

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Change in the weather good for Bright forecast

Bright weather forecasts through The Weather Channel iPhone and iPad apps are now reflective of the situation on the ground in the popular tourist destination.

Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, was pleased to receive correspondence from the Government last week confirming the US-based Weather Channel had now altered its weather forecasting data procedure to more accurately portray the weather in Bright.

Bright Pine Valley Tourist Park owner David Pratt contacted Ms McGowan’s office earlier this...

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Urgent action needed to fully map mobile phone black spots in Indi

Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, has called on people living in mobile phone black spot areas in Indi to check 

www.communications.gov.au/mobile_services/mobile_black_spot_programme/map to ensure the information is correct.

The Department of Communications can make additions or corrections to the records before the database is closed on October 15, 2014, and can be contacted via email at  mobilecoverage@communications.gov.au or phoning 1800 113 486 to report any concerns.

“People should also inform their local council...

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Four Indi memorial projects receive Federal funding

Four memorial projects planned for Indi have attracted more than $20,000 in Federal funding.

Two more ANZAC projects to mark 2015 have been given the go-ahead thanks to more than $14,500 being approved from the Federal Government’s Anzac Centenary Program. The latest recipients to be notified are the Corryong RSL Sub-branch ($8700) to fund a gas-powered cauldron and Kiewa RSL sub-branch ($5840) for memorial plaques recognising WWI veterans in Yackandandah, Kiewa and Sandy Creek.

Independent Member for...

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Indi, have your say on the future of Landcare

Community input is being sought for the design and delivery of the National Landcare Programme as the Federal Government seeks to implement changes to this significant volunteer-based, environmental initiative.

Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, is calling on Landcare and environmental groups in Indi to provide views and ideas on how this vital program is shaped for the future. Indi has 75 Landcare and special interest groups caring for the environment.

Speaking in Parliament recently, Ms...

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Cathy McGowan briefs Government on Bruck Textiles situation

Independent member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, is pleased the Federal Government has acted swiftly to initiate support for the 60 dismissed Bruck Textile workers who lost their jobs last Friday.

Ms McGowan met late today to brief senior staff from the office of the Minister for Employment, Senator Eric Abetz, about the situation to represent the redundant employees.

Payments made through the Fair Entitlements Guarantee (FEG) safety net will be finalised when the practitioner has received...

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Landcare - Caring for our environment, caring for our communities

Landcare groups are excellent models of community engagement, and the return they deliver for the environment in the North East is invaluable, according to the Independent Member for Indi Cathy McGowan AO.

Ms McGowan attended the Burgoigee Creek Landcare group AGM on Tuesday, July 8, at the recently renovated Murmungee Hall. About 50 people packed the community hall for wide-ranging discussions on Landcare and the environment.  

“I want to congratulate the Burgoigee Creek Landcare group for the...

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Cathy McGowan delivers Apology to Stolen Generations in Indi

Today in Parliament the Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO MP made a formal apology to the stolen generations of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders who live, or have lived, in Indi.

“During the campaign I made a commitment to come to this place, the Parliament of all Australians and make a formal apology on behalf of the people of Indi, as sadly the people of Indi were not represented in this parliament in 2008 when former...

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Federal Member for Indi Moves for Greater Fairness in Budget

In Parliament on Tuesday evening, May 27, Federal Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, has proposed to extend the deficit levy by a further four years to 2020/21.

Cathy McGowan has spent the last two weeks listening to hundreds of constituents as part of her Budget Impact Tour.

“This amendment is the first of a number of actions that I will be taking in Parliament as a result of the Indi Budget Impact Tour,” said Ms McGowan.

...

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Community feedback crucial in understanding Budget impact in Indi

Federal Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, will seek feedback from people in Indi in the biggest community consultation initiative since she was elected in September 2013.

This information-gathering exercise is focusing on the three major issues people have with the 2014-15 Budget. Once this has been completed, Ms McGowan will prepare a report, send it to her constituents and return to Parliament with the knowledge she needs to represent the electorate.

“This is a big and...

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Community consultation to guide Cathy McGowan on Budget vote

Cathy_Budget_2014_shrunk.jpg

Federal Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, will be consulting her constituents to assist her in understanding the full impact of the Federal Government’s 2014-15 Budget on Indi.

Ms McGowan said the 2014-15 Budget has strong financial management measures aimed at returning the Budget to surplus and finding efficiencies in the public service and government departments, as well as funding for important projects in Indi.

“I am pleased...

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Economic and Industry Development Forum focus on role of clean energy for Indi business

Econ_Ind_Forum_April_29_2014_cropped_website

The Economic and Industry Development Forum held on Tuesday, April 29 in Wangaratta has been hailed a success as business and local government investigate ways to cut energy costs and reduce carbon emissions.   

Federal Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, was pleased the forum brought together people from across industry, small business and local government to network and gather information on programs relating to low-cost energy.

Addressing...

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Benalla timber operation branches out with success in manufacturing

Cathy_Joyleen_and_Greg_McNulty_Ryan_McNulty_Sawmill_cropped.jpg

ONE Benalla business is leading the way in a competitive landscape through successfully value-adding to harvested timber.

Federal Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, accepted an invitation to tour the Ryan & McNulty Sawmill in Benalla and visited the plant on April 23 to see first-hand how the successful enterprise was operating in a very tough market.

With timber a vital component of the agriculture and...

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Economic and Industry Development Forum, April 29

Business owners in the North East are being encouraged to attend a forum to discuss innovative cost-saving measures and government programs to help to create improvement in their operations, or assist in getting new enterprises off the ground.

The Economic and Industry Forum is being held on Tuesday, April 29 at the Rural City of Wangaratta council chambers from midday to 2pm.

Federal Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, met with AusIndustry representatives earlier this...

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Toolangi and Kinglake community visit

Community groups, trees, a school and a sheds on Federal Member for Indi’s list for Toolangi and Kinglake visit

Cathy McGowan AO, MP, will be in Toolangi and Kinglake on April 24 and wants to catch up with as many community members as possible during her trip.

"It was a memorable day when I was here for the Kinglake Remembers at the oval this year,” she said.

“The effort and planning put...

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Mobile phone blackspots in Indi need to be nominated

Cathy McGowan AO, Federal Member for Indi, is urging residents in Indi who experience mobile phone blackspots to nominate them with the Government’s Mobile Phone Coverage Programme.

Ms McGowan made a submission to the Mobile Phone Coverage Programme in February, and while these have closed, registration of mobile phone blackspots can still be done.

“It’s important that Government has extensive data on the blackspot problem to guide decision-making on allocating the $100 million that has been committed...

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Two weeks to submit to Ag Competitiveness Issues Paper

Indi voice important in Government Agricultural Competitiveness Issues Paper

Cathy McGowan AO, Federal Member for Indi, is reminding farmers, industry groups and individuals they have two weeks to make a submission to the Government’s Agricultural Competitiveness Issues Paper.

“Agriculture and food production are integral to the future development of Indi.” Ms McGowan said.

“Our jobs, manufacturing, education, services and infrastructure are all underpinned by a strong and vibrant sector.” 

The Issues Paper is...

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Cathy McGowan fights to maintain and grow education in Indi

Federal Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, has spoken in Parliament about the importance of tertiary education in rural and regional communities and detailed how cuts to funding will be detrimental.

Speaking in Parliament on Tuesday evening, March 25, Ms McGowan said Indi was blessed by the presence of a La Trobe campus in Wodonga and Charles Sturt University branch in Wangaratta, and two TAFE colleges, GOTAFE in Wangaratta and Wodonga Institute of TAFE.

“I would like to acknowledge and pay tribute...

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2014 Community Heritage Grants can assist Indi history preservation

INDI groups with a passion for preserving significant local history are being encouraged to apply for the Federal Government’s 2014 Community Heritage Grants program.

The Community Heritage Grants (CHG) program gives grants of up to $15,000 to not-for-profit community organisations such as libraries, archives, museums, genealogical and historical societies, multicultural and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander groups.

Cathy McGowan AO, Federal Member for Indi, wants as many Indi groups to apply for a grant so they can...

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Yack Station on track to enhance Yackandandah’s creative community

Cathy McGowan AO, Federal Member for Indi, is looking forward to a community event with a focus on fun, family and festivity and opening a significant project that will have positive benefits for Yackandandah and help boost tourism in Indi.  

The 17th Yackandandah Folk Festival is being held for three days, starting on Friday, March 21, and includes a diverse range of entertainment, including music, singing and dancing, literature and poetry, theatre and film, visual arts and food.

Ms...

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Outstanding leadership at the heart of communities in Wahgunyah and Rutherglen

The leadership being demonstrated at the community level during a visit to the northern tip of Indi has left Cathy McGowan AO, Federal Member for Indi, excited about the future of these dynamic communities.

On Tuesday, March 11, Ms McGowan paid visits to the Glenview Community Nursing Care Home before heading to the Wahgunyah Primary School and then a tour of the town from Wahgunyah Process Association president Alan Pleitner.

It wasn’t just the projects...

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Government has duty of care for asylum seekers: Cathy McGowan AO

Caring for Asylum Seekers in Australian detention facilities: we can do better, says Federal Member for Indi

Today the Federal Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, spoke in Parliament about the need to uphold the duty of care for asylum seekers in detention.

“I know this is a complex issue, but I believe we can and must do better,” Ms McGowan said.

“Within this parliament we’ve got the skills, we’ve got the knowledge. Now we need...

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Government called to action on Agriculture during Amendment debate

Federal Member for Indi calls on Government to present clear vision for Agricultural sector

CATHY McGowan spoke about Indi’s innovative dairy industry today whilst debating the Primary Industries (Excise) Levies Amendment (Dairy Produce) Bill.

Ms McGowan spoke on three topics: her interest in the dairy industry, the Mitta Valley ‘Our Valley, Our Future’ project, and a call to the Government for action.

“Agriculture and food production is central to the past, the present and the future of...

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Melrose Primary School praised for bold EQ initiative: Cathy McGowan AO

Primary school in Wodonga praised for creating a healthy and nurturing culture

TODAY in Parliament Cathy McGowan AO, Federal Member for Indi, spoke about the good work Melrose Primary School is doing to build and sustain a culture of strong emotional health and emotional intelligence.

Ms McGowan spoke following her visit to the school last week where she learnt of the positive impact the EQ program has on the students at the school.

The program encourages the students...

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Cathy McGowan questions NHVR oversize haulage permit process

Permit process for oversize haulage causing major delays for transport and industry 

CATHY McGowan AO, Federal Member for Indi, today asked the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development, Warren Truss, about the action the Government is taking to reduce processing times on oversized haulage permits.

“My question is to the Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development. Several constituents have told me they are having problems with the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator and its...

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Rural Press Club address

Cathy McGowan delivers first Rural Press Club Speech in Melbourne

Cathy McGowan AO, MP for Indi, has provided journalists with an insight into her campaign, election win and the challenging and exciting task ahead to try to solve the varied issues facing North East Victoria and the people of Indi. 

Ms McGowan’s inaugural speech at the Rural Press Club breakfast (Wednesday, February 5) focused on what she believes are the issues close to the heart of voters in her electorate,...

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Communications in Murrindindi

Cathy's statement to the Parliament on communications infrastructure concerns in Murrindindi Shire.

I wish to raise concerns on behalf of the areas of my electorate which are prone to natural disasters, and in particular Murrindindi Shire. Many of the 13,000 people continue to lack access to basic communications infrastructure most of Australia takes for granted. These towns are in view of Melbourne’s skyscrapers.

Murrindindi was severely affected by the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires, and almost five years later,...

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News From Murphy 6/12/13

News from 117 Murphy Street 6/12/13

The week started fantastically with over 270 Indi residents, and supporters making their way to Canberra to watch Cathy’s maiden speech. We would like to extend a huge thank you to everyone who made the effort to come to be there.

The public galleries were filled with people in orange shirts as Cathy shared her story and the Indi story with the rest of the country. It was an exceptionally moving experience for...

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Black-spot funding

Cathy McGowan, Federal Member for Indi, today met with the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Communications, Paul Fletcher to discuss mobile black spots.

“We had a very productive meeting. I briefed Mr Fletcher on the inroads we’re making in Indi towards a collaborative, community based solution to the black-spots which pose such a risk to our region as we approach bushfire season.”

Mr Fletcher confirmed that a discussion paper on the issue would be released shortly.

The meeting follows...

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Cathy disappointed by RDAF decision

Cathy McGowan has expressed her deep disappointment in the Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss’ decision not to honour round five of the Regional Development Australia Fund grants.

The projects affected in Indi are the Wodonga downtown redevelopment, the Rutherglen main street and the upgrades to the Wangaratta Saleyards.

“These projects are critical infrastructure that is essential for the advancement of rural communities, not only in Indi, but around Australia,” Cathy said.

Cathy said that the decision...

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News From Murphy Street 22/11/13

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...

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Carbon Legislation

Cathy McGowan today reiterated her stance in favour of a market-based approach to climate change.

“During the campaign I was often asked about this issue, and I spoke of my preference for market mechanisms to address climate change,” said McGowan, who holds degrees in science and economics.

“Over the last few weeks I’ve spoken to many constituents, including manufacturers, transport businesses, young people and environmental groups, about the legislation.”

“I understand it’s a contentious issue and...

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News from Murphy Street 15/11/13

News from 117 Murphy Street 15/11/13

What a week! Cathy and three of her staff were in Canberra for the first sitting week of the 44th Parliament.

On Monday Cathy was sworn into Parliament, watched on by family members in the gallery. There was an exceptionally warm welcome for Cathy, with MPs from all sides congratulating her on her win in Indi.

After the pomp and ceremony of Monday, Tuesday saw the Parliament begin properly. Cathy got to vote...

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ARTC CEO to visit Indi

After meeting with the Federal Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan, in Canberra, the CEO of the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC), John Fullerton will come to Indi in December to meet with local state MPs and constituents.

He will visit and speak to locals in Wodonga, Wangaratta and Benalla, where people can discuss the ongoing track improvements.

Northeast Coalition MPS, Bill Sykes, Bill Tilley, Tim  McCurdy, who recently met with Mr Fullerton themselves in Melbourne, have been invited to attend...

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Opening of Parliament

This afternoon The Honourable Quentin Bryce, Governer-General of the Commonwealth of Australia, opened the first session of the 44th Parliament by outlining the Government's agenda for the next three years.

As Member of the Parliament, Cathy McGowan will be working with the Government to achieve her pre-election aims for Indi.

"I look forward to working with the Government to deliver for my constituents, the people of Indi," Cathy said.

In particular Cathy highlighted the Abbott Government’s recognition of the...

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Cathy being sworn in

Cathy McGowan was officially sworn into the new Parliament in a ceremony in Canberra today, with family members watching on.

Cathy said she was excited to be Indi’s representative in Parliament.

"I am honoured, proud and humbled to be able to be Indi’s representative in the 44th Parliament," she said.

"I’m proud to be here today with my family to take the oath. I’m honoured to be a part of this Parliament and am excited to serve the people of Australia."

...

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News from Murphy Street 8/11/13

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...

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Manus Island and Australia Fund

Manus Island

The violence that has occurred at the Manus Island Detention Centre in the last several days is distressing. A person is dead, a number of people are in hospital with serious injuries, and whilst these incidents have occurred overseas they are Australia’s responsibility.

I support the Government’s moves to review what has happened and I am calling on the Government to release this review as soon as it is available in order to reduce the uncertainty surrounding these...

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Dirty Tricks

McGowan denounces parties’ dirty tactics

The independent candidate for Indi, Cathy McGowan has condemned a Labor sponsored phone campaign using Tony Windsor’s voice and implying people should vote independent.

Many households across the electorate received the calls on Thursday night, which included a quote from Tony Windsor and call that ‘locals deserve a local representative’. The calls finished by claiming they were a Labor Party advertisement.

Ms McGowan said that she has fought this campaign on policy...

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Supermarket competition

Clarification of Cathy Mcgowan’s position on competition in the supermarket sector.

In an article in the Border Mail entitled, ‘Duopoly remark a slap in the face’, I believe I was misrepresented in my position on the supermarket duopoly.

As a small business owner and farmer, I understand the problems the present supermarket duopoly causes. I have made no statement of support for duopolies. They put a huge amount of pressure on farmers and small businesses in our region.

...

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Preferences

The McGowan campaign believes preferences are for the people of Indi to decide.

Cathy McGowan will not be preferencing any other candidates at the upcoming election. Instead, she’s trying a new approach: recognising that voters are smart enough to know how they want to vote.

“I believe that the people of Indi are informed enough to know who they want to vote for without me telling them who I think they should choose,” McGowan said.

Ms McGowan said...

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Minister Chester commitment to ride NE rail line welcome

Independent Member for Indi Cathy McGowan has welcomed the news that Minister for Transport Darren Chester will ride the North East rail line.

“It’s great that the government is responding at last to the repeated calls to do something urgently about the poor service on the Wodonga line.”

“The decision to ride the line is a good one, but the most important decision will be to provide the much needed investment in rail infrastructure.”

Ms McGowan wrote to Minister Chester...

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McGowan in independent push for stronger controls on entitlements

Independent Member for Indi Cathy McGowan has joined forces with cross bench MPs to push for stronger controls on parliamentary expenses.

While welcoming the establishment of an Independent Parliamentary Expenses Authority Ms McGowan said the action did not go far enough to restore trust in the system.

“In October last year I seconded a notice of motion by Independent Member for Hobart Andrew Wilkie calling for a significant overhaul of parliamentary entitlements,” Ms McGowan said.

“That motion called for real...

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Local indigenous stories inspire answers to help Close the Gap

Independent Member for Indi Cathy McGowan has celebrated the achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in Indi following the release of the 2017 Closing the Gap report.

Ms McGowan said that while there is much work to be done nationally, local indigenous communities are providing inspiration and innovative ideas.

“When our focus is on ending the disadvantage and closing the gap, we should not overlook the many successes of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people,” Ms McGowan said.

...

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North East rail service put under spotlight in parliament

Independent Member for Indi Cathy McGowan acted on poor passenger rail services in North East Victoria on Monday, putting trains in the spotlight in Parliament and later meeting with the CEO of the Australian Rail Track Corporation.

Ms McGowan moved a Notice of Motion calling on the Government to ensure passenger rail is a priority for the Australian Rail Track Corporation. Speaking to the motion Ms McGowan called for cooperation between all levels of government to act now.

...

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Childcare Amendments vote "disappointing"

Independent Member for Indi Cathy McGowan today expressed disappointment that the government voted against the adoption of amendments to the Social Services Legislation Amendment (Omnibus Savings and Child Care Reform) Bill 2017. The cross bench and the Labor Party supported the amendments

Rural and provincial Members of Parliament who voted against the amendment:

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Rural MPs called to account after vote fails farming families

Independent Member for Indi Cathy McGowan has called on all rural and regional Members of Parliament to stand up for farming families’ access to mobile childcare.

Ms McGowan said she will continue to fight for rural and regional families despite the government’s failure to adopt her amendments to childcare reforms in Parliament on Wednesday.

She said she was disappointed the government failed to support her amendments which sought to put some structure and process around mobile child care funding.

The...

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Women called to be bold on International Women’s Day

“Be bold!”

Independent Member for Indi Cathy McGowan is echoing the call of International Women’s Day 2017, “Be bold for change”.

“Indi is full of strong, effective women acting for change in their local communities, in business, politics, sport and international affairs,” Ms McGowan said.

“International Women’s Day is an opportunity to celebrate everything they do.”

Ms McGowan spent time last week in a workshop run by Global Sisters, a network enabling women outside the mainstream work force to be...

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Independent education review welcomed

Independent Member for Indi Cathy McGowan has welcomed the announcement of a review into education in regional Australia.

 “For young people to stay in regional areas, they need access to education that leads to meaningful employment,” Ms McGowan said.

“The people of Indi have made education a clear priority.  I will work with the community to ensure the needs of Indi’s young people are effectively represented in submissions to the review.”

...

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Task Force a win for regional Australia

Independent Member for Cathy McGowan has welcomed the formation of a Regional Ministerial Task Force.

Ms McGowan, who has been pushing for a whole-of-government approach to regional policy, said she would welcome an opportunity to work with the Task Force as an independent voice for rural and regional Australia.

“This is a great step by the government towards putting regional needs at the front and centre of policy making,” Ms McGowan said.

“The need for a comprehensive regional policy has...

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ACCC beef report welcomed

Independent Member for Indi Cathy McGowan has welcomed a report from the ACCC which recommends more transparency in the way beef is purchased from producers.

“I’m proud that beef farmers in Indi showed leadership by calling the community meeting which gave rise to the inquiry which prompted this report,” Ms McGowan said.

“The result is a list of recommendations which, if implemented, should provide more transparency and fairness in the processes around the purchase of beef.”

Ms McGowan, who supported...

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Rural students big winners in student payment changes

Independent Member for Indi Cathy McGowan says students in rural and regional areas are the big winners after changes to student payments passed the House of Representatives on Tuesday.

The Social Services Legislation Amendment (Simplifying Student Payments) Bill 2016 which will give all students on income support access to a Health Care Card, reduce the waiting period for the assessment of independent status, and update the geographical classification used for eligibility for the independent rate. Family farms will also no...

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Bill calls for passenger rail to be a priority for regional Australia

Independent Member for Indi has laid out a clear plan for the government to show its commitment to regional rail passenger services in North East Victoria.

In tabling a Private Member’s Bill in Parliament on Monday, Ms McGowan has called for the strengthening of the social and community benefit considerations that are assessed when the minister approves an investment project under the National Land Transport Act 2014.

The National Land Transport Amendment (Best Practice Rail Investment) Bill 2017 also requires...

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