Reply informed by constituents
Last week in parliament, I gave my Budget in Reply Speech, which was informed by responses from Indi constituents to the 2018-19 Federal Budget.
Almost 1000 people, representing every local government area in Indi, took the time to complete the online budget survey.
Many others contacted my offices directly with their concerns.
I was also informed by the youth of Indi.
More than 100 attended one of four budget breakfasts held around the region.
The people of Indi highlighted taxation, education and training, health and aged care, renewable energy and climate change and social security services as major issues for the electorate.
Tax cuts for big business have been flagged by constituents as unfair, while a lack of funding and opportunity for education paths in Indi was noted as a key barrier for young people.
The full report will be available at the end of June.
Phone the electorate office on (03)57217077 to reserve a copy.
— Cathy McGowan AO MP, Independent Member for Indi
I would like to say a huge thank you to the Benalla Young Sportspersons Trust and all associated sponsors for the money that you gave me for my Sydney trip in April to compete in the Australian Scooter Association National Titles.
It helped so much going towards things like a new pair of shoes to ride in because the ones I had were ripped and really worn.
It also went towards travel money, like the train trip to Sydney, which as you can imagine wasn’t that cheap.
The money also went towards the hotel, which was amazing, and although it was the cheapest one we could find it was still very expensive.
All this support allowed me to be able to spend my own money on transportation around Sydney and as you know, a man’s got to eat, so I spent quite a bit on feeding myself as believe it or not I’m still growing.
When it comes to the competition, I am over the moon with the outcome.
I was competing against 27 of Australia’s best open division riders and I managed to place second.
That classifies me as the second best open rider in Australia and I definitely believe the money I received took a lot of stress off my back and that helped me do as well as I did.
I am hoping next year I’ll do just as well in the pro’s divisions, so I can have a chance to go to the Barcelona competition and compete there.
So I really want to say a huge thank you for helping out myself and my parents funding basically my dreams.
I can’t really say it enough, but THANK YOU.
— Mitchell Young
Coles staff amazing
My name is Clive Drane. I am 82 years old and I had major surgery only nine days ago, and was discharged from hospital four days ago.
My wife had to do some shopping and I am still unable to drive. My daughter-in-law drove us to Coles and I had a giddy turn. The staff at Coles were wonderful, they came from everywhere to help and assist me.
They got me a chair and helped my wife to finish her shopping, then they rang for a taxi and a staff member waited with me until the taxi arrived.
Me and my wife want to give a special thank you to all the Coles staff for their assistance and attention to me and we would like your paper to print this for all the Benalla people to know how lucky they are to have such a wonderful staff of people working at Coles.
— Clive Drane
Historic tour impresses
Thank you to David Ridgewood and Sharon Beer (visitor info centre) for arranging the Benalla Historic Vehicle tour 2018 on Friday, May 25, and the RACV for sponsorship.
It was great to be part of the 124th vehicle cavalcade through Upotipotpon, Dookie, Devenish and Goorambat, which concluded at the Benalla Racecourse.
This was a lead up to Historic Winton on May 26 and 27, a fantastic event — lots of thrills, spills, vehicle displays etc — great racing in great Benalla weather.
Thanks to the Austin 7 club for running the event — well done as usual, also to Alan Barnes who invited our club, the Veteran, Vintage and Classic Vehicle Club of Wangaratta, to supply members to volunteer to work in the pits — had a great time in the thick of the action.
— Christine Anglin
Open fence a concern
Despite several alerts, the fence is still open under the Kilfeera overpass.
Any loose stock could wander straight onto the North Bound lane of the Hume Fwy.
VicRoads is spending millions installing wire barriers, frequently where not needed, but will not repair a fence to stop a cow walking in front of a motorist.
At the freeway, there is a locked gate.
Beside it is a section of open fence, with tyre tracks going through.
It has been open, to my knowledge, at least 18 months, and it didn’t look newly open when I first saw it.
I have advised VicRoads of this, both via their website, and telling the woman staffing the VicRoads stall on the street art day.
It doesn’t take a moment to get a photo of an impressive truck roaring past, just on the other side of the open fence.
Note that loose stock do sometimes come down the Kilfeera Road.
— Concerned resident, Benalla
Members should work together
The comments by State Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes regarding the concrete plant at Benalla, and incorrectly accusing State Member for Euroa Steph Ryan of not supporting this innovative project, are disturbing.
Steph has consistently, and publicly, supported the concrete plant — as a good local member should — and Ms Symes would gain credit by joining forces with her in support.
Sure, politics is competitive, but her constituents would be better pleased if Ms Symes worked with other members, including Steph, for the benefit of the people of Benalla and the Euroa electorate.
Let us hope there is no underlying agenda by the government to shift the concrete plant somewhere else, and then blame Steph and the Coalition.
For the record, Ms Symes represents an electorate in the Upper House, which stretches down the Murray from Corryong to Mildura, and until recently her Electorate Office was listed on the official Parliamentary Register at St Andrews Place, East Melbourne.
Perhaps that may be a reason why she is not yet in tune with the needs of a rural and regional seat and the people she represents — to be a good Member of Parliament you must be a part of the community you represent.
— David Evans AM
We’re still waiting for our bus!
Three and a half years ago, residents of the Gateway Lifestyle Village approached the local bus company regarding extending their bus service out to the village to enable not only residents and holiday makers at the Gateway facility, but also residents in this area to travel to Benalla to shop for supplies, which would be of financial benefit to the town of Benalla, as well as an opportunity to visit the attractions that Benalla has to offer.
One of the Gateway residents, Dan Jago, obtained more than 350 signatures from businesses, residents and holiday makers who will benefit from this service.
The signed petition was handed to State Member for Euroa Steph Ryan, who tabled it at State Parliament for action by the Transport Minister Jacinta Allen and the state government.
The Ensign took up the cause and Libby Price spoke to residents, bus lines, VicRoads and the council — all who approved the bus service extension, however, we are still waiting.
Letters have been sent to the Transport Minister regarding this matter following the presentation of the petition, but there has been no positive response and we are still waiting.
The route has been finalised — turning from Witt St, left into Sydney Rd, with bus stops at the school, Mitre 10, Gateway Leisure Park and the CAL Farm, with a stop at the Schneider factory on the return journey to the existing route into Samaria Rd.
We do not need bus shelters, only ‘‘Bus Stops Here’’ signs to be erected.
We have been advised by council that government funding is required to put a turning area at the end of Irwin Rd, in the Enterprise Park to allow the bus to turn for the return trip into town.
Why not extend the road to join Sydney Rd?
There are residents at the Lifestyle Village who are no longer able to drive, (there is one gentleman who catches a taxi to town each day), and with the move by holiday makers to Winnebago-type of camping vehicles, which, after being set up, just cannot be unplugged to travel into Benalla to spend their money.
They too need a bus service to travel to Benalla to purchase supplies etc.
In other towns where these campers stay, a bus service is provided into the nearest town.
Now that additional funding has been released for infrastructure by the state government, is it possible for the powers to be to apply for this funding and put this important and needed service in place?
Or are we going to be ‘‘Still waiting...’’
— Heather Wallace, Benalla
Come to multicultural morning tea
June 18 to 24 is celebrated as Refuge Week throughout Australia, while June 20 is celebrated as World Refugee Day.
The first Refugee Week events were organised in Sydney in 1986 by Austcare and since then has been celebrated every year and has spread to other countries.
Benalla, and the north east of Victoria has a long history of welcoming and encouraging friendship with refugees.
With many refugees and migrants arriving from Europe in 1950s and ’60s and making the Benalla Migrant Camp and the City of Benalla their home, it is fitting that the people of Benalla celebrate this wonderful week with enthusiasm.
The North East Multicultural Association is hosting a Multicultural morning tea at the Benalla Library on Tuesday, June 19, at 10am. All are invited to attend.
There will be artefacts on display in the cabinets as well as picture boards depicting the life of the early refugees and migrants.
There will also be continous loop audio/visual presentation of personal stories of people who have left their country of origin and settled in the north east of Victoria.
Refugee Week provides a platform where positive images of refugees are promoted to show how welcoming people throughout this country really are.
The ultimate aim is to create a good understanding between the many cultures within our city and to encourage social cohesion and inclusiveness and to show what valuable contributions refugees have made to Australia.
— Susan Ingleton, President, North East Multicultural Association