Suzanna's Weekly Blog

June 14, 2015



A short but very full week in parliament.
On Tuesday morning I met with the Family and Community Development Committee for our weekly meeting.
The committee will be hearing from the public advocate, community visitors and a senior practitioner (disability) next Monday as part of the public hearings.
In parliament we paid tribute to former Victorian Premier Joan Kirner, who had a particular interest in and passion for Rumbalara.
Her legacy includes the Landcare movement, The Rural Enterprise Victoria Program and the Victorian Rural Women’s Network, a valuable contribution to this state.

On Wednesday I used my constituency question to ask the Minister for Public Transport to reopen the Dookie – Shepparton rail line.
The 26 kilometre stretch was closed in 2007 following years of severe drought and reduced harvests.
GrainCorp’s preferred method for transporting grain is rail and because Dookie is no longer
connected via rail it is not considered a “primary” site.
The government and GrainCorp need to work together to reopen the line to provide a more efficient path to sale for farmers and ensure the sustainability of the Dookie GrainCorp site.
On Wednesday evening I met with the Victorian Farmers Federation president Peter Tuohey.
The Farmers Federation have the interests of regional and rural Victorians at their heart and therefore we have much in common, including concerns over the allocation of revenue from the Port of Melbourne privatisation.
I look forward to working with them to achieve investment in key regional infrastructure, and ensure the continued growth of our agricultural sector.
On Thursday I welcomed the Dookie Secondary School to parliament house, it was great to meet the students and tell them about my work as their local MP.
During the week I also met with the Victorian Healthcare Association, Kildonan and attended parliamentary briefings including the Auditor-General briefing on their report into the operational effectiveness of the Myki ticketing system.
My office also attended the McEwen Foundation Grant Program presentation, with more than $30,000 of the $67,500 distributed going to Shepparton District organisations, and the opening of the Alkasem Youth Hub.
Finally I would like to congratulate all the Shepparton District residents and former residents who were awarded Queen’s Birthday Honours including Andrew Fairley, Sue Aldridge and Wendy Oakes.
Your contributions to the community have been significant and well worth recognition.

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