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Suzanna's Weekly Blog

November 30, 2015

The end of the year is a busy time for everyone.  There are many AGMs and events throughout the electorate.

My staff attended the following meetings/events during the week:

  • GV Health AGM
  • Family Care AGM
  • Launch of the Shepparton PSA Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Family Violence Police Protocols held at Rumbalara on Harmony Day.

Sometimes the work we do at Parliament house is routine in terms of legislation. This week the very serious topic of family violence was given a central focus with the joint sitting of both houses of the Parliament. Rosie Batty addressed all parliamentarians and her message was profound. Rosie’s clear message was that the scourge of family violence must be addressed and we must face the fact that it is a gender issue. I was very moved by the address from Rosie Batty and others who addressed the Parliament, as were many other members of Parliament. It was an emotional day.

During parliament, I used my question without notice to ask the Minister for Mental Health to continue to fund the Perinatal Emotional Health Program at Goulburn Valley Health despite the Federal government ceasing of funding their share in July 2015.  “Our position continues to be that if the commonwealth government returns to the table to reinstate the 2009 long-term national partnership on mental health, particularly perinatal mental health, this government’s commitment is in the current budget to be supported, and that commitment stands,” Minister Foley told Parliament.

My supplementary question was also to the Minister for Mental Health where I asked him to commit to supporting the establishment of a mother baby unit in our region.   Minister Foley said he was more than willing to work with me on this issue.

I used my adjournment debate to ask the Attorney General to take necessary steps to ensure that our community is provided with adequate and appropriate alternative court accommodation for all courts to function in Shepparton in the two years until the new court is completed.  I pointed out that the proposed relocation to Wangaratta means local lawyers, prosecutors and litigants will be put under further stress for at least two years.  There is also no adequate or regular public transport between Shepparton and Wangaratta.  The Attorney General has 30 days to respond to me.

After parliament it was back to the electorate for me.

On Friday I attended a meeting of the Goulburn Valley health Foundation of which I am one of the trustees. The foundation plays an active part in fundraising and the management of trust funds on behalf of the hospital. 

 On the same night it was great to attend a joint dinner of lawyers and accountants at the Connection. This was a fundraiser but was also designed to bring to the attention of our local lawyers and accountants the role they might be able to play in raising awareness about bequests and gifts to the GV Health Foundation.

It was a pleasure to attend the Mooroopna Fire Brigade presentation dinner on Saturday night at the Mooroopna Fire Station. I so enjoy these events where I get to meet the volunteers who do all the hard work on the ground. It was great to see that there are so many women firefighters in the Mooroopna contingent and indeed the firefighter of the year award went to a young woman. People Supporting People were represented and congratulated for the great work they do in feeding volunteers when they are attending to emergencies such as bushfires.

The week ended with a wonderful event entitled “Picnic for Peace”.   Ronni attended the event and expressed to me how uplifting it was.  The purpose of the event was to gather to promote peace, positivity, hope and unity in light of many sad events around the world.  Thanks to Liz Arcus, People Supporting People and the other organisers for putting this event together in record time.

Have a great week!

Suzanna



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