House debates

Wednesday, 24 March 2021

Constituency Statements

Indi Electorate: Inland Rail

10:12 am

Photo of Helen HainesHelen Haines (Indi, Independent) Share this | | Hansard source

Today I pay tribute to the individuals working tirelessly to enhance the Inland Rail upgrades in our electorate of Indi—those fighting hard to make sure that decision-makers think bigger and see the potential in this project. Country people see all too often what happens when people making decisions that affect us do not understand us—do not understand our needs or understand what we are capable of. But not this time; not with us and not with Inland Rail.

The Deputy Prime Minister saw this when I brought him to Indi last week. I want to recognise some of the people leading this visionary community movement. The thing about Indi is that we don't sit back and wait for someone else to solve the problem. We get busy; we show up. More than 200 people showed up last Friday.

In Euroa: Jim Shovelton, the spokesperson of Euroa Connect, who presented to the DPM on Friday; John Simpson, the chair of Euroa Connect; Kathi Clark-Orsanic and Zvonko Orsanic, skilled local architects who developed the design concept; Richard Hughes, an engineer who ensures engineering specifications and solutions for community designs really stack up; Shirley Saywell, an amazing community networker who works to keep locals engaged and active in decision-making affecting the Euroa area; and the other members of Euroa Connect, who assist at pop-up community consultations, contributing their expertise and speaking up for a better future for their town's railway precinct.

In Benalla: Suzie Pearce, Chair and Spokesperson of Better Benalla Rail; David Moore, a technician and community communications expert; Phil Rees, who provides hands-on experience about the functioning of the station; Alana Johnson, a highly skilled community organiser; the volunteer Better Benalla Rail members and the Save our Station volunteers, who run a pop-up shop to inform Benalla residents of the Inland Rail project; and Bill Dewing, the last stationmaster, who I was honoured to meet last Friday.

In Glenrowan: Deborah Kemp, a heritage adviser providing volunteer advice on the preservation of the National Heritage listed Ned Kelly siege site; Helen Senior, who volunteers hard for the Glenrowan Improvers to get the best possible outcome; and the many local businesses adjacent to the site who I've spoken to about their concerns about this project and the viability of their businesses.

In Wangaratta: David Maroney and his team, who volunteer tirelessly to improve the safety and functioning of the Wangaratta Railway Station Precinct.

As a community Independent, I am proud to walk alongside these people as their representative in this place. I call upon the government to honour their passion, their talent, their incredible skills and their commitment to a better future for our region, with assurances that the Inland Rail upgrade will deliver what the community wants.