Page 1

a bi-monthly review of the latest news in our community and the topical issues relating to Herbert.

A Message from Cathy During the last two months the Turnbull Government has delivered nothing but chaos. Northern Australia has been ignored, the NAIF has still not delivered a single signed off project for the north and only one of the CRC projects announced is located in the north; this is completely unacceptable for the people living in the Herbert Electorate. However, the people of Townsville are continuing to focus on a positive future and as a result our unemployment rate has dropped, although our youth unemployment is still very high. The Federal Labor Opposition has made a number of positive announcements that will assist in creating jobs in our community. Bill Shorten has announced a $1 Billion Northern Australian Tourism Infrastructure Fund and a $1 Billion Manufacturing Fund. The Turnbull Government has turned its back on our First Nation People by rejecting the Uluru Statement from the Heart; this decision has been both deeply hurtful and economically harmful to our First Nation communities. I am determined to continue to fight to have our voice heard in Canberra, I continue to meet with local small businesses and community groups to ensure that I take the right message to Canberra.

Page 2 Bill Shorten Makes his 14th Visit to Townsville

Page 3 Still Waiting for NAIF

Page 4 Shadow Minister for Energy & Climate Change Mark Butler Visit Veteran’s Off The Street Community Sleep Out Hot Topic

Page 5 Meet a Local

Page 6 Armistice Centenary Grants Program

Page 7 Did You Catch This?

Page 8 Cathy’s Annual Deployed Soldier Christmas Appeal

Page 9 Cathy’s Opinion

Page 10 Become a Volunteer Small Business Opportunities What’s On



200 TURN OUT FOR TOWN HALL MEETING On Monday the 18th September 2017, Opposition Leader Bill Shorten and I hosted an open Town Hall Meeting at the Jubilee Bowls Club in Mundingburra. This was Bill Shorten’s third Town Hall Meeting in Townsville. Bill was very keen to hear from the people of Townsville about the issues that are important to us. People raised issues about; water, electricity prices, education funding and testing measures, pensions, refugee resettlement and how Government take action to stop the alarming suicide rate and mental health concerns relating to our veterans and ex-serving defence community and their families. Town Hall Meetings are a great way to hear directly from local residents about the issues that matter to them. Bill Shorten is committed to regional Queensland and he is very to understand our needs in order to ensure that Federal Labor Policy reflects our needs. Labor care about regional Australia.

A Shorten Labor Government will establish a new $1 billion Australian Manufacturing Future Fund (AMFF) to drive innovation and help Australian manufacturers grow their businesses and create new jobs. Modelled on Labor’s successful Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC), the AMFF will leverage finance in order to help Australian enterprises make the successful transition into high value production. This will create high-skilled jobs, support businesses to link into global supply chains and diversify the Australian economy. Labor has a vision for Australia to be a successful advanced manufacturing nation.


Still Waiting for NAIF Townsville Bulletin 28th, September 2017

Letter to the Editor I write in response to Senator Macdonald’s letter to the editor on Saturday 23 rd September 2017. It would be useful if the Senator could list the projects that have actually been funded anywhere in Northern Queensland by the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF). We have seen a lot of talk and no action regarding the NAIF from the Turnbull Government; in fact it appears that more money has been spent on funding the NAIF board member’s wages than actual projects. According to the NAIF Investment Mandate Direction, projects suggested by the NAIF are rail, energy, ports and airports, communications networks and water. Two years on and we are yet to see a project of any description delivered. To make matters worse, the Ministerial responsibility within the NAIF falls on the Deputy Prime Minister, Barnaby Joyce, who is currently waiting on a High Court decision regarding his eligibility to be in the parliament as a result of his dual citizenship. This has left development in the North on hold and in limbo, as there has not been one project signed off by the NAIF. Opposition Leader Bill Shorten announced in Townsville earlier this year that a Shorten Labor Government would establish the Northern Australia Tourism Infrastructure Fund and this was welcomed by the community. Currently, Australia is number seven in the world overall for tourism competitiveness. However we’re number fourteen when it comes to infrastructure. Cruise tourism is growing at twenty per cent per year and airports are seeking to expand to cater for more traffic and more passengers. Without world class facilities and amenities, Queensland and Australia will miss out on these visitors and the opportunities that this will create for local small businesses and we simply cannot let this happen. The NAIF will continue to function; however the North will also have access to one billion dollars designated to the development of Tourism in the North, which will benefit our region immensely. I will be working very hard with the Opposition Leader Bill Shorten, Shadow Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development and Tourism, Anthony Albanese, Shadow Minister for Trade and Investment and Resources and Northern Australia Jason Clare, the local community and businesses to identify the projects that will benefit our region. This is only the beginning of Federal Labor’s plans for tourism and jobs in Queensland and the north. Labor is very aware that Northern Australia needs the best facilities and the best infrastructure to showcase tourism in our region. This will grow our economy by creating new opportunities for small businesses in the northern regions, whilst also creating high quality jobs, high quality training opportunities, and high quality infrastructure.


On Wednesday the 20th September 2017 the Shadow Minister for Energy and Climate Change, Mark Butler came to Townsville.

On Saturday 21st October 2017, Veterans Off The Street Australia (VOTSA) kicked off Veterans Health Week with a Community Sleep Out at Strand Park.

I invited Mark to join me to host an Energy Roundtable to discuss the many concerns and questions that have been raised by the energy sector. The roundtable included members from the Australian Solar Council, Energy Storage Council, Macquarie Capital, local energy providers, local business leaders, representatives from Townsville City Council, investors and representatives from James Cook University.

Prior to the Community Sleep Out I started a Go Fund Me Page to raise money for the Townsville Branch of VOTSA in order to assist their great work in helping our veterans and their families in times of crisis or homelessness.

The message was clear from this meeting, Australia is crying out for an energy target that will assist in driving down electricity prices as well as providing confidence in the market. The people attending the Round Table were very clear that investment has stalled due to the risk of not knowing the overall plan for energy in this country. It was also clear that members of the roundtable believed that Townsville has all of the ingredients to be a renewable energy leader. Townsville has an average of 300 days of sunshine, we have wind and ample water for hydro power. The Energy Roundtable sparked the formation of the Herbert Energy Reference Group that was formed in October 2017. This Group has come together to investigate a solution for Townsville’s energy needs. We will start with a curious conversation via a range of community consultations. Since the Round Table the Turnbull Government has released the National Energy Guarantee (NEG). The Government has not released much detail about the NEG but it certainly appears to be focussed on killing renewable energy in Australia.

I was able to raise a staggering $1,005.00 that I presented to the Director of Veterans Services, Floss Foster. The following morning I received a late donation which brought the total to $1,055.00. I commend Floss and her great team at VOTSA for the remarkable work they are doing and continue to do to help our veteran, ex serving community and their families. I also thank the members of our community who donated to this great cause. Regardless of the wet weather the Sleep Out was a huge success with over sixty people sleeping out and over one hundred people participating throughout the day. In the early afternoon a commemorative service, officiated by Mick Johnson OAM and Padre Brooks was held to honour those who have served and fallen over the years. In the ‘Power Hour’ of the night we heard from Retired Lieutenant General, John Caligari, AO DSC, SQNLDR Ben Cole of NO 27 Squadron RAAF Base, Ms Susie Ferguson DVA, the Mayor, Floss Foster OAM and myself. It was a privilege to participate in the Sleep Out with my family including my two grandchildren and staff members. I thank everyone who worked hard to ensure that the Community Sleep Out was a great success.

Marriage Equality Debate The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), is overseeing the Marriage Equality Survey and the cut off date to vote is Friday, 27th October 2017. The survey officially closes on the 7th November 2017. If the ABS receives your Survey Form after 7th November 2017 will be deemed invalid. The survey results will be published on the ABS website on Wednesday 15th November 2017. Roughly 70% of Australians have returned their postal survey. That equates to about 10.8 million people. In Townsville alone, it was estimated that over 2,000 people enrolled to the Australian Electoral Commission in order to complete the survey. These figures are extraordinary and only demonstrate that our community wants marriage equality. Recently, both the National Director and the Queensland Convenor of the Australian Marriage Equality Campaign visited Townsville. The community gathered for a Rally in the Perfume Gardens in the city to remind people to vote. It is very important that every citizen lodges their Survey Form. Polling is showing a positive result at this time. This has been a very long and challenging campaign for many LGBTIQ people and their families. Labor did not want this survey or the huge waste of $122 million, but now that it is here we must win. Marriage Equality is a human right.

What first-time IT managers really need to know.

Meet Jay Marshall, a local young man working hard for a better future. Jay is originally from Western Australia has settled in Townsville with his mother and brother. He prides himself on having a positive attitude. Jay speaks openly and honestly about his troubled past. He talked about his feelings and experiences where he turned to a life of addiction and crime to escape from his trauma. Jay wanted to change his life so he joined a local youth group, One Voice, that is run by the Townsville Intercultural Centre.

One Voice aims to provide a safe place for young people to come and just be themselves. Participating in One Voice, Jay found his own musical skills. Jay has used his connection to music to express himself openly and honestly. Jay attended the Barunga Festival in Darwin earlier this year where he met Dr. G. Yunupingu. Jay plans to use his music to inspire and teach other young people, who are struggling, to take steps to change their lives. His aim is to take his music into schools, where he can work with students to help improve their social and emotional wellbeing. Jay is graduating from Year 12 this year and has secured part time employment with the Townsville Intercultural Centre.

I want to hear from you! Far too often good news stories are being missed in our community. I want to share the wonderful achievements that are happening within the Herbert showcase our great city in a positive light!

I extend my sincere congratulations to Jay, it just goes to show that through hard work and dedication you can achieve your dreams!

I am pleased to invite Expressions of Interest from the Herbert community to apply for funding under the Armistice Centenary Grants Program. The Armistice Centenary Grants Program is a one-off grants program that support local community-based commemorative projects and activities that commemorate the end of the First World War in order to remember Australian service men and women from all conflicts and to celebrate a just and secure peace. I would like to hear from any group that has any ideas regarding the commemoration or celebration of the end of the First World War in our local community. Grant funding from $3,000 to $50,000 may be available to organisations who are eligible for projects. Full details on eligibility can be found on the Grant Opportunity Guidelines at To have your proposal considered, please contact my office to receive a full project plan that must be completed and returned to my office by Thursday 25th of January, 2018 via email to The Community Consultation Committee will review all proposals against the funding specifications stated in the program. The Committee will develop a short list of applicants, who will be invited to submit a formal application to the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, via a link provided at that time. If you have any questions please contact my office on 07 4725 2066 or via email

What first-time IT managers really need to know.

CATHERINE KING MP SHADOW MINISTER FOR HEALTH AND MEDICARE MEMBER FOR BALLARAT CATHY O’TOOLE MEMBER FOR HERBERT TURNBULL GOVERNMENT PUBLIC DENTAL CUTS HURTING TOWNSVILLE Townsville residents are being forced to wait longer for critical dental procedures due to a $300 million cut to public dental by the Turnbull Government. Across Queensland, public dental waiting lists have blown out to 117,000 people - giving the state the second longest waiting list in the country. Shadow Minister for Health and Medicare Catherine King said that the Government’s public dental cuts were taking a toll on local services. “Malcolm Turnbull’s decision to rip $300 million out of public dental means every year 300,000 fewer Australians will receive the dental care they need, and this is putting particular pressure on our regions,” said Ms King. “This cut is just another example of a Federal Government which doesn’t care about health, and doesn’t care about making sure that major cities like Townsville have the same access to health services as our capitals.” In Government, Labor budgeted $391 million a year for the National Partnership Agreement into Adult Dental, but the Turnbull Government has cut almost $300 million a year from these services. Member for Herbert Cathy O’Toole said that while the average wait time in Queensland to access public dental was nine months, Townsville’s waiting period is considerably worse. “The number of people waiting between twelve months and two years for general public dental care in the city soared from 186 in August 2016 to 714 in the same month in 2017. This is completely unacceptable,” said Ms O’Toole. “Queensland waiting times have blown out by 50% since 2014 when the Federal Government started cutting funding, and Townsville’s increased waiting times are a clear example of the impact of these cuts. “Labor established the National Partnership Agreement for Adult Public Dental Services to support the provision of dental care to vulnerable Australians, but all the Liberals have done is cut it time and time again. “Malcolm Turnbull’s cuts will mean that disadvantaged and vulnerable people in our community will lose access to life-changing dental care, and waiting lists will continue to grow.” Federal Labor is committed to appropriate dental care for all Australians and we call on the Turnbull Government to take action to improve the disastrous waiting periods by properly funding public dental services. MONDAY 16, OCTOBER 2017

What first-time IT managers really need to know. Maintaining a mentally healthy community is everyone’s business. In September we acknowledged World Suicide Prevention Day and R U O K? Day. A national stigma reduction campaign is desperately needed to reduce both mental ill health and suicide but sadly we have not been able to achieve such a strategy in this country to date. As human beings we all need hope, purpose and meaning in our lives, we all want to be loved, to have someone to love, to have a job, somewhere to call home and somewhere to belong. The statistics show that 1 in 5 people are impacted by mental ill health in any twelve month period and over a life time 1 in 2 people will experience mental ill health. Mental ill health does not discriminate. Our broader community is home to many vulnerable communities, including, current Australian defence personnel, ex-service men and women, veterans and their families (where suicide is a major concern), First Nation people, Culturally and Linguistically Diverse people, unemployed, low income families and the LGBTIQ community (who are currently facing a challenging time regarding the marriage equality Postal Survey). The 2014 PwC “Creating a Mentally Healthy Workplace” Report states that mental ill health is impacting on productivity and costing Australian businesses $10.9 billion annually. That is, $6.1B as a result of presenteeism, $4.7B as a result of absenteeism and $145.9M in workers Compensation. This does not paint a positive picture for workplaces and small businesses in terms of productivity and profit, especially in tough economic times. Having worked for fourteen years in the Mental Health Community Managed Sector I am very aware that more needs to be done to assist people with a lived experience of mental ill health. Mental health like suicide is traditionally a topic that people do not feel comfortable discussing; however in order to reduce stigma it is imperative that we as a community start those very conversations. In 2014, 3.4 million Australians reported having a mental health condition according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. In May 2016, the Social Health Atlas of Australia data from 2009-2013 reported that the suicide rates in regional areas was 12.9 incidents per 100,000 compared to 9.6 per incidents per 100,000 in capital cities. In Townsville the rate was 12.8 per 100,000 with 109 deaths during the period; compared to a rate 10.4 deaths per 100,000 in Brisbane. In August 2016 it was reported that the rate of suicide among young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men was the highest in the world. According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare the suicide rate among serving Australian Defence Force members is much lower than the general population but it is 13% higher for men who have left the Australian Defence Force. In order to support the Australian Defence Force, ex-serving personnel, veterans and their families I established the Townsville Defence Community Reference Group where policy input and discussion is encouraged. It is important that the issues facing the defence community in Townville are raised in Canberra. The Townsville Community Defence Reference Group comprises local leaders from a diverse range of defence community organisations, not for profit organisations and serving personnel. The Reference Group has worked collaboratively with the Northern Queensland Primary Health Network and other stakeholders to get the Veteran’s Suicide Prevention Trail up and running. I will continue to work hard and fight for our defence community.

5 Easy Steps to Volunteer 1. Visit my webpage at 2. Click on the Volunteer Tab at the top of the page 3. Enter your details in the boxes provided 4. Click Volunteer 5. Share your volunteering status with us on social media [optional]

Last year I launched the ‘Cathy Talks Business with Townsville” segment on social media. Every week I visit a locally owned and operated small business to discuss both success and challenges. Most importantly my aim is to reinforce the “by local” theme and to promote the business. Supporting our local small business community helps create employment in our city. Experience has taught me that there is no better way to source the facts than to talk with the people who are on the frontline of business! If you own a business in Townsville and would like to be involved, please contact my office on 4725 2066.

Profile for Member for Herbert

Cathy's Chronicle September-October Edition 2017  

Read about what is happening within the electorate of Herbert from your local Member, Cathy O'Toole.

Cathy's Chronicle September-October Edition 2017  

Read about what is happening within the electorate of Herbert from your local Member, Cathy O'Toole.