Kieran Gilbert: This is AM Agenda. With me now: Labor frontbencher Amanda Rishworth and also the Parliamentary Secretary for Communications Paul Fletcher. Good morning to you both. Amanda, first to you on this report in the Australian Newspaper suggesting the Governments’ willing to compromise further on the issue of higher education reform and not go ahead with those 20% cuts in terms of university funding. That would make their proposals on higher education more palatable wouldn’t it?
Member for Bradfield, Paul Fletcher, has welcomed the NSW Government’s decision to grant planning approval for construction of NorthConnex, the $3 billion motorway which will link the M1 at Wahroonga and the M2 at Pennant Hills.
“This very important project has been backed with a commitment of $405 million by the Abbott Government federally, and of $405 million by the Baird Government in NSW,” said Mr Fletcher.
A CHILDREN’S media lobby group is urging the government to help launch a debate about how old children should be before they can have smartphones and similar gadgets.
The comments come as The Australian has confirmed the government is advancing plans to make safety options for smartphones and other devices available for parents.
SARAH DINGLE: Fire crews are still mopping up a blaze in Victoria's west and are hopeful heavy rain will help put it out this weekend. But a year after the huge Grampians bushfire and with more blazes in the area last week, residents are still upset mobile phone coverage hasn't been fixed in high risk areas. During last week's emergency at Moyston in the Grampians, more than 3,000 sheep were lost and two homes were destroyed. The Federal Government still hasn't decided which areas are first in line for network upgrades this year. Stephanie Corsetti reports from the Grampians.
Families living in Bradfield will benefit from a new initiative aimed at increasing water safety for young children.
The Member for Bradfield, Mr Paul Fletcher, said the initiative was aimed at children under five and teaching them about water safety.
National Heritage places are of outstanding heritage value to the nation and reveal the richness and diversity of Australia’s extraordinarily natural environment. Bradfield is no exception and is home to many of these iconic places.
The Australian Government is now calling for nominations for new places to be included on the National Heritage List.
Member for Bradfield, Paul Fletcher, says that undergraduate students from Bradfield will be amongst more than 3000 young Australians to receive mobility grants to live, study and work in the Indo-Pacific region in 2015.
Announced by Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and Education Minister Christopher Pyne, the grants are part of the Australian Government’s flagship New Colombo Plan initiative.
At over 60 community meetings in 38 regional and remote electorates around Australia in the past 15 months, I have heard a very clear message: people living in these areas want better mobile coverage.
From Mareeba in far north Queensland to Elliston on the Eyre Peninsula in South Australia; from Manjimup in south-west Western Australia to Bega in southern NSW; from Gunns Plains in Tasmania to the Wartook Valley in western Victoria, people have explained to me why this is so important.
Host: Well let’s start by trying to find out if your mobile black spot is likely to be fixed next year. The Federal Government is spending 100 million dollars, and the aim is to improve mobile reception around Australia; If you were listening a couple of months back you would’ve heard that there is a shortlist of some 6000 locations that have been nominated as in need of better or some coverage, and now essentially, we’re waiting on the mobile phone carriers to say where they want to build the new towers with the help of a government subsidy. Paul Fletcher is Parliamentary Secretary to the Communications Minister; thanks for coming in again, appreciate it.