Beautiful weather today, and by that I mean it was raining on and off for most of it! Possibly the best part of my trip over west yesterday was the green tinge beginning to show in paddocks and roadsides - it's been a while.
I spent most of this morning door-knocking around Euroa and collecting signatures - I left more business cards with a note saying "sorry I missed you" than I had conversations, but I suppose everyone was at work, whereas I'll be working the whole weekend.
One person I spoke to was Joan, she's quite concerned about the proposed changes to Medicare and bulk-billing. She already has to get someone to drive her to Shepparton every month and pay $180 out-of-pocket to get an injection in her eye due to an ongoing health issue. As she is on the pension, any increases to her medical costs will hit hard. It is for people like Joan that I will fight any attempt to reduce bulk billing.
Another gentleman I spoke to told me I "probably wouldn't do any good, not around here", which I politely disagreed with. He was kind enough to sign my nomination form, although reiterated his belief that I wouldn’t do any good :).
Earlier in the morning my sister and niece attended a talk at the Old Flour Mill in Euroa about edible native plants - apparently there is a mob running a trial near Echuca of Sandalwood, focussing on the nuts, rather than the oil. There is also the potential that Golden Wattle could be grown and the seeds harvested for culinary use - perhaps this would be a viable option in Shepparton East?
In the afternoon I continued working on a project that my sister and I have been talking about for many years, and which now involves a friend and local business owner. It focuses on the creation of a company or trust aimed at fostering community, education and job prospects for our young people.
The model is inspired by the Yackandandah Community Development Company and the North East Artisans group in Benalla, plus the sudden closure of the Euroa Community Education Centre and Community Hub. After inspecting a property today, followed by lengthy discussions into the evening, we have found temporary accommodation for both the Community Hub and occasional short-courses within Raquel Nack’s existing business premises and have a plan to achieve something more permanent.
Once we’ve spoken to The Hub tomorrow, we’ll begin the paperwork to establish the Euroa Community Development Organisiation – it’s quite exciting!