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Labor has a vision for a better and fairer Australia - that vision is Labor's Fair Go Action Plan. 

It's a five step plan to improve the lives of Australians and hand over a better future to the next generation.

It was such an honour to see 112 people make the pledge to become Australian at the Hume City Council's Citizenship Ceremony at Hume Global Learning Centre, Craigieburn last night. The candidates made the Australian citizenship pledge in front of their families, and loved ones as well as Mayor Cr Geoff Porter and Cr Drew Jessop.

Following the ceremony, all the new citizens stood and sang the Australian National Anthem before enjoying a light supper. 

The latest round of the Mobile Black Spot Program has opened, with the Calwell community being given the opportunity to identify parts of our region that struggle with coverage.

In round 4, locals are being encouraged to identify black spots by contacting my office. I will then make submissions to the Department of Communications.

I know locals have had concerns about mobile coverage. Now is the opportunity to get the ball rolling on fixing the coverage issues that have plagued these areas for so long.

Getting a black spot on the database of nominations is the first step to getting funding for a new base station. The national database of black spot locations is only open for new nominations for four weeks, closing on 11th October so the time to act is now.  

Locals who have concerns about mobile black spots that relate to medical, emergency and educational service facilities as well as black spots on major transport routes are particularly encouraged to nominate.

Improving mobile coverage across the country is vital and Labor remains committed to making the issue a priority whether in opposition or in government.

Locations currently in the database can be viewed online at nationalmap.gov.au

Expressions of interest are open now for the fourth round of grants in the Stronger Communities Program. If you have a project that will increase community participation and contribute to the vibrancy and vitality of Calwell, a Stronger Communities grant could help make it a reality. Grants of between $2,500 and $20,000 are available for small capital works projects that meet the goals of the program and can show matched contributions (in cash or in kind) on at least a dollar for dollar basis. Spread the word. You'll get a sense of the scope of the program from the details below. A link to a more detailed overview of the program can be found at the end of this page.

I'm looking forward to supporting some great community building projects again in this round. Please get in touch with my office if you want to discuss the program in more detail.

There will always be Fraser Anning's amongst us; they certainly were amongst my community when I was growing up in the '60s. Fraser Anning has to be condemned for the speech that was given in the Senate last night. It was a deliberate speech - it was intended to divide the community.

As the Federal Member for Calwell, I just want to reach out to my own constituency first and say to them, like them I am too, and my family, have been a part of the great nation building program that was instituted by Arthur Calwell. Australia has a migrant history; migrant Australia has been the bedrock of our nation building. It was so when it began 70 years ago and it will continue to be so well into the future - a non discriminatory immigration program has served this country at its best.

And to my very large Muslim community can I thank you for the great contribution that you are making, not only to our community, but to the broader Australian community.

If you need to lodge a tax return and have earned less than $60,000 in the last financial year, you may be eligible for Hume City Council's free Tax Help service. Tax Help is run by the Australian Taxation Office, in partnership with Council's Hume Volunteer Gateway.

This service, assisted by accredited volunteers, have helped lodge over 3800 tax returns in the last 10 years. The volunteers help assist people in the community to complete their tax return and other basic tax enquiries. The service will run until 31 October 2018.

Booking appointments are essential on 9356 6928 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. More information can be found on this link.

Expression of interest for the 2018 Volunteer Grants in now open. If you are a local service organisation or community group helping disadvantaged communities in Calwell, a Volunteer Grant can provide small amounts of money to support the volunteers. Grants between $1000 - $5000 are available to help non-for-profit community organisations or groups, to support their volunteers through practical measures. Apply and spread the word, as applications close on 18 September 2018. More program details and the application link can be found on this page.

 

Registrations are now open for the 2018 Music: Count Us In Celebration Day. If you want your school to participate in musical creativity with other young people across the nation, why not register for this year's Celebration Day.