CWA of NSW reveals its ‘wish list’ for State Election and what the major parties, Independents had to say
The Country Women’s Association (CWA) of NSW has identified its policy priorities ahead of Saturday’s State Election, along with the responses from NSW political parties and Independents.
The CWA of NSW supplied a list of its priorities to NSW’s major parties and key rural Independent MPs, and published their responses to major issues impacting remote, rural and regional areas of the state. Responses were received from the Coalition, Labor, Mr Roy Butler MP, Helen Dalton MP, Mr Philip Donato MP and Dr Joe McGirr MP. The Greens and the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party were also contacted but didn’t respond.
Issues posed ranged from funding for NSW country roads, employment growth and pest and weed eradication, to more equitable access to education for country students and the need for real time data for communities along flood-prone river systems. A number of the issues posed have been the focus of CWA of NSW’s Awareness Week campaigns in recent years, such as the need for affordable housing; improvements to maternity services and access in the bush; and more support for victims of domestic violence.
CWA of NSW President Joy Beames said the number of responses was gratifying, and most of the CWA’s priorities had received some feedback from respondents, if only to say they were in ‘support’ of the issue. However, she said there had been a noticeable lack of campaigning from the major parties “west of Penrith” in the lead-up to Saturday’s election, prompting questions around meaningful policies for rural and regional NSW.
“We’re an a-political organisation with our interest in simply getting an overview of where the major parties and key Independents stand on issues that are of genuine concern to our country communities. Despite the responses to our list of priorities, we feel there is a lack of attention to rural, regional and remote areas and we hope whoever claims victory on Saturday doesn’t ignore the concerns of people west of the Divide,” she said.
“We need policies to stimulate rural, regional and remote job creation, and decentralisation, funding for significant infrastructure and road projects that will assist in making our regions more attractive for prospective business opportunities, health and education professionals or those looking to relocate for a lifestyle change.
“We have also been advocating for improvements to and additional initiatives related to disaster relief and recovery support, including capturing a larger pool of rate/fee relief, and the simplification of aid application processes. These are all big issues, we know, but better outcomes for our regions equates to a more positive economic and social future for our state.”
Some of the other issues on the CWA of NSW’s priority list for rural and regional areas include:
- A commitment to work with the Federal Government to train, recruit and retain appropriately qualified medical practitioners;
- A response to the 44 recommendations made by the NSW Parliamentary Inquiry into Regional Health Outcomes;
- Advocating for the Federal Government to provide women with access to diagnostic services and treatment of endometriosis under Medicare and PBS;
- Increased funding for reliable mobile coverage and technology for schools;
- Increased funding for establishing and operating Domestic Family Violence refuges;
- Development and implementation of a gas decarbonisation plan for NSW; and
- A commitment to ban fossil fuel companies from making political donations.
“We’re looking forward to working closely with whoever forms our next government with the aim of getting a focus back on the needs of the remote, rural and regional communities of NSW.
The CWA of NSW has released the document that outlines its full set of policy requests, along with the responses received from major parties and Independents contesting this weekend’s election.
The document can be viewed at: https://cwaofnsw.us6.list-manage.com/track/click?u=d43ae690ab6fb865e622588c2&id=c08ad61688&e=b00ac3caf0
For more information or interview requests, please contact Kylie Galbraith (Seftons) on 0411 480 208.