Better health outcomes, education opportunities top priority list at CWA’s State Conference in Bathurst

As its annual State Conference prepares to wrap up in Bathurst, members of the Country Women’s Association (CWA) of NSW are calling for a boost to the ranks of overseas nurses to help alleviate shortages in rural and regional areas, dedicated palliative care units in all regional NSW hospitals and mandatory life sentences for those found guilty of killing emergency services workers.

The issues are among more than 20 motions – including four motions of urgency - discussed and debated at this year’s CWA of NSW State Conference in the NSW Central West, with successful motions to inform the association’s advocacy efforts over the next year.

Motions carried at this year’s conference include:

•    Calling for mandatory life sentences for those who kill law enforcement officers and frontline emergency and health workers, and a review and strengthening of policies and procedures to increase their personal safety – Motion of Urgency (Coffs Harbour Branch)
•    The need to increase federal government funding to support the expansion and offerings of the Regional University Centre network and the ongoing operations of current RUCs – Motion of Urgency (Broken Hill Branch and Cooma Branch)
•    Cessation of the advertising of online betting platforms and mobile phone apps by online wagering companies, particularly during TV coverage of sporting events – Motion of Urgency (Eurongilly Branch)
•    That in the event of flooding or natural disasters, entry to and clearing out of a building or home must be carried out with permission of the owner or their authorised representative – Motion of Urgency, (Eugowra Branch);
•    Advocating for the NSW Government to rescind its decision to establish waste-to-energy incinerators in NSW and immediately introduce technologies and programs that seek to reduce waste, using methods that minimise greenhouse gas emissions – Motion of Urgency (Tabulam Branch)
•    The need for coordinated and urgent action by state and federal governments to address the national housing crisis facing women - (Nowra Branch)
•    Advocating for the sponsorship of international nurses to work in regional and remote areas of NSW and to be supported while they undertake their AHPRA registration - (Broken Hill Branch)
•    Advocating for dedicated palliative care units in all regional NSW hospitals - (Collie Branch)
•    Compulsory basic first-aid training for learner drivers – (Goulburn Evening branch)
•    Mandating a state-wide pet cat curfew across the state - (Agricultural and Environmental Committee)
•    Strengthening legislation around the protection of koala habitat - (Lismore Branch)
•    Urging the federal government to adopt the recommendations relating to dental and oral care arising from the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety – (Uranquinty Evening Branch)
•    Inclusion of an education program in NSW and ACT schools highlighting the negative impacts of vaping and e-cigarettes - (Berry Branch)

About 600 members are attending this year’s conference and State President Joy Beames said it had been pleasing to see the informed, passionate and respectful debate around this year’s motions.

“Motions were submitted by branches from every corner of the state and reflect the concerns of communities in rural, regional and remote communities right across NSW. Branches have put these motions forward because they see an urgent need for it in their community, and while not all motions were passed, even bringing them to the conference raises the awareness of all of us around issues we may not have previously had a lot of knowledge about,” Joy said.

“Access to quality health care remains a particular focus with multiple motions highlighting ongoing inadequacies in this area for rural and regional NSW and as an association we are committed to keep pushing governments at all levels for urgent support and improvements.

“A number of urgency motions considered by delegates also reflected a range of concerns including around greater punishments for those found guilty of harming law enforcement and emergency service workers, and measures to provide greater access to tertiary study to prospective students in rural and regional NSW.

“The motions endorsed this week will now be taken forward and form the basis of our lobbying efforts in the immediate future, supported by the strength of our more than 8000 members who work so hard to initiate more equitable outcomes for those who reside outside our major cities in rural and regional NSW,” Joy said.


For media inquiries, please contact Kylie Galbraith on 0411 480 208.