Rural crime, affordable housing, health reform on the agenda for CWA of NSW’s annual conference in Coffs Harbour

Members from around the state will assemble in Coffs Harbour this month for the Country Women’s Association (CWA) of NSW’s annual conference.

About 600 members are expected to attend this year’s conference from 6th–9th May at the C.ex Coffs club to help determine future policy direction and priorities. 

More than 25 motions proposed by branches throughout the state will be debated, across the likes of education, health, the environment, law and order, transport and telecommunications. 

Branches putting forward motions this year are: Lismore Evening, Canberra, Jindera, Hillston, Galore, Scone & District, Southern Highlands Evening, Millthorpe, Barellan, Kootingal, Tamworth Evening, Virtual (Mid-North Coast Group), Kyogle Evening, Orange, Jindabyne, Weemelah, Glenbrook Evening, Wingham, Casino and Emerald Hill.

Branches are continuing their push for law and order reforms in the regions following spikes in rural crime rates with motions for 24-hour policing in larger centres and a permanent police presence in towns with existing police residences; school bus transport is the focus of several motions around the maintenance of safe bus routes and the number of students required to start a non-commercial bus run; and on the health agenda are a number of motions highlighting the need for better accommodation options in rural and remote areas for critical personnel like nurses and teachers.

Motions this year include advocacy for:

  • The mandatory regulation of sporting broadcasts to prohibit any form of marketing, advertising, sponsorship promotion of alcohol - Orange Branch
  • Urgent action around bushfire mitigation and management of government-controlled land, including the provision of adequate water reserves for bushfire containment – State Executive Committee
  • The provision of adequate funding for accredited AUSTSWIM instructors to be employed to provide swimming and water safety skills lessons to primary school students in rural, regional and remote areas – Jindera Branch
  • Options for accommodation support or rental subsidies for teachers and educators working in early childhood centres situated in remote locations – Hillston Branch
  • Advocacy on the issue of always having the option to use cash – State Executive Committee
  • The adoption of the recommendations made by the Senate Community Affairs References Committee Inquiry into the Barriers to consistent, timely and best practice assessment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and support services for people with ADHD and/or autism – Kootingal and Tamworth Evening branches
  • Urgent action to establish 24-hour policing in all larger, regional towns with a population exceeding 10,000 and all regional police districts – Emerald Hill
  • To ensure independent cinemas are not forced out of business because of unfair screening requirements – Glenbrook Evening

“Our Association had its beginnings on the platform of advocacy for better services for remote, rural and regional NSW, and it remains our biggest focus today,” said CWA of NSW President Joy Beames.

“The annual conference brings us together to highlight the issues that are impacting members’ communities and once again there’s such a diverse range of motions to be discussed. We’re looking forward to being in Coffs Harbour for this year’s conference, a great backdrop for what will be another interesting and thought-provoking event, paving the way for a new set of priorities for the coming year.”

The conference will be officially opened on Monday, 6th May, by the Patron of the CWA of NSW and Governor of NSW, Her Excellency The Honourable Margaret Beazley AO KC. This year’s keynote address will then be presented by Samuel Johnson, Founder of Love Your Sister, Gold Logie-winning actor and the 2018 Victorian Australian of the Year. NSW Minister for Water, Housing, Homelessness, Mental Health and Youth, the Hon. Rose Jackson, will address conference attendees later in the day.

On Tuesday, 7th May, the conference will host a panel discussion on rural crime, featuring Cr Jamie Chaffey, Chairman of the Country Mayors Association of NSW and Mayor of Gunnedah Shire Council; DCI Cameron Whiteside and Ann Brennan, from the NSW Rural Crime Prevention Team; Peter Price, CEO, Crime Stoppers NSW; and Adam DeMamiel, Co-Founder, CEO and Director of Boys to the Bush.

Lisa Millar, the host of ABC News Breakfast and narrator of the hit TV series, Muster Dogs, is speaking at the conference on Wednesday, 8th May. 


Media are accommodated and welcome within the venue, and for media inquiries, please contact Kylie Galbraith on 0411 480 208.