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Plastic bags, deer and Murray-Darling Basin Plan on agenda for CWA conference

Members from around the state will come together in Armidale next month for the Country Women’s Association (CWA) of New South Wales’ annual conference.

The conference is being held at the New England Girls’ School from April 30 to May 4, the 96th time members have gathered to debate and discuss the organisation’s policy via a list of motions proposed by branches throughout New South Wales.

The CWA is the largest women’s organisation in Australia, and since 1922 has been working to improve the living conditions and welfare of women and families.

Up to 800 delegates, members, observers and visitors are expected to descend on the Northern Tablelands city of Armidale, with the conference to be officially opened on April 30 by His Excellency General The Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Ret’d), Governor of NSW, accompanied by Mrs Linda Hurley.

Armidale Regional Council mayor Simon Murray will welcome visitors to the event, before guest speakers The Hon John Barilaro MP, Deputy Premier of NSW, and The Hon Bronnie Taylor MLC, Parliamentary Secretary to the Deputy Premier and Southern NSW, take to the stage.

CWA of NSW President, Annette Turner, said Armidale was a great venue for the organisation’s biggest event of the year, and the motions to go before members would encourage some interesting debate.

“There are more than 20 motions this year, and as is the case every year, they cover a wide range of issues, reflecting the diversity of our membership and the communities in which they live,” she said.

Motions include the need for urgent assistance for communities affected by flying fox populations; support for the proposed review and assessment of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan; the need for legal culling of feral deer; and encouragement for all retailers to use containers and bags made from non-plastic materials.

Several branches have also put forward motions pushing for more support for those with chronic or terminal illnesses, and their families and caregivers.

“These are important issues and as each motion comes up for debate, there will be many passionate views expressed. The CWA of NSW takes its advocacy role very seriously and many of the successful motions from this conference will shape our lobbying efforts for the year ahead,” Mrs Turner said.

“Our organisation has helped bring about real and meaningful change for communities across rural and regional NSW for decades, and it’s not hard to see why when you see the passion, commitment and determination of our 8000-strong membership.”

Other speakers at this year’s conference include the 2018 winner of the NSW/ACT AgriFutures Rural Women’s Award, Jillian Kilby from Dubbo, and financial planning expert Brendan Ryan.

The program commences with a church service on Sunday afternoon (29th April), with the official opening from 9.30am on Monday 30th April. The remainder of the program comprises business sessions, workshops, meetings and award ceremonies, with a gala dinner at the Armidale Ex Services Club on Wednesday, May 2. Source

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