Community News

Last year’s CWA of NSW State Conference in Albury attracted hundreds of delegates, members, observers, and visitors from around the state. While this year’s conference has been cancelled, the business of the organisation goes on.

CWA of NSW turns to postal voting to progress vital business agenda

Discussion and debate around the CWA of NSW’s policy platform for the next 12 months is taking place a little differently in 2020 due to restrictions around COVID-19. With the cancellation of this year’s State Conference, for the first time ever in the 98-year history of the organisation, conference agenda items and motions have been mailed out to conference delegates for them to record their vote before sending the results back to state office for counting.

There are more than 30 policy motions from branches around the state, covering environmental, health, agricultural, transport, telecommunications and education issues. Successful motions will be ratified at the next AGM and adopted as formal CWA of NSW policy to guide advocacy efforts into the future.

This year, motions include:

  • Two motions around the need for Country of Origin labelling on seafood and pork sold in Australian restaurants and cafes;
  • Two motions calling for more urgent action on preventing domestic violence, and for stronger protections for domestic violence survivors;
  • A call for legislation that ensures all public places have Automatic External Defibrillators (AEDs) available in the event of someone suffering a cardiac arrest; and
  • The urgent need for a review of the cost of sending mail and mail delivery times.

There are also two motions of urgency on fire management, with a call for a review of hazard reduction plans and for an urgent investigation into the safety features of NSW and ACT firefighting vehicles.

CWA of NSW President Stephanie Stanhope

CWA of NSW President Stephanie Stanhope said members were obviously disappointed the conference had to be cancelled in 2020, as the week-long event – which was planned for Newcastle this year – is always eagerly anticipated with a packed schedule of policy discussions, displays, social events and guest speakers.

“Our branches, through their conference delegates, retain the important role of voting on more than 30 motions this year, and while we won’t have the robust discussion and debate we have around so many of the motions that go before our annual conference, we have ensured through this year’s postal voting that member voices are still heard,” Stephanie said.

The results of the voting are expected to be known by the end of the month.

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. The CWA of NSW has more than 370 branches across NSW and the ACT, with more than 8000 members.