COVID-19 means this year's Country Women's Association NSW State Conference to be held over a week in Newcastle will not take place.

COVID-19 means this year's Country Women's Association NSW State Conference to be held over a week in Newcastle will not take place.

Therefore discussion and debate around the organisation's policy platform for the next 12 months is taking place a little differently in 2020

For the first time in the 98-year history of the CWA conference agenda items and motions have been mailed out to delegates for voting, with 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.

2019 CWA annual conference - before social distancing was implement to limit the spread of COVID-19. This year's conference has been cancelled.

2019 CWA annual conference - before social distancing was implement to limit the spread of COVID-19. This year's conference has been cancelled.

Successful motions will be ratified at the next AGM and adopted as formal CWA 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 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.

CWA of NSW President Stephanie Stanhope

CWA of NSW President Stephanie Stanhope