Last week four members of the Yass Branch of the CWA participated in the CWA of NSW’s 100th Annual General Meeting and Conference. Active delegates were Vice President and Handicrafts Officer, Karen Smith, and Agricultural and Environment Officer, Megan McIntyre. President Brenda Phillips and member Pauline Dunk participated as observers.
There was much debate about proposed motions during the four-day AGM, with successful motions including:
“The diversity in our motions this year – and every year – reflects the diversity in our membership and the concerns of the communities they represent,” said outgoing CWA State President Stephanie Stanhope.
“Access to and quality of health services in rural and regional NSW remains a real concern for our association and is reflected in the fact numerous motions around the issue – including a motion of urgency where we are demanding action on health care equality – were put to the conference and enthusiastically-endorsed by delegates.
“The inadequacy of government regulation around mining exploration on our prime agricultural land and the lack of adequate protections for landholders is unfortunately still a major issue and members continue to call for a fairer and more common-sense approach to some of our nation’s most valuable agricultural land.
“The NSW Government’s refusal to act on damaging ‘zombie’ PELs in farming communities and the need for greater financial protection for landholders who must endure long-term mining exploration on their properties has been highlighted by several motions, and we will also be calling for a ban on political donations from fossil fuel companies. Rural communities deserve transparency on this sensitive issue and need to know external sources are not unduly influencing the political process when it comes to mining approvals.
“The motions endorsed at this year’s conference will now be taken forward and form the basis of our lobbying efforts for the next 12 months, supported by the strength of more than 8,000 voices who not only expect, but demand, better outcomes for regional NSW communities,” Ms Stanhope said.
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