CWA take a stand on rural crime, inland rail and water

CWA stand up to rural crime and push for inland rail inquiry


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The Eurongilly branch, Hume group, put forward a motion for tougher sentencing of rural crime offenders at the CWA of NSW state conference in Albury last week. The motion was passed unanimously.

The Eurongilly branch, Hume group, put forward a motion for tougher sentencing of rural crime offenders at the CWA of NSW state conference in Albury last week. The motion was passed unanimously.

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CWA motions to be taken to the state government.

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Tougher sentences for rural crime offenders was one of 27 policy motions passed at the Country Women's Association of NSW state conference this year.

The Eurongilly branch (via Junee) raised the rural crime motion alongside a related motion, put forward by both Eurongilly and Hornsby branches, to advocate for more legislation to protect people's privacy from drones.

Secretary of the Eurongilly branch, Helen Sheridan said rural crime was becoming more prevalent and everyone was getting frustrated.

"We have spoken to police and what we would like to see is magistrates give a sentence equivalent of the crime instead of just a slap on the wrist," Mrs Sheridan said.

"There have been sheep missing and fuel taken not long after it was delivered, so somebody must of been watching and known landholders weren't going to be there.

"There have been drones going around the sheds, looking to see what they can find."

Eurongilly now has a neighbourhood watch system in place where people alert each other if they see unfamiliar vehicles around and Mrs Sheridan said she has improved security at her property.

"A lot of people have put cameras in, we have on our front gate, it's not something you want to do but we don't have much choice these days," she said.

Another key motion passed at the conference was to advocate for an independent inquiry into aspects of the inland rail.

The topic was raised as an urgency motion by the Dubbo evening branch and North Star branch with concern focused on the transparency of decisions made on the route of the railway, in particular the Narromine to Narrabri section and from North Star to the Queensland border.

CWA of NSW CEO, Danica Leys said although the CWA very much supported the project overall, people wanted to know why existing routes haven't been used in some areas and to feel that their community has been listened to.

"If we're going to have project of such scale and significance we need to know there's been all the appropriate checks and balances done when it comes to choosing the route," Mrs Leys said.

"We want to make sure that if people are going to have their farm cut in half they have a really good understanding as to why."

One of the North Star branch members who spoke for the motion, Jenny Mitchell, said they were worried the proposed route on their section of the line would impact valuable irrigation country and lead to flooding.

"From North Star to the border there is already a rail line but they want to change where it goes and that's going to cause major problems because it's going to block the natural floodplain," Mrs Mitchell said.

"They haven't allowed for the fact that there are banks and waterways in that area, it's irrigation farming land not empty land and it's going to cause major issues if they put it where they have it now."

CWA's stance correlated with NSW Farmers who called for an independent inquiry into the Narromine to Narrabri section last week

The ARTC are in caretaker mode due to the upcoming election and were unable to comment.

The inland rail urgency motion was one of six raised at the conference with two others focused on water issues.

The state executive put forward a motion that stated CWA of NSW should draw attention to the inadequate quality of town water including drinking water in many regional areas.

While another urgency motion from the state executive called for greater transparency on decision making under the Murray Darling Basin Plan.

Ms Leys said the association will take the passed motions from their conference to the state and federal governments.

The Land

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