Wagga's Ann Adams has been elected as a state vice-president of the Country Women's Association, immediately after she completed a three-year term as the NSW secretary.
Mrs Adams, who is a member of the Oura branch, said her term as state secretary had formally come to an end in unusual circumstances, as the CWA's annual NSW conference had been cancelled for the first time in the organisation's 98-year history because of COVID-19 restrictions.
Instead, conference agenda items and motions were mailed out to conference delegates, who have been asked to record their vote before sending the results back to state office for counting.
There were 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 annual state conference in 2021.
Members will also be asked to cast their votes to find a replacement for Mrs Adams as state secretary.
While supporting the decision to cancel the conference, which was to have been held in Newcastle, Mrs Adams said it was disappointing for members, including those from the recently reinvigorated Wagga branch, who would have been attending a state conference for the first time.
"We had so many motions that were to be debated. It is disappointing we couldn't hold the conference as planned," Mrs Adams said.
CWA state president Stephanie Stanhope said members were obviously disappointed the conference had to be cancelled in 2020, as the week-long event was 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," Ms Stanhope said.
The results of the voting are expected to be known by the end of the month.
This year's motions included:
- Two around the need for country of origin labelling on seafood and pork sold in Australian restaurants and cafes;
- two 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 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.