The Queensland Country Women’s Association (QCWA) addressed several important issues affecting rural and regional communities during the 98e Annual State Conference, held October 25-27 in Gladstone.
Two hundred and twenty-two delegates from across Queensland pledged support for important issues such as safer crosswalks, parking, sanitary bins for men’s toilets, accommodation for distance education, palliative care in regional areas, domestic violence and the fight against the fall armyworm.
The conference also hosted the national finals for the public speaking, poetry, cooking, crafts, coin-making, floral, knitting and crochet competitions, with the respective winners announced during the week.
Related Reading: Faces of the QCWA Conference at Gladstone 2021 | Pictures
The following questions were some of the resolutions that were proposed and adopted by the QCWA delegates over the three days.
Reduction of the speed limit on the Warrego motorway in Miles
One of the urgent resolutions presented to the delegates of the QCWA section concerned the speed limit on the Warrego highway at Miles.
The Miles branch called on the QCWA to “strongly urge” the state government to reduce the speed limit from 60 km to 40 km on Murilla Street, Miles, between Dawson Street and the RJ Simmonds Bridge.
Delegates called for the immediate installation of pedestrian-activated traffic lights in the Miles CBD, to allow safe access across Murilla Street before lives are lost.
Moved by branch delegates Miles Susan Gales and seconded by Jennifer Sigfield, Ms Gale said an accident was inevitable without designated crosswalks
“Hundreds of heavy vehicles carrying livestock, mining equipment and supplies, fuel and chemicals pass through Miles’ central business district every day of the week. A truck traveling at 60 km / ha has little hope of stopping if a person, young or old or in between, exits to cross the street now, ”Ms. Gale said.
“We are told that the speed limit will be reduced to 50 km / h across town when the redevelopment is complete, but our argument is, why are workers on the view entitled to a 40 km / h zone during they work, but the community that lives and works there every day is not entitled to that same level of security when the workers are gone? “
The resolution was passed unanimously, with 222 delegates voting to “urgently call” on Queensland Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey to ensure the road is safe for all road users. road and pedestrians.
Calliope pedestrian crossing
Another issue submitted to delegates was increased parking and better road access to Calliope Public School, in order to improve the safety of all road users and reduce congestion in the area.
Moved by Bryanne Kerr of the Calliope CWA branch and seconded by Rhonda Ware of the Boyne Valley branch, the Calliope branch has requested a crosswalk.
Ms Kerr said the lack of parking and poor road access meant families and their children were risking their lives crossing the road to get to school.
“The Calliope State School is located on Dawson Highway, Calliope. The school has approximately 650 students, ranging from preparation to grade 6,” Ms. Kerr said.
“The Dawson Highway is a heavy vehicle and dangerous goods route, with heavy vehicles passing the school, including quarry loads, log trucks and dangerous goods vehicles carrying fuel or ammonium nitrate. .
“Increased parking and better road access at Calliope State School will improve the safety of all road users and reduce congestion.”
The resolution was again passed unanimously, with 222 delegates voting to forward the request to Transport and Main Roads, Queensland Education and Gladstone Regional Council.
Sanitary bins in male public toilets
The issue of the lack of sanitary bins in male public toilets was also addressed at this year’s conference.
The resolution was brought forward by delegates from the Darling Downs Division, who called for sanitary bins to be provided in public men’s washrooms in public parks and shopping malls in Queensland.
Moved by Highfields CWA branch delegate Gladys McKay and seconded by Crystal Wenham of Middle Ridge, Ms Mckay said sanitary bins are considered a routine convenience in women’s washrooms but are non-existent in women’s washrooms. men.
“It has been brought to the attention of the QCWA that the men’s public toilets do not have garbage cans,” Ms. Mckay said.
“The awareness of prostate cancer in our community being foremost in health education, it is more than necessary to consider providing bins for the disposal of continence aids.
“Men should bring their used pouch or towel to their wife / partner for disposal in the women’s toilet. What about a man who has no one to do it for him?
The resolution was passed and the QCWA will send letters to the state health department and local governments.
On-site accommodation at Longreach distance education
That QCWA strongly demanded that the Minister of Education allow on-site accommodation in geographically isolated distance education schools so that families have affordable access to attend the mini-school and other activities.
Related Reading: Accommodation Hopes Renewed for Longreach’s Distance Education Families
Moved by Gwen Rogers of the Longreach branch and seconded by Bryanne Kerr of the Calliope branch, Ms. Rogers argued that mini-schools are extremely important for distance education students and parents in rural and remote settings. .
“It’s often their only interaction with their peer group, being able to work in a classroom, participate in team sports and connect with others to break through isolation. So important for mental health and wellbeing -be, ”Ms. Rogers said.
The resolution was adopted unanimously.
Palliative care in the regions
Queensland’s demographic profile in 2019 showed that 15.7% of the population was over 65.
Access to important services such as palliative care remains very limited and can force residents to travel hundreds to thousands of kilometers for treatment.
The QCWA has “strongly requested” that state and federal governments increase funding for palliative care and community outreach services.
Moved by Michele Connors from the Emu Park branch and seconded by Margaret Laughton from Gracemere, Ms Connors said state-funded hospice services are limited and provided primarily in Brisbane, Sunshine Coast and Townsville.
“People who die often want to do it in the comfort of their own homes. Community outreach services that would support the patient and their family in the community are extremely limited in the areas and rural and non-existent in remote areas,” a- she declared. Connors said.
“When a family member wants to die at home, the responsibility for care falls on the women, and it is often the older women who bear the burden of that care in the community. Palliative care for patients in state-funded regional and rural hospitals is also very limited. .
“Additional funding is needed to provide designated hospice palliative care beds in regional hospitals and access to community outreach services in regional, rural and remote areas of Queensland.
The resolution was adopted unanimously.
QCWA delegates unanimously passed a resolution calling for victims of domestic violence to apply for a Caveat without paying a fee.
Moved by Joy Coulson of the Eumundi branch and seconded by Patsy Lee of the Maleny branch, Ms Coulson said caveats are often filed when parties are in dispute over property issues.
“The caveat preserves the status quo of title to the property to allow time for the parties to resolve the dispute, either among themselves or through the court system,” said Ms. Coulson.
“Significant fees are payable when filing a warning. For people experiencing domestic violence, these fees may be unaffordable due to an immediate need to escape and financial abuse. Fees for a simple warning are $ 232 plus legal fees. “
The resolution was adopted unanimously.
Another issue raised at the QCWA conference was that legal aid be required to provide ongoing services to victims of domestic violence throughout the year.
Moved again by Joy Coulson from the Eumundi branch and seconded by Patsy Lee from the Maleny branch, Ms Coulson said research shows domestic violence is known to increase over the Christmas period.
“During this period, Queensland Legal Aid closes its services for up to 2 weeks, leaving victims vulnerable when they need it most,” said Ms Coulson.
“Christmas tends to be one more time. No more family visits, no more food purchases, no more gift purchases, no more alcohol, no more expenses. This one more season can exacerbate families under pressure. This can lead to domestic violence in the household. “
The resolution was adopted unanimously and the QCWA strongly requested that Legal Aid be required to provide continuous services throughout the year and when continuous service is not possible, accessible by a hotline. 24 hour assistance to enable victims of domestic violence to access.
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