The fight for rural services starts here

Narrabri Hospital. The local CWA branch recently forked out $120,000 for new equipment, filling one of the many government funding gaps.
Nanjing Night Net

NOWthe dust has settled on the federal election, our members are looking forward to some actual work towards positive policy outcomes, rather thanthe grandstanding we have seen over the extraordinarily long campaign.

The Country Womens’ Association (CWA) is a fiercely apolitical organisation; this isn’t the same as non-political.

It means we will support he parties and politicians that support our policy. In saying that, the fact remains that The Nationalsrepresent more regional areas than any other, and this election has seen them gain an increased a share of the coalition.

They may have you believe their increased representation is from the all their good work, which is true to a degree. They did pick up oneseat. But the reality istheir increased representation ismore attributable to the poor performance of the Liberals.

It could be a good thing for the regions, but only if we see them fighting for good policy outcomes and truly representing their constituency. Let’s face it; the voters care nought for discussions around who gets a chauffeur driven car as a Minister. They want outcomes.

It is important to remember some of the responsibility for getting good decisions made for our regional and rural communities rests with us. It’s not good enough to be outraged about something and fire off a few tweets and be done with it.

The temptation to constantly criticise our representatives often does not do our cause any good. Our decision makers need evidence, clear facts and sensible solutions in order to take policy initiatives forward. It is the responsibilityof all of us to provide that when we can, but also insist on follow through.

At the time of writing, the frontbench is being reshuffled.If it is anything like the cabinetthe Prime Minister put together in February, it will still be disappointingly low in numbers of females in ministerial positions.

As a relatively new starter with the CWA, I am in amazement and admiration of the large number of projects and initiativesthe organisation funds and supports, although, there is an element of frustration.

This frustration stems from the fact that often, our own communities are filling gaps that government should be providing for. One such example is the recent $120,000 contribution from Narrabri CWAto fund a new, state-of-the-art CT scanner for Narrabri Hospital. This is amazing; there is no doubt about that. But why should we have to constantly fund these things? Basic services should be a given. Extra funding provided by community groups should be to provide things beyond the basics.

No longer are regional people prepared to simply just accept the sub-standard services just because of where they live, and they shouldn’t. The challenge for governments, particularly now, is to do more to truly provide equity of basic services for rural and regional areas.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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