The CWA of WA State President, Heather Allen and General Secretary, Jackie Farmer met with the WA Premier, The Hon. Mark McGowan at Parliament House on 20 September to press the Association’s continuing case for the reversal of cuts affecting agricultural education.
Their main concern centred on the State Government skimming 20% of funds contributed to the Agricultural Education Provision Trust Fund by the five Agricultural Colleges in WA. Students of these colleges provided the labour that generated the on-farm profits to be used for the benefit of these Colleges and other agricultural courses. Mrs Allen and Mrs Farmers asked what right the Government had to snatch this money that was intended to support agricultural education.
The meeting also addressed concerns about the policy impacting the future of community kindergartens. It was a good meeting, with many strong points made from all parties present.
Earlier, The Country Women’s Association of WA (Inc) congratulated the Federal Government on their announcement to provide sufficient capital to save the valued Moora Residential College from closure. They also thanked the State Government for agreeing to continue to fund the operational costs of the college. The Association would now closely monitor the upgrade of Moora Residential College to ensure there is no further threat to the future of the College.
The Association was also pleased to hear of the reinstatement of funding to Community Resource Centres. This wise decision has ensured a very valuable resource continues to operate in country communities.
The Association understands that cuts and rationalisations have to be made in any Government budget. However, cutting or reducing essential services that directly and devastatingly impact the lives, livelihoods and dynamics of families and communities is not the solution. WA families and communities are resourceful, innovative and resilient, but they cannot, and will not live in an area where their children are disadvantaged by lack of educational opportunities.