COMMENT: CWA a powerful rural lobby group

FROM cooking to politics the Country Women's Association (CWA) is one of Australia's most important rural lobby and advocacy groups.

The CWA has policies on issues ranging from drought funding, medical marijuana and water issues.

The "egg throwing" incident at the CWA Conference in Albury this week certainly gained national media attention. A protester attempted to throw an egg at Prime Minister Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

However, the attempt failed but it could arguably have been a catalyst for the good work of the CWA to make it into mainstream media. "My concern with today's incident in Albury was for the older lady who was knocked off her feet," Mr Morrison tweeted from Albury on Tuesday.

Annette Turner

Annette Turner

"I helped her to her feet and gave her a hug, our farmers have to put up with these same idiots who are invading their farms and homes," he said. He also tweeted: "We will stand up to thuggery whether it's these cowardly activists who have no respect for anyone, or militant unions standing over small businesses and their employees on work sites."

Despite Mr Morrison's support of farmers and the CWA this group certainly didn't back down when it came to pushing policies. The CWA quickly moved on from the "egg-throwing" incident to call for assurances from both sides of politics about drought funding.

It follows an announcement last week on new re-stocking and re-planting loans of up to $200,000 for farm businesses, part of a $500 million package that includes the establishment of a specific "Regional Investment Corporation" for the loans, once conditions improve. The package also includes funding for more rural financial counsellors.

"As it stands the opposition has even expressed some hesitation at the issuing of concessional loans, which means if we have a change of government, we may not see the program get off the ground," said CWA, NSW state president Annette Turner.