Firstly, congratulations on being elected Prime Minister of this great country. It is, as you say an honour, but also carries with it great responsibility.
The Country Women’s Association of NSW has, for 91 years championed the rights of and furthered causes for, women, their families and communities.
We do not possess unlimited financial or physical resources to be able to compete with other interest groups. What we do have is a proud history of frank, passionate, reasoned and informed contributions to many debates that bear striking resemblance to those we continue to be involved in today. It is for this reason I write to you now.
In your acceptance speech you said that Australia is once again open for new business. One of our main concerns is the protection of agricultural land, used in the production of food and fibre, and the precious ground and surface water that sustains it and us.
The resources boom has delivered a short term reprieve to governments struggling with debt, but at what long term cost. History shows us time and again that our march towards the 21st century has proven to be detrimental to our natural environment. What guarantees will you put in place to ensure that those of us who choose to live in rural Australia will still have safe, accessible water sources and the productive land we currently enjoy?
You also commented that the Coalition will not leave anyone behind. Members of CWA of NSW have continuously lobbied for improvements to health and other government services, telecommunications, road and rail infrastructure, law and order issues, equitable access to education, fair prices for commodities, the list goes on. It would be nice to think that, under your leadership, rural Australia will not be left behind, once again, on these issues. The vicious cycle of reduction and population drift from inland Australia will only continue whilst successive governments refuse to look further into the future than the next election.
We bring to the table a unique perspective on a wide range of issues, the ongoing concern and discussion around energy drinks is a case in point. We are now significant contributors in many of the debates that are taking place in the public arena and we are witnessing a growing trend to be included in the forums and discussions that lead to positive change. You will find a list of our current issues here.
You should know that alongside the fellowship, the charity and the tea and scones continues an unwavering commitment to improving the lives of Australian families by continuing to articulate the concerns of our members in the only way we know how; forthright, fair and from the heart.
So we ask you Mr. Abbott to look beyond the next 3 years and create for future generations, as well as yourself, a legacy like ours, to be proud of.