Country Women’s Association march on WA Parliament to protest regional education cuts

Headshot of Dylan Caporn
Dylan CapornThe West Australian
VideoHundreds of CWA members arrive at Parliament to protest cuts to regional education.

Hundreds of Country Women’s Association members have descended on Parliament this afternoon to protest the State Government’s cuts to regional education.

In a first for the association in its almost 100 year-long history, members moved to protest several cuts to education including the closure of Moora Residential College.

It came as prominent Country Labor MP Peter Watson told ABC Radio his regional colleagues were working to turn around the cuts.

“Country members did put a lot of pressure on the Cabinet about that (School of the Air closure) and that was changed so … we’re looking at all ways that we can make sure that people in regional areas get the same opportunities as they do in the city,” he said.

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CWA member Sara Kenny will tell the rally families in Moora and surrounding towns had a long tradition of sending their children to the college, which will close at the end of the year.

“These people do not want to send their children far away for their education. They don’t want their families separated by long distances,” she said.

“Boarding in the nearest regional town is an affordable option compared to private Perth schools.

“Don’t take jobs, amenities and facilities away from rural areas. Once they are lost they will never come back and life will depreciate for rural people.”

Protesters will also call on the State Government to keep open WA’s six regional camp schools.

Both Premier Mark McGowan and Education Minister Sue Ellery are scheduled to address the rally.

Before the rally, the CWA’s plans were dealt a blow, after members wanted to bring scones and tea along, but were denied permission because of parliamentary rules.

But the CWA set their own rules for the rally, which started as a march from the organisation’s headquarters in West Perth, calling on rally goers to leave room for pedestrians, and not to walk on the road.

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