The NSW Nationals’ Annual General Conference is always a great example of grassroots democracy in action, which is very healthy within the Party. Here are all of the motions put to the Conference in Cowra and their outcomes.


The Agenda Committee received 198 motions from branches, electorate councils, regional conferences, policy committees and other party units. However, with only a limited amount of time to consider motions at Conference, not all were able to be debated. The Committee particularly prioritised motions that met the criteria outlined in the office-bearer’s handbook that is distributed each year, namely that the motion:
· Has specific policy points and calls for action;
· has a state-wide or national application;
· canvasses new, innovative or current issues;
· is a matter of substance so as to sustain political debate;
· is capable of implementation; and
· avoids repetition of motions previously debated.


Snowy Hydro to remain publicly owned

That, as part of its proposal to purchase 100 per cent of the Snowy Hydro, the Federal Government legislate to ensure Snowy Hydro always remains in public hands.
Mover: Primary Industries Committee

Strategic Fuel Reserve

That Conference calls on the State and Federal Governments to immediately meet Australia’s obligations under the International Energy Agency agreement of 1979, namely holding in strategic reserves a minimum of 90 days of the previous year’s liquid energy consumption.
Mover: Cootamundra SEC

Extension of Clean Energy Finance Corp. funding

That Conference calls on the Federal Government to extend funding for the Clean Energy Finance Corporation for a minimum of two years.
Mover: Farrer FEC

Research into electricity generation

That Conference calls on the NSW Government to fund an investigation into the use of Thorium and wave power for electricity generation in NSW.
Mover: Kingscliff / Tea Gardens Hawks Nest / Mudgee Branches / Whitlam FEC / North Coast Regional Conference / Resources and Energy Policy Committee

HELE Power Station

That Conference urge the NSW Government to build, or facilitate the private sector to build, at least one High Efficiency Low Emissions (HELE) coal- fired power station as soon as possible that would utilise the best and most efficient coal from NSW coalfields.
Mover: Macleay Valley / Orange / Southern Highlands Branches

Alternative Energy Sources

That Conference call on all levels of government to prioritise the transition to modern, efficient technologies for reliable energy generation, storage and transmission.
Mover: Clarence SEC / North Coast Regional Conference

Primary Industries & Environment

Fire management

That Conference calls for it to be easier for landowners to burn off, where their properties adjoin or are in close proximity to National Parks.
Mover: Bulahdelah Branch / North Coast Regional Conference

Bore drilling licences

That Conference calls on the NSW Government to:
a) review the current legislation which determines the distance water can be drilled, with reference to points of potential contamination,
b) adopt the minimum specifications for the construction of water bores in Australia, and
c) expedite the issue of drilling licences.
Mover: Clarence SEC / North Coast Regional Conference

Commercialisation of excess environmental water

That Conference calls on the Government to commercialise environmental water surpluses in years when water excesses are beyond the immediate needs of the environmental flow requirements.
Mover: Farrer FEC

Multi-peril insurance

That Conference call on the Federal and NSW Governments, through the COAG process, to devise incentives to increase the availability and take up of farm income insurance to reduce the pressure on drought assistance.
Mover: Forbes Branch / Central Regional Conference

Snowy Hydro water implications

That Conference call for any reduction in water available for downstream use because of Snowy Hydro 2.0 to come from environmental water allocations.
Mover: Griffith Branch

Southern Irrigation CRC

That Conference call on the Federal Government to establish a Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) for Irrigated Agriculture to support irrigators in identifying high value crops, new market opportunities and methods to encourage further investment in the regions.
Mover: Griffith Branch

Farming Rights

That Conference calls for the NSW Government to:
a) take urgent action to ensure that the protection of farming rights with no limits on Agricultural use
b) ensure that future control or change in land zoning for primary production be determined at a state level rather than by local governments.
Mover: Macksville Branch / North Coast Regional Conference

Support for live export

That Conference strongly supports the Australian live export trade in the face of renewed calls for its cessation, noting substantial improvements the industry has made to animal welfare outcomes and the important contribution it makes to regional economies both directly and indirectly.
Mover: Monaro SEC

Changes to the Biodiversity Conservation Act

That Conference call on the NSW Government to amend the legislation and regulations on biodiversity so that;
a) the onus of proof lies with the prosecutor and not with the landholder;
b) proceedings can only be commenced within two years of the date that the offence is alleged to have taken place;
c) family trust companies and/or corporate trustee landholding companies are not dealt with as a “corporation” for the purposes of maximum fines for penalties under the Act;
d) landholders are entitled to legal protections such as for the right to silence and protection against self-incrimination as other serious crimes in NSW;
e) farm mapping used for assessing biodiversity be required to be confirmed by the affected landholder prior to release for local community consultation; and
f) that this mapping be based on the use of the land prior to and at 25 August 2017.
Mover: Moree Branch / Primary Industry Policy Committee / Central Regional Conference

Indian trade tariffs

That Conference calls on the Federal Nationals to express their disappointment with the 30 per cent tariffs that India has imposed on chickpeas, lentils, blueberries and other foods. Furthermore, Conference call on the Federal Nationals Leader and relevant Federal Ministers to convey it to their Indian counterparts.
Mover: Narrabri Branch

Biosecurity breach penalties

That the Federal Government increase penalties for breaches of the Biosecurity Act when passengers enter Australia.
Mover: Narrabri Branch

Bat colony control

That Conference calls on the NSW Government to:
a) develop methods for removing roosting colonies of flying foxes in residential and rural residential areas including financial assistance to those people affected;
b) provide a further $3.5 million in bat netting assistance across the state; and
Furthermore, Conference calls on the Federal Government to amend the Environmental Protection, Biodiversity Conservation Act so that the public is not penalised for disturbing or dispersing flying foxes by non-lethal means when they roost in urban areas.
Mover: Narrabri / Orange / Tamworth / Macleay Valley Branches / Primary Industries Policy Committee / Central Regional Conference

Soil agronomy review

That Conference calls for a concerted and coordinated research effort by federal and state governments to address ‘soil health’, particularly in the Murray Darling Basin.
Mover: Orange Branch / Central Regional Conference

Consultation by local governments with regards to ‘E Zones’

That Conference calls on the NSW Government to require local councils to notify all individual landowners of their intention to change or impose Environmental ‘E’ Zones on rural lands to allow proper consultation.
Mover: Orara Valley Branch

Weighting of land planning application submissions

That Conference calls on the NSW Government to impose a weighting on land planning application submissions so that
a) submissions from the local region are given more weighting than those from outside of the region;
b) overseas submissions are disregarded; and
c) identical ‘form’ submissions are disregarded.
Mover: Primary Policy Industry Committee

Dedicated agriculture visa

That Conference call on the Federal Government to introduce a dedicated agriculture visa, which would allow willing and able workers, from all countries, to engage in farm work.
Mover: Southern Highlands Branch / Whitlam FEC

National certification scheme for horticultural labour hire

That Conference calls on the Federal Government to investigate the introduction of a nationwide market-driven scheme for the certification of businesses offering labour hire services in the horticultural industry.
Mover: Southern Highlands Branch / Whitlam FEC

Future of forestry

That Conference request the NSW Government, before the close of parliamentary business in 2018, to:
a) renew the Regional Forestry Agreements with the Federal Government;
b) renew and ensure the proper allocation of available timber resources beyond the termination date of existing wood allocation agreements including equitable treatment of smaller companies;
c) ensure the retention and expansion of available jobs as outlined in the Forestry Roadmap; and
d) recognise forestry as renewable and sustainable agricultural enterprises.
Mover: Wauchope / Macleay Valley Branches / Primary Industries Policy Committee / North Coast Regional Conference


Review into referral procedures

That Conference calls for the Medicare Review Taskforce, as a matter of urgency, to review the number of allied health professional services to which a GP can refer patients with a chronic illness to, including under the Enhanced Primary Care (EPC) Medicare initiative with the view to increase the number from the current five sessions across all disciplines to five per discipline per year.
Mover: Health Committee

Autopsies to be conducted regionally

That Conference calls for autopsies to be conducted at regional hospitals.
Mover: Health Committee


That Conference calls on the NSW Government to:
a) extend the Isolated Patients Travel and Accommodation Assistance Scheme (IPTAAS) to cover highly specialised dental procedures, which are often only available in Sydney or other major cities, and
b) urgently review the more than 100km eligibility criteria and consider the application of a sliding scale distance eligibility.
Mover: Narrabri Branch / Central Regional Conference

Schedule 8 drug prescriptions

That Conference calls on the NSW Government to make changes with regards to Schedule 8 drugs of addiction so that they are recorded on a Real Time Monitoring System available at pharmacies, hospitals and medical centres.
Mover: Orange Branch / Central Regional Conference

Palliative care

That Conference calls on the NSW Government to increase funding for palliative care so that all people in regional NSW have access to high quality palliative care.
Mover: Orange Branch / Central Regional Conference

Schizophrenia Treatment

That Conference calls for psychotherapy to be used to complement (or if appropriate as an alternative to) strong antipsychotics when treating individuals who experience schizophrenia.
Mover: Parkes Branch

Funding for Lymphoedema services

That Conference support increasing the funding for public lymphoedema services in local health districts across NSW, to ensure timely and equitable access to evidence-based lymphoedema care, regardless of where people live.
Mover: Port Macquarie Branch

Shortage of respite care for dementia patients

That Conference call on the Federal Government to immediately address the shortage of respite services for dementia sufferers who are being cared for at home by a carer.
Mover: Riverina FEC

Funding for continuous glucose monitors

That Conference supports the funding of continuous Glucose Monitors for Type 1 Diabetics over the age of 21.
Mover: Women’s Council

Telephone psychology rebates

That Conference congratulates the Federal Government for allowing seven out of 10 psychology sessions to be rebatable via telehealth and calls upon the Federal Government to allow Australians living in remote and very remote Australia (modified Monash Model 4-7 locations) to receive rebates for all 10 sessions.
Mover: Women’s Council

Economy & Taxation

Reducing licensing costs for small volunteer-run clubs

That Conference calls on the NSW Government to reduce the cost of licensing for small clubs having an annual turnover of less than $150,000 and run by volunteers.
Mover: Grenfell Branch

Incentives for employing seniors

That Conference calls on the Federal Government to develop a Seniors Employment Scheme that encourages companies to employ more seniors over the retirement age by offering incentives such as not requiring companies to deduct tax or superannuation from post-retirement age employees.
Mover: Lithgow Branch

Payroll Tax threshold

That Conference congratulates the NSW Government for raising the payroll tax threshold and develop a staged approach to abolish payroll tax entirely.
Mover: Orange Branch

Disaster & Emergency Management

Upgrade of 000 emergency response

That Conference calls for the 000 emergency response system to be upgraded and improved, so that responding services do not get lost when attending emergency calls.
Mover: Riverina FEC

Law & Justice

Obligations of government landholders with regard to fencing

That Conference call for government landholders to have joint obligations and responsibilities to neighbouring landholders in the maintenance, or replacement, of common fencing.
Mover: Griffith Branch / Farrer FEC

Native Title claim streamlining

That Conference call on the NSW State and Federal Governments to accelerate the process of Native Title claim determinations by re-prioritising Native Title claim applications, dealing first with those cases where Native Title is likely to be extinguished on the basis of legal precedent.
Mover: Northern Tablelands SEC

Restructure of Family & Federal Circuit Courts

That Conference congratulates the Federal Government for acting to restructure the family law system by merging the Family Court of Australia and the Federal Circuit Court of Australia. And now calls on the Government to provide additional funding for Legal Aid services to family law cases.
Mover: Wagga Wagga SEC

Freezing assets of international human rights violators

That Conference call upon the Federal Government to adopt the Global Magnitsky Act so that assets held in Australia by individuals who are listed as having committed gross human rights abuses are frozen or seized.
Mover: Women’s Council

Legal Aid appeals procedure

That Conference, in relation to Legal Aid, support:
a) the creation of an appeals procedure modelled on Victorian Legal Aid; and
b) call on the Federal Government to investigate a uniform national approach to reduce loopholes and inconsistencies.
Mover: Women’s Council


Aboriginal Education Consultative Groups

That Conference support local schools and Aboriginal Education Consultative Groups (AECGs) in their efforts to teach Aboriginal education content by calling on the NSW Government to establish:
a) a team of Aboriginal Education curriculum content writers who can support AECGs by developing material on local topics, and
b) Aboriginal Education Centres similar to Environmental Education Centres.
Mover: Education Policy Committee

Local School Councils

That this Conference calls upon the NSW Government to:
a) provide support to communities who wish to establish a school council; and
b) ensure that in the event of a formal dispute between staff, parents and/or the community that all parties are represented equally in the dispute resolution.
Mover: Gilgandra Branch / Education Policy Committee

Social Issues

Australia Day

That Conference calls for the retention of Australia Day on January 26.
Mover: Mudgee / Southern Highlands Branches / Central Regional Conference

Funding of family refuges

That Conference call on the NSW and Federal Governments to increase funding for family refuges in regional communities for families affected by domestic violence.
Mover: Whitlam FEC

Roads & Transport

Licence requirements for visa holders

That Conference calls for all sponsored visa holders who wish to drive, obtain an appropriate state drivers’ licence within two months of arriving in Australia.
Mover: Dubbo Branch

Inland Rail community engagement

With regard to the Inland Rail project, that Conference congratulates the Federal Nationals and Liberals in Government for the commencement of construction and furthermore calls for:
a) professional standards of engagement for all stakeholders, landholders and the community;
b) adequate compensation for disruptions to affected landholders;
c) the NSW and Federal Governments to work together to ensure that agribusiness logistical requirements are met with a view to maximising the outcomes of the project.
Mover: Gilgandra / Parkes / Dubbo Branches / Cootamundra SEC / Farrer FEC / Central Regional Conference

Opal cards for regional public transport

That Conference calls for an investigation into the feasibility of expanding the Opal Card network into existing networks in regional NSW.
Mover: NSW Young Nationals

Building roads and bridges

That Conference commend the NSW and Federal Governments for building bridges and upgrading roads across the state, and urge them to continue their work with projects such as constructing a bridge over the Macquarie River at Long Point Road completing the connection between Orange and Mudgee, and further progressing the Orange Northern Distributor.
Mover: Orange Branch / Central Regional Conference

Crossing the Great Divide

That this Conference calls for the Nationals in Government to continue improvements to the Western Highway and Bells Line of Road, including continued investment in overtaking lanes and road upgrades.
Furthermore, that the Nationals and Liberals commit to, and develop a plan for; an expressway through the Great Dividing Range utilising roadways, tunnel(s) or a combination of the two, to open up the Central West’s economic potential.
Mover: Orange / Bathurst / Parkes / Lithgow Branches / Central Regional Conference

Marine Safety Regulations

That Conference calls on the NSW Government to make changes to Marine Safety Regulations to better reflect the needs of the boating community, and furthermore, that more consultation with stakeholders be undertaken when developing such Regulations.
Mover: Port Macquarie Branch

Urgency Motions

Reporting of child abuse

That the NSW Government introduce expanded mandatory reporting laws requiring religious clergy to report knowledge or suspicions of child abuse form in whole or in part on the basis of information disclosed in any circumstances including in a religious confession.
Mover: Hon Adrian Piccoli

Flattening of personal income tax rates

That this Conference calls upon the National Party to investigate the immediate flattening of personal income tax rates.
Mover: Richard Tanner

Review of drought classification

That this Conference strongly support the NSW Government’s additional measures this week and furthermore calls on the NSW and Federal Governments to continually review assistance to farmers, farming families and regional and rural communities during the current and future droughts and to review the process used to determine when a specific area is classified as in drought.
Mover: Ian Coxhead

Addressing NSW Skills Shortages

Conference calls on the NSW Government to:
a) restructure the VET in Schools Programme to include a pathway that partners with business and industry in order to address the state-wide critical skills shortage; and
b) ensure the New South Wales Education Authority (NESA) current curriculum review is designed to investigate and address what changes may be required which would assist in solving the critical skills shortage across New South Wales.
Mover: Kay Hull

Business managers for public high schools

That this Conference call on the NSW Department of Education to approve a business manager for each NSW public high school, primary school and central school. This position should be a part of the school staffing entitlement. Small schools would receive a pro rata entitlement.
Mover: Jocellin Jansson