Pressure from The Nationals has forced the Minns Labor Government into reversing its appalling decision to scrap the Regional Woman of the Year Award.
The NSW Women of the Year awards are designed to “celebrate the incredible women and girls improving the lives of people in NSW.”
When nominations for the 2024 awards opened, the Regional Woman of the Year award was missing.
It had been scrapped by Labor.
Deputy Nationals Leader Bronnie Taylor, who had previously presented the award in her role as Minister for Women, slammed the decision, describing it as a slap in the face and a serious mistake.
“Regional women are incredible. Government members say they support regional people and that they have great female regional members in this place, but they saw fit to cancel an award category that has been held for years and years,” Mrs Taylor told Parliament.
“It is not words; it is actions. Members opposite cancelled the only category that was for regional women, but there is a little disclaimer saying, ‘We encourage regional women to apply for all of the categories.’ What is that? It is patronising behaviour. Members opposite will not silence the Grace Brennans and Anna Barwicks who won the award. They have voices, they won the awards and other women deserve the opportunity to do the same.”
Following pressure from Bronnie Taylor, the government announced its about face.
Minister for Regional NSW, Tara Moriarty, told Parliament, “The Government will be reinstating the category for regional women in the awards. It is important that regional women are given the due recognition that they deserve … Regional women deserve every bit of recognition that they can possibly get, and I am very focused on making sure that happens.”
In response to that comment, Mrs Taylor said “The NSW Labor government have demonstrated that they don’t respect or value regional women. It is one of the most appalling things I have seen in my nine years in parliament – regional women will not be silenced by this government. Not on my watch.