THE merits of a banking royal commission will play out at Broken Hill next week - as will the decriminalisation of abortion, and how water policy can be tipped further in favour of struggling rural communities.
Also on the agenda at the NSW Nationals’ 2017 conference: whether mobility scooter drivers should pay for a Green Slip, prove they have sound mental health, and be limited to six kilometres per hour.
Grassroots members will head west to the Silver City from May 18 to 20 to debate 180 potential party policies, ranging from internet for bush students to decentralisation, and future community-based preselection. Deputy Premier John Barilaro and his team of state MPs will be joined by Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce at the Broken Hill Civic Centre, with evening detours planned for the Palace Hotel and the The Living Desert sculptures.
NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian will also address the conference before debate gets underway, which, incidentally, includes a proposal from the Cowora branch that the term ‘Coalition’ be ended to further distinguish Liberals and Nationals from each other.
Elsewhere, the Port Macquarie branch has proposed to ban unvaccinated children from childcare centres and preschools, and Narrabri wants a review of the ABC charter ‘to reflect new media platforms and the need for factual reporting’.
The NSW Nationals Women’s council has urged support for a royal commission into banking, and has also tabled a motion for the party to support decriminalising abortion.
The NSW Young Nationals look set to emulate their federal counterparts and push for an emissions intensity scheme, and will also ask members to offer support to regional councils to welcome Syrian refugees.
Wildlife also gets a mention - with Dubbo wanting to increase the national kangaroo cull quota, Macleay wanting more protection for Koalas, and the Monaro wanting to recognise the cultural significance of the Snowy Mountains Brumby.
The big policy push from Inverell is on mobility scooters. The branch has proposed motorised wheelchairs be limited to 150 kilograms and six kilometres per hour, and that drivers must apply for a three-year permit, pay a fee of no more than $50 for a third-party Green Slip, and present a doctor’s certificate that they are of sound mental health when they apply for a permit.
The Land will be reporting from the conference next week.