Coffs Harbour CWA president Joan Purkiss, state president Judy Richardson and North Coast group president Gloria Hyatt enjoy lu
Coffs Harbour CWA president Joan Purkiss, state president Judy Richardson and North Coast group president Gloria Hyatt enjoy lu

Not just tea and scones



GRIM is the term Judy Richardson uses to describe the drought country women are fighting.

"Some places out west are in their seventh year of drought," said the NSW CWA president.

"Life is grim for a tremendous amount of people and they are really suffering.

Ms Richardson says she enjoyed a 'wonderful lunch' at one bush homestead where the linoleum on the floor was curling in the 40 heat and the dust was rising seven metres high outside, while the nearest shop 60km away had closed for good.

"How can you convey that to people in the city?" she asks.

Grafton-based Judy Richardson is touring the branches and nursing a deep anger about the conditions being endured by country people in the 98 per cent of her state that is in severe drought.

Mrs Richardson and other members of the country womens organisation will hit the small screen at 8pm on February 27 with the new ABC series Not All Tea and Scones.

The four-part series takes an inside look at Australia's most powerful women's lobby group.

The list of changes the CWA has fought for is long and impressive and ranges from medical use of marijuana and the use of alternative energy technology, through white lines on roads and reflectors on trucks to low-alcohol beer, baby health clinics and better dental services in country towns.

Today the CWA is fighting to stem the epidemic of male suicide in the bush and has been put in charge of distributing more than $4 million of drought relief funding to help farmers pay their bills and put food on the table.



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