Labor gives Rural Women’s Award to city woman
22 March 2017
Agriculture Minister Jaala Pulford today awarded the 2017 Rural Women’s Award to someone from West Melbourne.
Member for Euroa and Deputy Leader of The Nationals Steph Ryan has slammed the move, describing it as an insult to women across rural Victoria.
Two of the four finalists in today’s awards were city-based, with one from West Melbourne and one from Frankston South.
“I regularly meet women across rural Victoria who are doing wonderful things in agriculture and in their communities. Many of them would be worthy winners of this prestigious award,” Ms Ryan said.
“It is just extraordinary that a woman who actually lives and works in a rural community was not named the winner of the Rural Women’s Award.
“Labor is so out of touch with country communities that it couldn’t even find genuinely rural candidates for this award.”
Ms Ryan said she did not doubt that the city-based finalists, including the winner, were impressive women in their own right.
“I am not criticising these women who have clearly achieved much, but the fact that the government doesn’t consider it necessary for women to come from rural Victoria for the Rural Women’s Award is insulting,” Ms Ryan said.
Ms Ryan said the claim by the Minister’s office that she had no input into who is selected for the award was a furphy.
“This is a Victorian Government award run by her department and the Minister is responsible for signing off on the criteria by which candidates are assessed.
“The criteria should be tightened so only women who live and work in rural Victoria are eligible,” Ms Ryan said.