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Anderson announces extension to Regional Women's Advisory Council.

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27 September 2001 A159/2001


The Regional Women's Advisory Council's term is to be extended until September 2002 to ensure that Government programs remain in touch with regional, rural and remote Australia.

Announcing the extension today, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Transport and Regional Services, John Anderson, said the Council will continue to advise on issues threatening the strength of social fabric in our regional communities such as family breakdowns, domestic violence, youth suicides, and substance abuse.

He has asked the Council to focus specifically on how existing programs, such as the Stronger Families and Communities Strategy, can be used more effectively to address some of these pressing social issues.

Mr Anderson stated the Council will provide a report by the middle of 2002.

"I originally established the Council to advise me of issues facing rural, regional and remote Australia and to provide a direct link between country Australians and the Federal Government," said Mr Anderson. "The Council brings a unique perspective to issues affecting regional, rural and remote Australia, developed from its national network.

"The Council has provided me with excellent advice over the past two years and I expect this will continue for the period of the extended term," Mr Anderson said.

The Council's nine members will continue to report directly to Mr Anderson and the Council will play a lead role in improving interaction between the Government and country Australia. The Council represents each state and the Northern Territory and includes:

Ms Cathy McGowan (chair) Mrs Jenny Hawkins Mrs Janice Richardson Mrs Elaine McKeon AO Miss Jenny Russell Ms Sue Middleton Ms Elspeth Radford Ms Moira O'Brien Mrs Margaret Smith AO

Council will be in Canberra this week to attend the launch of the booklet "The Success Factors -managing change in regional and rural Australia" which has resulted from Council's action research project.

Media contact:

Paul Chamberlin, Minister's Office 02 62777680 Andrea Grosvenor, Director Regional and Rural Women's Unit 02 62747328