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Increased support pledged for women in regional Australia.

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MEDIA RELEASE The Hon Warren Truss MP Minister for Transport and Regional Services

22 May 2006 079WT/2006


The Australian Government Minister for Transport and Regional Services, Warren Truss, today reaffirmed the Howard/Vaile Government's commitment to increasing women's representation on rural and regional bodies of influence across the country.

Speaking at the RIRDC Rural Women's Award Reunion Forum in Canberra this morning, Mr Truss said that women are significant contributors to regional economies and community life.

"Women's representation in positions of influence within regional businesses and rural industries is greatly undervalued.

"Regional Australia must have strong and capable leaders. The Australian Government will continue to support the best people in leadership and decision-making positions.

"Women's contribution to primary industry and regional communities needs to be recognised."

Mr Truss said that he looked forward to the report from an inquiry led by Senator Judith Troeth and supported by the Department of Transport and Regional Services.

"The inquiry will next month report on strategies aimed at increasing women's representation on rural and regional bodies of influence.

"The onus is then on government, industry and individuals to promote the importance of women to the future of rural industries and regional Australian communities.

"Governments can be leaders of best practice in supporting and promoting women into leadership positions."

Mr Truss said that the RIRDC Rural Women's Award was created with the aim of raising the profile of women already displaying commitment, leadership and excellence within their community or sector of the economy.

The reunion forum coincides with this year's national celebratory dinner and announcement of the 2006 RIRDC Rural Women's Award winners which take place on 23 May in Canberra.

Media Contacts

Kylie Butler ( Mr Truss's office ) 02 6277 7680 / 0417 652 488