The matter I raise relates to the announcement made on 8 March by the Minister for Agriculture in the other place of $12 000 in travel bursaries for four Victorian rural women — $3000 for each — to attend the 4th World Congress of Rural Women to be held in South Africa.
The conference will attract more than 2000 international delegates and will provide an important opportunity for women across the world to confront and discuss issues affecting rural women, including climate change, drought, water management, and poverty, to name just a few. I congratulate the minister on his initiative. I know for a fact that it was a very popular announcement and has created much excitement.
This, coupled with the $10 000 award for the winner of the 2007 Victorian Rural Woman of the Year award, signifies the Bracks government’s commitment to encouraging and building support for, as well as building, the skills of women in rural Victoria.
I ask the minister to ensure that there is an appropriate report-back mechanism for the four women delegates to the world congress to report to Victorian rural women’s organisations on their return to Australia so that as many people as possible can benefit from the rural discourse in South Africa.