Liz Simister at the CWA building in Coolangatta. Photo: John Gass / Tweed Daily News
Liz Simister at the CWA building in Coolangatta. Photo: John Gass / Tweed Daily News John Gass

CWA’s premium issue

CONFUSION over hefty insurance fees has almost cost the Country Women's Association its Coolangatta chapter.

President Elizabeth Simister said the hall was turning away an increasing number of hall hires because of an insurance-premium hike.

Playgroups, knitting groups and any non-members have been told they have to pay up to $600 a day for hiring out the Griffith St hall.

South Eastern Division president Mandy Clement said the problem was state-wide and had been impacting on groups for six years.

"Of the five halls across the South Eastern Division, Elizabeth has been getting a lot more offers for hires because Coolangatta is in a really good location," Ms Clement said.

She said the hall had to turn those offers away.

"I wish there was something I could do," she said. "Unfortunately that's our laws."

Mrs Simister said the predicament was "sad" because the hall, opened in 1936, was no longer able to fundraise from hires - normally $20 an hour.

"We have people use the hall who have their insurance policies because they run yoga, dance or mandolin lessons as a business. But it's the people who want to have a mother's club or a monthly craft meeting; they're the ones who have to drop out."

She said over Christmas a resident had wanted to hire the hall for a family gathering, but insurance was quoted at $600.

Mrs Simister was so disappointed she allowed the resident to "quietly" use the hall anyway.

But a representative of the Queensland Country Women's Association said the local and district CWA branches presidents had been "misinformed" and non-members did not have to get their own insurance.

The spokeswoman apologised and said a news-letter explaining the issue would be sent out soon.



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