New push to bolster gender equality across Vic, NSW LG

A gender equality advisory committee is being formed to ensure Victoria’s local government sector can “harness the benefits of equality”.

The committee will advise the Minister for Local Government and the Minister for Women, Gabrielle Williams, on how to deliver the state Labor Government’s target of 50 percent female mayors and councillors by 2025.

It will also drive the implementation of the Australian-first Gender Equality Act across local government. 

The committee co-chairs will be Labor state MPs Juliana Addison and Kat Theophanous, and it will include representatives from the Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV), and the Australian Local Government Women’s Association (ALGWA).

Two hundred and seventy-two women were elected to council at the 2020 local government elections – representing 43.8 percent of councillors.

Expressions of Interest are now open to fill 10 places on the committee, with mayors, councillors, senior staff and sector leaders encouraged to nominate suitable candidates.

In related news, the NSW Government is also encouraging more women to run for their local councils at the September 2021 elections.

To that end, it has increased funding to $150,000 for organisations like Women for Election and the Australian Local Government Women’s Association (NSW Branch) to stage a series of workshops to empower more women to nominate.

NSW Local Government Minister Shelley Hancock said women may have concerns about serving on councils, but that they shouldn’t be discouraged.

“It’s such a rewarding career. Please, put your hand up – you’ll love it, you really will love it.”

Click here for more information on the Women for Election workshops taking place across NSW in the next few months.