Strong showing by female candidates in NSW council elections

Women now comprise nearly four in 10 councillors across NSW, an 8.5 percentage point increase on the number of women elected in 2016-17.

Sixty-nine of 124 councils that held elections in NSW last month now have more women on council than in previous terms, a result welcomed by Local Government NSW.

“It’s a great outcome from the 4 December elections, and it’s gratifying to see the result of the hard work to put in by LGNSW, the Australian Local Government Women’s Association (ALGWA) and the NSW Government,” LGNSW President Darriea Turley said earlier this month.

To boost council diversity, LGNSW and ALGWA have offered mentoring services and a range of development programs providing practical information on leadership and the tools and techniques of successful political campaigns.

“One example is LGNSW’s Leadership for Aspiring Women Program, but there is a wide range of ongoing professional development programs designed to improve council diversity at both the elected and professional level,” Cr Turley said.

She also cited ALGWA (NSW) President Cassandra Coleman’s work in conducting 29 forums across NSW last year to empower women to stand for Local Government elections.

Cr Turley said the introduction of superannuation for mayors and councillors was another important contribution to the higher proportion of women standing for council in NSW.