High Time For More Women In Local Government

In a state-wide push to mark International Women’s Day, the Andrews Labor Government is calling for greater gender diversity in local government.

Releasing information on how individual councils rate, Minister for Local Government Natalie Hutchins said it’s high time our councils are representative of the communities they serve.

Only 34.9  per cent of all Victorian councillors are women, and while 60.81 per cent of all workers in local government are women, only 16.5 per cent are chief executive officers.

On the bottom end of the scale, female representation for councillors drops to 14.3 per cent in seven of Victoria’s 79 councils including Banyule City Council, Colac-Otway Shire Council, Gannawarra Shire Council, Hepburn Shire Council, Moorabool Shire Council, Moyne Shire Council and Swan Hill Rural City Council.

In these seven councils there is only one female councillor compared to six males.

On the other end of the scale, Port Phillip City Council and Melton City Council have five female councillors out of seven, representing 71.4 per cent.

Ms Hutchins has written to all Mayors to seek their Council’s support in encouraging more women to stand as  candidates in the October elections.

The Labor Government is providing $50,000 for the Victorian Local Governance Association’s (VLGA) GoWomenLG 2016 project, which aims to increase the number of female candidates across the state.

This additional funding will build on past support for encouraging women from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island and culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds to consider nominating as candidates.

Full gender breakdown of Victoria’s 79 councils and the 624 councillors is attached in Table 1.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Local Government Natalie Hutchins

“The Labor Government is urging women from across Victoria to consider standing as candidates this October to ensure our councils better reflect our local communities.”

 “It’s unacceptable that in 2016 women still only make up around a third of all councillors and that they still don’t reach the senior management levels within their organisations.”

“Improving the representation of women at the senior level in both the public and private sectors is a key priority for the Labor Government and one we work tirelessly to achieve.”


Please see the media release link below for a table with statistics for all councils:

Download the Media Release (410 kB)