Greater Gender Diversity for Councils

MINISTER HUTCHINS (Minister for Local Government) — This International Women’s Day I am calling on all councils to support greater gender diversity in the forthcoming elections. The Andrews government is urging women from across Victoria to consider standing as candidates this October to ensure our councils reflect our local communities. Only 34.9 per cent of all Victorian councillors are women, and 60 per cent of all workers in local government are women, yet only 16 per cent are CEOs. At the bottom of the scale of councils we have seven councils across the state with only one female councillor compared to six males. At the other end of the scale we have Port Phillip and Melton city councils with five female councils out of seven, representing over 70 per cent female councillors. I also note Moonee Valley City Council has a very good record on women’s membership of its council as well.

I have written to all mayors to seek their councils’ support in encouraging more women to stand as candidates in the October election. As leaders in the community we have a collective responsibility to do more to increase women’s participation.

This morning I had the privilege to meet with women from LGPro, including vice-president Rebecca McKenzie, Celia Haddock, Liana Thompson, Robyn Mansfield, Pauline Bennett, Lynley Dumble and Sasha Lord. They presented me with a report called Addressing Representation of Women at CEO Level in Local Government. I look forward to working with these women to improve outcomes for women across the state.