Push for more women on councilsGraph

Hindmarsh’s Debra Nelson is one of three female mayors in the Wimmera. WIMMERAcouncillors have encouragedmore women to consider running for local government.
Nanjing Night Net

In a statewide push to mark International Women’s Day, the state government has calledfor greatergender diversity.

Local Government Minister Natalie Hutchins said it washigh timecouncils were more representative of the communities they serve.

Only 34.9 per cent of all Victorian councillors are women, and only 16.5per cent are chief executives.

In the Wimmera, Ararat, Horsham Rural City and Yarriambiack have the greatest diversity, each with four male councillors and three females.

West Wimmera is the least diverse, with only one female councillorcompared with four males.

However, majority of Wimmera mayors are female –with West Wimmera, Hindmarsh and Horsham Rural City all boasting women mayors.

Hindmarsh Mayor Debra Nelson she would like to see a better balance between men and women in council.

“It reflects the diversity in the community,” she said.

“It’s not just about gender, it’s about all different backgrounds, cultures and ages to get a good reflection of the community.

“Everyone brings a different personality to the role.”

Horsham Rural City Mayor Heather Phillips said challenge was learning how to have your own voice in council.

Hindmarsh chief executive Tony Doyle said there was certainly room for local government to improve.

“If we don’t have women in council we are ignoring half the gene pool,” he said.

Mr Doyle said there needed to be more women in leadership positions.

The Wimmera only has one female local government chief executive, which is Northern Grampians chief executive Justine Linley.

The least diverse municipalities in Victoria includeBanyule City, Colac-Otway, Gannawarra, Hepburn, Moorabool, Moyne and Swan Hill Rural.

Ms Hutchins wrote to mayors to seek their support in encouraging more women to stand ascandidates in the October election.

The state government will provide$50,000 for aVictorian Local Governance Associationproject thataims to increase the number of female candidates across the state.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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