Media Releases

Action plan to increase female representation on local councils

Shelley Hancock – Minister for Local Government

Monday, 17 February 2020

A promotional campaign, training and mentoring programs, and family friendly meeting arrangements are part of a comprehensive action plan to increase the number of women serving on local councils across the State.

Minister for Local Government Shelley Hancock said the NSW Government action plan, endorsed by key stakeholders at a recent special forum at Parliament House would encourage more women to stand for their local council.

“We must encourage and inspire women across NSW to put their hand up and represent their communities,” Mrs Hancock said.
“The action plan is designed to promote the success of past and present female councillors and encourage and support more women to stand for their local council.

“It also seeks to make it easier for women to serve as councillors with family-friendly council meeting times, the payment of carer’s expenses, and training and mentoring programs.”
The Election of Women to Local Government Action Plan includes:

  • A promotional campaign with high-profile former and current councillors speaking about their positive experiences in local government
  • A range of useful resources and information sessions for potential female candidates
  • Utilising local MPs to publicly promote the role of councillors and encourage women to stand for council
  • Considering mandatory payment of carer’s expenses for councillors
  • Encouraging councils to set meeting times that support councillors with carer responsibilities
  • Exploring remote access for council meetings
  • Training in social media and time and diary management
  • Mentoring programs for female mayors and councillors, and
  • Encouraging schools to hold excursions to their local councils to generate interest among students.

“With women representing only 31 per cent of all councillors in NSW, the Government is committed to increasing female participation in local government to the benefit of councils and communities across the State,” Mrs Hancock said.

Election of Women to Local Government Workshops were held at Parliament House on 6 February 2020 and 12 November 2019 and attended by representatives from the Australian Institute of Company Directors, Australian Local Government Women’s Association, Country Women’s Association, Lake Macquarie City Council, Local Government NSW, Office of Local Government, Women for Election, and Women NSW.

MEDIA: Nicholas Story | 0438 255 020