Media Releases

Encouraging women to stand for election to their local council

Shelley Hancock – Minister for Local Government

Tuesday, 19 November 2019

The NSW Government last week hosted a forum at Parliament House to develop strategies to increase female representation in the State’s local government sector.
Minister for Local Government Shelley Hancock and Minister for Women Bronnie Taylor brought together a range of key stakeholders and experts at the Election of Women to Local Government Workshop.
“As a former councillor for 17 years, I am committed to removing barriers to women’s participation in public life,” Mrs Hancock said.
“The workshop focused on prioritizing a shortlist of strategies that can be used to  encourage, empower and support women to become elected members on their local council.
“Strong, effective councils are those that reflect the diverse communities they serve and represent – we must do all we can to increase female representation, especially in the lead up to the September 2020 council elections.”
Mrs Taylor said the Government was determined to find new ways to overcome the barriers to increased participation of women in local government.
“By shining a spotlight on the issue, we will continue to dismantle barriers, stereotypes and assumptions that impede women’s ability to play a central role in public life,” Mrs Taylor said.
“This work will also support the NSW Women’s Strategy 2018-2022 to enable women to actively participate in their communities, build their confidence and resilience, and celebrate their achievements.”
The Election of Women to Local Government Workshop was attended by representatives from Local Government NSW, the Australian Local Government Women’s Association, Women for Election, the Office of Local Government, Women NSW, Lake Macquarie City Council, and the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Fast facts*

  • The 2016-17 council elections saw the highest percentage of female mayors on Office of Local Government records
  • Of all mayors, 28 per cent are female compared to the previous high in 2008 of 23 per cent. In 2012 just 19 per cent of mayors were female
  • At the 2016-17 elections, 38 per cent of all candidates were female, up from 36 per cent in 2012 and 33 per cent in 2008
  • After the 2016-17 elections, 31 per cent of councillors were female, up from 28 per cent in 2012 and 27 per cent in 2008
  • In 2016-17, the actual number of women who stood for election dropped by three per cent. This compared to growth between the 2008 and 2012 elections
    of nine per cent.

*Source: Office of Local Government NSW Candidate and Councillor Diversity Report

MEDIA: Nicholas Story | Minister Hancock | 0438 255 020
Emma Renwick | Minister Taylor | 0447 783 882

PDF Version of Media Release:                    Ministerial Media Release – 19/11/2019- Encouraging women to stand for election to their local council – PDF