By Angela Dorizas
The Federal Government has committed $490,000 for a range of projects to improve the participation of women in local government.
Local Government Minister Anthony Albanese and Minister for the Status of Women, Tanya Plibersek announced the funding at the Local Government and Planning Ministers’ Council in Darwin late last week.
The funding will assist Local Government Managers Australia (LGMA) and the Australian Local Government Women’s Association (ALGWA) in celebrating 2010 the Year of Women in Local Government (YoWiLG).
The Federal Government will provide $250,000 for ALGWA’s three-year 50:50 Vision: Councils for Gender Equity program.
ALGWA national president Darriea Turley applauded the Rudd Government for funding the program.
“This program will audit councils and shires to determine the status and role of women in leadership roles as well as their participation in the workplace,” Turley said.
“The program will also accredit councils and shires as well as establish an awards program to recognise excellence.
“The ALGWA has branches in every State and the Northern Territory and will be active participants in the project.
“I look forward to working closely with the Rudd Government in implementing this national program.’’
The Federal Government’s has also committed $100,000 in scholarship funding to enable senior women in local government to enrol in the Executive Leadership Program being developed by the newly established Australian Centre of Excellence for Local Government (ACELG) and the Australia and New Zealand School of Government (ANZSOG).
A further $100,000 will be provided to improve the collection of data on the status of women in the sector and $40,000 will be given to LGMA for their 2010 Management Challenge to assist up to 130 councils in promoting gender equity.
Women currently represent 20 per cent of senior management roles within local government – a figure which has remained unchanged since 1996 – and only 7 per cent of chief executives.
At an elected representative level, only 30 per cent of councillors are women.
YoWiLG Steering Committee chairman Ray Pincombe said the funding would “greatly assist the committee in achieving the overall objective of increasing the participation of women in Local Government as both employees and elected representatives”.
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