More women than ever contest council elections

A record number of women are standing as candidates in Victoria’s local government elections, despite concerns COVID-19 would result in a drop in numbers.

Shaun Leane

The elections will be conducted exclusively by postal vote and will be the largest ever in Victoria, with more than 4.5 million voters enrolled.

This year also marks the first election where all candidates have completed mandatory local government candidate training with courses held by Local Government Victoria.

Local government minister Shaun Leane says a century after the election of Victoria’s first female councillor, Mary Rogers in Richmond City Council, female representation in local government continues to rise.

“We know the value that women bring to leadership and it’s fantastic to see so many women standing for council,” he said in a statement.

“Local councils should truly represent their communities and I’m pleased to see so many people putting their hands up to serve.”

Mr Leane says an estimated 851 women are among the 2,186 Victorians who have nominated for election to their local council, making up 39 per cent of all nominees.

That compares to 34 per cent who contested the 2016 elections.

Thirty-eight per cent of councillors elected in that year were women.

Mr Leane says the current numbers are a sign that Victoria is making progress towards the 50 per cent representation target set by Victoria’s Safe and Strong gender equality strategy.

Women interested in standing for council in future can get more information for more information.

COVID-safe campaigning guidelines are available here.

Ballots will be posted between October 8 and 6, and votes must be posted by Friday, October 23.

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