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Department of Premier and Cabinet

Women in local government

Gender balance on councils has slowly been improving over time, but there is yet to be equal gender representation and women are encouraged to consider standing for council.

The Hon Peter Gutwein MP, the then Minister for Local Government, provided this message to women who were considering standing in the 2018 council elections.

“The skills, experiences and leadership styles of women add a rich diversity of strengths and capabilities to our councils.

If councils are to be truly representative, and if women are to have an equal contribution into important decisions that affect their communities, more women must stand for election.

Consider the difference you could make as a councillor to the economic, cultural and environmental wellbeing of your municipality. Consider the role model you could be to others, that may improve diversity in the representation on councils.

If you are thinking about standing in the 2018 statewide local government elections, I encourage you to take advantage of the many resources available to you.

Ask questions and seek the support you need to help make the best personal and professional decision—for you and for the future of your community. "  

Gender balance on councils has been improving, but gender representation is still not equal.

Comparison women elected 2014 and 2018 local government elections

In 2018, there were 173 female candidates who stood for council, compared to 135 in 2014.

The table below compares the numbers of women elected to council in 2018 and 2014, showing the number of female mayors, deputy mayors and councillors.

Women in Tasmanian councils

2018

2014

Elected members

Elected females

Elected females

Elected females

Elected females

 

(no.)

(no.)

(%)

(no.)

(%)

Mayors

29

11

38%

9

31%

Deputy mayors

29

13

45%

8

28%

Councillors

263

105

40%

84

32%

Support for women

Specific support is available for women in, or who are considering standing for, local government, including

  • The Australian Local Government Women's Association (ALGWA), created as a national association in 1951 to support women's participation in local government. ALGWA seeks to strengthen networking, mentoring and innovative opportunities that encourage and support women in local government.
  • The WomenCan program from the Tasmanian Branch of ALGWA, includes steps women can take to help them decide to stand for council.

Resources and related information