Oct 9, 2009

Funding to improve women’s participation in local government

Funding to improve women’s participation in local government

The Hon Anthony Albanese MP

The Minister for Infrastructure, Transport,

Regional Development and Local Government

Leader of the House

Member for Grayndler

October 9 2009

The Rudd Labor Government will provide $490,000 for a range of projects to help improve the participation of women in the nation’s councils and shires.

The announcement was made at today’s meeting of the Local Government and Planning Ministers’ Council in Darwin.

The Government is funding these projects as part of our commitment to the 2010 Year of Women in Local Government.

Data shows that less than 30 per cent of councillors are women; 20 per cent of senior management roles are filled by women; and only 7 per cent of council Chief Executive Officers are women.

This disparity is unacceptable and the Government is working with the sector to lift the participation of women.

As part of our commitment, we are funding the following programs:

  • $250,000 for a three-year 50:50 Vision: Councils for Gender Equity program. To be conducted by the Australian Local Government Women’s Association, 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. The program will also accredit councils and shires as well as establish an awards program to recognise excellence;
  • $100,000 in scholarship funding to enable senior women in local government to participate in the new Executive Leadership Program being developed by the recently established Australian Centre of Excellence for Local Government and the Australia and New Zealand School of Government;
  • $100,000 to improve the collection of data and reporting on the status of women in the local government sector; and
  • $40,000 will be provided to the Local Government Managers Australia for their 2010 Management Challenge, which will involve around 130 councils identifying strategies to promote gender equity in their councils.

Through this funding, the Government is taking concrete steps to identify and address the barriers that are preventing more women from becoming involved in the local government sector.

As the level of government closest to the people, it is vital that local government represent and govern for the entire community.

The Government commends the Local Government Managers Australia and the Australian Local Government Women’s Association for their innovative projects in promoting the participation of women in the sector.