Jan 20, 2010

Launch of Year of Women in Local Government

Launch of Year of Women 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

January 20 2010

The Rudd Labor Government has thrown its support behind the 2010 Year of Women in Local Government, an initiative to improve the participation of women in local government leadership and management.

Minister Anthony Albanese, Minister for Infrastructure and Local Government, launched this initiative in Sydney today.

“This year, the Rudd Government will be providing nearly $500,000 for a range of practical projects to help improve the participation of women in local government,” he said.

It is critical that councils and shires, as the level of government closest to the community, reflect the communities that they seek to represent.

“Local governments make an important contribution to the nation, delivering vital infrastructure and services, such as local roads, community facilities, environmental and waste services, child care and health and welfare services.

“However, less than a third of councillors are women; 20 per cent of senior managers are women; and only seven per cent of Chief Executive Officers are women,” Mr Albanese said.

Minister for the Status of Women, Tanya Plibersek, said she was very proud to be serving in a Government which boasts more women in senior parliamentary positions than any other Australian Government, including the first female Deputy Prime Minister.

“There is no lack of talented women in Australia, and many get their political start in local government. The Australian Government is keen to support more women in these roles.

“Councils are big employers in local communities. Organisations that employ women and people from diverse backgrounds better represent and understand their community leading to better results.

The Rudd Government have taken a number of practical steps to help increase the engagement of women in local government,” Ms Plibersek said

The Government’s commitment includes:

  • $250,000 for a three-year 50:50 Vision: Councils for Gender Equity program which will audit councils and shires to determine the status and role of women in leadership roles as well as their participation in the workplace.
  • $100,000 in scholarship funding to enable senior women in local government to participate in the new Executive Leadership Program being developed by the 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 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.

Further information on 2010 Year of Women in Local Government is available at http://lgwomen2010.org.au/