Women encouraged to shape local government

Published Wednesday, 01 March, 2017 at 03:01 PM

Minister for Local Government and Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships
The Honourable Mark Furner

Queensland women are being encouraged to represent their local communities or take up a career in local government as part of a Palaszczuk Government initiative to promote greater inclusion and opportunity for women in councils across the state.

Minister for Local Government and Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships Mark Furner, said the Women in Local Government Strategy will not only create more diversity, it will strengthen councils throughout the State.

“The Palaszczuk Government is a strong supporter of the equal representation of women across government and industry, and one important initiative to achieving this is the Women in Local Government Strategy,” Mr Furner said.

“This strategy provides a range of mentoring and professional development opportunities for female councillors and council officers.

“Greater diversity in councils for elected representatives and managers can only benefit residents and ratepayers across Queensland through fresh ideas, approaches and collaboration”.

“Women currently make up around 33 per cent of councillors and 20 per cent of mayors, while 16 per cent of all chief executives in our 77 councils are women.

“However, our government believes we can do better, and we are taking action to encourage more women to become involved in local government.”

Central and North Queensland are leading the way with six newly elected female mayors in Burdekin, Charters Towers, Flinders, Mount Isa, Torres Shire and Mapoon.

While in Townsville and Rockhampton, female mayors were re-elected at the 2016 local government elections. 

The State Government is working with the Local Government Managers Australia (Queensland), the Local Government Association of Queensland and the Australian Local Government Women’s Association to promote greater opportunities for women’s participation in councils.

The Women in Local Government Strategy is backed by a $200,000 professional development fund to promote diversity by assisting women, both councillors and council employees, to access learning and development opportunities.  

This includes sponsoring places for female councillors and council employees to participate in LGMA professional development programs such as:

  • The Executive Management Program, which is aimed at local government professionals who seek to develop a more complete understanding of the role of the CEO.
  • The Propeller Program, which aims at developing officers at all levels to lead local government into the future.
  • The Ignite Program, which looks to build skills and competencies in leading, managing, mentoring and developing individuals and teams in local government.

“Importantly, preference is given to female participants from predominantly rural and remote local governments who face greater challenges to participate in these programs due to distance and cost,” Mr Furner said.

“Ratepayers and communities throughout the state deserve diversity in management and parity in representation.

“This is an issue I am passionate about, and I will be doing all I can to work with our councils and with the local government organisations to encourage more women to be involved.”

To find out more about the strategy visit: http://dilgp.qld.gov.au/women-in-local-government/


Date:                           01 March 2017

Media Contact:          Benjamin Mulcahy 0419 562 389