Warragul & Drouin Gazette

Elect women to council


The State government is increasing its efforts to have more women elected to local government councils.

Local Government Minister Shaun Leane has announced a 10-person Gender Equality Advisory Committee will be formed comprising mayors, councillor­s, senior staff and sector leaders in an effort to reach a target of 50 per cent of women on councils by 2025.

Baw Baw shire voters last year elected three women to the nine-member council, the same number that were on council after the previous election in 2016. Female representa­tion across the State is 43.8 per cent, 10 per cent higher that in Baw Baw.

Of those elected in Baw Baw two were in the West Ward, Councillor­s Tricia Jones and Annemarie McCabe, and the other Jazmin Taura in Central Ward. Seven of the 16 candidates across the shire’s three wards were women. None of three women among seven candidates in East Ward were successful.

The Victorian Electoral Commission said there were record numbers of votes cast at council elections across the State last year, the first State-wide postal ballot and the second for Baw Baw shire.

Of the 42,592 people on the Baw Baw electoral roll 83.9 per cent returned their ballots, compared to a State average of 81.4 per cent.

The VEC is currently sending “please explain” letters to 6867 that were enrolled in Baw Baw but didn’t vote. They are being asked to provide a detailed explanatio­n.

Those that don’t respond to the request within 28 days are liable for a fine of $83.

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