Media Release by The Hon Julie Collins MP

Towards gender equality in regional and rural communities

The Australian Local Government Women’s Association will receive a $250,000 boost over three years from the Australian Government to increase women’s participation in local government.

The Minister for the Status of Women, Julie Collins, announced the extra funding during her keynote address to the Association’s 2012 Balance the Imbalance conference in Melbourne tonight.

“We need to encourage and support councils across Australia to address gender equality and promote a cultural change in the representation of women in local government,” Ms Collins said.

“This extra funding will enable the Australian Local Government Women’s Association to establish partnerships with more local government stakeholders using the support of a project manager.”

The project manager will focus on expanding the Association’s 50:50 Vision – Councils for Gender Equality.

The 50:50 Vision aims to encourage greater women’s participation in local government, both elected and employed, while promoting cultural change within local government to employ more women in decision-making roles.

“Empowering women to achieve their full potential is important at all levels of government,” Ms Collins said.

“This needs to be done by removing barriers to women’s leadership and supporting women’s participation and decision making.

“The Australian Government remains committed to supporting women to take up leadership roles in all levels of government, business and the community – for the benefit of all,” Ms Collins said.