Councils still work towards equity

Article image - Councils still work towards equity From left: Marianne Saliba (NSW), Janet Davidson OAM (WA), Betty Gill (SA), Coral Ross (VIC), Viginia Haussegger AM, Rebecca Hersant (QLD), Helen Harris OAM (VIC), Alwyn Friedersdorff (TAS), Missing from the photo is NT Rep Katrina Fong Lim. Image by Cr Raylene Carr.

“Progress towards 50:50 is not inevitable,” Virginia Haussegger AM told the annual Australian Local Government Women’s Association Networking Breakfast at the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) National Assembly.

“Hard won gains can change with a flick. They are not cemented,” the former ABC 7.30 presenter, now Director of 5050 by 2030 Foundation at Canberra University said.

She updated the packed breakfast with the latest local government gender figures from Australia, New Zealand and overseas.

“We have to stop blaming women and the focus on women fixing the problem,” she told the audience which included ALGA President Mayor David O’Loughlin, Shadow Minister for Local Government, Stephen Jones, most State LGA Presidents and CEOs as well as the President of the National Rural Women’s Association, and a number of mayors and CEOs.

The popular breakfast, always well attended, was this year over-subscribed.

Virginia concluded her talk with observing that nations which have improved representation all have some form of quotas.