Department of Family and Community Services

1.1 Candidates for election

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Current position

At the local government elections in September 2012, 34 percent of candidates for election
were women.

Gender gap

  • Women accounted for just over one-third of candidates who stood for election to local government in NSW in 2012.
The direction of
change over time
In the period between 1991 and 2012, the proportion of women candidates for local government has increased by 11 percentage points, from 23 percent. There was a one percentage point increase between the 2008 and 2012 elections. See Figure 5.1.
Discussion

The council with the greatest proportion of women candidates in 2012 was North Sydney, with 67 percent. Of the 10 councils with 50 percent or more women councillors standing for election in 2012, seven were rural councils. See Table 5.1.

In three councils, no women stood for election. These were: Coonamble Shire, Gundagai Shire and Lachlan Shire.

The total number of candidates (female and male) has fluctuated in each election year. In 1991, it was 3,820 (the lowest and in 2004 it was 5,078 (the highest to date).

Local government in NSW consists of 152 councils across the state, which have between five and 15 elected councillors, and in some cases an elected mayor. NSW local government elections are held every four years. The most recent elections were held in September 2012.

Year collected: 2012.
Data source: ABC, Antony Green’s election blog, 30 August 2012. More information is available at www.abc.net.au/elections/nsw/2012/council/

Table 5.1 Councils with 50 percent or more women candidates, NSW, 2012

Local council

Women candidates %

Women councillors %

North Sydney

67

58

Nambucca Shire

62

50

Bega Valley Shire

56

44

Shoalhaven City

53

42

Bellingen Shire

52

17

Woollahra Municipal

51

47

Singleton

50

56

Ashfield

50

50

Greater Hume Shire

50

56

Gunnedah Shire

50

50

 

The Governor-in-Council appoints judicial officers on the recommendation of the Attorney General. Vacancies for judges of the District Court and Local Court magistrates are advertised. Barristers are lawyers who work as independent and sole practitioners. They specialise in court work and also provide specialised legal advice. Practising certificates for barristers in NSW are issued by the NSW Bar Association. Principals and partners hold senior positions within their law firm. A partner is entitled to a share of the profits of the business. Barristers, principals and partners form a feeder group for judicial service.

Year collected: Multiple years.
Data source: Australasian Institute of Judicial Administration (2013) Gender Statistics, www.aija.org.au; The Law Society of New South Wales (2013) 2012 Profile of the Solicitors of NSW Final Report; The NSW Bar Association (2012) Annual Report. More information is available at www.aija.org.au; www.lawsociety.com.au; www.nswbar.asn.au