Latrobe City election: The choice is yours

Ladies are looking for leadership at Latrobe City Council, shooing away trends at municipalities across Victoria.

An Express analysis has found an increasing number of women candidates since 2000.

Of the 24 listed candidates for October's election, nine women have put up their hand - up from three at the beginning of the millennium.

A record was reached in the 2003 race when there were 13 women out of a total of 38 candidates.

In neighbouring Baw Baw Shire, eight of the 21 candidates are women, while Wellington Shire has five women among its 20 candidates.

Former Latrobe City councillor Susan Lloyd, who represented Traralgon between 2005 and 2008, said it was important to see a range of candidates who offered diversity in views, age and gender.

She said she had considered the retention rates of women as councillors and noted a range of cultural backgrounds was often missing.

"Historically we've had retired men, and consequently we get one type of view," Ms Lloyd said.

"They might be available to stand, and it's nothing against the quality of people, but I encourage women to offer diversity to council and to offer a choice for the community."

All but one of Latrobe's nine sitting councillors have put their hat in the ring.

Councillor Peter Gibbons, who serves the Moe and district area, was absent from the candidate list at the close of nominations on Tuesday.

He did not return calls from The Express yesterday.

Women make up 44 per cent of the current council chamber, with four women among the nine councillors.

The Municipal Association of Victoria said it recognised the under representation of women in local government as councillors and senior managers.

In December 2015, MAV data found only 34 per cent of 631 councillors elected in October 2012 were women.

However the percentages had increased considerably from only 12 per cent in 2000.

Women in Gippsland spokeswoman Sallie Jones ran a panel discussion for women interested in running for local council in June, inviting Baw Baw Shire Council's Mikaela Power, former Latrobe City councillor Lisa Price and South Gippsland candidate Meg Edwards.

Ms Jones is offering any women candidates in Gippsland promotion on the organisation's Facebook page, including a profile and short biography.

"It's really important that women are represented in local council. There are some amazing women that have amazing leaderships in our community," she said.

Latrobe City's Central Ward, which takes in Morwell and district, has six candidates vying for two places.

The East Ward, which takes in Traralgon has four vacancies and 12 candidates.

Two candidates are standing for the South Ward which takes in Churchill and has one representative, while four will contest the Moe and district West Ward, which has two vacancies.

A ballot pack will be sent to Latrobe City voters from Tuesday 4 to 6 October. Voting closes on Friday, 21 October at 6pm.

Your candidates

Central Ward (Morwell and district)

-Alan McFarlane

-Carolyne Boothman

-Christine Sindt (sitting)

-Graeme Middlemiss (sitting)

-Tracie Lund

-Merv Geddes

East Ward (Traralgon and district)

-Nathan O'Donnell

-Randell Green

-Kellie O'Callaghan (sitting)

-Joanne Campbell

-Sandy Kam (sitting)

-Dale Harriman (sitting)

-Michael Rossiter (sitting)

-Dan Clancey

-Dan Caffrey

-Brendan Tam

-Johanna Sykes

-Darren Howe

South Ward (Churchill and district)

-Linda Reid

-Darrell White (sitting)

-West Ward (Moe and district)

-Guss Lambden

-Sharon Gibson (sitting)

-Tamara Kennedy

-Bradley Law

Candidates are listed in the order they appear on the VEC website.

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