Ald McFarlane believes the terms of local government do not necessarily need limiting and that local communities will screen out ‘stale, pale, males’ when it’s relevant to them.

“The proposal to have three terms still equals 12 years, with most elected representatives happy to have more free time after that.”

“Younger women may find Council time consuming in balancing their family life and a four year term burdensome and a huge commitment. Older women on the other hand may have a better capacity to fit odd hours, reading time, community engagement and meetings into their lifestyles. This round of local government elections is a great opportunity for voters to consider voting for more female representation. What is important is that we get greater representation of women across all demographics on Council.”

“Women who have been on Councils for some time carry a large amount of experience and knowledge compared with twenty years ago. This has resulted in fairer and more reasonable decisions that include community attitudes and long term vision rather than a business process based on short term political needs.”

“Most antagonism on Council comes from the inability to respect and consider other opinions.”

“Women need to know how to use current processes, such as the Code of Conduct. They need to call out bullying for what it is. And when it happens there is a real need to ‘stand up’ to the victimising and patriarchal behaviour.”

Alderman McFarlane believes that when local government representatives breach community standards and even the law the perpetrators need to be held to account.

Alderman McFarlane points out that ALGWA TAS is happy to provide individual and group support and can be contacted at http://www.algwatas.com.au

The National Rural Woman Coalition also has very useful webinars to support women in local government at http://www.nrwc.com.au