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Strong growth in female leadership

The 2018 council elections have seen 22 women elected to lead South Australian councils – a significant increase on the nine female mayors elected in 2014.

LGA President Sam Telfer said this number could further increase, with 15 councils still to appoint a mayor or chairperson from within their ranks.

“We had 454 women nominate for council this year, which is a 20% increase on 2014 and the highest on record,” Mayor Telfer said.

“The LGA and councils ran a campaign to increase the diversity of candidates in the lead up to these elections, and this message appears to have resonated with both candidates and voters.”

“This diversity of representatives will help deliver greater depth to decision making, with a variety of knowledge, experience, and perspectives.” 

“We still have a way to go, but it’s  encouraging to see more people willing to take on leadership positions, particularly women who will make up around a third of our mayors,” said Mayor Telfer.

Community engagement with the 2018 council elections was also stronger, with an increase in voter participation compared to 2014.

“Around 395,000 South Australians voted this year, which is 38,000 more than in 2014,” said Mayor Telfer.

“Voting in council elections is one of the most important ways that people can have a say about the future of their community and it’s encouraging to see more people taking an interest in who is representing them.”

“Importantly, I would like to congratulate all of our new councillors and mayors who now hold responsibility for improving their communities, and ensuring the voices of their constituents are heard,” he said.

A total of 1374 nominations were received for the 2018 elections – 40 more than in 2014. This was the highest number of nominations received since 1995, when SA had 115 councils compared to 68 today.

“I look forward to working with our newly elected councils to focus on delivering savings and best value to our communities.”

“To those who nominated but were unsuccessful – you are to be commended for putting your hand up and being willing to take on this responsibility. I hope you consider running again in four years’ time,” said Mayor Telfer.

The full results of the 2018 Council Elections are available on the Electoral Commission of SA (ECSA) website:

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