Women under-represented on Murraylands councils, Murray Bridge's Karen Eckermann says

Councils need to brainstorm ideas for encouraging women to run for office and voters to vote for them, says a Murray Bridge councillor. Photo: Shutterstock.
Councils need to brainstorm ideas for encouraging women to run for office and voters to vote for them, says a Murray Bridge councillor. Photo: Shutterstock.

More needs to be done to make women's voices heard in the Murraylands' council chambers, a councillor says.

Karen Eckermann was disappointed that only four of 17 candidates in Murray Bridge, and two of the 10 people elected last month, were women.

Across the region, only a quarter of the 36 elected roles at local councils went to women, including just one of 10 in the Mid Murray district.

"No offence to the gentlemen who have been elected, but if you believe – as I do – that merit is equally distributed between the sexes, that tells you women of merit are missing out," Cr Eckermann said at her council's November meeting.

"I'm interested in any feedback or ideas about how the Rural City of Murray Bridge can increase female representation at a council level."

Local Government Association (LGA) of South Australia president Sam Telfer said diversity of knowledge, experience and perspectives led to better decision-making.

"We still have a way to go, but it’s encouraging to see more people willing to take on leadership positions, particularly women," he said.

Twenty-two women were elected to lead South Australian councils last month, according to the LGA, on the back of a record number of nominations.