Council candidates on the rise

Increased community interest in local government has prompted the number of Barossa Council candidates in the upcoming local council elections to skyrocket when compared to previous elections. 

This year 22 people have put their hand up to be Barossa Councillors, whereas in 2014, at the last council elections, only 13 people nominated. 

This increase in nominations is consistent with trends across the state with the Electoral Commission reporting a slight increase in nominations state-wide. 

Electoral Commissioner Mick Sherry said a total of 1,375 candidates had nominated, compared with a total of 1,334 candidates in the 2014 council elections.

The gender split in councillor nominations has also shifted, with eight female and fourteen male nominations this year. This, when compared to the two female and 11 male split in 2014, is a huge increase in the proportion of female candidates.

Currently, the Barossa Council had 10 male councillors and only two female councillors.

Local Government Association (LGA) president Sue Clearihan said the association had run a campaign encouraging women and other underrepresented groups to nominate for council to give people more choice in their representation.

Local Government Association President Sue Clearihan

Local Government Association President Sue Clearihan

“Councils should reflect the makeup of their communities, and increasing the diversity of our sector is a focus for the LGA and its members,” Ms Clearihan said in a statement to the Barossa Herald.

“Across the state the number of women running for council is up around 20 per sent since the last election – from 381 candidates in 2014 to approximately 460 in 2018.

“This means voters will be able to choose from a broader field of candidates than ever before.”

In the mayoral race, there are only two contenders - the incumbent Mayor Bob Sloane and Michael ‘Bim’ Lange.

Voting ballot packs will be distributed to electors between October 22 and 26, 2018.

Voting will close to the public at 5pm, Friday November 9, 2018.