Victorian councils have been asked to take more action on gender equality.

The Gender Equality Bill 2019 has been introduced to the Victorian Parliament.

It requires public service organisations, universities and local government to publicly report on their progress against key indicators including equal pay, sexual harassment and career progression.

Victorian councils will be required to prepare and implement Gender Equality Action Plans and undertake gender impact assessments, which may include the gendered impact of funding allocation on their communities.

This legislation will have wide-ranging implications for local government, a sector worth $9 billion and responsible for over 44,000 employees.

Victorian Local Government Association CEO Kathryn Arndt is a member of the Victorian Ministerial Council for Women’s Equality and the Ministerial Women’s Roundtable chaired by the Minister for Local Government.

She says the VLGA is committed to achieving the Victorian government’s target of 50 per cent women councillors by 2025 and to increasing the number of women at Chief Executive Officer and senior management levels across all Victorian councils.

“The Victorian Local Government Women’s Charter is a guiding document for the Victorian local government sector, enshrining the principles of gender equity, diversity and active participation for Victorian councils and communities. 72 of 79 councils are signatories to the Charter,” Ms Arndt said.

“In preparation for their requirements under the Victorian government’s new gender equality legislation, we urge the remaining 7 councils to become Charter signatories.

“The VLGA looks forward to the passage of the Bill and continuing to work with the government and the 79 councils across Victoria to put gender equality front and centre.”