McLennan only woman elected to Bassendean Council

FEMALE representation on Bassendean Council was reduced to one this year while other councils experienced an increase.

Despite six out of the 11 candidates in the race for the three available positions at this month’s election being women, only one – Renee McLennan – was voted in to represent the ratepayers.

The previous council had two women.

Ms McLennan said the lack of gender balance was disappointing. “I am disappointed that I am now the only woman on the council, especially given that there were several strong female candidates,” she said.

“Ideally there would be some more gender balance to better reflect our community.

“It is unfortunate that Jennie Carter very narrowly lost her place in order for me to gain one.”

Former councillor Jennie Carter also expressed her disappointment.

“Women bring a different perspective and we need both gender perspectives on council,” Ms Carter said.

Edith Cowan University and Curtin University political analyst Harry Phillips said there was a trend towards more women on councils and in prominent political roles.

“It is now more viable for a woman to stand for mayor and have victory,” Dr Phillips said.

Councillor Zenda Johnson was re-elected onto the Town of Mosman Park this year where she serves as the only female of seven councillors.

Women dominate the Town of Cambridge council with five of the eight councillors and a newly elected female mayor.

The number of women on the City of Gosnells council doubled from two to four, with a woman mayor and deputy mayor.