FIVE new faces on Orange City Council and not one of them a woman. There is certainly a great diversity in the composition of the next council but if gender balance is one aim of a truly representative local government this one is a step backwards.
It’s over 40 years since Orange voters failed to elect a woman, and with Sarah Buckingham the highest placed woman on any ticket (number two for the Greens) it was always going to be a battle.
Ms Buckingham failed to follow Neil Jones onto council filling the place left on the ticket by her husband Jeremy, which must be a disappointment for the Greens.
With her went any hope of a woman being elected.
Of the nine other women who stood, Paula Townsend (number three on Ron Gander’s E ticket) and Haidee Nelson (four for the Greens) and Jan Savage (fourth on John Davis’s ticket) had almost no chance.
Their positions so far down on their respective tickets is something sitting councillors must look at for 2016.
On Thursday night the chosen 12 will meet to elect the mayor of Orange for the last time because the result of last Saturday’s referendum means that in 2016 that too will be a job for voters.
Residents can expect current mayor John Davis as well as returned councillor and former mayor Reg Kidd and former mayor and state MP Russell Turner to express an interest.
It will be a fascinating contest with a lot riding on the winner’s ability to steer a course which reflects voters’ concerns about roads, water and rising ratepayer costs.