AS Orange welcomes in an all- male council this week, several unsuccessful female candidates admit they’re disappointed the new council is not more representative.
Sarah Buckingham who was ranked second on the Greens ticket behind successful candidate Neil Jones, said she believes a council should represent the community’s different genders, ages, races and professions.
“Throughout my campaign I met a lot of fantastic people who were representative of the different sectors of the community,” she said.
Mrs Buckingham said the fact that many women candidates were ranked in low positions on their party’s ticket meant it was “always going to be tough” for them to be elected.
“I think next time we need to see a female lead a ticket,” she said.
Paula Townsend, who was ranked third on successful candidate Ron Gander’s ticket, said she was “amazed” that no women were elected to council.
“I think people talk about different groups being represented on council ... but to not even have one female I think it really is quite odd,” she said.
“But what can you do? The people have spoken.”
Mrs Townsend admitted while she’s disappointed she wasn’t elected to council, she’s pleased Mr Gander was successful.
“Ron’s a fair-minded bloke who’s got nothing to gain but the wellbeing of the community and that’s what it’s all about.”
She said she hasn’t ruled out running in the next election.
Gail Copping, who ran as an independent this year, said she was disappointed not to have been elected to council.
“I’m actually more disappointed that people didn’t think Chris [Gryllis] and I would get in,” she said.
“Chris did get in and with 12 more votes I would have been the 12th councillor.”
Ms Copping said it was difficult for independents such as herself who ran against a number of strong group tickets.
“We were up against a former state member ... sometimes people vote for the party and sometimes person,” she said. “There were some strong people on the men’s side.”
Ms Copping said it was a risk to run as an independent but she admired people who got elected on their own merit and not because of the strength of the person who led the ticket.
“If you get in as an independent you know you’ve earned it,” she said.
Having already run in four elections Ms Copping said she isn’t sure she’ll run again.
“If I do get in I’d be the grand dame of council,” she said.
“It might be time for the old mare to put herself out to pasture and say she’s run her last race.”