Five women will join the Upper Lachlan Shire Council in what is thought to be a first for the region.
In contrast, just one - Carol James - has been returned to Goulburn Mulwaree Council.
Former councillor Pam Kensit, who topped the poll with 658 primary votes, has joined newcomers Susan Reynolds, Mandy McDonald, both from Crookwell, and Gunning woman Lauren Woodbridge in the line-up. Jo Marshall, who served on Upper Lachlan from 2012 to 2016, has also gained a place.
Former mayor John Stafford and Crs John Searl, Paul Culhane and Darren O'Brien were returned.
Ms Reynolds was very pleased with the result and said the campaign was especially difficult for the 'newbies,' given that no candidates could hand out how-to-vote material.
"(But) I think the loud and clear message from the community is that they want a more progressive council that has got things to do," she said.
"With more women on the council I think that can be achieved."
Ms Reynolds told The Post that both men and women had told her they would be voting for females. Although male councillors were returned and polled well, preferences flowed strongly to women candidates. Ms Reynolds, for example, picked up 90 of Pam Kensit's second preferences, helping her total vote to 529, just above the 522 quota. Jo Marshall was elected on the ninth count and scored 127 of Mrs Kensit's second preferences.
Ms Reynolds said women brought a different way of thinking to the table but a gender blend was also more representative of the community.
The alpaca farmer is concerned about the environment and preserving Upper Lachlan's clean air for future generations. She believes the next 10 years will be crucial in managing growth and development pressures.
Like some other female candidates, Ms Reynolds campaigned for more affordable housing for those who lived and worked in a community they had contributed to but were being hit with high rents and house prices.
"Lauren is also a young mum with a small business. How great is it to have someone representing young families interested in jobs and a future for their children?" she said.
"I think it's fantastic having more women on the council because it allows us to consider a wider demographic...There's more to council than just roads, rates and rubbish."
Mandy McDonald is a retired podiatrist and active volunteer with an interest in the arts. Jo Marshall is Australian Agricultural Centre CEO and is studying for a Masters of Business Administration.
Ms Reynolds said she stood for election because she wanted to contribute and make the council more progressive. She believed the retirement of longtime councillors Brian McCormack and James Wheelwright opened opportunities for more women. All five females who nominated were elected.
"That's an historical first for Upper Lachlan and we would likely have more women than other councils in the region," she said.
The first meeting will be held on Januray 13, at which Cr Kensit intends to stand as mayor.
In Goulburn Mulwaree, Carol James was returned for her fourth term but her former colleagues, Margaret O'Neill and Leah Ferrara missed out. The former mayor said it didn't bother her being the only woman as she had also experienced this as a Goulburn Rotary member.
Cr James is also a member of the Women's Brekky Group and is involved with other female organisations.
"But I do encourage more women to stand for council in the future," she said.
"I'm disappointed there aren't more on there especially as there were workshops earlier in the year aimed at this...Women also want to be represented and sometimes their views are a little different."
Miss Ferrara told The Post she was upset to have missed out but respected the democratic process.
"I was up against some big names," she said.
"The new council is a good mix but I would have liked to have seen more females. Until more of them stand for election, we won't have that equality."
The Greens member has not ruled out running again in future and said she would stay involved in community committees.
Former Deputy Mayor, Peter Walker, who was re-elected, believed it was one of the few councils in recent history that only had one woman.
"I think it is necessary to have them on there. I'm surprised because the government spent so much money advertising and running workshops to get more women into politics."
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