New England is the seat held by the Deputy PM, Barnaby Joyce. There are eight men currently listed as candidates in that seat for the 2016 election. The regional paper, The Northern Daily Leader comments on the lack of female candidates:
But a female candidate would really add another dimension to the debate – spark things up, if you like. It’s not like we don’t have our female leaders in the community. There’s several high-profile female councillors, and there’s plenty of women who run their own retail businesses, and so have that grassroots connection.
Recent figures compiled by the Inter-Parliamentary Union have Australia ranked at number 56 in terms of the percentage of women in parliament ... behind countries like Andorra and Rwanda. Although women make up more than half of the Australian population – only about 30 per cent of our parliamentarians – state and federal – are women.
Admittedly that glass ceiling was broken recently with Julia Gillard’s ascent to the top job – but that was short lived. So there’s an opportunity there, all that’s needed is the right opportunist.