By Alesha Capone
Wyndham council has finally passed a strategy aimed at promoting gender equality and preventing violence against women, titled the Towards Equality and Action Plan.
The strategy has something of a controversial history after six councillors voted last August against seeking public feedback on its draft form, which had at that point cost $16,000 to develop.
In March, the council voted to release a revised draft for public feedback, although Cr Tony Hooper said it was “inappropriate” to consult on such an important issue during a pandemic.
At a council meeting last week, all councillors voted to adopt the strategy.
During the strategy’s eight-week public consultation period, the council received more than 100 responses from the community.
A council report on the strategy said that it “strived to be an agile, inclusive and accessible strategic document” for all community members and all genders.
Cr Henry Barlow thanked former councillor Kim McAliney for the hard work she put into developing the strategy, before resigning from the council earlier this year.
Ms McAliney posted on Facebook in regards to the council’s adoption of the strategy.
“Wyndham is one of the few, last councils (79 in Victoria) to implement this policy, while delays occurred for reasons I will never understand,” she wrote.
“Persistence by a few, have seen it passed tonight.
“Clearly stated, the document talks about being equally valued, respected… and treated with… fairness, and dignity.
“Never underestimate this policy statement when the city and the west have one of the highest rates of gendered based crime.”