COUNCILLOR Monica Morse has spent much of her time on Bathurst Regional Council urging more women to join her in the chamber.
For her first term on council Cr Morse was joined in the chamber by Tracey Carpenter while following the 2012 election she spent five years as the only woman on council.
In 2017, Cr Jacqui Rudge was elected to council meaning there were again two female councillors out of the nine within the chamber, but Cr Morse's retirement - and Cr Rudge's move to an unwinnable position on Jess Jennings' ticket - means there is a real chance the next term of council could be a men-only affair.
While the fact that 40 per cent of the 68 candidates on this year's ballot paper are women might make it appear we're getting closer to equal representation, the truth is we're far from it.
Of the 27 women whose names appear on the ballot paper only two - Marg Hogan and Catherine Strods - could be considered any real chance of winning a spot in the chamber.
Ms Hogan, as a ticket leader with a well-organised team and campaign behind her, is by far the more likely to be elected and she is one of five or six new faces with a genuine shot at election.
But it appears Ms Hogan is all that stands in the way of a men-only chamber - something that's hard to imagine in 2021.
All the talk of council being a boys' club may have discouraged women from putting themselves forward as a real alternative this election but it's only through the election of more women that those boys' club claims can ever be laid to rest.
But if women don't want to be elected for council then that's as much as a problem as women not being elected to council.
Cr Morse has seen precious little change for the better in her 13 years on council - and it's hard to see things getting better on the next term of council, either.
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