A JOB advert in Australia has sparked heated debate by limiting applications to only those who identify as “non-male”.


What’s the job?

Darebin City Council, situated in the northern suburbs of Melbourne, posted the job vacancy for a “Street Sweeper Operator” on its website, with applications set to close on September 16th. Offering a salary of $63k a year, it described as "an exciting position”.


So far, so simple…?

Prospective employees are told that by joining Darebin's street cleansing day shift team they can "make a positive contribution to maintaining a high level of cleanliness and general appearance of Council's footpaths, nature strips, roads, car parks and right of ways.” The focus of the job is “to clean and mechanically sweep residential streets, shop fronts, hard waste pick up, dumped rubbish collection, and laneway cleaning.”


And the job requirements are…?

Applicants need to have a “medium rigid” truck licence, with some previous experience of operating a street sweeping vehicle “desirable but not essential”.



The other specific requirement is that applicants must not be male. 


So who can apply?

The job is open to women, non-binary and transgender persons only. The job listing also declares the council is an “Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate in its selection and employment practices”.


So banning men is not discrimination?

Darebin Council described the ban on men as a “special measure” taken under Victoria's Equal Opportunity Act in order to allow them “to foster greater equality”. The council promotes itself as a “progressive leader” in local government.


The area’s needs may be involved in the decision?

The job advert states Darebin Council is home to one of the “largest, most diverse communities in terms of culture, language, religion, socio-economic background, occupation, and housing needs. The city has one of the largest populations of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander residents in metropolitan Melbourne.”


What has the council said lately?

That its workforce strategy is focused on achieving a diverse and inclusive organisation that reflects our community, adding: “To help remove barriers, we are actively identifying some positions, in recognition that some groups are underrepresented in areas of our workforce.”


The response has been mixed?

Gender equality expert Dr Leonora Risse told Australia’s Channel 7 news the job advert was a “powerful example of supporting and encouraging women to step into a role that has traditionally been the domain of men”.



One Twitter user said it was “woke virtue-signalling” by a council that “claims to be an equal opportunity employer”. Another said: “Reverse discrimination. What a classic. Shouldn’t it be a case of the most qualified person gets the job? If a private business advertised a male only job, imagine the outcry.” And when asked for his views, Victorian Premier, Daniel Andrews said: “I will not sit here ever and try and unravel the mysteries of the Darebin council.”