Becoming a candidate

Criteria for candidates

Australian citizens enrolled for state and federal elections are eligible to stand for council as long as they have not been disqualified from standing under the Local Government Act 2020, and they have completed mandatory Local Government Candidate Training.

You don’t need to live or be enrolled in the ward you are seeking to represent, but you must be enrolled as a voter in the municipality itself as a resident or ratepayer.

To be eligible for the upcoming local government elections, you must nominate by 12pm, 22 September 2020.

How candidates are elected

The number of councillors elected varies across councils. Councils consist of between five and twelve councillors. Check the VEC website to find out how many councillors there are in your municipality.

In the 2016 elections, just over 50% of the successful candidates were new councillors. This shows that people are prepared to vote for new candidates who represent their views, and demonstrate that they have the skills to be a good councillor.

The ideal candidate

As a candidate, your role is to listen to the community, advocate for the positions and views you believe in, and remain transparent and honest.

Before you start to prepare your campaign and candidate statement, consider:

  • The difference you want to make as a local councillor
  • Key issues facing your community
  • Council activities past and current
  • Community groups and networks, their activities and leaders, and how you could engage with them
  • Your ward within your council
  • Your family and friends and their involvement in your campaign
  • Your values, and where they sit in the political sphere.

Learn more about nominating as a candidate.

Not ready to nominate, but know a woman who should? Then #TapHerOnTheShoulder and #AskHer. Your encouragement could help her to realise that she’s the right woman to stand. Your actions (and your vote) matter this year, more than ever. And don’t forget, you can always nominate yourself in the 2024 council elections.

Source: Local Women Leading Change – Your Campaign Toolkit, Victorian Local Governance Association (VLGA), 2020.

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