Are you eligible to nominate for council?
To stand for election as a councillor, or a mayor or president elected by the people of a local government district, you must:
Training prior to nomination
All candidates must complete an online induction prior to nominating for election so they are fully aware of what to expect as an elected member and the rules related to campaigning.
How to make an effective nomination
For a nomination to stand for council to be effective:
- (person running the election) within the period beginning the 44th day before election day and ending 4.00pm on the 37th day before election day.
- The nomination form must be accompanied by a candidate profile (more information on that is included later in this fact sheet).
- If you are nominated by an agent, the form must be accompanied by a written authorisation from you (or such authorisation must follow before nominations close).
- The nomination form and candidate profile must be accompanied by a deposit of $80 or the deposit must be paid before nominations close.
Key concept: For an effective nomination, you must have a nomination form, candidate profile, deposit (and authorisation if using an agent to lodge).
The earlier you lodge your nomination, the easier it will be for the returning officer to notify you of any errors or irregularities. For a full election timetable which includes the nomination period for this year’s elections, refer to the DLGSC’s website.
Name on nomination
The name to be printed on the ballot paper for a local government election must be your surname and one or more of your given names (or an initial or a commonly accepted variation). You must use the same name on your candidate profile. To ensure fairness between candidates, the returning officer may rule that a name is inappropriate for inclusion on the ballot paper. If so, he or she may ask you to nominate another name or choose one he or she considers appropriate. Talk to the returning officer if you are uncertain about whether you can use a certain variation.
Forwarding of a nomination
A nomination can be:
- delivered by you or your agent (if your nomination is signed and delivered by someone else you must provide written authorisation signed by you before nominations close);
- posted or faxed; or
- sent by any electronic means if a hard copy of the nomination can be printed in full including your signature.
An electronic nomination is deemed to be received when a hard copy is printed. Note that the receipt of your nomination does not mean that it has been accepted as an effective nomination. Also, the $80 deposit must be paid before a nomination can be accepted.
Tip: If faxing or emailing your nomination, phone your local government’s returning officer to check if he or she has received and made a hard copy of it before the close of nominations.
Payment of nomination deposit
The $80 deposit can be paid by cash, bank draft or postal order made out to the local government. It can also be paid in other ways such as by bank cheque or electronic funds transfer, subject to the approval of the returning officer. The reason that a deposit is required is to discourage frivolous nominations.
Return of nomination deposits
Nomination deposits are to be returned to any successful candidate, and any candidate who receives at least 5 per cent of the total number of votes in the count.
Deposits are also to be returned if a candidate withdraws before 4.00pm on the 38th day before election day, or if a candidate in both an election for councillor and an election for mayor or president is elected as mayor or president.
When you nominate for council, your candidate profile is to:
The purpose of the profile is to provide information to electors about your policies and beliefs as well as your personal details so that they can make an informed choice when voting.
You may wish to tell them what you think are important services and facilities for your community and what you would like your local government to consider providing. You could highlight new areas where council could develop policies; and tell them what you would work towards on their behalf should you be elected.
Statements could be worded:
- I believe …
- I support …
- I participated in …
- I raised the idea (or concept) in council of …
- To illustrate my beliefs (or policies I have been involved in) ...
A candidate who has not been an elected member previously could relate their beliefs or policies to positions, decisions or outcomes they would encourage the council adopt. They could indicate their involvement with community groups that may have aims or agendas with which the candidate agrees.
Take care to avoid negative comments about other candidates or anyone else. Such comments could be viewed as defamatory. Make sure that the statements you make are practical and will not mislead.
The returning officer can amend your profile if it does not meet these requirements. Preferably, this will be done in consultation with you. This can be done before or after nominations close. If a profile is changed, the returning officer will promptly provide you with written notice of the change and the reason for it.
Where there is a ‘voting in person’ election, the returning officer will arrange for the display of your profile at each polling place as well as the local government’s public notice board. For this purpose, the returning officer may reproduce it in the same form or another form.
In a postal voting election or where a postal voting package is sent to a person in a ‘voting in person’ election, the profile will be included in the package. Again, it may be reproduced in the form in which you submitted it, or it may be reformatted.
Tip: Read the notes on the back of your nomination form before you fill it out and before you write your profile. Adhere to the conditions set down for candidate profiles as your nomination could be rejected if it does not conform to the requirements.
Should you wish to submit a photo, it is suggested that you use one with a light background as this provides better quality reproduction. The photo is included in the overall size limitation of the profile (single-sided, A4).
Key concept: The purpose of the candidate profile is to enable electors to make an informed choice when voting.