As part of the State Government’s reform agenda, a new Local Government Act will be drafted.

Our vision is for the local government sector to be agile, smart and inclusive.

Our objective is to transform local government so that it is empowered to better deliver quality governance and services to their communities now and into the future.

We are looking at elections as an area of reform.

The current system

  • Held every two years.
  • Around 30% turnout.
  • Conducted via post or in person.
  • First past the post system of voting (person with most votes win).


The department undertook consultation on the topic of elections during stage two of the Local Government Act review consultation.

Elections summary discussion paper

Elections discussion paper

The following sections outline what was heard during consultation and how feedback will inform a new Local Government Act.

What you’ve told us

  • Less than a third of electors vote in their local government elections.
  • Councils need to better represent the diversity of the community.
  • Public confidence in local government could be increased through greater participation.
  • There is low public awareness of candidate profiles and positions.
  • Community concern around the conduct of candidates and politicisation during election campaigns and acceptance of election gifts.

Ideas for change

  • Electronic voting.
  • Reduce frequency to four years to align with other states.
  • Review voter eligibility.
  • Introduce preferential voting (the person that is most preferred wins – requires numbering candidates by preference when voting).
  • Set a campaign advertising limit.
  • Publish candidate profiles on the local government website.


A summary paper which outlines what we heard from the consultation is now available. The contribution of community members, local governments and others who have supported the process to date will provide valuable input to the Local Government Review Panel and help transform local government in Western Australia.

A new Local Government Act for Western Australia: inclusive

Local Government Act Review Overview: inclusive

In 2017 the State Government announced a review of the Local Government Act 1995 — the first significant review since the Act was introduced more than two decades ago.

Download documents

Page reviewed 26 February 2020