Stand for Council

Victorian council elections are held every four years and give people an opportunity to influence the change they would like to see in their communities by standing for council.

On 24 October this year, Victorians will have the opportunity to elect councillors who they think best represent, at the local level, their vision and interests for a better, stronger and more sustainable future.

The COVID-19 restrictions means campaigning for community support will be quite different this year. However, your right to nominate as a candidate and the right of citizens to vote for a candidate that best represents them is a cornerstone of our democracy. Local government, as the tier of government closest to the community, is where democracy starts. As a councillor, you are the link between council and community. We understand the significant challenges posed by coronavirus may cause a lot of people rethink their capacity for community service this year, including nominating for council. The statistics tell us that this is particularly true for women and people from diverse backgrounds. But now, more than ever we need committed, motivated and passionate people that reflect the diversity of our communities to stand for council. Local leadership is vital to drive the recovery of local communities and economies.

How to stand for council – and how this year will be different

Potential candidates must undertake Mandatory Candidate Training sessions run by the State Government. A link to the Mandatory Candidate Training module will be available on every council website. Please contact your council for further information.

Local Government Victoria (LGV) has also released The Safe Campaign Guidelines - July 2020 which provides advice on safe campaigning for the October local government elections. The Guidelines will help candidates understand how to comply with the directions of the Victorian Chief Health Officer to stay safe while campaigning. This includes advice on permitted campaign activities, safety for campaign teams, basic hygiene and physical distancing. LGV will continually update these guidelines with the latest directions and restrictions. We recommended candidates check the guidelines regularly throughout campaigning.

In partnership with councils, the Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV) runs Candidate Information Sessions to provide community members and prospective candidates with information about the electoral process; the role and purpose of local government; and the role, responsibilities and expectations of a councillor. These sessions are run free of charge and provide potential candidates with a great opportunity to better understand what it’s like to serve the community as a councillor.

For more information on becoming a councillor contact us at standforcouncil@mav.asn.au.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, both the Mandatory Training and Candidate Information Sessions will be delivered online.

Postal voting will be used for the elections, longer candidate statements will be allowed in the Victorian Electoral Commission. Voter Information packs and guidance will be available on suitable and safe campaigning methods.

Despite the challenges imposed by COVID-19, the MAV is working closely with councils and the state to ensure the elections remain fair and safe.

Colleen Furlanetto OAM, former mayor and councillor at Strathbogie Shire.

“We need you. We need representatives of our community in local government to inform decisions. To inform the decision-makers at state and federal government about what our communities need.”