Sunday, 30 April 2017


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Stand for Council

If you want to make a difference in your community and have a say in local decision-making, stand for election as a local government councillor.

There are many reasons why people stand for council. The sense of satisfaction from serving the community, increased knowledge about the operation of government, improved confidence in public speaking and the chance to play an important role in the changes occurring within your community.

Candidate Information

Every local government has information about standing for council. If you wish to stand for council, it is important that you contact your local government’s returning officer.

The statutory notices inviting nominations for this year’s council elections were published by the Western Australian Electoral Commission (WAEC) and the Western Australian Local Government Association (WALGA) in the West Australian newspaper on Wednesday, 26 August 2015. The notices advised of the nomination period beginning on Thursday, 3 September 2015 and ending at 4.00pm on Thursday, 10 September 2015

Under the Local Government Act 1995, local governments can conduct their own “voting in person” elections, or contract the Western Australian Electoral Commission (WAEC) to conduct voting in person elections on their behalf. The Act also gives local governments the option of postal elections, but if this option is chosen, it is compulsory for the local government to contract the WAEC.

The WAEC is this year conducting the elections for 88 local governments (up from 78 in 2013), with the remaining 50 opting to conduct their own voting in person elections.

While most of the elections conducted by the WAEC will be postal elections, six local governments have contracted it to conduct voting in person elections on their behalf. The Town of East Fremantle has also engaged the WAEC, making the Electoral Commissioner responsible for all metropolitan local government elections for the first time.

A total of 594 ordinary councillor vacancies (for four year terms) have been advertised across the State, along with 47 extraordinary councillor vacancies (for two year terms, arising from circumstances such as sitting councillors resigning), for a total of 641 councillor vacancies.

Twelve popularly elected mayoral positions are also advertised, along with the position of president of the Shire of Carnarvon (the only popularly elected shire president in the State).

A list of council vacancies is available which shows the number of advertised vacancies for each local government, categorised according to:

  • metropolitan elections conducted by the WAEC;
  • regional elections conducted by the WAEC; and
  • regional elections conducted by local governments themselves.

For elections conducted by the WAEC, a list of returning officers for each local government is available on the Commission’s website.

For all other elections, contact the relevant local government for more information. Refer to the department’s local government directory for contact details.

Online Nomination Tool

Candidates for those local governments that are conducting postal elections, or are using the Western Australian Electoral Commission to conduct their Voting in Person elections, can use the Western Australian Electoral Commission’s online Nomination Builder to complete their nomination application.

The Role of Elected Members

The importance of the role of mayor, president or councillor cannot be underestimated. It involves a strong commitment to achieve effective local government, which improves the quality of life in your community. An effective council is essential and requires teamwork and dedication from all elected members.

The Local Government Act 1995 (the Act) makes provision for the role of a mayor or president and councillor. A copy of the Act is available on the State Law Publisher website.

Mayor or President

  • presides at meetings in accordance with the Act
  • provides leadership and guidance to the community in the district
  • carries out civic and ceremonial duties on behalf of the local government
  • speaks on behalf of the local government
  • performs such other functions as are given to the mayor or president by the Act or any other written law, and
  • liaises with the CEO on the local government’s affairs and the performance of its functions.


  • represents the interests of electors, ratepayers and residents of the district
  • provides leadership and guidance to the community in the district
  • facilitates communication between the community and the council
  • participates in the local government’s decision-making processes at council and committee meetings, and
  • performs such other functions as are given to a councillor by the Act or any other written law.

The Department of Local Government and Communities encourages people from diverse backgrounds to nominate for election as councillors and offers advice to candidates. For more information, please contact us.

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