Local Government Victoria (LGV) works with the local government sector to provide advice and support to councils across the state. With the 2020 local government elections taking place in October, LGV have issued guidelines for safe campaigning during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The document provides advice for candidates in areas under Stage 3 and Stage 4 restrictions, helping them to understand how to comply with the directions of the Victorian Chief Health Officer whilst undertaking campaigning activities.
In regional Victoria, the Stage 3 (Stay at Home) restrictions allow people to leave home for four reasons only: to buy food and essential supplies, to give and receive care and healthcare, to exercise, to go to study or work (if study or work can’t be done from home). Face coverings must be worn when outside the home.
Campaigning for election is considered a work activity, and this therefore a permissible reason to leave home under these restrictions. However, the work must be done in a way that minimises the risk of COVID-19 transmission.
The guidelines provide a useful table for candidates to follow when assessing the types of campaign activities they may undertake.
On the Non-permissible activity list for candidates in Stage 3 areas:
Convening/attending meetings in public places
Convening/attending meetings in private residences
Meeting the public, attending community events
On the Permissible activity list is:
Handing out leaflets
Radio and TV
All permissible activities listed come with clear guidelines on how they are to be conducted, including the maintaining of good hand hygiene and social distancing.
To complement this, the Victorian Local Governance Association (VLGA) is running a live panel discussion titled ‘Campainging in COVID – It’s all about Social Media’. This session will take place on Friday 28 August, 1pm to 2.30pm. To register for the event, visit the VLGA website
To access the full safe campaigning guideline document, please visit the Local Government Victoria website.