Victorians from all backgrounds are being encouraged to stand as candidates when nominations for local government elections open next week.
Minister for Local Government Shaun Leane said that serving on council was an opportunity for people to represent their community, play a role in Victoria’s recovery from the coronavirus pandemic and deliver changes that can make a real difference to people’s lives.
Candidate nominations will be open for six days – from Thursday, 17 September until midday on Tuesday, 22 September. The elections on Saturday, 24 October will be held by postal vote and are expected to be Victoria’s biggest ever, with more than 4.5 million voters enrolled and 2,000-plus candidates expected to contest.
Updated Safe Campaigning Guidelines will permit letterboxing and billboarding with certain conditions in metropolitan Melbourne from 14 September. Candidates and campaign team members will be permitted to engage in these campaigning activities in the ward in which they are running for office for up to two hours a day, while following the directions of the Chief Health Officer.
The guidelines, available at the Local Government Victoria website, contain directions for regional Victoria and metropolitan Melbourne.
The Victorian Government’s It’s Our Time campaign is encouraging prospective female candidates to stand for election by offering support and advice on running a successful campaign, connecting with mentors and having an impact on council.
The Government has also supported the Victorian Local Governance Association’s Your Community, Country and Council program which has delivered a series of online forums and podcasts to encourage Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to stand for council.
All candidates for the 2020 elections must complete the Local Government Candidate Training Course before they nominate – the easy to follow online course will close at midday on Tuesday, 22 September 2020. More than 2,100 potential candidates have already completed the course.
The Local Government Candidate Training Course and Safe Campaigning Guidelines are available at localgovernment.vic.gov.au/council-elections-2020/elections-2020.
As stated by Minister for Local Government Shaun Leane
“Local governments across Victoria make decisions that help to shape our future – we need a diverse range of voices on our councils and I encourage all Victorians to consider putting their hand up.”
“Local government deals with issues that affect communities every day – serving on council is a great opportunity to deliver real change.”