Campaign begins for 53 Greater Geelong residents
Following the close of nominations for the Greater Geelong City Council election yesterday, the Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV) encourages the 53 candidates to understand the rules they must comply with before kicking off their campaigns.
There have been 13 nominations for Bellarine Ward, 18 for Brownbill Ward, 11 for Kardinia Ward and 11 for Windermere Ward.
MAV President Cr Mary Lalios said it was encouraging to see so many locals passionate about their community and standing for council.
Cr Lalios said campaigning would now begin, which was an important part of the election process because it helped residents to get to know their local candidates and understand what they stand for.
“Even with the rise of social media, door knocking is still one of the most effective campaign methods,” Cr Lalios said.
“Door knocking might seem outdated but it is such an important way to campaign, because it gives residents the opportunity to express their local concerns or issues to the candidate face-to-face.
“It also allows the candidate to inform residents about what they stand for and why they have chosen to run for council.”
Cr Lalios said social media was an increasingly popular way for candidates to campaign, but needed to be managed carefully.
During the 2016 council elections, the Local Government Investigations and Compliance Inspectorate processed 78 formal complaints (PDF - 2.91MB) about social media and online content – accounting for 40 per cent of all complaints about election materials and campaigns.
“Be clear about your identity as a candidate in the election and always be patient, courteous and respectful of others’ opinions when using social media as a campaign tool,” Cr Lalios said.
“Candidates must not publish information or make statements which they know to be false or may reasonably be taken to be misleading or deceptive.
“Of course the majority of candidates do the right thing – but it’s important that everyone understands their responsibilities.
“I wish all candidates the best of luck with their campaigns. Becoming a councillor can be challenging, but it is also so rewarding to be able to make a positive contribution to the community.”
Comprehensive guidance on standing for council – including campaigning – is available in the MAV’s publication ‘Citizen to Councillor' (PDF - 973KB) which is available to download at www.standforcouncil.com.au
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Contact: Cr Mary Lalios on 0447 189 409 or MAV Communications on 9667 5547.