Don't hesitate, nominate
The election race gets underway tomorrow with nominations opening on 15 September for Victorian council-hopefuls, following a successful campaign by the Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV) to increase community interest in standing for council.
MAV Chief Executive Officer, Rob Spence said it was clear that a substantial number of people would be nominating for the 22 October elections, given the high attendance at MAV-run candidate information sessions between June and August.
“We met with more than 1400 people who attended our 87 information sessions hosted by councils across the state, and this shows the keen interest of passionate community members to put themselves forward and become a strong voice at the local level,” Mr Spence said.
“Potential candidates also flocked to our Stand for Council website to find out more about running in the election with more than 26,000 visits to the site since May. Community interest in standing for council has continued to increase from one election to another which demonstrates the importance of local democracy.
Nominations are open from 15 September and close at midday on 20 September. Six councils will hold attendance elections, and 72 councils will hold elections by postal vote.
“If you’re over the age of 18, an Australian citizen, and on the electoral roll, chances are you will be eligible to nominate. This year, candidates will be vying for one of 636 councillor vacancies across 78 councils. Geelong will not hold elections until October 2017,” Mr Spence said.
“This is the single biggest democratic event in Victoria and it’s encouraging to see so many community members eager to represent their community. It’s also pleasing that both Brimbank and Wangaratta councils will see the return of democratically elected councillors for the first time since 2009 and 2013 respectively.
“Through our Stand for Council campaign we have tried to encourage greater diversity among candidates. Statistically we know that women, residents aged 18-25, and people from multicultural backgrounds are underrepresented so we hope this year elected councils will better reflect the communities they represent.
“Councillors have the unique opportunity to make real, tangible change within communities. Being a councillor can be challenging at times, but with dedication and hard-work it can be equally rewarding.
“If you think you’ve got the drive and passion to represent your community at the local level, don’t hesitate, nominate,” he said.
– Ends –
For further information contact MAV CEO Rob Spence on 0418 132 573 or the MAV Communications Unit on (03) 9667 5547.
Find out more about council elections: www.vec.vic.gov.au
Voting at elections: Six councils will hold attendance elections: Banyule, Greater Dandenong, Knox, Moreland, Port Phillip and Yarra cities.
Key local government election dates:
- 15 September: Nominations open
- 20 September: Nominations close 12pm
- 21 October: Postal voting closes 6pm
- 22 October: Election day – attendance voting