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Record numbers ready to run the election race

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Passionate citizens are ready to represent their communities, with 2135 candidates running in the 22 October council elections, an increase of 6.5 per cent since the last elections in 2012.

Candidates are vying for one of 637 vacancies across 78 councils in Victoria.

Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV) Chief Executive Officer, Rob Spence said it was pleasing to see an increase in community-minded candidates ready to join the election race.

"The high number of candidates shows that many passionate residents are ready to take on an influential role in their communities," Mr Spence said.

"The number of female candidates has reached 34 per cent. Despite only a one per cent increase from the last election, we welcome any increase in female representation. It's pleasing that 78 per cent of female incumbent councillors will be seeking re-election, showing the majority want to continue in their councillor roles.

"As part of our successful Stand for Council campaign we wanted to encourage people from all walks of life to consider nominating, including women and people from diverse cultural backgrounds to better reflect the communities they represent.

"We will see fresh faces joining councils across the state with 139 councillors retiring this year. We also have two wholly uncontested elections in Mansfield and Towong shires, with the majority of councillors new to the role.

"It's great to see the level of interest from candidates in Brimbank and Wangaratta where civic leaders will return. Clearly communities in growth areas want to have a greater say in the issues affecting them with the highest number of candidates in Wyndham and Casey councils at 95 and 84 respectively."

Nomination statistics:

  • Total candidates: 2135, including 465 incumbents
  • Vacancies: 637
  • Unopposed vacancies: 46 across 19 municipalities (seven per cent of total vacancies)
  • Incumbent councillors returned unopposed: 34 councillors from 18 municipalities
  • Mayors returned uncontested: seven (Boroondara, Campaspe, Corangamite, Loddon, Mansfield, Murrindindi and Towong councils)
  • Every vacancy contested: 59 councils
  • Highest number of nominations: Wyndham: 95 for 11 vacancies, Casey: 84 for 11 vacancies, Monash and Nillumbik: 69 for 11 and 7 vacancies
  • Retired councillors: 139 (23 per cent) including 15 mayors
  • Women candidates: 724 (34 per cent of all candidates). Women currently comprise 35 per cent of elected councillors.

"Putting your hand up to become an influential voice of a community can be a daunting first step in the council election process yet it's clear that many are ready to embrace the challenges and rewards of being a councillor," Mr Spence said.

"We would encourage voters to get to know those that are standing when candidate statements and questionnaires become available on the Victorian Electoral Commission website in the next week."

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For further information contact MAV CEO Rob Spence on 0418 132 573 or the MAV Communications Unit on (03) 9667 5547.

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Voting at elections: Six councils will hold attendance elections: Banyule, Greater Dandenong, Knox, Moreland, Port Phillip and Yarra cities.