Local government candidacy open for six days

PEOPLE from all backgrounds are being encouraged to stand as candidates when nominations for local government elections open this week.

Local Government Minister Shaun Leane said 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 could make a real difference to people’s lives.

Candidate nominations will be open for six days – from this Thursday until noon next Tuesday, September 22.

The elections on Saturday, October 24, will be held by postal vote and are expected to be Victoria’s biggest ever, with more than 4.5 million voters enrolled and 2000-plus candidates expected to contest.

Safe Campaigning Guidelines, available at the Local Government Victoria website, contain directions for regional Victoria and metropolitan Melbourne.

The state 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.

“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,” Mr Leane said.

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 noon next Tuesday, September 22.

More than 2100 potential candidates have already completed the course.

The Local Government Candidate Training Course and Safe Campaigning Guidelines are available online.