Local government elections play an important role in our democratic system and are an excellent opportunity for people to contribute to, and be involved in, their local community.
Local government elections are held every two years on the third Saturday in October. In Western Australia, Councillors are elected for terms of four years, with elections held every two years for half of the council. If a vacancy occurs within a term, an extraordinary election is held to fill the place.
Elections are conducted by the Western Australian Electoral Commission (WAEC) to ensure elections are conducted independently and with impartiality. The WAEC appoints a Returning Officer to oversee the election, with this person taking candidate nominations, receiving votes and supervising the count on election night.
Nominations are open for a period of eight days and must be received by the Returning Officer by 4.00pm on the day of close of nominations, which is 37 days before election day. If the number of candidates is equal to the number of vacancies, the candidate is elected unopposed. If there are more candidates than vacancies, the election will proceed.
The voting method for local government elections is first-past-the-post, with elections conducted by either in person voting or through postal voting. Votes must be received by the Returning Officer by 6.00pm on polling day in order to be counted.
The City of Melville has 12 Councillors and a Mayor who represent six wards across the City. At each election, six councillors (half of council) are elected for terms of four years. The Mayor is elected every four years (every second election) in what is called a Mayoral election.
Enrolling to vote
Eligible electors are residents of the City who are able to vote in Commonwealth elections and are listed on the State and Commonwealth electoral rolls. If you are enrolled on the State Electoral Roll, you are automatically enrolled on the corresponding local government roll. To check your enrolment, visit the WAEC website. Enrolments and changes to enrolments close 50 days prior to polling day.
Non-resident owners and occupiers
Eligible electors can also be non-resident property owners or occupiers who are eligible to vote in State elections and are listed on the State or Commonwealth Electoral Roll. If you are a non-resident and wish to vote, you must complete an Election Eligibility Claim Form and return it to the City of Melville no later than 50 days prior to polling day.
Owners of land who were on the last Local Government Roll continue to retain that status until they cease to own the rateable property to which the enrolment relates. Occupiers do not have continuous enrolment and should contact us to confirm their enrolment status. To be eligible to enrol as an occupier, you will need to have a right of continuous occupation under a lease, tenancy agreement or other legal instrument for at least the next three months following the date of the application to enrol.
Joint owners and occupiers and corporations
If a rateable property is owned or occupied by more than two people, a majority of the owners/occupiers may nominate two persons from amongst themselves who are on either the State or Commonwealth Electoral Roll, to enrol as owner/occupier electors.
A body corporate that owns or occupies rateable property may nominate two people who are on either the State or Commonwealth Electoral Roll to enrol as owner/occupier electors.
Nominating as a candidate
Councillors and Mayors are elected representatives of the community who work together as an elected body to make decisions that shape the future of our City. They should represent the interests of their electors, ratepayers and residents.
Becoming a councillor is a big decision with many obligations and commitments. To help candidates understand what their role as Councillor will be if successful, the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries provides valuable information on their website.
- The role of a council member
- Responsibilities and rights
- How to nominate
- Running an election campaign
- Conduct of local government elections
- What happens when you become a council member.
All candidates are required to complete a compulsory online induction. Access the module on the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries' website.
Voting in local government elections
We opt to use postal voting and postal voting packages will be mailed to all eligible electors on the local government electoral roll. Packages include a list of candidates, ballot papers, instructions on how to vote, a declaration and a reply paid envelope.
Make sure to post in your vote as soon as possible - no later than the Monday of the week of the election - to ensure it will be received by the Returning Officer by 6.00pm on Election Day. Votes must be received by this time in order to be counted. If you miss the postal deadline, you can hand-deliver your vote to our Civic Centre, 10 Almondbury Road, Booragoon by 6.00pm on Election Day. There will be a ballot box in the foyer. There is no absent voting in postal elections.
If you lose your postal package, or you didn’t receive it, contact us and we can arrange a replacement package. A form needs to be completed and returned to the Civic Centre. Please do this as soon as possible so you don’t miss out on your chance to have your say.
Election results can be found on the WAEC website.