Code of Conduct
Voluntary Code of Conduct for Candidates in City of Perth Elections
This voluntary Code of Conduct for Candidates is applicable only to those persons nominating for election to the Council of the City of Perth who are not Councillors seeking re-election. Sitting Elected Members of the City of Perth are bound by the Local Government (Rules of Conduct) Regulations 2007 and the City’s Code of Conduct.
Each candidate (not being an Elected Member) will be requested to agree to abide by the voluntary Code once it is obvious that a person intends to become a candidate or when a person announces their intention to be a candidate.
The purpose of the code is to help candidates avoid behaviours which may have undesirable legal consequences for them and to ensure fair and open elections for all candidates.
Candidates in local government elections need to be aware of the legal framework in which the elections are conducted and the obligations that the Local Government Act 1995 (the Act) and the Local Government (Elections) Regulations 1997 (the Regulations) place upon candidates.
Candidates should make themselves familiar with the following legislative provisions:
- Sections 2.7, 2.8 and 2.10 of the Act which outline the role of the Council, the role of the Lord Mayor and the role of Councillors.
- Division 5 of Part 2 of the Act which outlines the qualifications for holding office on the Council.
- Divisions 9, 10 and 11 of Part 4 of the Act dealing with the electoral process, the validity of elections and electoral offences.
- Parts 5 and 5A of the Regulations relating to nominations and the disclosure of gifts.
The Voluntary Code of Conduct for Candidates
Candidates shall behave and conduct their campaigns so as to maintain and strengthen the public's trust and confidence in the democratic election process, and promote integrity in the local government electoral system. Candidate's conduct should be fair and reasonable. This requires that a candidate will:-
1. Act honestly in making representations about the candidate's own claims for election, and their intention to represent the electorate.
2. Act honestly in making representations about the claims of other candidates for election.
3. Only make public statements which the candidate knows are true about an opponent's personal affairs.
4. Avoid making frivolous or vexatious complaints to the Chief Executive Officer or the Western Australian Electoral Commissioner against an opponent during a campaign.
5. Avoid conduct which is contrary to any law particularly but not limited to:-
- Criminal Code offences;
- Local Government Act 1995 offences; and
- Council's Local Laws.
6. Conduct themselves in a manner to ensure they are not compromising a free and fair election process.
7. Avoid conflicts of interest arising from advocating election policies or proposals which would specifically deliver a private material personal interest to the candidate or an associate.
8. Abide by the election gift disclosure requirements of the Act. For example, any gifts totalling more than $200 in amount or value received by or on behalf of a candidate, during the disclosure period (commencing six months before Election Day and ending three days after the election if the candidate is unsuccessful) must be reported to the Chief Executive Officer.
9. Avoid placing themselves under any financial obligations that might influence them in discharging their duties and responsibilities if elected as an Elected Member.
10. Avoid influencing or affecting another person's election choices by giving, or promising, or offering to give, property or a benefit of any kind to anyone else.