Information for candidates
There are many reasons why people stand for Council including the sense of satisfaction from serving the community and the chance to play an important role in the changes occurring within the community. As an Elected Member for the Capital City, there is a special and unique responsibility that is much broader than the defined local government boundary.
Please visit the following websites for more information on how you can get involved:
Western Australian Electoral Commission
Department for Local Government, Sport, and Cultural Industries
Potential candidates should be aware of their obligations concerning disclosure of electoral donations when standing for Council. Candidates and donors are required to disclose any electoral related gifts promised or received within the six months prior to polling day.
More information can be found below and here.
Potential Candidates are required to complete a candidate induction prior to nomination, further information is available on the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries website.
In accordance with the Local Government Act 1995 the City of Perth Code of Conduct for Council Members, Committee Members and Candidates applies to all candidates in the election. Candidates must abide by the code of conduct during the election and afterwards, should they be elected as a Council member. Candidates that breach the code of conduct during their election campaign may be subject to a complaint under that code which will be dealt with in accordance with the Local Government Act 1995 and Regulations.
Standing for Council FAQs
Who can nominate to stand as a candidate?
Under the Local Government Act 1995, to be eligible to nominate as a candidate for a local government election, the candidate must be an elector of the district (residential or owner/occupier) and over 18 years of age. A person cannot nominate as a candidate if they:
- are a member of the Legislative Assembly, the Legislative Council, the House of Representatives or the Senate (or has been elected as such a member but has not yet taken office)
- are a member of the council of another local government
- are an insolvent under administration
- are in prison serving a sentence for a crime
- have been convicted of a serious local government offence within the last 5 years (unless the court waived the disqualification)
- have been convicted on indictment of an offence for which the indictable penalty was, or included:
- imprisonment for life, or
- imprisonment for more than five years.
- are subject to a court order disqualifying him or her from being a member of a council because he or she has misapplied local government funds or property.
- Are a nominee of a body corporate.
Prior to nominating, all candidates must complete the online candidate induction course from the Department of Local Government, Sport & Cultural Industries website.
How do I nominate as a candidate for Council?Information on how to nominate can be found at the following links:
Nominating to be a council member | DLGSC
Local Government 2023 - Information for candidates | Western Australian Electoral Commission (elections.wa.gov.au)
Who is the Returning Officer?Details of the Returning Officer for the City of Perth will be listed prior to the 2025 election.
What are the roles and responsibilities of the Lord Mayor?
The Lord Mayor of the City of Perth’s unique role is recognised in the City of Perth Act. The Lord Mayor is a key public official who, in addition to ensuring good governance and representing the views and direction of Council, acts as an ambassador for the City.
The special role of the Lord Mayor is defined in section 10 of the City of Perth Act, listing the role of the Lord Mayor as follows:
- To act as an ambassador for the City in hosting international delegations and attending local, regional, state, national and international civic functions and events.
- To carry out civic and ceremonial duties associated with the Office of Lord Mayor.
- To develop and maintain inter-governmental relationships at regional, state, national and international levels, and as part of that to develop and implement strategies and policies that seek to ensure consistency in policies and strategic direction at all levels of government.
- To provide leadership and guidance to Council.
- To preside at meetings in accordance with the Act.
- To speak on behalf of the City.
- To liaise with the CEO on the City’s affairs and the performance of its functions.
To perform other functions that are given to the Lord Mayor under the City of Perth Act, the Act or any other written law.
The Lord Mayor’s roles and responsibilities include:
- Presiding Member of Council.
- Spokesperson for Council.
- External Relations.
- Civic and Ceremonial.
- Leadership and Guidance.
The Lord Mayor must also undertake the same responsibilities as the Councillors which are detailed below.
What are the roles and responsibilities of the Elected Members?
The City of Perth Act, the Act and the relevant regulations provide the legislative framework within which the Elected Members operate and from where they derive specific details of their roles and responsibilities.
In accordance with section 11 of the City of Perth Act the general roles of Elected Members are:
- Represent the interests of electors, ratepayers and residents of the City.
- Serve the current and future interests of the community in the City.
- Provide leadership and guidance to the community in the City.
- Facilitate communication between the community and Council.
- Participate in the Council decision-making processes at council and committee meetings.
- Participate in the determination, oversight and regular review of the following matters, as required by the Act or any other written law —
- the Council’s policies, goals, finances, resource allocation, expenditure and corporate strategies.
- the efficiency and effectiveness of the Council’s service delivery, the performance standards for that service delivery and the monitoring of those performance standards.
- In matters that relate to the unique responsibilities of the City that flow from Perth’s status as the capital of Western Australia, to seek to ensure that —
- an appropriate balance is struck among economic, social, cultural and environmental considerations.
- the flow on effects on the broader metropolitan area are considered.
- Have due regard to the objects of the City in informing Council’s work and in the making of decisions by Council.
- Participate in achieving a vision for the desired future of the City through the formulation of strategic plans and policies that align with the objects of the City.
- Ensure that Council discharges its responsibilities under the City of Perth Act, the Act and any other written law.
- Perform whatever other functions are given to Elected Members by the City of Perth Act, the Act or any other written law.
Further, information can be found on the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries website.
Do candidates have to declare gifts?
Yes, candidates have a duty of disclosure of electoral donations. Candidates and donors are required to disclose any electoral-related gifts promised or received within the six months prior to election day.
Electoral gift donors are closely associated persons under the Act. Prior to accepting any electoral gifts, candidates should consider how the acceptance may affect their ability to participate in future decision-making processes.
Electoral gifts do not include the provision of volunteer labour, gifts by will, or gifts by a relative (as defined by section 5.74(1) of the Act).Part 5A of the Local Government (Elections) Regulations 1997 - Disclosure of Gifts:
Both candidates and donors to disclose information about any electoral related gift with a value of $300 or more that was given or promised during the disclosure period (being six months before the relevant Election Day).
A "gift" means a disposition of property, or the conferral of any financial benefit, made by one person in favour of another.
It can include:
- a gift of money
- a gift which is non-monetary but of value
- a gift in kind or where there is inadequate financial consideration such as the receipt of a discount (where the difference or the discount is worth more than $300)
- a financial or other contribution to travel
- the provision of a service for no consideration or for inadequate consideration
- a firm promise or agreement to give a gift at some future time.
It is important to note that a gift could be one or more gifts from the same donor that's combined value is $300 or more.
A "gift" does not include a gift by will; a gift from a relative; a gift that does not relate to the candidate's candidature; or the provision of volunteer labour.
Disclosure of electoral gifts
Both candidates and donors are required to disclose information about any electoral related gift with a value of $300 or more that is given or promised within the disclosure period. It is essential that candidates be aware of this legislative requirement and should advise donors of their reporting responsibilities.
Within three days of nomination, any candidate in a local government election is required to disclose any gifts received within the disclosure period prior to nomination. The disclosure period commences six months prior to Election Day. Any gift received after nomination is required to be disclosed within three days of acceptance of the gift. Penalties apply $5,000.
The disclosure period finishes three days after Election Day for unsuccessful candidates and on the start day for financial interest returns for successful candidates.
How a disclosure is made
All disclosures are to be made on a LG09A Disclosure of Gifts form and delivered to the Chief Executive Officer within three days of receiving the gift, once your candidate nomination has been made to the Returning Officer.
Donors will also need to disclose any gifts made within the relevant period. Information to be supplied includes the name of the candidate, the name and address of the donor, the date the gift was promised or received, the value of the gift and a description of the gift.
The Chief Executive Officer is required to establish and maintain a public electoral gift register. Disclosures must be kept on the register for the period of 4 years after the relevant election day.
Further information can be found at the following link:
Electoral gifts and crowdfunding | DLGSC
Does campaign material have to be authorised?
A common area or concern for some candidates relates to the authorisation of election campaign material. It is important to note that any material “that is intended, calculated or likely to affect voting in an election” is required to be authorised once the writs have been issued.
The requirements relating to the authorisation of election material, including printed materials and social media, can be found at the following links:
Electoral offences and complaints – local government election | Western Australian Electoral Commission (elections.wa.gov.au)
Rights and obligations in campaigning | DLGSC
Do I need a development approval for an election sign?
Under the City’s Signs Policy an election sign is exempt from requiring development approval where it is not erected or installed until the election is called and is removed no later than 48 hours after the election is conducted.
Also, under cl 61 of the Deemed Provisions, the temporary erection or installation of an advertisement is exempt from requiring approval if —
(i) the advertisement is erected or installed in connection with an election, referendum or other poll conducted under the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 (Commonwealth), the Electoral Act 1907 or the Local Government Act 1995; and
(ii) the primary purpose of the advertisement is for political communication in relation to the election, referendum or poll; and
(iii) the advertisement is not erected or installed until the election, referendum or other poll is called and is removed no later than 48 hours after the election, referendum or other poll is conducted.
The sign must not cause any obstruction or hazard or contain offensive content and must have the consent of the owner of the land on which it is erected.
How much do Elected Members get paid?
A council member who attends a council meeting is entitled to be paid fees set by the City of Perth (City) within the range determined by the Salaries and Allowances Tribunal (SAT) (the current determination is available here).
The City’s ‘Council Member Allowances, Fees and Entitlements’ policy provides that a Council Member, other than the Lord Mayor, is to be paid the maximum annual attendance fee as determined by the SAT.
The Lord Mayor is paid the maximum annual attendance fee.
In addition to annual attendance fees, the Lord Mayor also receives an annual allowance. The City’s council policy provides that this allowance is to bet set at the maximum level determined by the SAT.
The Deputy Lord Mayor also receives an annual allowance which is the maximum percentage, determined by the SAT, of the Lord Mayor's annual allowance.
The Lord Mayor, Deputy Lord Mayor and other Council members are also provided with an annual Information and Communications Technology allowance and may claim reimbursement for expenses in accordance with the 'Council Member Allowances, Fees and Entitlements’ policy which is available here.
Can I display election signs on City property
City Approval Not Required
Approval of the City is not required for a temporary election sign in Federal, State or Local Government elections, referendum or other poll, which is affixed or erected on local government and public property or on private property, if;
- the sign is erected or installed in connection with an election, referendum or other poll conducted under the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 (Commonwealth), the Electoral Act 1907 or the Local Government Act 1995;
- the primary purpose of the sign is for political communication in relation to the election, referendum or poll;
- the sign is not erected or installed until the election, referendum or other poll is called and is removed no later than forty-eight (48) hours after the election, referendum or other poll is conducted;
Number of Signs
There are no restrictions on the number of signs.
Size, Construction and Location of Signs
- not be placed on Council House grounds until polling day;
- be constructed of materials that will not have an adverse effect on the safety or convenience of any person, movement of persons, vehicles or land;
- be placed at, or about, ground level;
- be secure and free standing;
- have posts which support a sign or banner safely, not be erected/positioned in a dangerous manner and be capped with protective covers on their ends;
- be placed so as not to restrict the sight distance of other signs and traffic control devices or impede the vision of a driver of a vehicle using a street;
- have a contrasting colour to their surrounding background, to assist the visually impaired; and
- contain clear and legible writing or symbols;
- not cause an obstruction or impair any access to a person or vehicle;
- not be placed in the median strip, traffic island, or attached to road furniture/infrastructure, parking pole, traffic signals or street/verge tree;
- not be illuminated (internally or indirectly), move, flash, rotate or unreasonably reflect so as to be an undue distraction to drivers;
- not resemble or be reasonably mistaken by road users as a traffic control device.
Signs Erected on Polling Day
An election sign may be erected or displayed on polling day on local government property, which is used as a polling place on that day, but must not be greater than 2m2 in area and must be at least 6 metres from the entrance to the main doors of the polling place.