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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. For more information, view Disclosures of Electoral Gifts on the Western Australia Electoral Commission website.

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. 

Candidate Information Session

A candidate information session will be held at Council House on 1 September 2021 at 5:30pm for a 6pm start.

This session will be attended by Lord Mayor Basil Zempilas, City of Perth CEO Michelle Reynolds, Electoral Commissioner Robert Kennedy, WALGA Manager Governance and Procurement James McGovern.

This session will include information about being an elected member and how to stand for election.

Please register your attendance to elections@cityofperth.wa.gov.au

Key Dates for the 2021 Election

  • Wednesday 1 September 2021 - Candidate Information Session, arrive at 5:30pm for a 6pm start
  • Thursday 2 September 2021 - Nominations open
  • Thursday 9 September 2021 - Nominations close at 4pm
  • Saturday 16 October 2021 - Election Day and Counting of Votes

Candidate Queries:

Candidates who are seeking information from the City or need to declare an electoral gift can do so by contacting elections@cityofperth.wa.gov.au

Key Resources

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?

    To nominate as a candidate, it is recommended to use the WAEC's Nomination Builder. Watch the step by step video for instructions on how to use Nomination Builder.

    To nominate as a candidate for a local government election, the candidate must make a valid nomination application. This consists of:

    • a completed nomination form - For elections being run by the WAEC, it is recommended that candidates use Nomination Builder to complete their nomination form and construct their candidate profile.
    • a candidate profile (800 characters maximum)
    • a deposit of $80
    • a photograph (optional).

    All nomination applications must be signed by the candidate in front of a witness.

    The nomination application must be presented to the Returning Officer at a pre-arranged appointment before 4.00pm on the day of close of nominations, 37 days before election day (Thursday, 9 September 2021).

    As the Returning Officer may ask candidates to amend their nomination, it is recommended that candidates ensure that they have allowed sufficient time to finalise any required changes prior to the close of nominations.

    The Electoral Commissioner has appointed Steve Tweedie as Returning Officer for the 2021 City of Perth Ordinary Election. He can be contacted via email to lgro_perth@elections.wa.gov.au or phone at 0460 289 487.

  • 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. 
    • Governance.

    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.
     
    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 $200 or more that was given or promised during the disclosure period (being six months before Election Day. Friday, 16 April 2021).
     
    Electoral gifts
    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 $200)
    • 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 $200 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 $200 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.
     
    Disclosure period
    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 will be removed three days after Election Day for unsuccessful candidates and at the completion of the term of office for successful candidates.

     
  • 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 apply irrespective of who is publishing the material and whether it is in printed or electronic form.

    Any electoral advertisement, handbill, pamphlet or electoral notice (other than an advertisement in a newspaper announcing the holding of a meeting), must have at the end of it, the name and physical street address (not a PO Box number) of the person authorising it. If the material is printed in hard copy, then it must also include the name and place of business of the printer at the foot of the material. This applies unless the advertisement is in a newspaper (in which case the printer is obvious and contactable).

    If election material is produced and printed by the one person (eg. using a home computer and printer), then the legislative provisions are satisfied by adding ‘Authorised and printed by (name), (address)’ at the end of it.

    Certain small items of a candidate or party promotional nature are exempt from the requirement to carry the authorisation and addresses. These include:

    • T-shirts, lapel buttons, lapel badges, pens, pencils or balloons
    • Business or visiting cards that promote the candidacy of any person in an election.

    Any advertising on the Internet (eg. banner ads) must also be authorised. A website or Facebook site created for electioneering purposes needs to be authorised (on the home or landing page), however individual comments on social media (eg. such as Twitter or Facebook) do not.

    Penalties may be applied for non-compliance with the authorisation requirements, as well as for any misleading or deceptive publications.

     
  • 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 the fee 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, currently $31,678 per annum.

    The Lord Mayor is paid the maximum annual attendance fee of $47,516. 

    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, currently $137,268.

    The Deputy Lord Mayor also receives an annual allowance which is 25% of the Lord Mayors annual allowance, currently $34,317.

    The Lord Mayor, Deputy Lord Mayor and other Council members are also provided with an annual Information and Communications Technology allowance of $3,500 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
    Sign Size – a sign must not be larger than 1m height by 600 mm width for a general sign, unless otherwise approved by the City. Sign Construction and Location Requirements:

    • 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;
    • all posts which support a sign or banner must be safe, not be erected/positioned in a dangerous manner and be capped with protective covers on their ends;
    • be placed at least twenty-five (25) metres from a signalised traffic intersection or pedestrian activated crossing;
    • 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;
    • must have a contrasting colour to their surrounding background, to assist the visually impaired; and
    • contain clear and legible writing or symbols.

    A sign must not:

    • cause a safety hazard to pedestrians or traffic and should be located at least two (2) metres from any adjacent infrastructure or trees;
    • cause an obstruction or impair any access to a person or vehicle;
    • be placed in the median strip, traffic island, or attached to road furniture/infrastructure, parking pole, traffic signals or street/verge tree;
    • be illuminated (internally or indirectly), move, flash, rotate or unreasonably reflect so as to be an undue distraction to drivers;
    • be adhesive in nature or affixed to another structure;
    • be placed so as to cover any City signs or markings; or
    • resemble or be reasonably mistaken by road users as a traffic control device.


    A Sign must only be displayed in the case of:

    • Federal and State elections during the period commencing on the issue of the writ or writs for the election and ending at the close of the polls on polling day. Sign/s must be removed within forty-eight (48) hours of the close of polls, or they will be considered illegal signs.
    • Local Government elections during the period commencing on nomination day prior to polling day and ending at the close of polls on polling day. Should the sign/s not be removed within forty-eight (48) hours of the close of polls, or they will be considered illegal signs.


    Election 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.