Have you thought about being a Councillor?

Being a Councillor is a rewarding challenge – one which requires commitment, responsibility and accountability.

Many people in our local communities provide strong and strategic leadership. Local government can perform at its peak and make informed decisions when communities are represented by a diverse group of leaders. Diversity comes in many forms including backgrounds, experiences, culture, age and gender.

There are some eligibility requirements; you need to be an Australian citizen, at least 18 years of age on election day and enrolled to vote in the municipality you plan to stand in.

You also need to undertake Mandatory Training Information Sessions and provide this information to the VEC as evidence that you have undertaken the training prior to running for Council.

For more information on these and more requirements please visit the Local Government Act 2020 https://content.legislation.vic.gov.au/sites/default/files/2020-03/591055bs1_0.pdf

 How do I stand as a candidate?

Visit the “Becoming a council candidate” page on the VEC website for further details here: https://www.vec.vic.gov.au/candidates-and-parties/becoming-a-local-council-candidate

The Victorian Electoral Commission are your key contact so in the first instance please contact them on the above number or via https://www.vec.vic.gov.au/

Candidate Information Sessions – VLGA x 2 sessions

The Victorian Local Governance Association will host two candidate information session for community members interested in running for the 2020 Council elections.

The sessions will be held at the following dates and times:

Thursday 30 July 2020 1.00pm – 2.30pm Zoom URL https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84084667668?pwd=ZlhsWVhwNkVncGRRUUFRQkllZWFsZz09

Meeting ID: 840 8466 7668

Password: 193561

Wednesday 12 August 2020 6.00pm – 7.30pm Zoom URL https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87320830524?pwd=SU1aTGJFLzZpckV6MkVzdUxtbXIvUT09

Meeting ID: 873 2083 0524

Password: 650837

Both sessions will be held virtually via Zoom.

The VLGA have also released a ‘your campaign toolkit’ which is a candidate guide to the 2020 local government elections and can be viewed below.

https://www.vlga.org.au/sites/default/files/Your%20Campaign%20Toolkit%20-%20April%202020.pdf

Candidate Information Sessions – MAV Stand for Council – Thursday 27 August 6.30pm – 8.30pm

Council will host a MAV Stand for Council session 

This two-hour interactive session using the Zoom online platform will provide community members and prospective candidates with information about the role and purpose of local government; the role, responsibilities and expectations of a councillor, and the electoral process.

What the session will contain:

  • The role and purpose of local government
  • Details of the new Local Government Act 2020
  • Introduction to your council and information on the municipal area (presented by Mr Evan King, CEO Hepburn Shire)
  • Roles, responsibilities and expectations of a councillor (presented by Mr Jim Nolan, CEO Pyrenees Shire)
  • The experience of being a councillor
  • The electoral process and campaigning including key dates and information provided by the Victorian Electoral Commission

To participate in the Thursday 27 August session, register HERE. You will receive an email with a Zoom invite and instructions.

Mandatory Candidate Training – Requirement under the Local Government Act 2020.

Anyone who is wants to nominate as a candidate in the 2020 Local Government Elections, must complete mandatory training before they nominate. This is required under the Local Government Act 2020.

The Local Government Act 2020 has a requirement for Mandatory Candidate Training.

S256 (7) of the Local Government act 2020 says a person cannot nominate as a candidate for an election as a Councillor unless the person has completed the prescribed training.

For candidates completing the training it will remain valid through the general election and any by-election.

Candidates will be able to attend any candidate training session in any location and will need to make a declaration of participation to the Victorian Electoral Commission.

Who is running the Mandatory Candidate training?

The 2020 Candidate Mandatory Training will be an eLearning module facilitated by Local Government Victoria (LGV).

Under the new requirements included in the Local Government Act 2020, candidates must complete mandatory Local Government Candidate Training to be eligible to nominate for the election with the Victorian Electoral Commission. It had been intended that all Victorian councils would hold face-to-face training, however, in the interests of community and council staff safety the Minister has taken the decision that training will be available online.

The training will be available from the week of 3 August 2020 and the training must be completed before a candidate nominates.

When is the election?

The 2020 General Elections will take place on 24 October 2020 this year.

The Victorian Electoral Office (VEC) manage the election process.

Snap shot of election time frames:

  • Friday 28 August 2020 – close of the roll at 4.00pm
  • Wednesday 16 September – office opens to the public
  • Thursday 17 September – certification of the voter’s role and opening of nomination period
  • Nomination period from 17 September – 22 September
  • Close of nominations at 12pm noon
  • Ballot draws to determine the ballot paper orders
  • 23 September – early voting for each election
  • Deadline for lodgement of personal statements and photographs for postal elections at 12pm & deadline for lodgement of candidate questionnaire at 12pm
  • Friday 23 October – close of voting for all elections at 6pm
  • Saturday 24 October – Extraction and counting activities commence
  • Friday 30 October – postal vote receipt period closes at 12pm noon
  • Saturday 25 October to Friday 13 November – Declaration and counting

For more information on Hepburn Shire Council 2020 General Election, including timetable and ward structure please visit https://www.vec.vic.gov.au/voting/2020-local-council-election/elections/hepburn-shire-council

Voting Method:

All general elections will be held via postal vote across the entire State.

Enrolled voters will be sent a ballot pack between 6-8 October 2020. If you do not get your ballot pack by Monday 12 October 2020 contact the Victorian Electoral Commission on 131 832.

Where is the Election Office?

The Election Office is located at 26 Vincent Street, Daylesford.


It will be open from Monday 16 September 2020 until Friday 23 October 2020.

Who can enrol and how?

Everyone who has enrolled to vote in the State elections is automatically enrolled to vote in Council elections. This typically applies to Australian citizens aged 18 and over who have lived at their current address for at least one month.

If you are a Hepburn Shire Council resident, you will need to be enrolled to vote on the State electoral roll. You can check your enrollment details with the Victorian Electoral Commission.

If you have changed your name, postal or residential address you must update your enrolment details before 4pm Friday 28 August 2020.

Entitlement – Postal – Council Placemat – 2020

Non-resident Owners enrolled for the 2016 Council elections (s243)

If you own property in Hepburn Shire Council but do not live in the Shire and you were enrolled in the Shire for the 2016 elections you will be automatically enrolled to vote.

If the property is jointly owned Council will enroll two owners without requiring an application to enroll.

If the property is jointly owned by more than two people, the owners may change which two people are enrolled by completing this form: OWNER – Name variation – s243(2) and return it to Shire@hepburn.vic.gov.au and attention it to the Rates Department or PO Box 21 Daylesford Victoria 3460. Forms must be received by 4pm Friday 28 August 2020.

Up to two owners per property may apply.

Voting is not compulsory.

You can only be enrolled to vote once in each municipality.

Non-resident Owners (s242)

If you own property in Hepburn Shire Council but do not live in the Shire, you can still vote in the election, but it is not compulsory.

If you are a non-resident property owner in the Hepburn Shire Council who has purchased property or you sold and purchased in the Shire since the 2016 Council elections, you will need to apply to be enrolled.

Complete this form: OWNER – Application – s242(1) and return it to Shire@hepburn.vic.gov.au and attention it to the Rates Department PO Box 21 Daylesford Victoria 3460. Forms must be received by 4pm Friday 28 August 2020.

Up to two owners per property may apply.

You can only be enrolled to vote once in each municipality.

Non-citizen Owners (s242)

If you are not Australian citizens but own a property in Hepburn Shire Council and are aged 18 and over, you can apply to be enrolled.

Complete this form: OWNER – Application – s242(1)  and return it to Shire@hepburn.vic.gov.au and attention it to the Rates Department or PO Box 21 Daylesford Victoria 3460. Forms must be received by 4pm Friday 28 August 2020.

Up to two owners per property may apply.

Voting is not compulsory.

Occupiers who pay the rates for the property to Council (s244)

If you occupy a property and pay the rates to Council or stipulates in your lease agreement that you pay the rates, you can apply to be enrolled.

Council encourages occupiers of shops, commercial and industrial properties to apply to be enrolled on the Chief Executive Officers voters’ list.

Complete this form: OCCUPIER – Application – s244(1) & (3) and return it to Shire@hepburn.vic.gov.au and attention it to the Rates Department or PO Box 21 Daylesford Victoria 3460. Forms must be received by 4pm Friday 28 August 2020.

Up to two owners and two occupiers per property may apply.

Voting is not compulsory.

You can only be enrolled to vote once in each municipality. If you are a resident or ratepayer you can not enrol to vote as an occupier.

Corporation Nominees (s245)

A corporation owning or occupying a property in Hepburn Shire Council where it pays the rates either directly to Council or stipulated in the lease agreement, may appoint either a director or company secretary to represent it on the Chief Executive Officers voters’ list. The person appointed cannot be otherwise eligible to vote in the municipality.

To appoint a representative to vote on behalf of a corporation owning a property complete this form: CORP Owner – Appointment – s245(1) and return it to attention it to the Rates Department at shire@hepburn.vic.gov.au or  PO Box 21 Daylesford Victoria 3460. Forms must be received by 4pm Friday 28 August 2020.

To appoint a representative to vote on behalf of a corporation occupying a property complete this form: CORP Occupier – Appointment – s245(2) and return it via attention it to the Rates Department and send it  to shire@hepburn.vic.gov.au or  PO Box 21 Daylesford Victoria 3460. Forms must be received by 4pm Friday 28 August 2020.

Up to two owners and two occupiers per property may apply.

Voting is not compulsory.

Who can be a candidate?

Candidates need to be:

  • an Australian citizen; and
  • enrolled as a voter for Hepburn Shire Council by 4pm Friday 28 August 2020; and
  • complete mandatory candidate training.

Nominations

Nominations for the Council election open 9am Thursday 17 September and close at 12 noon on Tuesday 22 September.

Nominations must be lodged in person with the Victorian Electoral Commission at 26 Vincent Street, Daylesford.

Further information about nominating, including the Postal Election Candidate Handbook, can be obtained from the Victorian Electoral Commission.

Is voting compulsory?

Yes – voting is compulsory for all State enrolled voters

Everyone enrolled to vote MUST lodge their Ballot Paper with Australia Post by 6.00pm on Friday 23 October 2020. If you do not vote you may receive a fine from the Victorian Electoral Commission

 What is the current Electoral Structure of Hepburn Shire Council?

Even though an electoral representation review was undertaken in 2019, the Hepburn Shire Council’s electoral structure has not changed; continues to consist of seven councillors elected from five wards with adjustments to the current ward boundaries (two two-councillor wards and three single-councillor wards).

A Copy of the final report of the electoral representation review from 2019 can be found here https://www.vec.vic.gov.au/files/RepReviews/Hepburn%20Shire%20Council%20-%20Final%20Report%20-%20Representation%20Review%20-%2025%20March%202020.pdf

 Election Period

The election caretaker period begins on the last day that nominations can be received and ends at 6pm on election day. Our Election Period Policy ensures that Council business continues throughout this period in a responsible and transparent manner.

This is currently out for consultation as Chapter 7 of Council’s Draft Governance Rules and can be found here in Draft. https://www.hepburn.vic.gov.au/have-your-say-on-the-proposed-governance-rules-public-transparency-policy/

Council will adopt a final Election Period Policy on Tuesday 25 August 2020 Special Council Meeting.

COVIDSafe Election Arrangements

Victorian Electoral Commission (VEC)

The VEC is developing a COVIDSafe election plan, which describes adjustments necessary to ensure statutory election requirements are met, while ensuring the health and safety of all election staff and election participants. The COVIDSafe election plan will be made available to client councils and election participants as soon as possible.

The VEC is factoring the ever changing COVID-19 environment into its preparations.

All planning is based on the baseline of the Safe Work Australia and Government guidelines that were in place as of 31 May 2020. Additional restrictions or requirements will be immediately considered as they arise and added to the VEC’s baseline requirements. This will best position the VEC to withstand further outbreaks or tightening of arrangements in the future.

To support the VEC’s planning and management of the October 2020 local government general elections in the context of COVID-19, the Electoral Commissioner has established a reference group to contribute to analysis and decision-making as the VEC plans and implements the elections.

The Electoral Commissioner is chair of the group, which also comprises representatives from the Department of Premier and Cabinet, Local Government Victoria, an occupational physician and an enterprise risk management specialist. The group will provide subject matter expertise and advice on the VEC’s COVIDSafe plans, actions and responses. The group held its first meeting on 25 June and will continue to meet regularly until the end of November 2020.

Election activities that require further consideration as a result of COVID-19 are currently being reviewed and guidelines are being established for election service delivery. Updates will be provided as and when they become available.

At this point in time, the affected activities include:

  • delivery of planned face-to-face training for Election Managers and Assistant Election Managers will now use digital collaborative learning tools
  • candidate information sessions – no local, in-person sessions will be conducted. The information session will be recorded and streamed from the VEC website, complemented by three State-wide interactive candidate seminars based on the information session video
  • ballot draws will be live-streamed and able to be viewed online
  • ability for council staff to access election activities
  • ballot paper extraction and counting activities, including possible shift work with smaller teams, over a longer period in larger space
  • scrutineering arrangements, including potential restrictions on scrutineer activities or the numbers of scrutineers
  • public declaration of results

Local Government Victoria (LGV)

Local Government Victoria has developed guidelines on how to campaign safely. These guidelines can be viewed HERE

The guidelines cover what campaign activities are permitted, how to ensure campaign teams are safe and tips on basic hygiene and physical distancing.

LGV will continually update the guidelines with the latest directions and restrictions. It is recommended candidates check the guidelines regularly throughout campaigning.

Always refer to the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) for specific information on current restrictions by visiting HERE

LGV is available to provide advice to councils on non-health related queries on 1300 764 373 or email LGV.Emergencies@delwp.vic.gov.au.

VoterAlert Campaign

VoterAlert is the VEC’s free digital notification service for voters. Once registered, recipients receive SMS or email reminders to update their enrolment, vote or even advice that there is no need to vote if an election is uncontested.

Around half of the voters on the State electoral register have opted-in to the service, which equates to around two million voters. The VEC is hopeful that many more will sign up for the service, particularly given the local council general elections are being held in October this year. The VEC undertook a VoterAlert radio campaign to encourage State-enrolled electors to sign up to VoterAlert to receive free SMS and email alerts from the VEC reminding them to vote. The campaign concluded at the end of June.

The campaign also:

  • encouraged people to update their enrolment details, i.e. address and PO Box details, name changes etc.
  • called out that the October local government general elections will be held by post and that voting is compulsory.

In addition to the radio campaign, the VEC received contact details of electors who had not yet been opted-in to receive VoterAlert. They were sent a welcome message from the VEC instructing them to do nothing if they wanted to continue receiving alerts, or to unsubscribe if they didn’t want alerts. Just over 50,636 additional people have now subscribed to the service. Research conducted after the 2016 local government general elections showed that one in four non-voters either didn’t know the elections were happening or just simply forgot to vote. A council election reminder series (three alerts in total per voter) will be provided by the VEC for the October 2020 local government general elections – free of charge – for those on the State roll who have registered by the deadline. Anyone wishing to sign up should do so online before the close of roll at 4.00pm on Friday 28 August 2020 at vec.vic.gov.au

Remember all – Be alert – get VoterAlert – vec.vic.gov.au

 

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