Council Elections

Enrolment

Voting entitlements are changing for the 2024 Council election due to the legislation within the Local Government Act 2020, and some ratepayers may need to apply to enrol.

Please read the information below, or visit the VEC website's Local Council Elections page

In a Victorian local council election there are two types of voters:

  1. State-enrolled
  2. Council-enrolled.

You have one vote in Yarriambiack Shire Council. If you are a state-enrolled voter, that is the enrolment you use to vote.

State-enrolled voters

You must enrol and vote if you:

  • are 18 years or older
  • are an Australian citizen
  • have lived at your address in Yarriambiack Shire Council for longer than one month.

For more information visit the VEC website

Council-enrolled voters (ratepayers)

Some ratepayers can apply to become council-enrolled voters in Yarriambiack Shire Council if they are:

  • a property owner, occupier or represent a corporation
  • 18 or older
  • not a State-enrolled voter within the Yarriambiack Shire Council

These are known as council-enrolled voters.

The rules for council-enrolled voters have changed ahead of the 2024 council elections. These changes are explained below.

Owner ratepayers

You can apply to enrol in Yarriambiack Shire Council if you:

  • own property and pay rates in the council area
  • are 18 or older
  • are not a state-enrolled voter who lives inYarriambiack Shire Council.

This includes:

  • Australian citizens who own a property in Yarriambiack Shire Council but do not live in the area (for example an investment or a holiday home)
  • non-citizens over 18 who own a property and live in Yarriambiack Shire Council.

Up to 2 ratepayers can apply to enrol per property, but each person only gets one vote.

Occupier ratepayers

You can apply to enrol in Yarriambiack Shire Council if you:

  • pay rates for a property that you occupy but do not own
  • are 18 or older
  • are not a state-enrolled voter.

Up to 2 people per property can apply to enrol, but each person only gets one vote.

Corporations

You can apply to enrol to vote on behalf of a corporation if you:

  • are a director or company secretary of a corporation that pays rates (either as an owner or an occupier) in the council area
  • have consented to being appointed as the corporation’s representative
  • are not already a state-enrolled voter or council-enrolled voter for the same council.

Only one person can apply to enrol as the corporation’s representative.

If you meet the criteria

If you meet any of these criteria, you can complete the appropriate application form, links at the bottom of this page, or contact Council via email at info@yarriambiack.vic.gov.au or by phone 03 5398 0100 to obtain an application form.  

Once you are enrolled, you must vote for the October 2024 elections and onwards. If you don’t vote, you may get a fine.

Resigning your enrolment

If you don’t want to vote for that property anymore, you can apply to resign your enrolment.

Expiry of enrolment

Occupier ratepayers’ and corporations’ enrolment expires before the next local government general election.

If you want to continue to vote, you must apply to enrol again before the next local council general election (2028).

Yarriambiack Shire Council will send you an invitation when it is time to renew your enrolment.

Owner ratepayers’ enrolment does not expire, however they can resign their enrolment if they no longer wish to vote. If you sell your property, your council enrolment will automatically become invalid, and you will have to apply to enrol again if you have a valid entitlement.

For information about Victorian elections, visit the VEC website.

 

Voting

Local councils make decisions about local issues, for example:

  • sporting facilities and recreation reserves
  • libraries and community centres
  • animal registrations
  • rubbish and recycling collection.

When are the next local council elections?

The next local council elections will be held in October 2024.

Voting

Voting in council elections may be:

  • postal – voters in the area receive a ballot pack by mail.
  • attendance – voters in the area go to a voting centre to vote.

The voting system for all Victorian local councils is set by the Minister for Local Government. We will let you know the method for your council before an election.

If you own more than one property in a council area, you only get one vote.

Enrolling and voting in council elections

In a council election there are 2 types of voters:

  • State-enrolled voters
  • Council-enrolled voters.

State-enrolled Voters

You must vote in your local council election if you are on the State roll by 4.00 pm on the day the roll closes. If you do not vote, you may get a fine.

To find out if you are on the State roll, go to Check my enrolment

Council-enrolled Voters

It is not compulsory for council-enrolled voters to vote.

Council-enrolled voters include people such as ratepayers who qualify to be automatically enrolled by their council or have applied to council to be enrolled. To learn more about council-enrolled voters read Enrolling for local council elections

Postal Votes

Postal votes MUST be in by 6.00pm the day prior to Election Day.

Who you Elect

In a local council election, you are voting for people to become councillors.

You will be voting for someone in your ward to represent your section of the community.

To check the structure of your council, look up local council profiles.

After all the councillors have been elected, they decide who will act as mayor.

Candidates

Running For Council information sheet.(PDF, 23MB)

To become a candidate in a Council election or by-election, you must be enrolled on the voters’ roll for the election. Yarriambiack Shire Council is divided into 3 wards (Dunmunkle, Hopetoun and Warracknabeal), with 2 Councillors for each ward.

The VEC provide information for candidates and parties on becoming a candidate in a council election or by-election. This covers:

  • handbooks and forms
  • campaigning
  • funding and donations 

Qualifications

To be a candidate for a local council election, you must: 

  • be an Australian citizen or an eligible British subject referred to in section 48(1)(a) of the Constitution Act 1975
  • be aged 18 years of age
  • be enrolled on the voters' roll for the council in which you wish to stand
  • have completed the mandatory Local Government Candidate Training if you haven't completed the training in the 2 years before the election day
  • not be disqualified from being a councillor. 

The Election Manager appointed by the VEC will reject a nomination from a person who is not enrolled on the voters’ roll for the election. 

Disqualifications

You cannot be a candidate for any of the following reasons: 

  • you are an undischarged bankrupt
  • you have property that is subject to control under the law relating to bankruptcy
  • you are a member of council staff of the council. You can take leave from this role in order to nominate
  • you have been convicted of any of the criminal offences referred to in section 34(2) of the Act
  • you are a councillor with another council, including interstate councils
  • you are member of an Australian Parliament, including the Federal Parliament or a Member of Parliament in any state or territory of the Commonwealth of Australia
  • you are employed by a Federal or State Member of Parliament as a Ministerial Officer, a Parliamentary Adviser or an Electorate Officer. You can take leave from these roles in order to nominate
    or
  • you are otherwise incapable of becoming or continuing to be a councillor. 

Further details are outlined in the Local Government Act 2020

Candidate Information Sessions

Information sessions for October 2024 Election candidates will be run in July 2024 in Warracknabeal, Murtoa and Hopetoun.
Information Session Dates - Warracknabeal Ward, Hopetoun Ward and Dunmunkle Ward(PDF, 2MB)

Election Campaign Donation Returns

The Local Government Act 2020 s306 requires all candidates in a Council election to submit an election campaign donation return to the Chief Executive Officer within 40 days after election day.

The Chief Executive Officer must then submit a written report to the Minister for Local Government within 14 days advising the names of the candidates in the election and whether or not they submitted a return.

A summary of each election campaign donation return must be made available on Council’s website and include the name of the candidate and, if a gift is included in the return, the name of the person who made the gift and the total value of the gift received from that person.

View a summary of the election campaign donation returns below.

Election campaign donation returns are available for inspection at Council’s office, 34 Lyle Street, Warracknabeal during office hours for a period of 4 years from the date that is given under section 306.

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Candidate Information Sessions

Information sessions for October 2024 Election candidates will be run in July 2024 in the Warracknabeal, Hopetoun and Dunmunkle Ward.

Warracknabeal Ward
Yarriambiack Shire Office 
Monday 15 July 2024 from 6.00pm - 7.00pm

Dunmunkle Ward
Murtoa Neighbourhood House
Tuesday 16 July 2024 from 6.00pm - 7.00pm

Hopetoun Ward
Hopetoun & District Neighbourhood House
Wednesday 17 July 2024 from 6.00pm - 7.00pm

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Changes to Yarriambiack Shire Electoral Structure - Effective October 2024

An independent electoral structure review panel, appointed by the Minister for Local Government, has concluded its assessment of the electoral structures of 39 Victorian Councils ahead of the 2024 local government general elections scheduled for October this year. Yarriambiack Shire Council was one of the councils included in this comprehensive review. 

The review panel examined the council's composition, assessing whether an appropriate number of councillors was in place and determining whether it should be unsubdivided or subdivided. The preliminary report presented three models for the panel's consideration, each aimed at aligning with the requirements of the Local Government Act 2020

Model 1: An unsubdivided electoral structure with 7 councillors. 

Model 2: A subdivided electoral structure with 6 councillors, 3 wards, and 2 councillors per ward. 

Model 3: A subdivided electoral structure with 7 councillors, 7 wards, and one councillor per ward. 

Following community consultation, which included submissions advocating for retaining wards and subdivision, the Minister for Local Government, Melissa Horne, accepted the recommendation of the Electoral Representation Advisory Panel for Yarriambiack Shire Council to remain subdivided. The accepted model entails three wards, creating a multi-member ward structure in accordance with the Local Government Act 2020.  

Tammy Smith, CEO of Yarriambiack Shire Council, clarified that “the primary changes would involve adjusting ward boundaries and reducing the number of councillors to six, with each ward having two councillor representatives. The existing structure with an uneven distribution of councillors across wards (two for Hopetoun, three for Warracknabeal, and two for Dunmunkle) will be revised, come the 2024 election”. 

In preparation for the upcoming Council elections in October 2024, information sessions are planned to assist prospective candidates in understanding the roles and expectations of a councillor, along with outlining the candidate nomination process. Mrs. Smith emphasized that “Yarriambiack Shire Council has joined the Municipal Association of Victoria's Stand for Council Program, with details of information sessions to be released in the coming months”. 

Interested individuals contemplating nomination for the October 2024 Council elections and seeking more information about the process are encouraged to contact Mrs. Smith through the Warracknabeal Shire Office customer service team. 

The final report and map of Yarriambiack Shire Council, reflecting the approved changes, can be accessed on the Government Gazette website via the link GG2024S056.pdf (gazette.vic.gov.au) 

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