Nominate yourself for a seat on your council in the 2023 Local Government Ordinary Election.

It's easier than you think

... and you can make a big impact in your community as a local councillor

Decision-making at the local level

As a local councillor, you and your constituents make decisions about your community at the most immediate level.

Get the issues young people care about on the agenda

Do you have ideas about what you want to see changed in your local community? Do you feel like the perspectives of you or your mates aren't considered in your local community? Through being a councillor, you can advocate for the things of young people care about.

Why not you?

Councillors come from so many backgrounds and experiences. They are members of their community, just like you.

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What you need to know about being a councillor

If you are interested in being a councillor, you can attend our upcoming information forums to find out more!

What does a councillor even do?

Councillors have a very important role in their local community. The overall role of a councillor is to:

Be a leader in the community

Councillors lead and guide their community. They develop a vision for their community and decide what needs to be done to achieve that vision. They must be committed to advocating for their community and have a strong sense of purpose.

Councillors need to understand the views, needs, and wants of the people they represent. They talk to community members about the policies and decisions of council. In turn, they listen to the perspectives, concerns, and wants of their community.

Communicate with their electors

Local councillors build a relationship with their constituents. This may be through:

  • Attending local organisations and organisation meetings
  • Responding to residents who raise issues or concerns
  • Attending local government events
  • Communicating updates, changes, and news about local government to the community. This may be though newsletters, email, website, and/or social media.
  • Reading the local newsletter
  • Being present in the community

Determine policy

Part of the role of a local councillor is to determine local government policies. To make successful policies, a councillor should:

  • Understand, evaluate, and prioritise the needs of the community
  • Gather information and advice from council staff on the policy matter
  • Consider how local government resources should be allocated to the policy
  • Convince other councillors of that the needs of the community you are prioritisong are important so they support your policy

Decisions by council are made by a group majority. Individual councillors are allowed to present a well-constructed and researched argument when council is discussing their proposed motion, but decisions are not made by individual councillors.

Review policy

Councillors look at existing policies and assess whether they are fulfilling the community's needs. This involves talking with local community members and local government staff, as well as examining the costs associated with the policy.

Plan for the future

Local councillors regularly review long-term local government plans, such as their Strategic Community Plan and Corporate Business Plan.

Manage assets

Local council sets affordable and achievable priorities relating to local government assets. They make sure that plans relating to local government assets are developed and implemented. Local government assets include everything from roads, bridges, buildings and parks, to computers and telephones, software, and intellectual property.

Govern finances

Councillors create an annual budget based on information in the Corporate Business Plan and Long Term Financial Plan. These plans outline the projects, services, and activities that local government will deliver and their cost.

Councillors review council finances to ensure that they are adhering to their budgets.

Be informed

This involves:

  • Attending all council meetings
  • Voting on all matters at council meetings
  • Reading the meeting agendas
  • Being aware of local issues
  • Following up on community problems and complaints
  • Gathering and maintaining support from the community

Be accountable

Local councillors are accountable to:

  • The Council, which:
    • governs the local government’s affairs;
    • is responsible for the performance of the local government’s functions; and
    • is to oversee the allocation of resources and determine the local government’s policies.
  • The electors of the local government district

Councillors must disclose their financial interests and any personal interests that could affect impartiality on a specific issue. These interests are public record.

Promote good governance and ethical standards

A local councillor is expected to:

  • Promote and support good governance of the council and its affairs;
  • Promote and support open and transparent government;
  • Support, and adhere to respectful, appropriate and effective relationships with employees of the local government; and
  • Adhere to the Local Government (Rules of Conduct) Regulations 2007 and the local government’s internal Code of Conduct.

What skills and experience do I need to be a local councillor?

You don't need to know everything to be a local councillor. No one comes into the role knowing everything. Your values and characteristics are so important when coming into the role, more than your knowledge.

Local councillors should be people that:

  • Care about their community
  • Are open, transparent, and willing to listen to the perspectives of others
  • Have integrity
  • Value equity and fairness
  • Can share a workload with other councillors and work together
  • Are committed to being involved in their community, networking, and community consultation
  • Are committed to representing their community and participating in council meetings.

There are skills and knowledge you will need to develop as a councillor, but you are not expected to know everything before you start. There is a mandatory Local Government Candidate Induction Course that you must do before nominating for council which gives you all the knowledge you need to know before nominating to be a councillor.

What do I get reimbursed as a local councillor?

Council members are not paid a salary. Rather, they receive meeting attendance fees, allowances, reimbursements, etc.

Budgets and annual financial reports are required to disclose the fees, expenses, and allowances paid to council members. All the money you receive in your role will be accessible to the public.

Meeting attendance fees

Each council decides the amount of the attendance fee within the minimum and maximum amounts determined by the Salaries and Allowances Tribunal.

To see what local councillors have received in your area, you can check out your local government's annual financial reports.


Each council member must be reimbursed for information and communication expenses, childcare expenses, and travel costs.

Local governments may also reimburse other expenses that councillors incur.

How to nominate to be a councillor

Check out the DLGSC website for more information.

Am I eligible to be a local councillor?

If you are on the electoral roll, you are probably eligible to nominate for council. To nominate, you must:

There are a few other things that may exclude you from nominating for local council, such as being a federal or state MP, being a member of another council, being convicted of a serious local government offence, or having been convicted for an offence where you served more than 5 years imprisonment. Please check here to make sure you are eligible.

Step 1: Complete the mandatory Local Government Candidate Induction Course.

You must complete this Course before nomintatng for local council. You do not have to wait until nominations open to do it - in fact, you can complete the Course right now!

The Course covers the following content:

  • Information about government in Australia
  • Information about local government and local government decision-making in WA
  • The role of council members
  • Community, council members and local government employees
  • Types of decisions by council members
  • Qualities and skills of effective council members
  • Code of Conduct
  • Gifts and conflicts of interest
  • Local elections
  • Election campaigns
  • Declaration and remuneration
  • Why stand for council?
  • What should you do now?
  • Support and information available

There are quiz components throughout. It should take around 30 minutes to complete. You will need to keep track of the email receipt you receive upon completion so you can access it when you nominate.

Step 2: Fill out your details on a nomination form

Closer to the nomination window, a nomination form will be available for you to complete. You will likely be able to find nomination forms on you local government website. You will also be able to fill out an electronic nomination through the WA Electoral Commission Nomination Builder. Note that you can not submit your profile through the nomination builder, but rather it makes filling out the form easier.

You will have to fill out your details, such as your name, address, date of birth, what council and ward you want to run in. You will also need to submit the date you completed the Induction Course and your Induction Course reference number.

Step 3: Complete a candidate profile

Submit a candidate profile with your nomination form. The purpose of this profile is to let electors know about your policies and beliefs so they can make an informed choice when voting.

Candidate profile requirements

You candidate profile must:

  • Be written in English
  • Be less than 1000 characters (spaces included)
  • Be about you and your policies and beliefs. Do not have any false or misleading information.
  • Be on a single A4 page (handwritten or typed)
  • Include your full name, address, and contact details. You can add a social media profile.
  • Most candidates include a recent headshot

What to talk about

You could talk about:

  • Your vision for the community
  • What services and facilities you think are important
  • Policies you think council could develop
  • Decisions or outcomes you would work towards as a councillor
  • Information about you and your relationship with the community

You can look at examples here.

What will happen with my candidate profile?

If your local government has postal voting, your candidate profile will be included in the postal voting package. If there is in person voting, your profile will be displayed at voting sites. Be mindful that any formatting you add to your profile, such as spacing or dot points, may not be replicated accurately.

Optional: complete a written statement

In addition to your candidate profile, you can submit a written statement with your nomination form that will be published on your local government's website. Write about information you think is important to your campaign. It must be in English and no more than 2000 characters (including spaces).

Step 4: Make your declaration and have someone witness your nomination form

You must tick off and sign a declaration that you are eligible to nominate as a councillor and that your details are correct.

This declaration must be signed by a witness who is 18 or over.

Step 5: Submit your nomination form and pay your deposit

Your nomination form must be received by local government area's Returning Officer between August 31 and 4:00PM on September 7. Check your local government's website to see the details for your Returning Officer.

What to submit

Make sure you submit before the nominations close:

  • A complete nomination form with a signed declaration and witness declaration
  • A candidate profile (and a written statement if you want)
  • A $100 deposit

The nomination deposit can be paid by cash, bank draft, or postal order. It could also be paid through electronic funds transfer or bank cheque, depending on your Returning Officer. Check your local government website to get the details of how to make your deposit.

Nomination deposits are returned after the election to candidates that are successful or that recieve at least 5% of the first preference vote.

How to submit

A nomination can be:

  • Delivered by you to your local government area's Returning Officer
  • Posted or faxed to your local government area's Returning Officer
  • Sent electronically to your local government area's Returning Officer

Your nomination is counted as received when your local government area's Returning Officer has a hard copy of your nomination. This means you must leave time for your nomination to be received in the post or printed out by the Returning Officer. Do not wait until 3:59PM to submit your nomination!

You can call your local government area's Returning Officer to make sure they have received your nomination and made a hard copy before the close of nominations.

Nomination withdrawal.

You can cancel your nomination before nominations close. You must give written notice to you Returning Officer through delivery, post, fax, or electronically.

Your withdrawal must be received by 4:00PM on September 6 to recieve your full deposit back. Your nomination cannot be withdrawn after 4:00PM on September 7.

Will there be a vote?

If there are equal or less candidates than there are vacancies, there will not be a vote. The candidates are declared elected unopposed and there is no formal election.

If there are more candidates than vacancies, an election will be held.

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