Local Government Elections

Local government ordinary elections are held on the third Saturday in October every two years. The next local government ordinary elections will be held on 19 October 2019.

Councillors are elected for terms of four years in Western Australia. Elections are held every two years for half of the council, and candidates are elected using the first-past-the-post voting system. If a vacancy occurs within a term, an extraordinary election is held.

The Electoral Commissioner is responsible for conducting all local government postal elections in Western Australia and can also conduct voting in person elections on request under the Local Government Act 1995. By making the Electoral Commissioner responsible for these elections, the local governments concerned ensure that elections are conducted independently and with impartiality.

For local government elections, rolls close at 5.00 pm, 50 days prior to polling day. All electors should check their  details are up to date before rolls close.

If the number of candidates is equal to the number of vacancies, the candidate is elected unopposed. If there are more candidates than vacancies, the election will proceed. 

For postal elections, all eligible electors will receive a postal voting package around three weeks prior to polling day. The package will include a list of candidates, ballot papers, instructions on how to vote and a declaration. To vote, follow the instructions included in the package.

The Returning Officer must receive your postal voting package before 6.00 pm on polling day. If you do not think that your postal voting package can be returned by post in time, you can deliver it by hand to a polling official.

While voting in a local government election is not compulsory in Western Australia, all electors are strongly encouraged to vote. For more information go to the WAEC local government elections page.

Information for owners, occupiers and nominees

In 1995, local government electoral provisions were changed so that the right to vote depended on your place of residence.  Owning land no longer meant you were automatically on the local government electoral roll.

However, land owners living outside the district or in a different ward to property they own, do have the right under the Local Government Act 1995 to register to vote, but it is dependent on an application being made – there is no automatic listing.

For every election advertisements are placed calling for applications to enrol to vote so that land owners have the opportunity to register.

However, application can be made at any time using the form in the following link. Corporations, companies etc that own land may also nominate 2 people to vote on their behalf using this form.

Download form

Close of enrollments are on Friday 30 August 2019 at 5.00PM. Please read the linked document here for more information.

Information documents about voting in Local Government Elections are available in several languages below:

Information for electors

Electors who wish to nominate as a candidate in a local government election must complete a valid nomination application and present it to the Returning Officer before nominations close. Nominations for a local government election open 44 days before polling day and close at 4.00 pm, 37 days before polling day.

Information for candidates

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.

Prior to nominating in the 2019 local government general elections, all candidates will be required to complete the online candidate induction. Information for council member training and candidate inductions can be found at this link.

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

All candidates are encouraged to read the Candidates Pack. 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.

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.