For candidates

Becoming a candidate

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
  • Not be disqualified from being a Councillor.

The Victorian Electoral Commission website, the Local Government Victoria website and the HRCC website will be progressively updated in the lead up to the 2024 election.

Mandatory Candidate Training

Local Government Victoria and the Victorian Electoral Commission require people to meet certain eligibility criteria in order to become a council election candidate. This includes undertaking a mandatory candidate training session provided by the Victorian Government.

Stand for Council - MAV information sessions

Hosted by the Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV), the online sessions will provide prospective candidates with information about the role and purpose of Local Government, the responsibilities and expectations of a Councillor, and the electoral process.

  • Session 1: Monday 10 August from 10am – 12noon 
  • Session 2: Friday 14 August from 10am – 12noon

Click here to register.

A link to the Zoom meeting will be sent to participants once registered for a session. 

About the Mayor and Councillors

Councillors meet together most weeks (usually Mondays) and attend strategy meetings, and Council meetings on a monthly basis as well as other committee and community meetings and activities, as required. These meetings and activities are held throughout the day, evenings and on weekends.

Councillors are expected to read reports, research documents and then make hundreds of decisions at scheduled Council meetings on your behalf. The Mayor could spend more than 50 hours per week on Council matters while the Deputy Mayor (if one is elected) could spend more than 30 hours per week and all other Councillors could spend 20 hours or more per week on Council matters.

Being a Councillor can be hard work but is also extremely rewarding and challenging.

The Mayor's role

Section 18 of the Local Government Act 2020 outlines the role of a Mayor:

  • Chairing Council meetings
  • Being the principal spokesperson for Council
  • Leading engagement with the whole community on the development of the Council Plan
  • Reporting annually on the implementation of the Council Plan
  • Promoting behaviour among Councillors that meets the Code of Conduct
  • Assisting Councillors to understand their role
  • Leading the regular review of CEO employment
  • Advising the CEO re the Council meeting agenda
  • Performing civic and ceremonial duties of behalf of Council

In practice, the role also involves:

  • Liaising with the Councillors and Chief Executive Officer
  • Representing the Council at community, State and Federal Government levels, on peak industry bodies and in promoting our businesses and attractions
  • Ceremonial: attending civic functions, conferring Australian Citizenship

The role of a councillor

Councillors are elected to represent the residents in their ward and make decisions in the best interests of the whole HRCC municipality. They bring residents needs and concerns to Council meetings for discussion. Councillors are also responsible for employing and supervising the CEO.

Councillors' responsibilities include:

  • Strategic planning for the whole municipality and a sustainable future
  • Determining the financial strategy and allocating resources via the Council budget
  • Representing ratepayers and residents
  • Advocating on a broad range of issues
  • Facilitating community participation
  • Liaising and coordinating with other levels of government, non-government, community groups and the private sector

Councillors make decisions through a majority vote at an official meeting. Council staff then action those decisions, as directed by the CEO. The CEO handles the day-to-day running of Council and employment of Council staff.

Councillors must:

  • Consider the diversity of interests and needs of the local community
  • Support the role of Council
  • Acknowledge and support the role of Mayor
  • Act lawfully and in accordance with their oath/affirmation of office
  • Act in accordance with the Standards of Conduct, and
  • Comply with Council procedures required for good governance.

In practice, Councillors should also:

  • Observe principles of good governance and act with integrity
  • Provide civic leadership
  • Serve as representatives to Committees and organisations
  • Participate in the responsible allocation of the resources of Council through the annual budget, and
  • Facilitate effective communication between the Council and the community.

Code of conduct

The code requires that Councillors carry out their duties with integrity, and impartially exercise their responsibilities in the interests of the local community.

Councillor-Code-of-Conduct.pdf(PDF, 917KB)