Local council elections are held every four years, and are run by the Victorian Electoral Commission. The next election for Nillumbik Shire Council will be in October 2024.

Council’s Governance Rules - Election Period Policy outlines the requirements of current Councillors, candidates and Council officers before, during and immediately after the election period.

It ensures that:

  • the election is fair and compliant
  • Council business can continue without committing the new Council to major decisions
  • Council communications don’t affect the outcome of the election.

Feedback on the draft Election Period Policy closed on 24 March 2024.

This review considers minor changes to dates and officer positions to make the references relevant to the 2024 election and the current organisational structure.

Other notable changes include:

  • Defining significant and delegated decisions and making clear prohibitions on any consultations during the election period, except when exemptions apply under the Planning and Environment Act 1987 and section 223 of the Local Government Act 1989.
  • The section on social media has been expanded to further clarify how Council will manage the organisation’s social media accounts. In addition, further information is provided in relation to media and publicity, and media releases.
  • The Policy has been updated to incorporate provisions for Council staff members who nominate as a candidate for election, strengthening the requirements related to election nominations.
  • Key provisions for Councillor conduct to reflect local government best practice and compliance with the Act.
  • Clear language and definitions.

Council’s existing Election Period Policy was adopted on 25 August 2020 following community consultation.

Section 60 of the Local Government Act 2020 (the Act) requires Council to adopt and keep in force a set of Governance Rules including an election period policy in accordance with section 69 (Section 60 (1)(e).

Section 69 of the Act outlines the following

(1) A Council must include an election period policy in its Governance Rules.

(2) An election period policy must prohibit any Council decision during the election period for a general election that—

(a) relates to the appointment or remuneration of the Chief Executive Officer but not to the appointment or remuneration of an Acting Chief Executive Officer; or

(b) commits the Council to expenditure exceeding one per cent of the Council's income from general rates, municipal charges and service rates and charges in the preceding financial year; or

(c) the Council considers could be reasonably deferred until the next Council is in place; or

(d) the Council considers should not be made during an election period.

(3) An election period policy must prohibit any Council decision during the election period for a general election or a by-election that would enable the use of Council's resources in a way that is intended to influence, or is likely to influence, voting at the election.

(4) A Council decision made in contravention of subsection (2)(a) or (b) is invalid.

(5) Any person who suffers any loss or damage as a result of acting in good faith on a Council decision that is invalid by virtue of subsection (4) is entitled to compensation from the Council for that loss or damage.