City of Bunbury elections are held every two years, on the third Saturday in October.
The Mayor and Councillors are elected for four year terms, with half of the Councillor’s terms concluding at each biennial election.
The City's elections are generally conducted as postal elections by the Western Australian Electoral Commission (WAEC). The WAEC appoints a Returning Officer who oversees the election, which includes taking candidate nominations and supervising the count on election night.
Election packages are posted to all electors on the City of Bunbury roll approximately three weeks before election day. Every person enrolled on the electoral roll will be issued a ballot by mail and invited to complete the ballot and return it to the City by 6pm on Election Day.
The count commences at 6pm that same day and the results are normally available later that evening.
2017 City of Bunbury Elections
The 2017 City of Bunbury Elections were held on Saturday, 21 October. Results can be downloaded here.
If you live in, or are an owner or occupier of rateable property within the City of Bunbury and you meet the voter eligibility criteria, you are entitled to be enrolled to vote in the local government elections.
The City’s Electoral Roll comprises two parts; the Resident’s Roll and the Non-residents Owners and Occupiers Roll. Combining these two rolls produces the Consolidated Roll.
People who reside in the City (irrespective of whether they own the property or are tenants) and who are on the State Electoral Roll for that property will be on the Residents Roll automatically and can vote in the City of Bunbury Local Government Election. No separate enrolment is necessary.
Enquiries about the Residents Roll should be directed to the Western Australian Electoral Commission on 13 63 06 or check your enrolment eligibility status through the Western Australian Electoral Commission website.
Non-Resident Owners and Occupiers Roll
The non-resident Owners and Occupiers Roll is maintained by the City. It includes individuals who own (but do not reside in) rateable property in the City or who occupy rateable property in the City. It also includes individuals nominated by companies, businesses or corporate bodies that own or occupy rateable property in the City. Each person applying to go onto this roll must be on the State or Commonwealth Electoral Roll for a property outside the City’s district.
Individuals or corporate bodies may only be on the roll or represented on the roll in one capacity, that is, either as owners or occupiers. Where both capacities are available to an individual or a body corporate, the owner category would normally be chosen because of the longer term on the roll.
Non-Resident Owner’s Eligibility
- Each rateable property may claim up to two owners or owner nominees on the roll
- If a property is owned by an individual person, that person may be eligible to enrol
- An individual may only enrol once regardless of the number of properties owned within the City
- An owner remains on the roll until the property is sold or in the case of owner nominees, either until the property is sold or the corporate body changes its nominees
Joint Owner’s Eligibility
- Where a rateable property is owned by more than two persons, two of the owners may be eligible to enrol with the written agreement of a majority of the owners
- Where a property is owned by a corporate body, the corporate body may nominate one or two people to go onto the roll
- A corporate body may only nominate two people onto the roll regardless of the number of properties owned in the City
- The nominees remain on the roll until either the property is sold or the corporate body changes its nominees
- Each rateable property that is occupied may claim up to two occupiers or occupier nominees on the roll
- The occupier must have a right of continuous occupation of that property for at least three months from the date of application
- The applicant is not required to provide proof of this in the first instance but he City may request proof of continuous occupation
- Where an individual occupies the property he or she may be eligible to enrol
- Where two or more individuals jointly occupy a property up to two of them may be eligible to enrol (with the written agreement of a majority where there are three or more co-occupiers)
- A corporate body that occupies property may nominate up to two people to go onto the roll
- An individual may only enrol once regardless of the number of properties occupied and a corporate body may only nominate two people regardless of the number of properties occupied in the City of Bunbury
- Occupiers and occupier nominees remain on the roll for a period of two elections after their enrolment is accepted and are then taken off the roll six months after the second election. They must then re-enrol if they wish to continue as electors
Enrolments for the non-resident Owners and Occupier Roll
- Enrolment of non-resident owners or occupiers is not automatic
- When individuals are applying in their own names either as owners or occupiers, the Enrolment Eligibility Claim form is used
- Enrolment claims can be lodged at any time however, enrolments for any particular election close 50 days before Election Day
How to Vote
The City holds postal elections, which are conducted on the City's behalf by the Western Australian Electoral Commission.
Voting papers are mailed to every person appearing on either the Residents Roll or the Non-resident Owners and Occupiers Roll approximately three weeks prior to the Election Day. If you do not receive or have lost your voting papers, please contact the City’s Returning Officer who is announced close to the Election Day. Completed voting papers can be hand delivered to the Returning Officer at the City’s Administration Centre on Election Day.
How to become a Councillor
Any eligible elector in the City of Bunbury (who is 18 years of age or older and who is not disqualified) can stand as a candidate in the City of Bunbury local government elections. Nominees of a body corporate cannot stand for election.
Candidates are required to lodge with the Returning Officer:
a completed nomination in the prescribed form, signed and witnessed. (This form is available from the Returning Officer, the Western Australian Electoral Commission or the City of Bunbury;
a single A4 page profile containing not more than 150 words of information about the candidate;
a nomination deposit of $80 (cash, bank cheque or postal order); and
a recent passport-sized photograph (optional).
The Commission has developed an online system called Nomination Builder to assist candidates to complete their nomination form which includes the candidate profile. This is the preferred method of completing the nomination form and profile for elections conducted by the Commission. Candidates complete their nomination details and profile, print the completed form which has a reference number allocated and lodge it with the Returning Officer. The nomination builder can be accessed at elections.wa.gov.au
Where an agent lodges a nomination on a candidate’s behalf, it must be in the prescribed form with a written authorisation signed by the candidate.
The documents may be hand delivered, posted or faxed to the Returning Officer and must be received by the close of nominations.
Full details about eligibility and nomination procedures for prospective candidates can be obtained by contacting the Western Australian Electoral Commission on 13 63 06.
Further detail on who is qualified to be a candidate is outlined in sections 2.19 to 2.24 of the Local Government Act 1995. Enquiries about your enrolment eligibility status can be checked through the Western Australian Electoral Commission website or by calling the Western Australian Electoral Commission on 13 63 06.
Guidelines for Election Signage
Election signs within the City of Bunbury are governed by the Signage and Advertising Devices Local Planning Policy. Relevant extracts can be found here.
Disclosure of Electoral Gifts
Candidates in local government elections must be aware of their legislative obligations in relation to the disclosure of gifts leading up to the local government elections. Part 5A of the Local Government (Elections) Regulations 1997 requires both candidates and donors to make disclosures in regard to gifts given to candidates during the specified disclosure period (being six months before Election Day).
A “gift” means a disposition of property, or the conferral of any financial benefit, made by one person in favour of another. It can include a gift of money, a gift which is non-monetary but of value, a gift in kind or where there is inadequate financial consideration such as the receipt of a discount (where the difference or the discount is worth more than $200.00). A “gift” could also include a financial or other contribution to travel, the provision of a service for no consideration or for inadequate consideration, and a firm promise or agreement to give a gift at some future time. A “gift” does not include a gift by will; a gift from a relative; a gift that does not relate to the candidate’s candidature; or the provision of volunteer labour.
Disclosure of Electoral Gifts
Both candidates and donors are required to disclose information about any electoral related gift (with a value of $200.00 or more) that is given or promised within the six month period prior to the Election Day. It is essential that candidates be aware of this legislative requirement and should advise donors of their reporting responsibilities.
Within three days of nomination, any candidate in a local government election will need to disclose any gifts received within the disclosure period. The disclosure period commences six months prior to the Election Day. The disclosure period finishes three days after Election Day (for unsuccessful candidates) and on the start day for financial interest returns for successful candidates.
How a Disclosure is made
The disclosure is to be made in the prescribed form and delivered to the City of Bunbury Chief Executive Officer within three days of receiving the gift, once your candidate nomination has been made to the Returning Officer. Donors will also need to disclose any gifts made within the relevant period. Information to be supplied includes the name of the candidate, the name and address of the donor, the date the gift was promised or received, the value of the gift and a description of the gift.