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Council Elections

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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 Council has appointed the Western Australian Electoral Commission (WAEC) to run its elections and the Commission appoints a Returning Officer . 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 starts at 6pm that same day and the results are normally available later that evening.

Enrolling to Vote

For Local Government elections, the City uses two electoral rolls – a Residents Roll and a Non-Residents Owners and Occupiers Roll. These two rolls produce the Consolidated Roll.

Residents who live in the City and are enrolled to vote in the State or Federal elections for where they live are automatically enrolled to vote (and appear on the Western Australian Electoral Commission’s Residents Roll). 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.

Owners or occupiers of rateable land who live outside of the district or ward in which the property is located may be entitled to nominate two people to vote on their behalf (and will appear on the City’s Non-Resident Owners and Occupier Roll.

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.

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 Owners and Occupiers Roll Enrolment Eligibility Claim is used.
  • Enrolment claims can be lodged at any time however, enrolments for any particular election close 50 days before Election Day.

Non-Resident Owners'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 enroll
  • 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 Owners' 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

Occupier Eligibility

  • 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 the 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

Voting in Local Government Elections

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 about 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.

Voting in Local Government Elections for Business

The City uses the same enrolment form for non-resident owner and occupiers, including businesses that wish to nominate up to two people to vote on the business behalf at Local Government elections.
It is important that the form is filled in completely. In particular the full name (surname and all given names in full), date of birth and the address on the State or Commonwealth electoral roll are important as these are used to check a valid enrolment application.

The initial test to determine if an organisation is a body corporate is to determine whether the body has an Australian Company Number by searching through ASIC information. There are other bodies that do not have an Australian Company Number that qualify as bodies corporate.
There are definitions of right of occupation and separate occupancies in the Local Government Act 1995 (s4.31)
that can be used to help determine the validity of an application in cases where there is doubt.
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.

Further information on nominating people to vote on behalf of your businesses can be obtained by calling the City on 9792 7000.