How to become a Council Member
Becoming a Council Member is an important responsibility. Find out more about the role and expectations, if you are available and advice for candidates considering nominating for election.
Who can nominate?
Anyone can stand for elections regardless of qualifications, religion, gender or employment provided that, under Section 17 of the Local Government Elections Act 1999:
- You are an Australian citizen or have been a member of a Council at any time between 5 May 1997 and 1 January 2000.
- You are an elector for the area, or the nominee of a body corporate or a group either of which has its name on the council’s voters roll (you must be an officer of the body corporate or a member of the group or an officer of a body corporate that is a member of the group).
- Your name has been omitted in error from the council’s voters roll or you are the designated person of a body corporate or a group which has had its name omitted in error from the council’s voters roll and you would otherwise be eligible for nomination.
The Electoral Commission of South Australia will rely on the declaration of eligibility on the nomination form.
You are ineligible to nominate if you are:
- A Parliamentarian.
- An undischarged bankrupt.
- Discharged from holding office by a court order.
- Are a council employee in a council for which you are nominating.
- A candidate in another council area.
- Likely to serve a term of imprisonment.
What do Council Members do?
There are some specific roles which an elected member is expected to perform. Elected Members:
- represent the interests of ratepayers and residents
- provide leadership and guidance to the community
- act as a conduit between the community and Council
- attend Council meetings and other Information or Briefing Sessions
- participate in Council’s decision making
- participate in the civic activities of Council
- participate in setting Council’s strategic directions
- oversee the Council budget, including its resource allocation, expenditure and service delivery
How much time will you need to commit?
When you take on the role of elected member you are committing yourself to a number of hours extra work each month. There are Council and committee meetings to attend, agenda papers and other reports to read. To assist you in your role there will also be briefings, training sessions and workshops conducted by staff and other professionals. Attendance at community events is also recommended as this is how you will get to know your community and find out what is important.
Allowances and expenses
Elected Member allowances are set before each new Council term by the State Remuneration Tribunal. While the role of an elected member is not a paid position, an allowance is paid to cover some of your costs. Elected members are also entitled to claim for reimbursement of some expenses such as prescribed travel costs and child care.
Advice for potential candidates
- Do some research about Council and its functions and services
- Come to a Council meeting to see how meetings are conducted and the matters which are discussed
- Read the Nominations Kit, which will be available from the Civic Centre during the Nominations Period
- You will receive an intensive induction program should you be elected to Council
- Nominate at the next Local Government Election.
For more information about becoming a Council Member, please contact:
Governance and Performance Team
08 8408 0400
Authorised by Andrew Aitken, CEO, 63 Mt Barker Road Stirling 5152