Local Government Elections

Local government elections play an important role in Western Australia's democratic system. Ordinary local government elections are held on the third Saturday in October every two years. The last local government elections were held in October 2017. The Shire of Dowerin is conducting a postal vote election and is contracting the Western Australian Electoral Commission (WAEC) to run their elections. The WAEC appoints returning officers for the elections it conducts.

Voting systems

Voting in a local government election is not compulsory in Western Australia. However, all electors are strongly encouraged to vote.

First past the post

Under the first past the post system, electors indicate the candidate, or candidates, of their choice by placing a tick in the box opposite the names of the chosen persons - up to the number of vacancies to be filled. The result of an election will be determined by counting the number of votes received by each candidate in the count. In cases where there is a single vacancy, the candidate with the most votes will be elected, while in cases where there is more than one vacancy, candidates will be elected in order according to the number of votes received by each.

In-person and postal elections

A local government may run either a postal election or an in-person election. Where a voting in-person election system is in place, electors may apply for a postal vote, absent vote or an early vote if they are not able to go to a polling booth on election day.

Enrolling to vote

The election conducted in each local government is under the control of a returning officer. The Local Government Act 1995 (the Act) provides that the Council's Chief Executive Officer is the returning officer for every voting in-person election unless the local government decides to appoint another person to perform the function.

The electoral commissioner appoints returning officers for postal elections and in-person elections conducted by the WAEC. A list of returning officers is available on the WAEC website. For all other elections, contact the relevant local government for more information.

Extraordinary elections

If the office of an elected councillor, mayor or president becomes vacant due to the death or resignation of a member, or another reason listed in the Act, an extraordinary election must be held within four months of the vacancy occurring. The filling of extraordinary vacancies that occur after the third Saturday in January and up until the third Saturday in July in an election year can be deferred if approved by the electoral commissioner under the Act.

Other elections

The Act provides for elections to be held for other reasons, such as after a restructure of districts or wards; after the reinstatement of council following suspension; after all offices become vacant; or after council is dismissed. Extraordinary and other elections are advertised under local government notices in The West Australian newspaper. The advertisements give details about enrolling to vote, nominating to be a candidate in the elections, the ways in which a vote can be cast and the date of the election.

About the Election

The President and Councillors are elected for four year terms, with half of the Councillor’s terms concluding at each biennial election. Local Government Elections play an important role in our democratic system and provide an excellent way to get involved in your community.
The President and Vice President roles come up for re-election every two years. Once the Councillors have been voted in after the election, Council will nominate and vote on the President and Vice President roles in house.

Which Councillor positions are up for election this year?

METCALF, Adam (Vice President)


TREPP, Robert

WALSH, Brenton

Who is able to vote in a local government election?

All local residents and business owners/occupiers are encouraged to enrol to vote in local government elections.

All residents registered on the State/Federal electoral roll for properties within the Shire of Dowerin will be automatically registered for Local Government Elections.

To check and/or update your enrolment details please visit the Western Australian Electoral Commission's website here or phone the Commission on 13 63 06.

If you own or occupy property in Dowerin but don’t live here, then you may still be eligible to vote.

How to become an Elected Member

Nomination Dates

The nomination period to become a candidate in the 2019 local government elections opens on Thursday 5th September 2019 and closes on Thursday 12th September 2019 at 4.00pm.

Returning Officer

The Shire’s Returning Officer is responsible for the conduct and processes associated with the Shire of Dowerin’s local government elections. The Returning Officer can provide further information for prospective candidates including guides and forms for candidates and scrutineers.

The Shire’s Returning Officer has been appointed by the WA Electoral Commission:

Nomination Submissions

Nominations are to be finalised and lodged in person with the Shire’s Returning Officer, who is responsible for the local government elections once the nomination period opens. An effective nomination consists of the following:

  • A completed nomination form
  • A profile of the candidate, prepared in accordance with the regulations
  • A nomination deposit of $80.00 in the form of cash, bank cheque or money order, and
  • A photograph (optional).

Prior to nominating, potential candidates should read the Western Australian Electoral Commission’s Guide for Candidates (Postal Elections) and be familiar with eligibility, nomination and disclosure of gifts requirements.

Candidates are encouraged to make an appointment with the Shire’s Returning Officer well before nominations close to discuss nominations. The Shire’s Returning Officer will be available at the Shire of Dowerin Administration Office for appointments during the nomination period.