Local council elections

Local councils make decisions about local issues, for example:

  • sporting facilities and recreation reserves
  • libraries and community centres
  • animal registrations
  • rubbish and recycling collection.

When are the next local council elections?

The next local council elections will be held in October 2020.

Find out more about the elections


Voting in the October 2020 local council elections will be by post. 

If you own more than one property in a council area, you only get one vote.

Enrolling and voting in council elections

In a council election there are two types of voters:

  • State-enrolled voters
  • Council-enrolled voters.

State-enrolled voters

You must vote in your local council election if you are on the State roll by 4.00 pm on the day the roll closes. If you do not vote, you may get a fine.

To find out if you are on the State roll, go to Check my enrolment

Council-enrolled voters

For local council elections in October 2020, it is not compulsory for council-enrolled voters to vote, except in Melbourne City Council

Becoming a council-enrolled voter

Automatic enrolment
You will be automatically enrolled by your council for this election if you were enrolled as a non-resident owner at the most recent election for your council. This includes any by-elections held since the last general election.

If your circumstances have changed since the most recent election and you are no longer a non-resident owner of that property, you will not be automatically enrolled for this election. Depending on your circumstances, you may still be eligible to apply to be enrolled as a council-enrolled voter.

People who can apply to enrol

You can apply to be a council-enrolled voter if you:

  • pay rates on a property in the council area but do not reside within the council area and were not on the roll for the most recent election or by-election
  • are not an Australian citizen, but you live in and pay rates for a property in a council area
  • pay rates on a property you occupy within a council area and have no other entitlement to vote in the council area
  • are a director or company secretary of a corporation that pays rates on a property within a council area and have no other entitlement to vote in the council area.

To check if you are a council-enrolled voter or to apply to enrol, contact your council directly.

Find council enrolment contacts

Who you elect

In a local council election, you are voting for people to become councillors.

Depending on your council, you may be voting for:

  • several people from the whole council area to represent you (an unsubdivided council)
  • several people from the council area to represent your section of the community (multi-councillor wards)
  • one person from the council area to represent your section of the community (single councillor wards).

To check the structure of your council, look up local council profiles.

After all the councillors have been elected, they decide who will act as mayor (except in Melbourne City Council).

Melbourne City Council

Voting is compulsory in Melbourne City Council elections if you are a State-enrolled voter or a council-enrolled voter. 

Who you elect

In Melbourne City Council elections, you elect:

  • the Lord Mayor and Deputy Lord Mayor (also known as the leadership team)
  • nine councillors.