Local Government nomination period opens

THERE has been a push to get people to vote in October�s local government elections and for more to seriously consider a role on their local council.

Just one third of eligible West Australians voted during the 2009 local government elections, dropping to just 27 per cent in 2013.

Local Government Minister Tony Simpson said it was important people had their say, considering local governments are expected to �rake in close to $2 billion in revenue this financial year�.

�All Western Australians have an important voice in our community,� he said.

Mr Simpson has also pushed to get a diverse range of candidates standing for positions on their local council.

In 2013, just 30 per cent of councillor candidates were women, and less than 20 West Australians aged 24 or younger nominated to be a councillor.

�These statistics demonstrate that the diversity of Western Australia�s communities is not being reflected on our councils,� Mr Simpson said.

WA Local Government Association president Lynne Craigie said diversity was important because it encourages different perspectives and allows greater capacity for different skills, interests and strengths to be brought to the table.

WA Electoral Commissioner David Kerslake urged people to consider standing, with the next opportunity not until October 2017.

�Of Australia�s three tiers of government it is local government that often has the most obvious impact on our daily lives, with councils making decisions that directly affect people�s lifestyle and the delivery of local services,� he said.

The nomination period for people wanting to fill vacant mayoral and councillor positions opened today.

Candidates have until 4pm next Thursday to nominate.

For information visit www.elections.wa.gov.au.