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Information Session for Prospective Candidates hosted by City of Melbourne in partnership with the Victorian Local Governance Association (VLGA)


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Title: Information Session for Prospective Candidates hosted by City of Melbourne in partnership with the Victorian Local Governance Association (VLGA)

Information SessionforProspective
Candidateshosted by City of Melbourne in
partnership with the Victorian Local Governance
Association (VLGA)
Welcome and IntroductionRon ExinerDirector
GovernanceVictorian Local Governance Association
Purposes of session
  • Stimulate interest in the MCC election
  • Ensure potential candidates are well informed
  • MCC
  • The election process
  • To provide the opportunity for potential
    candidates to ask questions

Outline of Local Government Structure
  • 3 levels of Australian Government
  • Local government is the 3rd level
  • MCC CBD, Docklands and surrounds
  • Fully democratic level of government

Legislative Framework
  • Local Government Act 1989(as amended)
  • City of Melbourne Act 2001(as amended)
  • Other relevant legislation

What will you be part of if elected
  • Your communitys leadership
  • Helping create and implement your communitys
  • Helping make decisions
  • Representing your community and constituents

Melbourne OverviewLinda WeathersonActing Chief
Executive OfficerMelbourne City Council
City of Melbourne Municipality
Melbourne at a glance
  • The City of Melbourne municipality covers 37.6 sq
  • Residential population of around 100,611 (as of
  • Around 805,000 people use the city
  • Melbourne hosts over one million international
    visitors each year
  • 471 hectares of parkland
  • The entire Melbourne metropolitan
  • area covers 7,694 sq km and has a
  • population of around 4.1 million

Melbourne population
  • City of Melbourne estimated residential
  • June 2011 100,611
  • June 2001 50,673
  • June 1991 34,659
  • Source Regional Population Growth, Australian
    Bureau of
  • Statistics (various years)
  • Forecast residential population
  • (note last updated 2010, due for an update
  • June 2021 139,500
  • June 2031 181,000
  • Source City Research/Id Consulting

Melbournes people
  • Selected characteristics of residents, 2011
  • Median age of persons 28
  • Median total personal income (/weekly) 711
  • Median total family income (/weekly) 1,962
  • Median total household income (/weekly) 1,352
  • Average household size 2.0
  • Languages Spoken at Home, 2011 Census
  • Speaks English only 51
  • Mandarin 10
  • Cantonese 5
  • Indonesian 3
  • Arabic, Korean, Vietnamese, Italian,
    Hindi,Spanish, Thai, Japanese, French, Greek 1
    (recorded 1 for each language)
  • Other/not stated 21
  • Source Australian Bureau of Statistics

Melbourne in numbers
  • Daily city user estimates
  • Number of workers 391,000
  • Number of metropolitan visitors 158,000
  • Number of interstate visitors 28,000
  • Number of international visitors 33,000
  • Number of regional visitors 12,000
  • Number of higher education student 56,000
  • Notes the above figures represent people aged 15
    years or over.
  • Source City of Melbourne Daily
  • Population Estimates and Forecasts
  • Model - 2011 Update, 2004-2030

Financial figures 2012-13
  • Total budget revenue - 378.5  million 
    (Includes Capital Contributions 13 million but
    excludes proceeds from sale) 
  • Total budgeted expenditure -  365 million 
  • Budgeted underlying surplus - 0.57 million 
  • Total budgeted council works-  110 million 
  • Total EFT - 1,267.56   
  • Credit Rating AAA issued by Standard and Poors
    (since March 2001)   
  • Total Assets - Over 3.2 billion.

Melbourne economics
  • Economic Forecast
  • Growth Forecast (Employment) 2011-2021 - 20
    (1.9 p.a.)
  • Strongest Growth Industry - Professional,
    Scientific and Technical
  • Services - 4.6 p.a.
  • Source Deloitte Access Economics, Employment
    Forecasts 2012 (June)
  • City of Melbourne Gross Regional Product 2011 -
    56.8 Billion
  • Largest Industry by Economic Contribution
    financial Insurance
  • Services - 20.2 Billion
  • Source id Consulting, Economy id 2011

Role of a councillorRon ExinerDirector
GovernanceVictorian Local Governance Association
Councillor powers under theLocal Government Act
  • None, except as part of the formalCouncil

Responsibilities(as part of Council)
  • Strategic planning
  • Representation
  • Advocacy
  • Competitive organisation and community assets
  • Relationships
  • Performance management and employment of the CEO

How to get things done
  • Relationships with councillor colleagues
  • Relationships with the administration
  • Practising good governance

Support available to a Melbourne City
CouncillorJack HannaExecutive Officer
Councillor SupportMelbourne City Council
What to expect time commitment
  • Role of a capital city councillor
  • How much time will I need to allocate for the
  • The known knowns and known unknowns
  • Current approach and structure as an indicator
  • Staying informed and briefed on city matters
  • Committee Council meetings the decision
    making structure
  • Representing the city locally and beyond

Current approach
  • Decision-making structure
  • Future Melbourne Committee meets first and
    second Tuesday each month
  • Council meets last Tuesday of each month
  • Other Committees - Audit, Docklands
    Co-ordination and Inner Melbourne Action Plan
  • Portfolios
  • Portfolio arrangement People and Creative City,
    Connected City, Planning, Finance and Governance,
    Eco City, Economic Development and Knowledge City
  • Briefings and information sharing
  • Advice, briefing papers and other material is
    provided on daily basis
  • Leadership team role acknowledged through regular
    dialogue with Chief Executive Officer
  • Councillor Forums and discussions informal
    arrangement which takes place on Tuesday
  • Portfolio support networks put in place to
    assist information sharing on key portfolio
  • Representing the city
  • Council organised or sponsored activities
    community, cultural, business, arts and sports
  • Visiting delegations, conferences and seminars
    locally and internationally the Melbourne
  • Councillors have opportunity to represent Council
    on advisory boards and organisations

Representing the city on advisory boards and
organisationsOver 40 opportunities across many
So, what does that mean time wise ?
  • As a group
  • Tuesday has been preferred day for
    all-Councillor gatherings
  • Midday onwards
  • Many Councillors use early Tuesday for other
    regular meetings
  • Committee meetings generally run for 1.5 hours,
    Council meetings around 1 hour
  • Other group activities, well try to arrange
    for a time that suits all
  • As an individual
  • Your portfolio role, preferred working style and
    areas of interest will influence time
  • Time to read, review material and seek advice or
    further information
  • City representation media and speaking roles
    community and stakeholder liaison stakeholder
    hosting opportunities, most occur after hours
  • Number of hours on the job ?
  • It depends on a number of factors ! There is no
    one-size fits all

What to expect support services
  • Support structures
  • Allowances and expenses
  • Facilities, services and equipment
  • Building on skill level

  • Chief Executive Officer Directors
  • Need advice, just ask approach.
  • Management team is key to providing up-to-date
    advice and information on matters
  • Support staff
  • Designated staff are provided to support Lord
    Mayor, Deputy Mayor and Councillors.
  • Services include a range of advisory, liaison,
    co-ordination and issue management services
  • Will ensure you are prepared, briefed and
    supported as you undertake your role
  • Flexibility to structure things around your
    working needs and preferences
  • Portfolio support network
  • Bring together a group of council officers aimed
    at assisting two-way communication on emerging
    issues and opportunities and to provide an
    administration sounding board on matters.
  • Under leadership of a director, arrangement may
    also involve managers, council officers and a
    media staff member along with your designated
    liaison officer.
  • Flexibility to suit your requirements and

Allowances and expenses
  • Annual allowances
  • Set by the State Government
  • Lord Mayor 167,300
  • Deputy Lord Mayor 83,650
  • Councillors 39,282
  • 9 super is paid on top of allowance
  • Councillor expenses
  • Councillor Expenses and Resources Guidelines
    describe how assistance is provided with costs of
    doing Council business
  • Aims to ensure Councillors are not
    out-of-pocket while carrying out the role
  • Recognises that costs can be incurred in range
    of areas including communication, travel,
    conference registration, training, stakeholder
    hosting, carer services

Facilities, services and equipment
  • Office accommodation
  • Office is provided in Town Hall
  • Combination of shared and individual office
  • Fully equipped office, desk, desktop computer,
    storage facilities and in-office meeting
  • Car parking is available short distance from
    Town Hall
  • Meeting facilities
  • Access to range of meeting facilities in the
    Town Hall
  • Hospitality services when conducting Council
  • Expense guidelines acknowledge that sometimes
    meetings or hosting occurs off-site
  • Equipment
  • Access to information and advice is important
  • All the communication tools are available
    including smart phone, computer, tablet PC,
  • Acknowledge the leadership role of Lord Mayor
    and Deputy Lord Mayor by providing designated
    vehicles. Councillors have access to fleet
    vehicles if required

Building on skill level
  • New Council program
  • Program will be made available to new council to
    assist transition into office
  • Information and guidance on key city activities,
    issues and services
  • Core areas
  • Program available to all Councillors new and
  • Will highlight the important areas including the
    process for developing a new Council Plan, the 4
    year vision for Melbourne
  • Core areas such as governance, planning,
    financials and media/communication will be highly
    recommended for new Councillors
  • Ongoing training and development opportunities
  • Door is open to councillors to continue building
    on skills they bring to the role
  • Will work with councillors to identify areas
    that help meet the demanding role and
  • Can cover areas that assist communication,
    community advocacy and operating at the strategic
    and policy level
  • Offered internally and with external service
    providers including the VLGA

Busy role? Yes Help available?
Absolutely !
My experience as a Melbourne City
CouncillorDavid Wilsonformer Melbourne City
A joyful experience
  • The campaign
  • A steep learning curve
  • A position of privilege
  • A team worth belonging to
  • A good way of learning about yourself, your city
    and your colleagues

A challenging experience
  • You sure cant please everyone
  • Issues are complex and sometimes everyone sounds
    like theyve got it right
  • Time commitment
  • Keeping on top of things
  • Staying motivated

A rewarding experience
  • Ways to make a difference occur on a regular
    basis ..

Becoming a Melbourne City CouncillorBill
LangReturning OfficerVictorian Electoral
Melbourne City Council Elections
  • To take place on Saturday, 27 October 2012.
  • By postal vote.
  • Voting closes at 6.00pm on Friday, 26 October
  • Nine councillors are to be elected.
  • Lord Mayor and Deputy Lord Mayor to be elected
  • Electoral structureUnsubdivided municipality.

Eligibility to Nominate
  • To be eligible to stand as a candidate in this
    election, you must be
  • listed on the voters roll for the Councils
    election, and
  • an Australian citizen, and
  • not disqualified by any other criteria (see Local
    Government Act 1989), or
  • have an exemption from certain disqualifications
    granted by VCAT.
  • All candidates are encouraged to review the
    Candidates Handbook, which will be available from
    the election office and VEC website
  • Candidates who are unsure if they are qualified
    should check their enrolment and seek independent
    legal advice about any disqualifications that may

Submitting the Nomination Form
  • Submit a nomination form by
  • filling out the nomination form by hand, or also
    available online for candidates nominating for
    election as a Councillor, and
  • submitting the nomination form to the returning
    officer, and
  • paying the nomination fee (250 per candidate /
    500 per Leadership Team) by cash or bank cheque
    (payable to the Victorian Electoral Commission)
    to the returning officer.
  • Important things to consider
  • nominations close at midday on nomination day,
    Tuesday, 25 September
  • the contact person noted on the form for media
    and public enquiries

Nominating via the On-Line Helper
  • We recommend that candidates nominating for
    election as Councillor who have access to the
    internet use the online candidate helper
  • Available on the VEC website (
    during the nomination period.
  • Assists with completing the nomination form.
  • Printed copies of the form must still be lodged
    in person at the election office.
  • You are not a candidate until the form is lodged
    at the office and fee paid.
  • Using the online candidate helper saves time at
    the election office as the nomination forms do
    not need to be manually entered by VEC staff
    before they can be approved by candidates (or
    their representative).
  • The online candidate helper cannot be used for
    nominating a Leadership Team (Lord Mayor and
    Deputy Lord Mayor) or candidate statements.

Nomination Key Dates
The key dates are Election office
opens Wednesday, 19 September 2012 Opening of
nominations Thursday, 20 September 2012 Close of
nominations 12 noon on Tuesday, 25 September
2012 The returning officer will conduct an
information session for all prospective
candidates before or during the nomination
period. Please see advertising in local papers
and check with the election office for more
information. We recommend candidates nominate as
early as possible during the nomination period.
This leaves plenty of time to resolve any
eligibility queries. Nominations lodged after the
close of nominations cannot be accepted.
Group Name Registration And Ballot Draw
  • Grouped Candidates
  • Two or more candidates may request to have names
    grouped on the ballot paper with a specific group
  • Request for grouping closes at 12 noon on
    Thursday, 27 September
  • Name of group has certain criteria see
    Candidate Handbook
  • Two ballot draws on Thursday, 27 September -
    one to determine the order of groups - one to
    determine the order of ungrouped candidates

Group Statement Councillor Election
  • Grouped Candidates
  • Statement of not more than 250 words
  • Must be lodged by a person authorised to sign an
    application for registration of group voting
  • A recent photograph of each member of group(The
    VEC recommends photographs are lodged with the
    nomination form)
  • Statement, photographs and group voting tickets
    must be submitted by 12 noon on Monday, 1 October

Candidate Statement Councillors Election
  • Ungrouped Candidates
  • Statement of not more than 150 words
  • A recent photograph (The VEC recommends
    photographs are lodged with the nomination form)
  • Statement, photographs and an indication of
    preferences due by 12 noon Monday, 1 October 2012.

Leadership Team Names And Ballot Draw
  • Leadership Team
  • A team nominating for election as Lord Mayor and
    Deputy Lord Mayor may request a team name on the
    ballot paper
  • Request for team name due by 12 noon on Thursday,
    27 September
  • Name of team has certain criteria see Candidate
  • The order of teams on the ballot paper is
    determined by a single ballot draw
  • The ballot paper will show the names of each
    candidate, the position they are standing for as
    well as the team name if applicable

Team Statement Leadership Team Election
  • Team statement of not more than 250 words
  • A recent passport sized photograph for each
    member of team
  • Statement, photographs and an indication of
    preferences due by 12 noon on Monday, 1 October

Authorisation of Election Advertising
  • Election advertising must be authorised
  • Sec. 55(1) A person must not print, publish or
    distribute or cause, permit or authorise to be
    printed, published or distributed, an electoral
    advertisement, handbill, pamphlet or notice
    unless the name and address of the person who
    authorised the electoral advertisement, handbill,
    pamphlet or notice appears at its end.
  • Election advertising must show Authorised by
    name and street address
  • Does not apply to a car sticker, an item of
    clothing, lapel button, lapel badge, fridge
    magnet, pen, pencil or balloon.

  • Ballot papers will be mailed out randomly to
    voters between Tuesday, 9 October 2012 and
    Thursday, 11 October 2012.
  • Voters are instructed to complete their ballot
    paper, place it in the declaration envelope and
    complete the postal declaration, then place it
    into the reply-paid envelope and drop it in the
    post. Hand delivery location(s) will also be
  • Replacement ballot papers for voters who have
    damaged, lost, or spoilt their ballot papers can
    be issued by the Returning Officer.
  • Voting closes at 6.00pm on Friday, 26 October
  • Voting in the Melbourne City council elections is
    compulsory for all voters on the Melbourne City
    Council voters roll.

Scrutiny and counting
  • Ballot papers will be extracted from envelopes on
    Saturday, 27 October 2012.
  • Counting will be conducted by computer.
  • Informal votes will be set aside and excluded
    from the count.
  • Candidates may appoint scrutineers to attend the
    scrutiny and count on their behalf. Scrutineers
    require approval from the returning officer.
  • At any time before the declaration, a candidate
    may request a recount and must do so in writing
    to the returning officer.
  • The returning officer may order a recount if he
    or she thinks fit.
  • The VEC aims to declare all results by Friday, 2
    November 2012.

More information?
  • Check your local papers between Wednesday, 29
    August and Thursday, 6 September for the
    statutory election notice, containing information
  • how to contact the Returning Officer.
  • the time/location of the Candidate Information
  • Information about submitting a nomination and
    becoming a candidate.
  • Resources...
  • Candidate Handbook Available from Returning
    Officer and VEC website
  • Information Sessions To be held at Melbourne Town
    Hall on
  • Monday, 17 September at 7.00 pm and
  • Wednesday, 19 September at 12.30 pm
  • VECs website

A brief guide to campaigningDarren RayLocal
Government Consultant
Outline of presentation
  • Donations the legal situation
  • Tips for candidate statements
  • Street stalls and door knocking
  • Advertising
  • Media
  • Resources

Donations the legal situation
  • Within 40 days of election day, candidates are
    required to submit an election campaign donation
    return to the CEO of the council (s.62), it must
    be in writing.
  • The donation period means the period 30 days
    after the last general election for the council
    and ending 30 days after election day in the
    current election
  • You must declare any gift, goods or services in
    the amount
  • or value of 500 or more, received during the
    donation period

  • Gifts which must be disclosed include those made
    byan individual or organisation, including a
    corporation, incorporated or unincorporated
    association, trust fundor foundation.
  • Two or more gifts made by the same person are to
    be taken to be one donation.
  • If a person receives a gift unlawfully, twice the
    amount or value of that gift is forfeited to the
    State. This amount may be recovered from the
    councillor or candidate.
  • A candidate who fails to submit a campaign
    donation return as required or submits a return
    that to the knowledge of that person is false or
    misleading, is guilty of an offence.
  • PENALTY 60 penalty units

  • Written Statements must be 150 words (ungrouped
    candidates) and 250 words (grouped candidates),
    any more will not be printed.
  • Photo is critical as it is your continuing brand
    with other desk-topping
  • You need 2 recent identical hardcopy photographs
    (38x32mm) or electronic version on a USB memory
    key if you wish.
  • If you are representing a party, candidate,
    organisation or person you should include this
  • The material must not be offensive, obscene,
    misleading or deceptive in the eyes of the
    Returning Officer.
  • Statements submitted online using the Candidate
    Helper will have the correct formatting required
    by the VEC.

  • You will be notified if the Statement has been
    rejected within 2 days of close of nominations.
  • In this case your Statement would have to be
    amended and the revised Statement resubmitted to
    the Returning Officer by 4pm the following day.
  • If this does not happen then the ballot material
    will be sent to voters with advice that the
    candidate did not lodge a statement.
  • Know why you are standing
  • Be honest and clear about what you can do for
    your council
  • Dont try to be everything to everyone
  • Dont be a one issue candidate

Street stalls and door knocking
  • Going out into your community is a MUST DO. If
    this is not a personal strength, dont do it. If
    you are in a group choose your best faces.
  • Meet your community, when using Street Stalls
    make sure you have checked with shops near by, so
    you dont stop their shopping flow.
  • Opportunity to say what you stand for and to get
    to know your business community and shoppers.
  • Door knock - if no-one is at the business/home,
    leave your paperwork for them.
  • Door knocking is a great opportunity to see
    hear what is going on in.
  • Voters always feel better if they have heard and
    seen a Candidate.

  • Match your style with your audience (corporate,
  • Use Social Media and Data Mine (free online tools
    or pay someone).
  • Only place material where it is allowed to be.
  • Private businesses and private homes.
  • Council will have rules re placards in public
  • Generally prohibited in public spaces but not
    always so check with Council.

  • Journalists Love
  • When you give them stories.
  • When you do their work for them.
  • When you are always available.
  • When you always have something interesting to
  • When you engage with their audience.
  • When you increase their popularity.
  • Journalists Hate
  • When youre dishonest.
  • When you just demand coverage.
  • When you dont understand or comply with their
  • When you abuse them.
  • When you embarrass them.
  • When you ignore them.

Further Information
  • VEC Melbourne City Council Leadership Team
    Councillor Candidates Handbooks at
  • VLGA Local Government Elections Webpage and
    Resources (including Good Governance Grabs) at
  • Think Women For Local Government 2012 Project at

Panel Questions