Council elections are held every four years on the fourth Saturday in October.

Voting at Council Elections Top of document.

Do you have to vote at Council elections?

Voting is compulsory at Council elections if you are under 70 years of age and are on the State electoral roll.

It is compulsory to enrol and vote for your principal place of residence if you

  • are an Australian citizen, or a qualified British subject*; and
  • are aged 18 years or over; and
  • have lived at your current address in Victoria for at least one month.

Each time you change your address, you must update your enrolment details. If you've left an old address your name will be removed from the roll unless you complete a new application for electoral enrolment. If you don't update your enrolment you risk being fined and may not be able to vote. Additionally, you should advise the VEC if any other enrolment details change such as your name or postal address.

* A qualified British subject for the Electoral Roll in Victoria is one who was on an Australian electoral roll between 26 October 1983 and 26 January 1984.

Caretaker Period Top of document.

Council enters Caretaker mode at midnight 32 days before the Council elections. The Caretaker Period ends at 6.00pm on the last Saturday in October in accordance with Council’s Caretaker Policy. The purpose of the policy is to ensure that the ordinary business of local government in the City of Ballarat continues throughout the pre-election period in a responsible and transparent manner, and in accordance with statutory requirements and established caretaker practices.

The Caretaker Policy complements the commitments contained in the City of Ballarat Councillor Code of Conduct.

Campaign Donation Returns Top of document.

It is a requirement of theLocal Government Act 1989(the Act) for all Council Election Candidates to complete a Campaign Donation Return. The following information explains what that process is and provides a list of candidates who participated in the 2012 Council elections and their donations as defined in the Act.

What is an election campaign donation return?

An election campaign donation return is a record of significant gifts received by election candidates for use in their election campaigns. These returns ensure public transparency about the level of financial and in-kind support given to candidates by individuals and organisations during elections.

Who needs to lodge a return?

Every person who is a candidate in a council election for a Victorian local government must lodge an election campaign donation return. A return must be lodged by a candidate even if he or she has not received any campaign donations.

When and where must a return be lodged?

Campaign donation returns must be given to the Chief Executive Officer of the Council for which the person was a candidate within 40 days after the election day.

Within 14 days after that date, the Chief Executive Officer will:

  • Notify the Minister for Local Government of the names of candidates who have lodged campaign donation returns; and
  • Place a summary of each campaign donation return received on the Council's website until the entitlement date for the next general election. The summary contains the name of each candidate, the name of each person if any, who made a gift to the candidate disclosed in the return and the total value of the gift received from that person.

Copies of completed returns will also be available for inspection at the Council office for four years.

What gifts must be disclosed?

Campaign donation returns must record all relevant gifts that were received by the candidate from 30 days after the previous election for the relevant Ward or District until 30 days after the current election. (This is referred to as the "donation period").

All campaign donations received during the donation period, either by the candidate or by someone acting on behalf of the candidate, must be disclosed if they are valued at $500 or more. This includes gifts of goods or services as well as cash donations.

Disclosable gifts include, but are not limited to:

  • Cash donations in any form;
  • A payment or contribution at a fundraising function;
  • Rent free or discounted use of commercial premises;
  • Free or discounted media advertising;
  • Free or discounted printing;
  • Free or discounted services, such as catering, design work or legal advice;
  • Free use of a motor vehicle or other equipment;
  • Employer approved and paid time off work that is taken by a candidate to campaign (but not if the candidate takes leave); and
  • Work undertaken for a candidate by a person during normal working hours where the person's employer continues to pay their salary or wages (but not if the person takes leave to work for the candidate as a volunteer).

Multiple gifts from one source

If two or more gifts are made to a candidate from the same person or organisation they must be treated as a single donation when determining their value. This means that they must be disclosed in the candidate's return if their combined value is $500 or more.

Items that do not need to be disclosed

Items that do not need to be disclosed in a campaign donation return include:

  • Media interviews;
  • Volunteer labour, such as people handing out how-to-vote cards or delivering leaflets;
  • Gifts made in a private capacity to the candidate that are not used in relation to the election; and
  • The candidate's own funds that are used for their election campaign.

What if no gifts have been received?

If a candidate has not received any gifts that need to be disclosed, the candidate must still lodge a campaign donation return. The candidate should record on the form that they did not receive any gifts of a kind that are required to be disclosed.


Candidate Disclosable Gifts  Gift Source 
Amy Johnson Nil  
Angus McAlpine
Anthony Goodfellow
Belinda Coates
(Shared donations)
Campaign spend incurred by State Office valued at $4,278.96 Australian Greens Victoria
Campaign spend incurred by Branch valued at $5,573.02 Australian Greens Victoria- Ballarat branch 
Cash donation valued at $1,150 Richard Purdy
Ben Taylor Campaign material printing valued at $1000 Pamela Taylor
Brian Pola Nil   
Daniel Moloney  Nil  
Dave Armstrong  Nil  
Des Hudson  Radio advertising valued at $5500 Brendan Blake
Dianne Colbert Nominatee valued at $250  
Gary Fitzgerald Nil  
Glen Crompton  Nil   
Grant Tillett Nil   
James Rinaldi Nil   
Jeni Eastwood Nil   
Jim Rinaldi Nil   
John Philips Nil   
Koby Bunney&nbsp Fundraiser $370 Jackie Mac
Gofundme.com $30 Garth Horsfield
Gofundme.com $20 Sue Cabassi
Gofundme.com $50 Jonathan Barnett
Mark Harris Nil  
Merle Hathaway Nil  
Nick Shady  Nil  
Pauline Fay Nil  
Peter Innes Nil  
Rob Edward Smith  Go Fund Me' donation valued at $40  Daniel Paxton 
Go Fund Me' donation valued at $40  Chris Gobbo
Go Fund Me' donation valued at $100 Anonymous
Ron Egeberg  Nil  
Samantha McIntosh Nil  
Timothy Powell  Nil  
Vicki Coltman Nil  
William Bennett  Go Fund Me' donation valued at $435 Anonymous