Council Elections 2024

Sturt Street Gardens looking through to Ballarat Town Hall

Caretaker Period (Election Period)

The Election Caretaker Period begins on the last day of candidate nominations and ends at 6pm on Election Day.

  • Candidate nominations close*: Tuesday 24 September 2024
  • Election Day: Saturday 26 October 2024

*These dates may change, subject to the proposed Local Government (Governance and Integrity) Bill 2024.

City of Ballarat operations

During Caretaker Period most Council services will operate as usual. 

During the election period, Council will follow procedures to prevent making decisions that would affect voting at an election or decisions that may unreasonably bind an incoming Council and could reasonably be deferred until after the election. 

To ensure compliance with City of Ballarat Election Period Policy and the Local Government Act 2020 restrictions and limitations will apply to the following:

  • Community Engagement
  • Social Media
  • Marketing
  • Communications
  • Allocating community grants or other direct funding to community organisations
  • Major planning scheme amendments
  • Changes to strategic objectives and strategies identified in the Council Plan
  • Adopting policy
  • Setting advocacy positions

Election Period Policy 

The City of Ballarat Election Period Policy sets out the restrictions, requirements and expectations that apply during the period leading up to an election. You can request a copy of the policy from City of Ballarat Governance team by email   

Voting information

Every four years, City of Ballarat residents vote to elect Councillors to represent the Ballarat community. The next Council Election will be held on Saturday 26 October 2024. The Victorian Electoral Commission (VEC) is responsible for managing local Council elections.

Voting entitlement

There are changes to voting entitlement for the 2024 Council election. In a council election there are two types of enrolment:

  1. State-enrolled
  2. Council-enrolled. 

You have one vote per council. If you are a state-enrolled voter, that is the enrolment you use to vote. You can apply to become a council-enrolled voter directly with the City of Ballarat if you are:

  • 18 years or older
  • a property owner, occupier or represent a corporation
  • not a state-enrolled voter within the council area.

If you are a state-enrolled voter or have enrolled on the Council roll, you must vote. You may get a fine if you fail to vote. For more information on your entitlement to vote in the upcoming election, visit the Victorian Electoral Commission (VEC) website.

Ballarat Wards (Electoral Boundaries)

This election the Ballarat Municipality will move from 3 wards to 9, each of these 9 wards will have one elected Councillor, these new wards will be:

  • Alfredton Ward
  • Brown Hill Ward
  • Buninyong Ward
  • Central Ward
  • Delacombe Ward
  • Golden Point Ward
  • North Ward
  • Sebastopol Ward
  • Wendouree Ward

View or download maps showing: Current Ballarat Ward Boundaries and New Ballarat Ward Boundaries

To learn more about the Ballarat Wards (electoral boundaries) visit the Victorian Electoral Commission website

Key dates

These dates may change, subject to the proposed Local Government (Governance and Integrity) Bill 2024.

Activity Date
Community and Candidate training session Thursday, 8 August
Candidate Nominations open Thursday, 19 September
Candidate Nominations close Tuesday, 24 September
Caretaker Period Starts 12pm (midday)
Tuesday, 24 September
Voting Period Starts (Ballots mailed out) Tuesday, 8 October
Voting Period Ends Friday, 25 October
Caretaker Period Ends 6pm Saturday, 26 October 

Community and Candidate information session

The Wimmera Southern Mallee region (hosted by City of Ballarat) Candidate Information Session will be held:

In partnership with Victorian councils, the Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV) is delivering a number of information sessions for the community and prospective candidates. These sessions can be attended either in-person or online.

By attending one of these sessions, participants will be provided with information about:

  • Local government and the important role councils play for our local communities
  • The role and responsibility of a Councillor, Mayor, Deputy Mayor and CEO
  • The election process and candidate requirements
  • What newly elected councillors can expect soon after the elections
  • Councillor training and development opportunities.
  • The sessions will be held at various metropolitan and non-metropolitan locations across Victoria, with interested participants able to register to attend more than one session, including outside of their municipality.

To support and encourage a range of diverse candidates the MAV will also be hosting a number of additional sessions for women, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, people with disabilities, youth, culturally and linguistically diverse and LGBTIQA+ communities.

Please note: These sessions are not the Local Government Compulsory Candidate Training. For more information about this please visit the Local Government Victoria Website

Stand for Council - Candidate information

Local democracy hinges on the need for councils to represent the diverse needs and aspirations of our local communities.

This year’s council elections are an opportunity for Victorians to elect the candidates who they think best represent, at the local level, their vision and interests for a better, stronger and more sustainable future.

There are provisions in the Local Government Act 2020 on the election process, including who can become a candidate. 

Local Government Compulsory Candidate Training

The Victorian Government provides this compulsory training for all Victorians who wish to nominate as a candidate in any council elections. The training will help you understand the role and responsibilities of being a councillor.

Under the Local Government Act 2020 you will not be able to nominate as a candidate unless you have completed the training.

Visit Local Government Victoria website for all information regarding Candidate training.
View or download the Candidate Training Information

Please note:

  • This candidate training is being reviewed and updated ahead of the 2024 council elections
  • This update is expected to be completed by mid-June
  • Completion of the 2020 training does not satisfy the compulsory training requirement for the 2024 elections

Can I be a candidate?

A person may nominate as a candidate for an election for any Ward of the Council, if they are qualified to be a Councillor under the  Local Government Act 2020 

For information on eligibility, visit the Victorian Electoral Commission (VEC) website.

Do I need to live in the area?

Candidates must be on the voters roll for the council they wish to stand for, which is:

  • Everyone on the electoral roll for the municipality
  • Council enrolled voters for the municipality

Candidates can nominate for any of the wards within the Local Government Area, even if their enrolled address is in a different ward within the Municipality (City of Ballarat).

Can I start campaigning?

Candidates can start campaigning at any time, this includes the time before official nomination.

When campaigning, please consider the following:

  • All campaign material, including advertising, must be properly authorised by the candidate (or a representative of the candidate's party) so it is clear who is accountable for it
  • All non-electoral laws, such as those relating to defamation, still apply
  • During the election period, candidates must not print or distribute materials that are likely to mislead voters into voting incorrectly.

Local Government resources

There is a range of useful resources for people who want to learn more about local government as a sector, and past council elections. Visit these websites if you would like more information: 

Contact information

For more information about Council elections email   

Cameron Montgomery, Executive Manager Governance and Risk or Rosie Wright, Coordinator Risk, Governance and Compliance will be in contact to help with your enquiries.