Information sessions for potential councillorsSeventy-nine information sessions will help potential candidates to find out what it takes to stand in the Victorian council elections in October.
Mr Rob Spence, CEO of the Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV) said that the briefing sessions were great way for potential candidates to find out what’s involved in standing for council, and what to expect after being elected.
“These sessions will inform community members about the role of local government; councillors’ responsibilities and expectations; the electoral process; and councillor experiences.
“Prospective candidates also receive advice on campaigning, key election dates and information from the Victorian Electoral Commission about the electoral process,” he said.
A record 79 free community and candidate information sessions have been booked across Victoria, with sessions already held in Carlton, Bendigo, Mansfield, Surf Coast and Ballarat.
Mr Spence said the 2008 elections resulted in 49 percent of successful candidates being new councillors.
“This is a pretty high success rate and shows what can happen if you’re passionate and can share your vision for the future of your community – let people know what you stand for.
“Being a councillor also offers personal rewards and satisfaction that you’re helping to make a difference.
“We recently surveyed sitting councillors and of the 129 responses, over 75 percent defined their time on council as meeting or exceeding their expectation for giving back to their community.
“Surveyed councillors also agreed it’s one of the most direct ways to influence decisions affecting your local area, with 80 percent having their expectations met or exceeded through their elected role.
“Elected councillors commonly agreed they had found out more about standing for council through attending an information session or talking to a councillor.
“The first few sessions have been well attended and in the first month of the standforcouncil.com.au website we’ve seen an incredible amount of interest, with over 8200 unique visitors to the site.
“Our Facebook page, facebook.com/standforcouncil, is also keeping prospective candidates up-to-date with the latest news, information session details, campaigning tips, key dates and other advice.
“You can make the transition from citizen to councillor by finding out everything you need to know about standing for council at the candidate information sessions and through our online resources,” he said.