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Who can be a Councillor
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Councillors are elected for a 4 year period. Any person wishing to stand as a candidate must:

  • Be registered or entitled to be registered as a voter on the voters' roll for the Greater Geelong City Council elections.
  • Obtain a candidate's registration form from the Returning Officer appointed for the election, or the Deputy Returning Officer, once nominations open.
  • Complete and return the candidate's registration form to the Returning Officer appointed for the election, or the Deputy Returning Officer, together with the prescribed fee of $250, prior to the close of nominations.

Notices will be placed in The Geelong Advertiser, advising of the opening of nominations for candidates for Council elections and providing details for contacting the Returning Officer for further information.
 

 Qualification to be a Councillor

A person may stand as a candidate for the position of Councillor if they are enrolled, or entitled to be enrolled, on the voters' roll for any ward of the municipality. Once elected, a person must retain their entitlement to be enrolled on the voters' roll to be able to continue as a Councillor.
 
The following persons may not nominate:

  • Undischarged bankrupts or anyone whose property is subject to control under the law relating to bankruptcy,
  • persons of unsound mind,
  • members of Geelong City Council staff unless that person takes leave and resigns if elected,
  • persons who are not Australian Citizens, or British Subjects who were on a Commonwealth or State electoral roll on 25 January 1984,
  • adults convicted of an offence punishable by imprisonment for 5 years or more under Australian law. Applies for 7 years after conviction,
  • persons convicted of making improper use of information acquired as a Councillor, breaches of Pecuniary Interest provisions or convicted of certain electoral offences. Applies for 7 years after conviction.
 Information Sessions
Candidate information sessions will be arranged to provide an insight into the role of a Councillor together with details of the election process and will focus on the procedures and rules applicable to the election conducted by the Victorian Electoral Commission.
 
 Role of a Councillor
The following is a summary of a Councillor's functions, as outlined in the Municipal Association of Victoria's publication, 'From Citizen to Councillor' (third edition) -
  • corporate planning and business planning
  • service planning and specifying service outcomes
  • financial strategy and budget
  • policy development and monitoring
  • Community representation and advocacy - locally, municipal wide, regionally, inter-governmental
  • performance review and monitoring
  • community consultation and communication
 Time Commitment
Being a Councillor is not a full time job. Most Councillors have full-time employment and undertake their Councillor duties in their own time.
 
Councillors are required to attend Council meetings, which are currently held at 7pm. on the second and fourth Tuesday of each month. Generally 2-3 hours. Briefings for Councillors are held on other Tuesdays at 6pm. for 2-3 hours.
 
In addition, Councillors may be involved with various committees of Council or serve on external committees as a Council representative. Most of these committees would also hold their meetings out of hours. Present and past Councillors have also experienced a high demand for personal contact with residents.
 
 Allowances

In September 2000 the State Government concluded a comprehensive review of Councillor Allowances, the result of which was to recognise that workload and community expectations of Councillors may vary considerably from one Council to another.
 
On the recommendation of the Independent Panel responsible for the review, the Government introduced a framework for setting Mayoral and Councillor Allowances comprising three levels based on a Council's population and total revenue.

Level Councillors Mayor
1 $5,000 - $12,000 $36,000
2 $5,000 - $15,000 $46,000
3 $5,000 - $18,000 $57,500

Each Council has the discretion to determine the level of the allowances paid within these limits and must make this determination each year. The larger and more complex Councils, including Geelong, are included in level 3.
 
The City of Greater Geelong has determined that each of its Councillors will be paid the maximum of $18,000 per annum and the Mayor an annual allowance of $57,500 plus the use of a fully maintained Council vehicle.
 
The Australian Taxation Office treats allowances as taxable income and Councillors are advised to seek advice from suitably qualified agents in this regard.
 

 Other Expenses/Support

The Council also has a policy relating to out of pocket expenses Councillors may claim and which are incurred as a result of their duties as Councillors. Details of these expenses are regularly released through the media.
 
In addition, Councillors of the City may be provided with a mobile phone, a fax machine and Personal Computer, to assist in their duties. Within the Office of the Mayor and Councillors, three members of Council Staff provide administrative and secretarial support.
 

 The Mayor

The Mayor is elected annually by his/her colleagues.
The Mayor chairs all Council meetings at which she/he is present.
 
The Mayor takes precedence at municipal functions and performs an important ceremonial and social role. The Mayor may be called upon to officially open events and speak at special functions. An office is provided at City Hall together with support staff.