Archive:   2012 Council Election

Last Updated  22/12/12


Have Your Say On The Recent Council Election Process

(16/11/12 - C)  Victorian Electoral Commission [VEC] Survey 

The VEC has responded to widespread criticism of recent Council elections by posting a survey to its website.  A link can be found at the top of the VEC home page.


The survey is anonymous, and asks questions about how people found out about the election, and how well it was publicized.  It also includes a section for comments on any issues, an opportunity too good to miss.  Have your say at


MRRA Says:

Recent Council elections in Victoria have thrown up wide-spread and wide-ranging deficiencies in what is supposed to be a transparent and democratic process.   Concerns range from voters not having enough information about candidates to make informed decisions, deplorable/illegal behaviour by some candidates, inadequate facilities, questionable handling of ballot papers and fundamental misunderstanding of the electoral processes forced on the electorate.


MRRA has yet to meet more than a couple of people who actually understand the almost-unfathomable proportional vote counting system that determines who wins and who loses.  Does it have a place in local government elections? 


Postal voting.  What a disaster it can be.  Convenient - yes...  Transparent?  Accountable?  Not if votes can go missing, be hand-delivered by candidates, and ballot papers can be sent in job lots to people who aren't entitled to those votes. 


Councillors decide if a municipality has attendance (vote in person on election day) or postal voting.  Postal voting makes life easier for candidates (which most Councillors will be at the next election) because they don't have to find people to man voting booths, or send applications for postal voting to absentee landowners.  But there seems to be a growing number of voters who are dis-satisfied with this "remote" form of voting, and want to return to voting on election day.


There are rules (law) governing elections but perceptions are that they aren't well enforced. There are also split jurisdictions - the VEC has jurisdiction over some elements of elections, the Local Government Inspectorate over others. That creates its own problem, with perceptions of 'buck-passing' and no-one taking responsibility.


The recount of South Ward votes in Macedon Ranges Shire saw a shift of only 3 votes in the formal vote, and in the candidates' final votes, but the primary (first preference) vote for 9 of 15 candidates changed, with one losing 5 votes.  That might not seem much, but the outcome was decided by only 7 (originally 10) votes. 


Facilities used to count votes must be improved.  In Macedon Ranges, ballot papers were moved overnight from Kyneton to Romsey, because there were better facilities and 15 computers available at Romsey.  However, it turns out that only 7 computers were available, and the count room was too small to comfortably accommodate personnel and scrutineers.  Final results weren't known until after 10pm, and who knows when they would have been available if more than 6 and 8 candidates had contested in West and East Wards respectively.


Belief in democracy is perhaps the most fundamental value we all share, and elections (the getting of democracy) must be, and be able to be seen to be, fair and open.  In many ways, this last election has undermined public confidence in the local government electoral system.  Things should not have gone as wrong across the State as they did.  The State government really has nowhere to go but to review the whole process.



Thinking About Running For Council?  Curious About Who Is?

(28/7/12 - C)  Then drop in on Council's Election Information Session: Tuesday 14 August. 6.30pm, Gisborne Administration Centre

If you haven't already guessed it by the increasingly favour-currying mood of some who fancy themselves for election or re-election, there's a Council election coming up on 27 October.  Macedon Ranges Council is running an information session about running for Council and the role of Councillors (described as a "how-to" session for election hopefuls).




MEDIA RELEASE - 24 July 2012: Council hosts ‘how to’ session for election hopefuls  Macedon Ranges Shire Council will host a public information session on Tuesday 14 August for residents considering standing for Council in the upcoming general elections.


The information session will take place from 6.30 pm – 9.00 pm at the Gisborne Administration centre, 40 Robertson Street, Gisborne.

Macedon Ranges Shire Council Chief Executive Officer, Peter Johnston, said that standing for Council is a relatively simple process but can be daunting if you’re not quite certain what is required or how to go about it.


“The information session will outline the roles and responsibilities of a Councillor, describe the election process and provide useful advice for getting elected.


“I strongly encourage any residents contemplating standing for election to attend this information session,” said Mr Johnston.


Speakers from surrounding councils, including a Chief Executive Officer and representatives from the Municipal Association of Victoria and Victorian Electoral Commission, will provide information about the council area, advice on who can nominate, how to nominate and what is required of a Councillor.


An experienced Councillor from a neighbouring municipality will also discuss their experiences to give prospective candidates an understanding of what the public will expect of you as a Councillor, time commitments, rewards and election campaign techniques.


The session will include an opportunity for open discussion and questions. It is free of charge to attend and each registered participant will receive a comprehensive information kit.


If you wish to attend or require further information please advise Stephen Mahon, Manager Council and Customer Service on 5422 0352 or 


In keeping with Macedon Ranges Shire Council’s Privacy Policy, all registrations and enquires will be treated in the strictest confidence.



Victorian Electoral Commission's website has a facility where you can check if you are correctly enrolled, and if necessary, update your enrolment:   Hint:  Make sure you fill in your details exactly as they appear on the roll



For more information including handbooks on running for council, postal and attendance elections, etc., go to the VEC website


MRRA Says:

Well worth going along, if for no other reason than curiosity to check out who is there!   Seriously, we encourage residents to have a think about whether they feel strongly enough about upholding democratic principles, genuine community consultation, representing and acting in the public interest, and transparent, accountable local government to make a difference by running for Council.  Macedon Ranges needs people like this as councillors.