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Service Updates

We are prioritising critical services and some services may be reduced. This means there will be longer wait times for customers contacting us by phone. Many of our services are available online. Advice on which services can continue is changing rapidly. For regular updates, go to knox.vic.gov.au/coronavirus

2020 Council Elections

Local Government general elections are held every four years and the next election will be on 24 October 2020.

The content on this web page will be updated as information comes to hand from external sources, so please check back regularly.

The Victorian Electoral Commission (VEC) conducts local government elections in Victoria. Knox specific information can be found on the Knox City Council page of the VEC Website

Guidelines for Safe Campaigning

On 8 September 2020, Local Government Victoria and the DHHS released updated Safe Campaign Guidelines for the October Local Government elections, reflecting the recently announced roadmap to reopening.

The new guidelines are available at Safe Campaign Guidelines

Candidate Handbooks

The Victorian Electoral Commission (VEC) has released its handbooks for the 2020 Local Government Elections. Handbooks are available for candidates and scrutineers on the VEC website at Candidate handbooks.

The Candidate Handbook has detailed information including on eligibility to stand, entitlements to enrol on the voters’ roll, and nomination procedures. The handbook also contains information for candidates regarding:

  • Candidate statements
  • Candidate questionnaires
  • Candidate election campaign material
  • Voting and results
  • Election compliance and post-election activities

Mandatory Candidate Training

The formal nomination period for the election starts on 17 September 2020.

The Local Government Act 2020 provides a person cannot nominate as a candidate for election unless they have completed the prescribed training. This includes all serving or former councillors intending to nominate.

The mandatory local government candidate training for the 2020 local government elections will be delivered by Local Government Victoria through a short online course.

For more information about the mandatory local government training, visit the Local Government Victoria website.


If you are a prospective candidate and require assistance to access or use the online training material please contact the Governance Department on 9298 8000.

Voting

On 15 May 2020 the Minister for Local Government announced that the 2020 council elections will still go ahead and declared that postal voting will be used across the State.

The newly proclaimed Local Government Act 2020 provides the Minister for Local Government with the power to determine the voting system to be used for general elections. This determination of postal voting overrides Council’s previous resolution to conduct an attendance election.

This is a new method of voting for the City of Knox and is the first time that the same method of voting will be used across all Victorian councils.

It is important to note that the Chief Health Officer has advised that it is safe for the postal election to proceed this year during the COVID-19 pandemic.

More information about postal voting and how to vote is available on the how-to-vote page on the VEC's website

Failure to Vote

Voting at the 2020 general election is compulsory for all Knox residents who are enrolled on the State roll for an address in the Knox Council area. There is no upper age limit to voting in Victoria.

Any person who is required to vote and does not vote, or is not otherwise excused, may be fined or prosecuted.

The VEC is responsible for compulsory voting enforcement at local government elections.

Election Period Policy

Council adopted a revised Election Period Policy on 31 August 2020.

The Election Period Policy forms part of Council's Governance Rules as required by section 69 Local Government Act 2020 and came into operation with the Governance Rules on 1 September 2020.

For convenience, the Election Period Policy has been extracted as a standalone document in the link below.

Download Council's Election Period Policy.

This policy applies to Councillors, Council staff and candidates for the Knox City Council general elections held on or after Saturday, 24 October 2020 and provides guidance in the lead up to, and during the election period for the 2020 elections, which commences on 22 September 2020.

More Information

Councillors play an important role in shaping the future of their city. To assist prospective candidates in understanding the role of local government and that of Councillor, there are a number of online resources available which you can access by clicking on the external links below.

Campaigning Activities Requiring a Permit

Campaigning activities for the 2020 Council elections must be undertaken in accordance with any COVID-19 directions issued by the Victorian Chief Medical Officer, as well as any guidelines for candidates issued by Local Government Victoria and/or the Victorian Electoral Commission.

If you’re planning to display election signage, or distribute leaflets and other materials (e.g. pamphlets) on Council land, you are required to apply for a Permit under the Amenity Local Law 2020.

We recommend that you plan ahead and allow enough time for your permit to be processed.

Leaflet distribution on Council land


A permit is required for the distribution of leaflets and other materials (e.g. pamphlets) on Council Land. There is no fee for this permit.

Apply for Permit

Election signage on Council land


A permit is required to place election signage on Council owned land. Council has a list of pre-approved election signage locations that you can apply for. A permit covering all pre-approved election sign locations on the list is free of charge.

Click here for the list of pre-approved election signage locations (Version 4, effective 17 August 2020)

If you would like to apply for a location that is not on the list, you may do so, but a fee of $238 will apply. Please be aware that the application process will require more time to assess the suitability and safety of the signage location.

When applying, you’ll need to attach a copy of your Public Liability Insurance Certificate, to a value of $20 million. The Certificate must have Knox City Council listed as an ‘Interested Party’. Public Liability Insurance can be obtained by contacting your personal insurance company, an insurance broker, or localcommunityinsurance.com.au.

Council has made enquiries in the insurance market to confirm that insurance cover as required by the permit conditions is reasonably available and can advise Local Community Insurance Services (LCIS) are offering a Public and Products Liability cover that would meet the requirements of Council’s permit conditions. Candidates are however, encouraged research their insurance options and carefully consider the product disclosure statement before purchasing insurance. In the interests of fairness and transparency, this page will be updated if Council is made aware of other providers with insurance offerings.

The contact number for Local Community Insurance Services is 1300 853 800.
Their key contact if required is Account Executive Stav Richards, Phone 08 8235 6498 or email stav.richards@jlta.com.au


Other election signage specifications:

  • Signs must be no greater than 600mm x 900mm in size
  • Only one election sign per candidate may be placed at each location

There are limitations on the number of signs allowed per site. We suggest that you apply for your election signage permit early to avoid disappointment.

Apply for Permit

Election signage on private land

No permit is required for election signage on private property, as long as it meets the following requirements:

  • It is no bigger than 5sqm
  • It is limited to one sign per property
  • It must not be animated or internally illuminated
  • It must be removed within 14 days after election day, and not be displayed for longer than a total of 3 months

Election signage on VicRoads land

A permit from VicRoads is required when election signage is placed on their land, this includes roads, road verges or tree reserves. More information is available at vicroads.vic.gov.au.

To report any problems or concerns regarding signage on VicRoads land call 13 11 70

27 July 2020 Council Resolution – Election Signage

The following information is provided in response to a recent Council resolution of 27 July 2020.

Council’s lawyers have confirmed that a candidate in the forthcoming election must obtain a permit under the Amenity Local Law 2020 to display electoral signage on a Council road or Council land. The Planning Scheme does not operate so as to exempt a candidate from the need for such a permit.

Candidates are required to provide $20M public liability as part of their application to install election signage. This amount is a standard for public liability insurance.

Candidates installing signage on public land impose a risk of liability to Council as the owner of the land. To reduce this risk to Council, permit conditions are imposed on any applications approved, and the party or candidate are required to have their own public liability insurance, providing indemnity in favour of Council for any loss or damage resulting from the signs placed on its land.

On the basis that the placing of election signage is not a core Council activity but rather a requirement of the candidate to support their election campaign, it extends then that the costs of the physical installation of election signage together with any associated costs as part of the installation (including public liability insurance) are to be borne by the person deriving benefit from the signage.

Following enquiries from Knox City Council, the Victorian Electoral Commission (VEC) has advised that as candidates are not classified as employees of the VEC, and their functions and activities are not associated in the VEC's operations, candidates are not covered by the VEC's insurances.

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