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Voting and elections

City of Rockingham

About local government elections

The City of Rockingham Ordinary Local Government Elections are held every two years, on the third Saturday in October. The next local government election will be held on 16 October 2021.

Council resolved at its 22 September 2020 Council Meeting to change the method of electing the Mayor. This will introduce an ‘elector Mayor’, which will replace the current system whereby Councillors elect the Mayor among themselves. This change means the community will be able to vote directly on who should fill the office of Mayor at the next local government elections.

Under the ‘elector Mayor’ system, the term of office for the Mayor will change from two to four years. However, while the method of electing the Mayor and the length of the term the Mayor can serve will change, the legislative requirements of the role will remain the same. 

The Mayor is required to preside at meetings in accordance with the Local Government Act, provide leadership and guidance to the community, carry out civic and ceremonial duties, speak on behalf of the City, perform any functions as required by the Act or other written law, and to liaise with the CEO on the City’s affairs and the performance of its functions. 

The results from the review will determine how many Councillors and wards there will be for the 2021 local government elections.

Elections are conducted via postal voting by the Western Australian Electoral Commission (WAEC) with all eligible electors being sent voting papers for their respective ward for completion and return by prepaid post.

Details of past and forthcoming elections at the City can be found on the Western Australian Electoral Commission website.


If you are an owner or occupier of rateable property within the City of Rockingham, and meet the eligibility criteria, you are entitled to be enrolled to vote at Council elections. If you are enrolled on the State electoral roll as living at the relevant address in Rockingham then you are automatically included on the local government roll.

If you are not on the State electoral roll and meet the eligibility criteria, please visit the enrolment page of the Western Australian Electoral Commission to enrol online or to download an enrolment form.

However, if you are an owner or occupier of a Rockingham property and you are enrolled on the State roll as living outside the district, or if you are not on any other roll but meet the eligibility criteria, enrolment is no longer automatic so you must apply to be placed on the local roll by lodging an enrolment form at the City of Rockingham Administration Centre.

There are several provisions which relate to occupiers of property and to people who are not enrolled on the State rolls. Please note that if you are unsure of your eligibility status please contact us well in advance of any council election or check your enrolment at the Western Australian Electoral Commission.

Frequently asked questions

Is voting at local government elections compulsory?

No it is not. It is important to vote and make your voice heard. 

Can I vote in local government elections for the City of Rockingham?

Yes, as long as you are enrolled on the State electoral roll for a residence in the City of Rockingham, or are on the City of Rockingham Owner and Occupiers Roll. More information is available in the enrolment section below.

How do we receive voting packages?

As the City of Rockingham conducts postal elections, voting packages will be sent to your postal address.

Where can I vote?

The City of Rockingham conducts its election by postal voting.

A voting package which consists of the ballot paper and candidate profiles is posted to each elector over 20 days prior to election day. This allows plenty of time to vote and return the completed ballot paper in the envelope provided.

The polling place (City of Rockingham Administration Building) is open on election day (8am to 6pm) so that electors may return completed ballot papers in person (e.g. If the elector forgot to post their completed ballot papers in time).

A ballot box will be at the City of Rockingham Administration Building from the day ballot papers are sent out until 6pm on election day.

Can I vote for the Mayor directly?

Yes, the community will be able to vote directly on who should fill the office of Mayor at the next local government elections, which are scheduled to occur in October 2021.

When is local government election day and when does the election close?

The local government election day is held throughout Western Australia on the third Saturday in October every second year. The next local government election will be held on 16 October 2021.

Gift disclosures by candidates

Candidates have a duty of disclosure of electoral donations. Candidates and donors are required to disclose any electoral-related gifts promised or received within the six months prior to polling day.

Part 5A of the Local Government (Elections) Regulations 1997 - Dislcosure of Gifts:

Both candidates and donors to disclose information about any electoral related gift with a value of $200 or more that was given or promised during the disclosure period (being six months before Election Day).

Electoral gifts

A "gift" means a disposition of property, or the conferral of any financial benefit, made by one person in favour of another.

It can include:

  • a gift of money
  • a gift which is non-monetary but of value
  • a gift in kind or where there is inadequate financial consideration such as the receipt of a discount (where the difference or the discount is worth more than $200)
  • a financial or other contribution to travel
  • the provision of a service for no consideration or for inadequate consideration
  • a firm promise or agreement to give a gift at some future time.

It is important to note that a gift could be one or more gifts from the same donor that's combined value is $200 or more.

A "gift" does not include a gift by will; a gift from a relative; a gift that does not relate to the candidate's candidature; or the provision of volunteer labour.

Disclosure of electoral gifts

Both candidates and donors are required to disclose information about any electoral related gift with a value of $200 or more that is given or promised within the disclosure period. It is essential that candidates be aware of this legislative requirement and should advise donors of their reporting responsibilities.

Disclosure period

Within three days of nomination, any candidate in a local government election is required to disclose any gifts received within the disclosure period prior to nomination. The disclosure period commences six months prior to Election Day. Any gift received after nomination is required to be disclosed within three days of acceptance of the gift. Penalties apply $5,000.

The disclosure period finishes three days after Election Day for unsuccessful candidates and on the start day for financial interest returns for successful candidates.

How a disclosure is made

All disclosures are to be made on a LG09A Disclosure of Gifts form and delivered to the Chief Executive Officer within three days of receiving the gift, once your candidate nomination has been made to the Returning Officer.

Donors will also need to disclose any gifts made within the relevant period. Information to be supplied includes the name of the candidate, the name and address of the donor, the date the gift was promised or received, the value of the gift and a description of the gift.

The Chief Executive Officer is required to establish and maintain a public electoral gift register. Disclosures will be removed three days after Election Day for unsuccessful candidates and at the completion of the term of office for successful candidates.

Contact our Governance and Councillor Support team for any further information on 9528 0333.

When and where is the vote count for the local government elections?

The votes will be counted from 6pm on election day, Saturday 16 October 2021 at the City of Rockingham Administration Building, Reception Room Level 1. The public is welcome to watch the votes being counted. 

What is the system for counting votes?

The ‘first past the post’ system is used for local government elections, in which electors indicate the candidate, or candidates, of their choice by placing a tick in the box opposite the names of the chosen people, up to the number of vacancies to be filled, with candidates being elected in order of the number of votes they receive.

Who is the Returning Officer?

The Returning Officer for 16 October 2021 will be advised closer to the election date. 

Does the City have ward boundaries?

From 19 October 2019 the City has three wards:

  • Baldivis Ward (3 councillor representatives)
  • Comet Bay Ward (2 councillor representatives)
  • Rockingham / Safety Bay Ward (6 councillor representatives)
Why do people stand for Council?

There are many reasons why people stand for Council. Most councillors say the sense of satisfaction gained from serving the community is the biggest reward for joining Council.  

Some of the benefits gained include:

  • increased knowledge of the operations of the City
  • improved self-esteem
  • confidence in public speaking
  • the chance to meet new people and become involved in activities in the community which may not have been possible otherwise.

Of all the levels of government, local government is particularly rewarding as councillors see first-hand the changes occurring within our community – changes they have played a role in making. Being a councillor can change your perspective about the diversity of our community and the different needs of each group.

If you are considering standing for Council at the next election on 16 October 2021, further information can be obtained from the Western Australian Electoral Commission or the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries.

When can candidates nominate to stand for election?

The nomination period opens on the 44th day prior to election day and closes at 4pm on the 37th day prior to election. 

If you want to nominate, complete the online Nomination Builder at the Western Australian Electoral Commission website, then contact the Returning Officer to make an appointment to lodge your application.

This year new laws have been introduced which makes it compulsory for all candidates nominating in a local government election to complete the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries (DLGSC) online induction.

You will be asked to declare that you have completed the online induction when filling out your nomination form. It is an offence to make false or misleading statements on the nomination form.

At the end of the induction you will need to fill in your details to register your completion. Please make sure you press the registration button at the end or your completion will not be registered. You should receive an email confirming you have completed the induction. Please keep this for your own records.

The induction should take no longer than one hour to complete. 

Candidate induction

When is close of enrolments for the roll?

Enrolments close on the 50th day prior to election day (16 October 2021).

2019 election results

Congratulations to the following candidates who were successful:

  • Sally Davies - Baldivis Ward (Term October 2019 to October 2023)
  • Hayley Edwards - Baldivis Ward (Term October 2019 to October 2023)
  • Lorna Buchan - Comet Bay Ward (Term October 2019 to October 2023)
  • Craig Buchanan - Rockingham/Safety Bay Ward (Term October 2019 to October 2023)
  • Rae Cottam - Rockingham/Safety Bay Ward (Term October 2019 to October 2023)
  • Joy Stewart - Rockingham/Safety Bay Ward (Term October 2019 to October 2023)

The official election results from the Returning Officer are below or from the Western Australian Electoral Commission

Mayor Barry Sammels and Deputy Mayor Deborah Hamblin were elected by Councillors to be Mayor and Deputy Mayor for the next two years. 

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