2023 local government elections


Local government elections in Western Australia will take place on Saturday 21 October.

For postal elections - Election packages (ballots) will be sent out in late September. 

For in-person elections -  Vote in person on election day, vote early or apply for a postal vote from your local government.

Who are the candidates? -  Find out who is running for your local council 

 Voice referendum 

The 2023 Federal Referendum (Voice) will be held on 14 October, a week earlier than the local government elections. Learn more at aec.gov.au


Quick links 

List of candidates - find out who is running for your local council 

Local government elections toolkit - resources to share with your communities

Local government election notices  

Electoral offences and complaints 

Information for candidates 

Information for Returning Officers


Postal elections

Most local governments elections in WA will be conducted as postal elections. All enrolled electors will be mailed an election package (ballots) in the post. These should be filled out, signed and returned by reply paid post (or hand delivered to the local government office) by 6pm Saturday 21 October.

In-person elections

The following local governments will run in-person elections:

  • Shire of Broome
  • Town of Cambridge
  • Shire of Cocos (Keeling) Islands
  • Shire of Cranbrook
  • Shire of Derby/West Kimberley
  • Shire of East Pilbara
  • Shire of Menzies
  • Shire of Serpentine Jarrahdale.

Enrolled electors can vote in person on Saturday 21 October (typically at the local government office), cast an early vote or apply to the local government for a postal vote. For more information contact the relevant local government.


Election changes for 2023

Optional preferential voting

In 2023, local government elections in WA will move to optional preferential voting. It is similar to how voting is done in State and Federal elections. Under the optional preferential voting system, voters number candidates in the order of their preference. You don’t have to number all the boxes if you don’t want to.

You have the choice to –

  • vote for one candidate - by putting a 1 next to their name
  • vote for some candidates - by numbering several candidates in the order of your preference
  • vote for all candidates - in the order of your preference 

Learn more about preferential voting.


Direct election of mayor/president

For all larger councils, the mayor or president will be elected by the community (popularly elected) rather than by councillors.

Learn more about the election of mayors or presidents. 


Changes to council representation

Council representation will be aligned to the population of the district. For smaller councils, wards will be abolished.

Learn more about changes to council representation. 


More information

Learn more about the changes on the Department of Local Government, sport and cultural Industries website. 


Who can vote?

The following people can vote in the 2023 Local Government Elections. Note, enrolment closed on 25 August. 

  • Residents: All residents in a local government district who are enrolled on the State electoral roll are automatically enrolled on the corresponding local government roll.
  • Owners and Occupiers: People who own or occupy property within a local government district, can apply to their local government to be included on the roll as an owner/occupier, as long as they are eligible electorsA body corporate may apply to have up to two eligible electors to be included on the owner/occupier roll.


Owners and Occupiers Roll 

If you own or occupy rateable property in a local government area but are not on the State electoral roll for the ward or district for which you are claiming entitlement, you can apply to the relevant local government to be on the Owners and Occupiers Roll, provided that you meet other eligibility requirements. A body corporate may apply to have up to two eligible electors to be included on the Owners and Occupiers Roll. Learn more about Owners and Occupiers Roll 



The local government elections toolkit includes: social media tiles, flyers, videos. Please share these resources with your communities.


Other resources 

Service Charter 

2023 local government webinars 

Postal election timeline 

In person election timeline 


Media release 

Wednesday 20 September - voting packages are on the way 

Friday 8 September - Candidates announced 

Thursday 31 August - Nominations open for local government candidates 

Wednesday 30 August - local government elections on track for 21 October 

Friday 18 August - close of rolls