Council Elections

The Warrnambool electorate

The Warrnambool municipality covers 120sqkm and in 2024 will transition from an unsubdivided Council to a seven-ward Council at the October 2024 election.

The wards, which will each have one elected representative, are: Botanic, Central, Hopkins River, Pertobe, Platypus Park, Russells Creek and Wollaston. Warrnambool electoral wards.

Council Elections are held every four years. 

Election results are available on the Victorian Electoral Commission website


Enrolling as a ratepayer in Warrnambool City Council

In a Victorian local council election there are two types of voters:

1.    State-enrolled
2.    Council-enrolled.

You have one vote. If you are a state-enrolled voter, that is the enrolment you use to vote.

Within a subdivided municipality that has multiple wards - such as Warrnambool - you can only vote in one ward, even if you own multiple properties in different wards.

If you pay rates in multiple municipalities you are eligible to vote in each municipality i.e. you can vote in more than one council election.

Information below describes voting eligibility. You can also check out the Frequently Asked Questions document prepared by the Victorian Electoral Commission.

State-enrolled voters

You must enrol and vote if you:
•    are 18 years or older 
•    are an Australian citizen
•    have lived at your address in the Warrnambool municipality for longer than one month. 
For more information visit the VEC website

Council-enrolled voters (ratepayers)

Some ratepayers can apply to become council-enrolled voters in Warrnambool if they are:
•    a property owner, occupier or represent a corporation
•    18 or older
•    not a State-enrolled voter within the Warrnambool Municipality.
These are known as council-enrolled voters. 
The rules for council-enrolled voters have changed ahead of the 2024 council elections. These changes are explained below.

Owner ratepayers

You can apply to enrol in the Warrnambool municipality if you: 
•    own property and pay rates in the council area
•    are 18 or older
•    are not a state-enrolled voter who lives in Warrnambool.
This includes:
•    Australian citizens who own a property in Warrnambool but do not live in the area (for example an investment or a holiday home)
•    non-citizens over 18 who own a property and live in the Warrnambool municipality.
Up to 2 ratepayers can apply to enrol per property, but each person only gets one vote.

Occupier ratepayers

You can apply to enrol in Warrnambool if you:
•    pay rates for a property that you occupy but do not own 
•    are 18 or older
•    are not a state-enrolled voter.
Up to 2 people per property can apply to enrol, but each person only gets one vote.


You can apply to enrol to vote on behalf of a corporation if you:
•    are a director or company secretary of a corporation that pays rates (either as an owner or an occupier) in the council area 
•    have consented to being appointed as the corporation’s representative
•    are not already a state-enrolled voter or council-enrolled voter for the same council.
Only one person can apply to enrol as the corporation’s representative. 
If you meet the criteria
If you meet any of these criteria, you can contact us to apply to enrol using the relevant online form below. 
Once you are enrolled, you must vote for the October 2024 elections and onwards. If you don’t vote, you may get a fine. 

Resigning your enrolment

If you don’t want to vote for that property anymore, you can apply to resign your enrolment.

Expiry of enrolment

Occupier ratepayers’ and corporations’ enrolment expires before the next local government general election. 
If you want to continue to vote, you must apply to enrol again before the next local council general election (2028). 
Warrnambool City Council will send you an invitation when it is time to renew your enrolment. 
Owner ratepayers’ enrolment does not expire, but they can apply to resign their enrolment.
For information about Victorian elections, visit the VEC website.


Enrolling to vote

The Victorian Electoral Commission is working with councils to encourage eligible residents and property owners to enrol to vote.

In May 2024, Council will be sending letters to residents and property owners who may be eligible to vote in the Local Government elections in October 2024 but who may not yet be enrolled.

Application forms to enrol to vote (or to vary enrolment) are also available via the links below.

Occupier-ratepayer application for enrolment

Owner-ratepayer application for enrolment

Owner or occupier ratepayer - application to resign enrolment

Owner - application to vary name

Corporate owner or occupier application for voting representative

Corporate representative revocation of appointment to vote

Corporate representative resignation of appointment to vote

Silent voter request


Caretaker (Elections) Policy

The Caretaker (Elections) Period Policy provides information and guidance to Council employees, councillors and candidates to ensure that:

  • the Council operates in a responsible and transparent way during the election period.
  • an election is conducted in an environment that is open and fair to all candidates.



Standing for Council

Local democracy hinges on the need for councils to represent the diverse needs and aspirations of our local communities.

The 2024 Council elections are an opportunity for Victorians to elect the candidates who they think best represent, at the local level, their vision and interests for a better, stronger and more sustainable future.

In partnership with Victorian councils, the MAV is delivering a number of information sessions for the community and prospective candidates. These sessions can be attended either in-person or online.

By attending one of these sessions, participants will be provided with information about:

  • Local government and the important role councils play for our local communities
  • The role and responsibility of a Councillor, Mayor, Deputy Mayor and CEO
  • The election process and candidate requirements
  • What newly elected councillors can expect soon after the elections
  • Councillor training and development opportunities

An information session for Council election candidates within the Great South Coast-Barwon region will be held in Warrnambool on June 27.

Hosted by Warrnambool City Council, the session will be held at the Lighthouse Theatre from 6pm to 9pm.

To attend the information session, please register here.


Election campaign donations

All candidates whether elected or not must submit an election campaign donation return within 40 days of the election. The return is a record of significant gifts received by election candidates for use in their Council election campaigns.

A summary of campaign donation returns received for the Warrnambool City Council General Election held on October 24, 2020,is available here