It’s not compulsory but it is important

MANTLE PIECE

Are you pleased that our football will not be disrupted by the ‘Super Saturday’ by-elections?

In November we will have council elections. 

It is July, so why am I hassling you about November?

Voting in local government (council) elections is not compulsory. More’s the pity. 

So why am I hassling you at all?

The nine elected councillors, together with the separately elected mayor, are your representatives for the next four years.

They will make decisions that directly affect you and your city.

Your councillors are your voice.

It is difficult to understand why anyone would not want to have a say in their election.

You really should vote or relinquish your right to complain. 

Most people are registered electors for state and federal elections, and if you are, then you are automatically on the roll for council elections.

If you are over 18 and have not yet enrolled, now is the time to do it.

You will also see official notices about voting entitlements related to business or multiple properties.

Disregard them if you do not have either. 

If you think the crop of councillors leave something to be desired or if you think  we are all complete fools, as some people are ready to declare, now is your opportunity.

Nominate yourself or have someone else nominate you.

The community will decide - or rather, those who vote will decide.

All positions will be vacated so everyone has an equal chance in the election.

If you think you can do better, go for it, it is what democracy is all about.

Most councillors manage their business or their career as well as serving on the council. 

You do not need to belong to a party.

In local government we are all (small) independents.

Nor do you have to worry about dual citizenship. 

That restriction does not apply to local government.

As long as you are an Australian citizen and over 18, you can be elected. 

So come on, this is the once-in-four-year opportunity for you to make a difference.

Have your say.

Cast your vote. 

Throw your hat in the ring. 

Start preparing now.