Your say: Residents will vote in October's City of Ballarat elections. Photo: FILE

City of Ballarat council elections 2020

October 10, 2020 BY

All the Ballarat Times reporting on the 2020 City of Ballarat council elections in one place. Updated regularly!


Who’s in the running?

VOTING in the City of Ballarat election gets underway from 8 October. Here’s a list of confirmed people who running, in the order they’ll appear on the ballot.

Candidates officially endorsed by a political party have that party listed with their name.

Nick Shady Jay Morrison – ALP Cr Des Hudson – ALP
Kumuda Simpson – ALP Cr Daniel Moloney – ALP Bridget Aitchison – ALP
Stephen Jones David Harris Susan Jakobi
Geoff Howard – ALP Peter Eddy Cr Ben Taylor
Cr Mark Harris Cr Amy Johnson Tracey Hargreaves
Cr Belinda Coates – The Greens Cr Grant Tillet Rachel Muir
John Dooley Bryn Hills – Animal Justice Party Cr Jim Rinaldi
Cr Samantha McIntosh Ellen Burns – The Greens Jackson Snep – The Greens


South Ward candidate forum


Central Ward candidate forum


North Ward candidate forum


Sunday, 4 October

Hudson hawkish on community engagement

After eighteen years on the City of Ballarat council, Cr Des Hudson is seeking another term representing South Ward.






Sunday, 4 October

Far-right party backs South Ward candidate

Australia First Party’s Susan Jakobi is a South Ward candidate in this month’s City of Ballarat Council elections.








Saturday, 3 October

Nick Shady on council

Nick Shady is gunning for a Central Ward seat in the October City of Ballarat elections.








Friday, 2 October

Former mayor back to challenge Central candidates

One of the City of Ballarat’s former mayors, Stephen Jones is running in this month’s municipal elections.






Thursday, 1 October

Muir’s hope to make history

Rachel Muir is putting her name in the ring in the hopes of becoming the City of Ballarat’s first Indigenous councillor.








Saturday, 26 September

Lots of issues on Moloney’s radar

Freshman councillor Daniel Moloney is looking to put a range of issues, big and small, on the agenda for next month’s election.






Friday, 25 September

Workers a priority for Central Ward’s Simpson

Kumuda Simpson is running for the municipal elections as a Labor endorsed option for Central Ward voters.






Friday, 25 September

Is the doctor in?: Mark Harris seeks another term

Regular council watchers would know Cr Mark Harris has been a bit of an enigma. Non-aligned, willing to compromise and change his opinion, now he’s seeking another term.








Thursday, 24 September

Bending over backwards for South seat

If you haven’t already, meet Tracey Hargreaves, the Ballarat business owner making a run at a South Ward Seat.






Wednesday, 23 September

How much money did each City of Ballarat councillor claim in expenses?

Over the last four financial years City of Ballarat councillors claimed a total of $205,427.84 in expenses. See the story for full breakdowns of each item billed back to the City.






Wednesday, 23 September

Candidates set to debate, and you can take part

IN the lead up to October’s municipal elections, the Ballarat Times is set to host a series of online, town hall style candidate debates.

Covering North, Central and South Wards, as well as Golden Plains, the events will be streamed live via the paper’s Facebook page and also made available on the Ballarat Times website to watch any time.

And you can be involved!

We’re taking questions from our readers to ask the candidates during the debates and we want to know what the big issues for you are.

“It’s becoming a cliché to say things like ‘this is an election like no other’, but it’s kind of true,” said Ballarat Times editor Alistair Finlay.

“COVID-19 means the candidates who want your vote can’t knock on your door or bail you up at the supermarket or the train station and make their pitch.

“Also we as voters also have limited access candidates, we can’t stop them in the street and find out what they really think.

“That’s why we’re running the candidate debates, to help with a two-way flow of information and provide everyone with the information they need to make the important decision on who’ll run our city for the next four years.”

Each event will start at 6.30pm and run for about an hour. Candidate will get a short period to introduce themselves and then we’ll get stuck into your questions.

– Golden Plains Shire, Monday, 28 September, 6.30pm

– Ballarat North Ward, Tuesday, 29 September, 6.30pm

– Ballarat Central Ward, Wednesday, 30 September, 6.30pm

– Ballarat South Ward, Thursday, 1 October, 6.30pm

Send your questions to [email protected] and please include your name and the suburb you live in, or submit them via Facebook or Messenger.

You can watch the debates live via our Facebook page at and check them out afterwards right here at


Tuesday, 22 September

Candidates confirmed

TWENTY-four people have put their names forward across three wards with three seats up for grabs each in October’s City of Ballarat council election.

They include in Central Ward where four former mayors will go head to head.

The ballot draw was particularly kind to the ALP citywide ticket, with Jay Morrison and Cr Daniel Moloney drawing spots one and two in North Ward and Cr Des Hudson and Bridget Aitchison doing the same in South Ward.

See below for the full list, in ballot order. Candidates officially endorsed by a political party have that party listed with their name.



Jay Morrison – ALP

Cr Daniel Moloney – ALP

David Harris

Peter Eddy

Cr Amy Johnson

Cr Grant Tillet

Bryn Hills – Animal Justice Party

Ellen Burns – The Greens



Nick Shady

Kumuda Simpson – ALP

Stephen Jones

Geoff Howard – ALP

Cr Mark Harris

Cr Belinda Coates – The Greens

John Dooley

Cr Samantha McIntosh



Cr Des Hudson – ALP

Bridget Aitchison – ALP

Susan Jakobi

Cr Ben Taylor

Tracey Hargreaves

Rachel Muir

Cr Jim Rinaldi

Jackson Snep – The Greens


Sunday, 20 September

Hills heads for North Ward

Bryn Hills is the official Animal Justice Party candidate for North Ward following on from his run for the party at the last State and Federal elections.








Saturday, 19 September

Morrison running for North Ward jobs

Labor endorsed candidate in North Ward, Jay Morrison, said he’ll be drawing on his experiences as a union rep to put a focus on local jobs if elected.






Friday, 18 September

A different Harris set for election

There’ll be a familiar name of the ballot for North Ward this election, but David Harris has his own issues he wants to put on the agenda.








Thursday, 17 September

Community Alliance officially launches

A grouping of community organisations is seeking to put a more progressive and inclusive items on the agenda of next month’s City of Ballarat council election.






Thursday, 17 September

ACU dean keen on seat at the table

Professor Bridget Aitchison, dean at Ballarat’s Australian Catholic University campus is standing on a joint ALP ticket in South Ward.






Saturday, 12 September

Smaller projects rewarding for Rinaldi

While some councillors are focusing on bigger picture agenda items, Cr Jim Rinaldi says keeping in mind the smaller, hyper-local issues is also important.






Friday, 11 September

Amy Johnson gears up for another run

Often provocative, Cr Amy Johnson is standing again for a North Ward seat in next month’s City of Ballarat Election.







Thursday, 10 September

Samantha McIntosh targeting fourth term

Samantha McIntosh has said she’ll be nominating for next month’s City of Ballarat election. The declaration means all current councillors will be restanding.






Thursday, 10 September

City of Ballarat council elections: key dates

Wednesday, 16 September

– Last chance to request a large print or braille ballot pack – call 8620 1222 for more info.

– Election offices open.

Thursday, 17 September

– 5pm, last chance to request a redirection of a ballot pack.

– Candidate nomination period opens.

Tuesday, 22 September

– 12pm, Candidate nomination period closes.

– 12pm, councils enter caretaker mode.

Tuesday, 6 October

– Ballot packs distributed via mail to all enrolled voters in a random order over three days.

Friday, 23 October

– 6pm, Close of voting with completed ballots in the mail or hand-delivered to the relevant election office.

Monday, 2 November to Friday, 13 November

– Results declarations for all elections will be officially declared and published in relevant newspapers and to the VEC website during this period.

Monday, 9 November

– City of Ballarat mayoral election special council meeting scheduled.


Sunday, 6 September

Why is Geoff Howard having another crack?

Despite retiring from politics at the last State election, former member for Buninyong Geoff Howard is seeking to make a return to the place it politically all began for him – Ballarat council.





Saturday, 5 September

Winemaker stands for South Ward

The trilogy of endorsed Greens candidates is complete with Jackson Snep named as the party’s pick for South Ward.








Friday, 4 September

Peter Eddy ready for next challenge

Outgoing Basketball Ballarat CEO Peter Eddy talks about why he’s running in North Ward.






Thursday, 3 September 

There’s a small window to get on the ballot for next months City of Ballarat council elections. Photo: FILE

Timeline for candidates

THE Victorian Electoral Commission has confirmed the timelines and requirements for all candidates standing at next month’s local government election.

Registration to nominate for the ballot will open on Thursday, 17 September and close at 12pm on Tuesday, 22 September.

During the five-day window to get on the ballot, candidates will need to lodge a $250 nomination fee and confirm they have completed the compulsory training.

“Nominations must be lodged with the election manager during the short nomination period, so prospective candidates should act quickly to make sure they are prepared,” said electoral commissioner Warwick Gately.

“The eligibility requirements for candidates have recently changed. Prospective candidates should confirm their eligibility and complete the online mandatory local government candidate training before lodging their nomination. This includes candidates who are currently or have previously been a councillor.”

In addition to the compulsory training the VEC is running online training and interactive seminars from 3 September. Visit to find out more.


Thursday, 3 September

Ben Taylor seeking third term

Current City of Ballarat mayor and South Ward representative Cr Ben Taylor says he has unfinished business on council.






Thursday, 27 August

Entrepreneur stands in North Ward

The Greens have announced Ellen Burns, founder of environmentally conscious snack business We Bar None, is the party’s endorsed candidate for North Ward.





Thursday, 27 August

Voting date locked in

THE Victorian government has confirmed statewide local government elections will go ahead as planned in October.

There had been some speculation that voting would be delayed due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and stage four lockdown restriction in metropolitan Melbourne.

However, last week the State’s local government minister, Shaun Leane, issued statement saying the chief health officer had given the okay for the ballot to proceed.

“The chief health officer has advised that October represents a period when risk is likely to be substantially lower than at present, and there are no compelling public health grounds for the elections to be delayed,” Mr Leane said.

That means 4pm on Friday, 28 August is still the deadline to enrol make changes to your enrolment for the municipal election.

Voting will be conducted by postal ballot in the City of Ballarat, and across the state, and Victorian electoral commissioner Warwick Gately said the VEC was putting in place a range measures to address the effects of the pandemic.

“The situation remains dynamic and the VEC continues to actively monitor conditions and restrictions,” he said.

“Additional measures in place include increased distancing in election offices, limiting face-to-face contact, enforcing mask wearing where mandated by the Victorian Government, and moving operational activity online whenever possible.”

Ballots for the municipal elections will be posted out between 6 and 8 October. Votes need to be in the mail or hand delivered to an electoral office – if open to the public – by 6pm on Friday, 23 October.


Thursday, 20 August

Coates covets Central Ward seat

Current City of Ballarat deputy-mayor Belinda Coates will be attempting to return to Central Ward as the endorsed Greens candidate.






Thursday, 13 August

Dooley down for Ballarat council run

Fifty-six-year-old electrical wholesaler John Dooley is standing as an independent in Central Ward.






Thursday, 6 August

Tillett makes pitch for second hitch

Freshman councillor for North Ward Grant Tillett has confirmed he’s looking to go around again as an independent.

He also said he joined the Liberal Party once, “attended one meeting and was so disenchanted I have never been back.”





Wednesday, 29 July

ALP announces citywide ticket

The Labor Party has confirmed it’ll be running a citywide ticket with two councillors in each ward at Octobers municipal election.

Joining incumbents Cr Daniel Moloney and Cr Des Hudson are former Member for Buninyong, and Ballarat mayor Geoff Howard, Australian Catholic University campus dean Bridget Aitchison, Frolic Festival organiser Jay Morrison and politics lecturer Kumuda Simpson.