Circulars

21-20 Postponement of the local government elections to 4 December 2021

Circular DetailsCircular No 21-20/ 25 July 2021
Previous Circular20-25 The date of the next ordinary local government elections is 4 September 2021
Who should read thisCouncillors / General Managers / All council staff
ContactCouncil Governance Team/ 02 4428 4100/ olg@olg.nsw.gov.au
Action requiredInformation
PDF Version21-20 Postponement of the local government elections to 4 December 2021

What’s new or changing

  • The Minister for Local Government has published an order in the Gazette under section 318C of the Local Government Act 1993 (the Act) postponing all council elections to 4 December 2021.
  • The decision to postpone all council elections has been made in response to the escalating outbreak of the Delta variant of the COVID-19 virus in Greater Sydney and the potential for further outbreaks in regional areas.
  • The decision has been made in consultation with and on the advice of the NSW Electoral Commissioner and NSW Health

What this will mean for your council

  • Current councillors and popularly elected mayors will continue to hold their civic offices until council elections are held on 4 December 2021.
  • The order made under section 318C continues the suspension of the requirement to hold by-elections to fill vacancies for the period specified in the order.
  • Councils will not be required to hold by-elections to fill vacancies or to apply to the Minister to dispense with the requirement to hold a by-election before ordinary council elections are held on 4 December 2021.
  • The making of the order will not affect the requirement to hold mayoral elections.
  • Mayoral elections must be held for mayors elected in September 2019 when their two year-terms expire in September 2021.
  • Mayors elected in September 2020 will continue to hold office until council elections are held on 4 December 2021.
  • Chairpersons of county councils now hold office for two years.
  • Chairpersons of county councils elected in September 2020 will continue to hold office until council elections are held on 4 December 2021.
  • The composition of joint organisation boards may need to change in September 2021 if mayors of member councils elected by councillors are not re-elected.
  • The postponement of the next ordinary local government elections will not affect the timing of future council elections, and the subsequent ordinary local government elections will still proceed in September 2024.

Key points

  • The local government elections were previously postponed to 4 September 2021 by orders made under section 318B of the Act.
  • The order made under section 318C revokes the previous order and appoints 4 December 2021 as the day on which all council elections will be held.

Where to go for further information

  • Further information is provided in the FAQ which is available on the Office of Local Government’s website here.
  • For further information, please contact the Council Governance Team on 02 4428 4100 or by email at olg@olg.nsw.gov.au.

Kiersten Fishburn

Coordinator General, Planning Delivery and Local Government