15-01 – Local Government Amendment (Elections) Bill 2014
What’s new or changing
- The Local Government Amendment (Elections) Bill 2014 has now passed the NSW Parliament. The amendments give effect to recommendations made by the NSW Parliament’s Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters in its inquiry into the 2012 Local Government Elections. They are designed to improve the administration of council elections, give councils more choice in the administration of their elections, reduce costs and improve voter participation.
What this will mean for your council
- The details of the amendments to the Local Government Act 1993 and accompanying amendments to the Local Government (General) Regulation 2005 are outlined in the attachment to this circular.
- The amendments will commence once the supporting regulations are made. The Office will inform councils when the amendments commence.
- The amendments will not alter the requirement for councils to resolve before 9 March 2015 whether to engage the NSW Electoral Commissioner to administer their elections. Where councils resolve to engage the Electoral Commissioner they should use the words suggested in circular 13-41 issued on 18 September 2013.
- Where councils fail to resolve to engage the Electoral Commissioner before the 9 March 2015, the General Manager will be responsible for administering the council’s elections.
- Where councils resolve to administer the elections themselves, they should specify the following information in their resolution:
- whether the General Manager intends to administer elections personally or to engage an electoral services provider,
- if the General Manager intends to administer elections personally, whether the General Manager has identified any persons to be appointed as the returning officer and substitute returning officer and, if so, their names,
- if the General Manager intends to engage an electoral services provider, whether the general manager has identified an electoral services provider and, if so, the name of that provider:
- Information on what councils should consider in deciding whether to administer their own elections is available on the Office of Local Government’s website at www.olg.nsw.gov.au. In the “Directory of Policy Advice” please go to the “Elections” page and select “Guidelines for Council Administered Elections”.
Where to go for further information
- For more information, contact the Office’s Council Governance Team on 4428 4100.
Acting Chief Executive