Circulars

21-42 Reminder to councils: decisions on countbacks, administration of the oath or affirmation of office and the delivery of councillor induction and refresher training after the election

Circular Details21-42 / 24 December 2021 / A798531
Previous Circular21-30 Post-Election Guide on key decisions and activities forcouncils, county councils and joint organisations following thelocal government elections
Who should read thisCouncillors / General Managers / Council Governance Staff
ContactCouncil Governance Team / 02 4428 4100 / olg@olg.nsw.gov.au
Action RequiredCouncil to implement
PDF Version21-42 Reminder to councils: decisions on countbacks, administration of the oath or affirmation of office and the delivery of councillor induction and refresher training after the election

What’s new or changing

  • Councils are reminded that at their first meeting following the ordinary election, they will be required to decide whether to fill casual vacancies using a countback and to administer an oath or affirmation of office for councillors.
  • Councils are also reminded that they will need to provide induction training for newly elected mayors and councillors and refresher training for returning mayors and councillors within six months of the election.

What this will mean for your council

  • At their first meeting after the ordinary election, councils are required to resolveto fill casual vacancies occurring in the first 18 months after the election using a countback if they want to fill casual vacancies by these means. If councils do not resolve to fill casual vacancies using a countback at their first meeting after the election, by-elections will need to be held to fill vacancies.
  • At or before the first meeting after the election, the mayor and councillors are required to take an oath or make an affirmation of office. A councillor who fails, without a reasonable excuse, to take the oath or make an affirmation of office, will not be entitled to attend council meetings until they do so and will be taken to be absent without leave.
  • Councils must provide induction training for newly elected mayors and councillors and refresher training for returning mayors and councillors within six months of the election. Councils are required to report on the mayor’s and councillors’ participation in induction or refresher training in their annual reports. Guidance on developing and delivering induction and refresher training is provided in the Office of Local Government’s Councillor Induction and Professional Development Guidelines which are available here.

Where to go for further information

  • Further guidance on these and other requirements is provided in the Post-Election Guide for Councils, County Councils and Joint Organisations. The Guide is available here.
  • For further information please contact the Council Governance Team on 02 4428 4100 or by email at olg@olg.nsw.gov.au.

Brett Whitworth
Group Deputy Secretary, Planning Delivery and Local Government