23-09 September 2023 mayoral elections

Circular DetailsCircular No 23-09 / 01 August 2023 / A869189
Previous Circular21-24 September 2021 Mayoral elections
Who should read thisCouncillors / General Managers / Governance staff
ContactCouncil Governance Team / 02 4428 4100 /
Action requiredCouncil to Implement
PDF version23-09 September 2023 mayoral elections

What’s new or changing

  • Councils that elect their mayors are required under section 290(1)(b) of the Local Government Act 1993 (the Act) to hold mid-term mayoral elections in September 2023.
  • Mayors elected in September 2023 will hold their office until council elections are held on 14 September 2024.
  • Deputy mayors hold their office for the term specified by the council’s resolution. An election for deputy mayor should be held when the deputy mayor’s term expires.

What this will mean for your council

  • Mayoral elections must be conducted in accordance with Schedule 7 of the Local Government (General) Regulation 2021.
  • Schedule 7 prescribes three methods of election of mayors:
    • open ballot (eg a show of hands)
    • ordinary ballot, or
    • preferential ballot.
  • Councillors can participate in mayoral elections using an open ballot by audio visual link but not where the other two methods of election are used.
  • Ordinary and preferential ballots are secret ballots and councillors will need to attend the meeting in person to vote if the mayoral election is held using either of these methods.

Key points

  • Mayors elected by councillors normally hold their office for two years (unless a casual vacancy occurs). Because of the postponement of the last ordinary council elections to 4 December 2021, mayors elected by councillors during this term will have a shorter term than the usual two years.
  • Councils that elect their mayors are required under the Act to hold mid-term mayoral elections in the month of September. This means that the mid-term mayoral elections will need to be held in September 2023.
  • The term of office of mayors elected in September 2023 will automatically expire on 14 September 2024, when their term as a councillor expires.

Where to go for further information

  • The Office of Local Government has issued a fact sheet on conducting mayoral elections, which is available here.
  • For further information please contact the Council Governance Team on 02 4428 4100 or by email at

Brett Whitworth
Deputy Secretary, Local Government