Council Circular 24-01 Constitutional referendums and council polls

Circular Details24-01 / 18 January 2024 / A857671
Previous Circular20-39 Constitutional referendums and council polls
Who should read thisCouncillors / General Managers / Council Governance Staff
ContactCouncil Governance Team / 02 4428 4100 /
Action requiredInformation
PDF version24-01 Constitutional referendums and council polls – PDF
AttachmentConducting a constitutional referendum – PDF

What’s new or changing

  • Councils are reminded to inform the NSW Electoral Commissioner (NSWEC) if they have resolved for the NSWEC to administer a constitutional referendum or poll in conjunction with the September 2024 local government elections.

What this will mean for your council

  • Under section 16 of the Local Government Act 1993, a council must obtain the approval of its electors at a constitutional referendum to do each of the following:
    • divide a council area into wards or abolish wards
    • change the number of councillors
    • change the method of electing the mayor
    • change the method of election for councillors where the council’s area is divided into wards.

Key points

  • Councils should notify the NSWEC as soon as possible if they wish to enter into an arrangement for the administration of a referendum or poll.
  • If a council resolves that a constitutional referendum or poll is to be conducted, it must comply with the notification requirements contained in Schedule 10 of the Local Government (General) Regulation 2021.
  • Any changes approved at a constitutional referendum held in September 2024 will come into effect at the September 2028 local government elections.

Where to go for further information

  • For councils considering, or that have resolved to have the NSWEC conduct a constitutional referendum or poll, contact Steve Robb at the NSW Electoral Commission on telephone 9290 5431 or
  • See attachment to this Circular for further information

Douglas Walther
A/Deputy Secretary, Local Government