Media Releases

NSW Government reduces the cost of council elections

Shelley Hancock – Minister for Local Government

Wednesday, 18 September 2019

The NSW Government will provide almost $20 million in funding to reduce the cost of running next year’s local government elections for councils and their communities.

Minister for Local Government Shelley Hancock said the Government has listened to the concerns of councils about significant increases in their election costs as part of IPART’s review of the cost of local government elections.

“We are committed to minimising the financial burden on councils and ensuring elections are held efficiently and cost effectively,” Mrs Hancock said.

“That’s why the Government will provide $19.9 million to fund the NSW Electoral Commission’s core costs for local government elections such as staff payroll, training, IT system development, and maintenance of the electoral roll.”
Councils will now only pay the direct costs incurred by the Electoral Commission in holding elections such as polling booth staff and venues and ballot paper printing.

“The cost per elector for the next local government elections will be $8.21, compared to $12.72 if no Government funding contribution was provided.”
Mrs Hancock said the Government would also make a range of regulatory changes to further increase the efficiency of local government elections.

“These changes include applying modern and efficient practices used at State elections to council polls from 2020 onwards such as allowing full electronic nominations and electronic vote counting.”

The Government will also consult with the local government sector on giving councils the option to use universal postal voting instead of attendance voting from the 2024 elections onwards to reduce costs further and increase participation rates.

IPART’s final report on the costs of local government elections and the NSW Government response can be accessed here.

MEDIA: Nicholas Story | Minister Hancock | 0438 255 020

PDF Version of Media Release:                   Ministerial Media Release- 18/09/2019 -NSW Government reduces cost of council elections  – PDF