Local Government Elections

The next Local Government elections will be held on 14 September 2024.

Information for Candidates

Becoming a Councillor information coming soon.

 

Information for Councils

Pre-election Guide for Councils

  • Click here to download.

 

Post-election Guide for Councils, County Councils and Joint Organisations 

  • Coming soon!

 

Councillor Induction and Professional Development

To support amendments made to the Local Government Act 1993 in August 2016, regulations have been made requiring councils to provide induction training and ongoing professional development to mayors and councillors.

More information on these requirements is available here .

 

Election related circulars

  • 22-35 Councils’ decisions on the administration of their September

    What’s new or changing

    • Under section 296AA of the Local Government Act 1993 (the Act), councils are required to make a decision on how their ordinary elections in September 2024 are to be administered by 13 March 2023.
    • Each council must resolve either:
      • to enter into an election arrangement with the NSW Electoral Commissioner (NSWEC) to administer all the council’s elections, polls and constitutional referenda or
      • that the council’s elections are to be administered by another electoral services provider engaged by the council.
    • If a council does not resolve to engage the NSWEC to administer its elections by 13 March 2023, it must engage another electoral services provider to do so.

     

    What this will mean for your council

    • Councils are required to make a decision under section 296AA by 13 March 2023 on the administration of their next ordinary election. Information to assist councils in making that decision is provided in the attached FAQ.
    • If a council is proposing to engage the NSWEC to administer its elections, it should resolve to do so as soon as possible and notify the NSWEC.

     

    Key points

    • Where councils resolve to engage the NSWEC to administer their elections, polls and referenda, a model resolution is suggested in the attached FAQ.
    • If a council resolves to adopt an electoral services provider other than the NSWEC, the resolution must state whether the general manager has identified an electoral services provider to be engaged for the next ordinary election and, if so, the name of that provider.

     

    Where to go for further information

    • Further information to assist councils’ decisions on the administration of their September 2024 ordinary elections is contained in the FAQ attached to this circular.
    • Contact the Office of Local Government’s Council Governance Team by telephone on 02 4428 4100 or by email at olg@olg.nsw.gov.au.
    • Contact Steve Robb at the NSW Electoral Commission by telephone on 1300 135 736.

     

    Downloadable PDF Version22-35

  • 23-05 Ward boundary and name changes

    What’s new or changing

    • Councils must review their ward boundaries and notify the NSW Electoral Commission (NSWEC) of any changes to ward boundaries and/or names by 5 October 2023.

     

    What this will mean for your council

    • Under section 211 of the Local Government Act 1993 councils that are divided into wards must keep ward boundaries under review to ensure the difference in elector numbers between wards does not exceed 10%. The attachment to this Circular provides further information regarding the calculation of the 10% variation to elector numbers within wards.
    • Before altering ward boundaries, councils must:
      • consult the NSWEC and the Australian Statistician; and
      • prepare and publicly exhibit a plan detailing any proposed alteration (the ward boundary plan).
    • Under section 277A of the Local Government (General) Regulation 2021 ward boundary and name changes must be made by 5 October 2023 to be in effect for the 14 September 2024 ordinary elections unless the Electoral Commissioner otherwise approves in special circumstances.

     

    Key points

    • Local government ordinary elections are to be held on 14 September 2024.
    • The last date for councils to make ward boundary alterations and name changes is 5 October 2023.
    • The NSWEC maintains a website to assist councils to review their ward boundaries and provide guidance on the process for consulting with it. The website is available here.
    • Councils must publicly exhibit the ward boundary plan for at least 28 days and consider any submissions made during the 42 day consultation period.

     

    Where to go for further information

    • More information is available on the NSWEC’s website here.
    • Contact Data Analytics and Geospatial Services Team (Manager, Omar Altaie) at the NSW Electoral Commission on 9290 5999 or via email redistribution@elections.nsw.gov.au.

     

    Brett Whitworth
    Deputy Secretary, Local Government

    Downloadable PDF Version23-05

  • 24-01 Constitutional referendums and council polls

    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 Steve.Robb@elections.nsw.gov.au.
    • See attachment to this Circular for further information

    Douglas Walther
    A/Deputy Secretary, Local Government

     

    Downloadable PDF Version24-01

  • 24-04 New local government elections webpage launched on the Office of Local Government’s website

    What’s new or changing
    • Local Government elections will be held on 14 September 2024.
    • The Office of Local Government (OLG) has launched a dedicated webpage to provide information and resources for candidates, councils, and councillors in the lead up to the elections and following the elections.
    • New information and resources will be progressively published on the website over the coming months.
    • As a first step, OLG has published a Pre-Election Guide for councils on the new webpage.
    • The Pre-Election Guide has been prepared to inform councils about key tasks that need to be completed prior to the elections and the rules, restrictions and other considerations that apply to the way councils exercise their functions in the lead up to the elections.

    What this will mean for your council
    •The Pre-Election Guide for councils provides guidance on the following:
    o the preparation and confirmation of non-residential rolls
    o information for candidates
    o the use of council resources for election purposes
    o staff political activities in the lead up to the elections
    o council publications during the “regulated period” in the 40 days prior to the election
    o attendance by the mayor and councillors at council and community events prior to the election
    o media comment by the mayor and councillors prior to the election
    o caretaker restrictions in the 4 weeks preceding election day
    o planning for the first council meeting following the election
    o delegations to the general manager during the election period.

    Where to go for further information
    • The dedicated Local Government elections webpage is available here.
    • The Pre-Election Guide for councils is available here.
    • For further information, contact the Council Governance Team on 4428 4100 or olg@olg.nsw.gov.au.

    Downloadable PDF Version 24-04

Information for Voters

The NSW Electoral Commission has a range of general information about Local Government elections and advice on enrolment and voting in the elections available here.

Election related media releases