If you are considering nominating for election to a council in NSW it is vital that you have a good understanding of the role before you nominate.

Become a councillor

  • Local government - What it is

    Councils in NSW provide a wide range of services and activities. What often springs to mind when people think about the role of government are services such as rubbish collection, road maintenance and rates. However, councils have a much wider and more important role than many people realise.

    Councils work with the community, other councils and different levels of government to deliver services and infrastructure for their communities and to achieve community goals. Councils administer services for planning for sustainable development, providing and maintaining infrastructure, protecting the environment, providing community services and development, and safeguarding public health.

    Increasingly, councils are playing a role in not just delivering services to their community but also shaping its future by working with local people to develop and deliver a vision for each area.

  • Who can be a councillor?

    Serving in the level of government closest to the community is a fulfilling experience.

    Councillors represent the needs and aspirations of their communities, making significant decisions on their behalf.

    If you are passionate about your local community then you already have what it takes to become a councillor.

    There are no special qualifications to become a councillor other than a desire and enthusiasm to serve your community. If you are eligible to vote at an election for your council, you are eligible to stand as a candidate for election to the council. You’ll benefit from the skills you develop – and you can learn most of these on the job.

    If elected, a councillor will receive benefits like training, support, equipment, expenses, fees and possibly superannuation.


  • Stand for your community

    NSW is one of t


    he most diverse and inclusive societies in the world. Across the state, local communities are made up of a mix of people from a diverse range of backgrounds with different needs and interests.

    People from all backgrounds are being encouraged to stand for their community to increase diversity in local government.

    While we have made


    steps towards strengthening diversity, there is much more to do. There is an under-representation of diverse groups of people among elected representatives of many NSW councils, including women, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, members of culturally and linguistically diverse communities, people with disabilities, and young people.

    Information and statistics on local government representation can be found in the Candidate and Councillor Report 2021/2022.

    Local councils need diversity among councillors to reflect the diverse needs of community members. If a community is diverse, their councillors should be too. This will lead to better leadership and decision making to create stronger councils and better outcomes for local communities.



  • Women X Local Government

    The Office of Local Government and Women NSW have jointly committed funding for two women’s organisations to host a series of candidate information workshops targeted at underrepresented groups of women.

    The Australian Local Government Women’s Association, NSW Branch and Women For Election will deliver workshops covering leadership skills, how to run a successful campaign as well as the roles and responsibilities of elected councillors.

    Aimed to empower women with the knowledge to run as candidates, these workshops will be delivered by women with lived experienced serving or working in local government.

    They will be held at multiple locations in Sydney and in regional and rural areas to ensure women around NSW have access to these valuable training opportunities.

    There will also be a dedicated workshop run by Aboriginal trainers and targeted at Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women.

    For more information about the workshops please visit:

  • Resources

    Become a councillor | Candidate tool

    The Office of Local Government has launched a comprehensive online candidate information and guide.

    The interactive resource provides potential candidates with detailed information about running for election and the roles and responsibilities of councils and councillors.

    It is designed to provide candidates with an understanding of what will be expected if elected, the time commitments required and what legislative boundaries one must work within.


    Stand for your community | Candidate guides

    If you are passionate about your local community then you already have what it takes to become a councillor. Everything else you need to know about taking the steps and nominating for election is detailed in The Stand for your community | Candidate guide.

    The guide has been prepared as an introduction to the role of a councillor and the operation of councils. It is a starting point to help you decide whether you would like to run in the next local government elections.


    Guides have also been tailored for prospective candidates who are women, Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people, people from culturally and linguistically diverse communities, people with disabilities and young people.


    If you would like further information about becoming a councillor, talk to an existing or former councillor in your local area, attend a council meeting or contact the Office of Local Government by email olg@olg.nsw.gov.au or phone 02 4428 4100.

    Visit the Local Government Directory for information and contacts for NSW councils.

    For more information about the registration process to initiate campaigning, the nomination process, managing campaigning finances, and other becoming a candidate information, go to the NSW Electoral Commission website at www.elections.nsw.gov.au.






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