Local government elections

1. Overview

The Minister for Local Government announced on 25 March 2020 that the proposed Local Government election on 12 September 2020 has been postponed due to the COVID-19 crisis.

It is intended that the election will be held in September 2021.  Updates will be posted on this page once a new date has been confirmed.  

General information about local government elections can be found on the NSW Electoral Commission website, where you can also find the latest Election Bulletins.

Becoming a Councillor 

The Office of Local Government's Become a Councillor will provide you with some information about what to expect.

More information will be released prior to the 2021 election for those interested in becoming a Councillor.

Results from 2016 Election

2. Conduct of Election

The NSW Electoral Commission is contracted by Council to conduct the election on our behalf. The Commission appoints a Returning Officer to administer the election process.

3. The electoral process

Local Government elections and by-elections are conducted in a legal environment in accordance with the provisions of the Local Government 1993 and the Local Government (General) Regulation 2005.

The NSW Electoral Commission (NSWEC) is responsible for the conduct of all Local Government elections to ensure that the elections are conducted independently and impartially. 

An independent Returning Officer is appointed by the NSWEC to each council area to conduct the election on behalf of and under the direction of the Electoral Commissioner.

The Electoral Commissioner appoints the polling places for council elections and the Returning Officer appoints the election officials.

Each council is required by law to meet the costs of the conduct of its election.  The NSWEC works with each council to establish agreed service levels.

4. Non-residential roll

You are eligible to vote as a non-resident in the council area if you are:

  • an owner of rateable land in the council area 
  • an occupier or rate-paying lessee of rateable land in the area

Non-residential rolls are prepared and certified by the General Manager, and the NSW Electoral Commissioner must confirm that the voters listed are eligible for enrolment on the non-residential roll.  Individuals are responsible for checking that they are eligible for inclusion in the non-residential roll when they make an application.  We recommend getting independent advice if you are unsure about whether or not you are eligible to apply.

You can apply to be included on the non-residential roll by contacting Council.  Applications are open for the next local government election and application forms are available below. 

Form for individual owners, occupiers and ratepaying lessees(PDF, 87KB)

Form for nomination of an elector by joint/several, corporate or trustee owners, occupiers or ratepaying lessees(PDF, 104KB)  

5. Funding and Disclosures

Local government candidates and councillors are required to make disclosures to the NSW Electoral Commission for political donations and electoral expenditure.  Copies of the disclosures are published on the NSW Electoral Commission website at this location

6. State and Federal elections