Local Government elections

Anyone who is entitled to vote at elections for a council is eligible to stand for election as a councillor or as the Mayor for a council (if the Mayor is popularly elected). You must be:

If a person is elected to civic office and it is later determined that the person was in fact disqualified from holding civic office within the meaning of the Local Government Act 1993, or it is found that there has been some irregularity in that person's election to office, they can be dismissed. Some of the circumstances of disqualification from holding civic office include:

  • while disqualified from being an elector;
  • while disqualified from managing a corporation under the Corporations Act 2001;
  • while being a judge of any court of the State or the Commonwealth;
  • while serving a sentence for an offence, except a sentence imposed for a failure to pay a fine;
  • if employed by the council concerned; or
  • if convicted of certain offences relating to property

An application for dismissal is made to the Administrative Decisions Tribunal and can be made by any person within 3 months of the election of the councillor concerned.

Candidate for Councillor in an Undivided Council Area

To be eligible for election as a councillor in an area that does not have wards a person must be enrolled, on the residential roll or in the case of the non-residential roll, in that council area by 6pm on the day the rolls close.

Candidate for Councillor in a Council Area with Wards

Where a council has wards a candidate for election as a councillor must be enrolled in that council area (but not necessarily in the ward in which they are nominating as a candidate), either as a resident or non-resident elector. For example, a person may be enrolled in 'B' ward of the council area but may decide to nominate as a candidate in 'C' ward.

Although a person can nominate for more than one ward in the same council area, they can only run as a candidate in one. This means that they must withdraw all nominations but one before the close of nominations.

Candidate for 'Popularly Elected' Mayor

In an election for Mayor, a candidate must be enrolled on the residential roll in the council area or in the case of a non-resident elector, by 6pm on the day the rolls close.

A person may be a candidate for both Mayor and councillor for the same council, but cannot be elected to both positions.

Under the double candidature rules, if a person is elected by the electors as Mayor and the person is also a candidate for election as a councillor, the votes cast for the person as a councillor are not counted for that person, but are distributed as if the person elected as Mayor was not a candidate for councillor. In other words, each 1st preference indicated on ballot papers in the election of councillors for the person elected as Mayor is disregarded, a 2nd preference becomes a 1st preference, a 3rd becomes a 2nd, and so on.

In the City of Sydney, a candidate for Lord Mayor must also be a candidate for councillor at the same time but cannot be elected to both positions.  If elected as Lord Mayor, the votes cast for that person as a councillor are distributed in accordance with the double candidature rules described above.