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Electoral information

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The next Local Government Election in Port Stephens took place on Saturday 4 December 2021. The NSW Government postponed the 2020 Local Government Election due to COVID-19.

The 2021 Port Stephens Council local government election was administered by the NSW Electoral Commission. For more information about the election including key dates and the nomination process, please visit NSW Electoral Commission.

Information for candidates

Election of women to local government

Did you know that women represent less than a third of all councillors and mayors serving on the 128 councils in NSW? If you're thinking about nominating for the 2021 local government election, visit NSW Office of Local Government.

Voting at the election

Voting at the local government election is compulsory for Australian citizens. Check your enrolment status and where you are enrolled to vote. Not voting may incur a $55 fine issued by the NSW Electoral Commission.

Where do I vote?

Port Stephens is divided into 3 Wards — West Ward, Central Ward and East Ward. Residents vote to elect a Mayor and 3 councillors to represent their respective ward.

Non-residential rolls

The non-residential rolls provide an opportunity for those people who are non-resident owners, occupiers and rate-paying lessees of rateable land with the Port Stephens local government area to apply to vote at the next local government election.

There are 2 non-residential rolls:

Applications close at 6pm Monday 25 October 2021. For more information about eligibility, management of rolls and whether voting is compulsory, download the Non-resident Rolls Information Guide.

Important changes about the election

The NSW Electoral Commission have introduced a number of important changes to the 2021 local government election.

Election signage

The State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008 (SEPP) does not permit election signage to be erected more than 5 weeks prior to an election. Any signage erected during this period is considered non-compliant with the SEPP.

Subdivision 13 of the SEPP permits signage to be erected during the 5 weeks preceding election day, on election day and for one week following election day. Further information is provided below:

Subdivision 13 Election signs

2.106   Specified development

(1)  The display of any poster that contains electoral matter in relation to an election held under the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 of the Commonwealth, the Parliamentary Electorates and Elections Act 1912 or the Local Government Act 1993 is development specified for the purposes of this code.

(2)  In this clause, electoral matter means —

(a)  any matter that is intended or calculated or likely to affect or is capable of affecting the result of an election or that is intended or calculated or likely to influence or is capable of influencing an elector in relation to the casting of his or her vote at an election, or

(b)  the name of a candidate at an election, the name of the party of any such candidate and the picture of any such candidate (including any photograph of the candidate and any drawing or printed matter that purports to depict any such candidate or to be a likeness or representation of any such candidate).

2.107   Development standards

The standards specified for that development are that the development must —

(a)  not be more than 0.8m2 in area, and

(b)  if on the site of a heritage item or draft heritage item — not be attached to a building, and

(c)  be displayed by or on behalf of a candidate at an election referred to in clause 2.106 or the party (if any) of any such candidate, and

(d)  be displayed in accordance with any relevant requirements of the Act under which the election is held, and

(e)  be displayed only during the following periods —

(i)  5 weeks immediately preceding the day on which the election is held,

(ii)  the day on which the election is held,

(iii)  1 week immediately following the day on which the election is held.

Working at the local government election

The NSW Electoral Commission is calling for applications from anyone interested in working at the local government election. Please visit LGE21 expression of interest website to make an application.

Register of electoral funding

Council is required to provide public access to the disclosure declarations lodged with the NSW Electoral Commission by Mayor and Councillors. This is in accordance with:

  • Local Government and Planning Legislation Amendment (Political Donations) Act 2009
  • Local Government Act 1993
  • Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979.

The disclosure declarations are required to be lodged with the NSW Electoral Commission by the Mayor and each Councillor within the Commission's specified timeframe.