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2021 NSW Local Government Election

Publish Date 07/07/2021

The upcoming Local Government Election is on Saturday 4 December 2021. If you're thinking about nominating as a candidate, find out more about what's involved.

The NSW Government postponed the 2020 Local Government Election due to COVID-19. The 2021 Port Stephens Council local government election will be administered by the NSW Electoral Commission. For more information about the election including key dates and the nomination process, please visit NSW Electoral Commission.

Thinking of nominating as a candidate on council?

If you’re thinking about nominating as a candidate for the 2021 NSW Local Government elections, this notice provides general guidance about the process of nominating and candidates’ obligations and responsibilities. Prospective candidates should seek their own independent legal advice if they are unsure whether they are eligible to run for public office on council or how the law applies to their specific circumstances.

Nominate as a Mayor or Councillor

To nominate as a Mayor or Councillor you must lodge a nomination form, either by delivering it to the Returning Officer or by using the NSW Electoral Commission’s online nomination system. Nominating involves:

  • Part A — Candidate details
  • Part B — Nominator details
  • Part C — Candidate information sheet
  • Part D — Statistical information sheet and
  • A nomination deposit
Grouping of Councillor candidates on the ballot paper

Two or more Councillor candidates may form a group on the ballot paper and, where eligible, request a group voting square be printed on the ballot paper for the group as a box above the line. As well as the nomination form, these candidates must also lodge a Request to form a group form.

Nomination deposit

All candidates must pay a nomination deposit of $125 each to the NSW Electoral Commission. For groups, the deposit is capped at $625 for a group of 5 candidates or more. If using the online nominations system, the deposit must be paid by either MasterCard or VISA. If using paper nomination forms, the nomination deposit must be paid by cash or bank or building society cheque.

Start your nomination now

The NSW Electoral Commission’s online nominations system is now open for nominations at elections.nsw.gov.au. Alternatively, paper nomination forms are available by calling the Commission’s candidate helpdesk on 1300 022 011.

Lodge your nomination

The NSW Local Government elections have been postponed until 4 December 2021. New dates for nominations will be announced soon.

Late nominations will not be accepted. If using paper nomination forms, you must lodge your nomination and deposit with the Returning Officer for the council area in which you intend to stand as a candidate. Returning Officer office locations can be found at elections.nsw.gov.au/lge21

Registration for electoral funding purposes

NSW has strict laws that regulate the election campaign finances of political parties, candidates and groups at the election. These include requirements to operate a campaign account, and to record and  disclose political donations and electoral expenditure. In addition, there are caps on political donations and electoral expenditure.

Prior to being nominated, candidates and groups can separately apply to the NSW Electoral Commission to be registered for electoral funding regulation purposes. Only once successfully registered is a candidate or group allowed to accept political donations and pay for electoral expenditure.

Forms for applying to be registered as a candidate or group are available on the Commission’s website. Online registration is also now available. New dates for applications for electoral funding purposes will be announced soon.

Learn more at elections.nsw.gov.au/funding-and-disclosure. Enquiries about being registered and the laws that apply to political donations and electoral expenditure should be sent to fdc@elections.nsw.gov.au

Candidate Handbook and webinars

A Candidate Handbook will be made available on the NSW Electoral Commission’s website.  Educational webinars which assist candidates in navigating the process are also available.

Ballot paper draw

A draw to determine the order of groups (where applicable) and candidate names on the ballot paper will be conducted at the office of the relevant Returning Officer.

The ballot paper draw may be observed in person by candidates, representatives of registered political parties and the media, subject to the capacity of the Returning Officer’s office and COVID-19 safety measures. Attendees will be required to check-in via the Service NSW app and comply with physical distancing requirements. Attendees may also be required to wear a face mask.

The NSW Local Government elections have been postponed until 4 December 2021. New dates for the ballot paper draw will be announced soon.

Further information:

If you are deaf, hard of hearing and/or have a speech impairment, please contact the NSW Electoral Commission through the National Relay Service (NRS). Choose your access option and ask for 1300 135 736.

If you need an interpreter, please call TIS National on 131 450 and ask them to call the NSW Electoral Commission on 1300 135 736.