Local Government Elections - postponed

Local Government elections in New South Wales are held every 4 years.

However the Minister for Local Government has announced that the September 2020 local government elections will be postponed to address the risks posed by the COVID-19 virus.

The Local Government Act 1993 (the Act) has been amended to confer on the Minister, a time-limited power to postpone council elections.

The amendment, which operates for only a limited period of 12 months, allows the Minister by an order published in the Gazette, to postpone elections for 12 months from the date of the order. The order may be extended for an additional period to 31 December in the year after the order is made.

The postponement of the next election will not change the future schedule of council elections, and the subsequent election will still proceed in September 2024.

Where the Minister exercises the power to postpone elections under section 318B, the election requirements of the Act are suspended for the period specified in the order and current councillors will continue to hold their civic offices.

You can read the announcement in the circular published on the Office of of Local Government's website

Councillors

Councillors are elected for 4 years.

Although the number of councillors to be elected varies from council to council, each council is made up of between 5 and 15 councillors (one of whom is the Mayor).

Voters rank candidates in order of preference, and where there are 2 or more positions to be filled, a candidate needs to achieve a quota of the votes to be elected.

Mayor

As a general rule the councillors elect one of their number to be the Mayor. A Mayor elected by the other councillors serves a two year term.

After each Local Government election, the Division of Local Government surveys all councils. A report on the findings provides information about the representation of the community on local councils. As well as describing the characteristics of councillors and candidates such as gender, age and experience, the report identifies trends over time.

Legislation

Councils work within laws established by the NSW Parliament. The Local Government Act 1993 NSW (the Act) sets out the major powers, functions and responsibilities of councils based on modern community expectations. The Act gives NSW councils broad powers to independently plan for and manage local community services and facilities in consultation with their local community.

Councils have a legal obligation to provide services under Section 8 of the Act, called “The council’s charter”.

About Blue Mountains City Council

To assist you in making a well informed and considered decision about whether to stand for election as a councillor, see the Council section of the website.