2012 NSW Local Government Elections
General Information for Voters and Candidates
Information for Voters
The 2012 NSW Council Elections will be held on Saturday 8 September 2012.
Australian Election Company is assisting with the management and/or conduct of a number of these Elections including for Cessnock City Council, Coffs Harbour City Council, Kempsey Shire Council, Lake Macquarie City Council, Maitland City Council, Newcastle City Council, Penrith City Council, Port Stephens City and Shoalhaven City Council.
The Electoral Commission NSW conducted the 2008 NSW Local Government Elections; however legislation passed on 27 June 2011 provided Councils with the option to conduct their own Elections.
There are 15 NSW Councils managing their own 2012 Elections.
Who Votes?∧ Back to the top
Voting in Council Elections is compulsory for residential electors (electors enrolled on the Commonwealth/NSW Electoral Roll). All Australian citizens aged 18 years and older must be enrolled on the electoral roll for the address where they live. Electoral Enrolment Claim Forms are available from any Australian Electoral Commission Office. Contact for 13 23 26 for details or in relation to any queries about electoral enrolment on the Commonwealth/NSW Electoral Roll.
If you need to enrol to vote, or you have recently moved to your Council Area or you have changed address (even if you have just moved next door), you can collect an electoral enrolment claim form from a Post Office or any Australian Electoral Commission Office www.aec.gov.au The rolls for the 2012 NSW Council Elections will close 30 July 2012 at 6.00pm.
Owners of property in a Council Area who do not live in the Council Area, but who wish to vote in the Elections for the Council Area where they own property, must send an application to the General Manager of the relevant Council to appear on the Non-residential Roll of electors or the Occupiers and Rate Paying Lessees Roll of electors, for that Area. Voting is not compulsory for electors included on these Rolls. Each of the abovementioned Councils will have a Template (a Claim Form) available for persons desirous of enrolling on Council’s Non-residential roll or the roll of Occupiers and Rate Paying Lessees. Again, though, the deadline for receipt of completed Enrolment Claims will be 6:00pm 30 July 2012 at 6:00pm.
When to vote∧ Back to the top
Postal Vote Applications may be made from 30 July 2012 until 5:00pm on Monday 3 September 2012. Postal Vote Applications are available from the Returning Officer, from Council Offices, by phoning 1800 224 420 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Postal Vote Applications may also be downloaded here.
Pre Poll Voting will be available from Monday 27 August 2012 and will close at 6:00pm on Friday 7 September 2012. Pre Poll Office locations and operating hours will be listed on Councils’ and this website and advertised in local newspapers.
Polling will also be available at specific Declared Institutions (Retirement Villages Nursing Homes etc). Details where these services will be offered will be advised within the relevant Institutions, closer to Election Day.
Where to vote on Election Day∧ Back to the top
There will be Polling Places located throughout your Council Area operating on 8 September 2012. As is conventional, these Polling Places generally will be located within Schools, Community Halls etc. However details of the precise locations of Polling Places will be published in local newspapers just prior to Election Day. At the relevant time, the locations of Polling Places will also be included on Councils’ and this website.
Voting Before Election Day∧ Back to the top
If you are not going to be within in your Local Government Area or you will be unable to vote on Election Day, you can vote by Pre-Poll or organise a Postal Vote. In the two weeks before Election Day Pre-Poll Voting will be provided. As noted above, Pre Poll Voting services /locations will be included on this website and advertised in the local press.
For those electors wishing to apply for a Postal Vote, they must send an application to the Returning Officer between 30 July 2012 and 5:00pm Monday 3 September 2012. Details of Returning Officer’s Offices will be published on this website in the near future.
Information for Candidates∧ Back to the top
Nominations for the positions of Mayor and Councillors will be advertised in late July 2012.
Our Returning Officers are scheduled to conduct Pre Nominations Closure Briefings on 2 August 2012, followed up by Post Nominations Closure Briefings circa 14 August 2012.
Our Returning Officers will provide a Candidate Guide, as part of kit upon acceptance of a Nomination.
The Division of Local Government has reviewed its publication ‘Becoming a Councillor’. The current version can be accessed through the NSW Division of Local Government’s website. The Division of Local Government has also released a publication entitled ”The Election Process;” also available on its website.
The NSW Election Funding Authority‘s website provides access to a Funding and Disclosure Guide which explains the obligations of a candidate under the Election Funding Expenditure & Disclosures Act, 1981. All candidates and agents must be aware of and comply with these obligations. Registration of Candidates and Groups with the Election Funding Authority is necessary before accepting donations or incurring any electoral expenditure. All Candidates must lodge an Application for Registration of a Candidate for a Local Government Election. Candidates must register with the Election Funding Authority before nomination day for Election. All enquiries and information about funding and disclosure matters must be referred direct to the NSW Election Funding Authority. The Telephone number for the Authority is 1300 135 736.
Nominating for Election∧ Back to the top
Any intending Candidates should refer to the Local Government Act 1993 and the Local Government (General) General Regulation 2005 for full details of requirements and qualifications etc. for Nomination.
Candidates should seek their own legal advice on any areas where they have concern(s) regarding requirements, qualifications or issues or matters of interpretation.
Councils, Returning Officers or Australian Election Company will not provide any information or advice of a legal nature.
The onus is on any Candidate to ensure their Nomination is complete and made to (received by) the Returning Officer by the closing of Nominations; for the 2012 Elections this will be by 12 noon 8 August 2012.
The following information provided below is of a general nature only.
There are two types of nomination.
- Nomination paper: proposal by electors (Form 2) by Electors whereby a minimum of 2 electors enrolled in the ward or council area can nominate a candidate.
- Nomination paper: proposal by registered officer for party (Form 3) whereby the Registered Officer or the Deputy registered Officer of a Registered Political Party can nominate a candidate;
Nomination Forms will be available from Returning Officers and Council Offices. Addresses of Returning Officer’s Offices will be available shortly. Nomination Forms will also be made available at the Pre Nominations Closure Briefing scheduled to be conducted 2 August 2012, within your Council. Nomination Forms may also be provided upon request to email@example.com or by telephoning 1800 224 420.
If two (2) or more Councillors are to be elected, candidates may choose to form groups and a claim to form a group signed by each of the candidates is submitted by the close of Nominations. Groups may also request a Group Voting Square, but there must be at least two (2) Groups requesting Group Voting Squares for Group Voting Squares to be included on the relevant ballot paper. Group Request Forms are also available as described immediately above.
At the time of nominating, the deposit for an individual Candidate of $125 is payable in cash or by a cheque drawn by a deposit taking financial institution. Personal cheques are not acceptable. The deposit must be received by the Returning Officer prior to 12 noon on Nomination day 8 August 2012.
There is a deposit “discount cap” of $625.00 where a Group comprises more than five (5) Candidates and the Nominations for all Candidates comprising that Group and the $625.00 deposit is provided/paid and the completed request to be included in a Group form are all lodged simultaneously. However if the Nomination forms, deposit and the Group Request form are all not lodged simultaneously, then the $125.00 deposit per Nomination is applicable.
Upon Nomination by a Candidate (or Candidates), the following forms must be lodged:
- Completed Nomination Form
- Completed Candidate Information Sheet (signature to be witnessed by JP)
- Completed Statistical Information Sheet
- Request to Form a Group (if applicable)
- Nomination Deposit
Valid Nominations must be received by the Returning Officer by 12 noon 8 August 2012. This can be done in person, by post, fax or email. (Where email is used an image of the completed nomination paper signed by the proposers and the person proposed for nomination is included in or attached to the email and that image includes an image of the actual signatures as appearing on the nomination paper. Where email is involved the Nomination will not be made unless, in addition to the completed Nomination paper, the completed Candidate Information Sheet; the completed Statistical Information Sheet and the Nomination deposit is received by the Returning Officer before the 12 noon deadline on 8 August 2012).
Candidates of course will also need to separately register with the NSW Election Funding Authority before Nomination day for the Election.
The Returning Officer will formally announce candidates and conduct a draw for their ballot paper positions once Nominations have been processed.
Ballot papers include the candidates’ surname and one given name. Candidates may request to have Independent’ printed below their name. Candidates nominated by Political Parties will have their affiliation (or abbreviated affiliation) printed on the ballot paper.
Candidate Briefings∧ Back to the top
Our Returning Officers will be conducting a Pre-Nominations Closure Briefing within their relevant Council Area, on 2 August 2012. This will be followed by a Post Nominations Closure Briefing planned for circa 14 August, 2012.
Please contact your Council’s Returning Officer for details of times and locations for the Briefings. Returning Officer contact details are included on this website.
Key Election Dates∧ Back to the top
|16 July 2012||Electoral Commission New South Wales expected to commence Enrolment Advertising|
|30 July 2012||Close of Rolls (6.00pm)
|2 August 2012 pm||Returning Officer Pre Nominations Closure Briefing|
|8 August 2012||Close of Nominations (12.00 noon)
Ballot Paper Draw (later same afternoon)
Registration of Electoral Material (how-to-vote) opens
|13 August 2012||Postal Voting expected to commence|
|14 August 2012||Returning Officer Post Nominations Briefing for
|27 August 2012||Pre-Poll voting commences|
|31 August 2012||Registration of Electoral Material closes (5.00pm)|
|3 September 2012||Postal Vote Applications close (5.00pm)|
|7 September 2012||Pre-Poll voting closes (6.00pm)|
|8 September 2012||Election Day|
|10 September 2012||Return of Postal Votes closes (6.00pm)|
Interested in working as a Polling Official or Election Casual at the September 2012 Elections?∧ Back to the top
Australian Election Company requires Polling Officials and Election Casuals for the following Councils:-Cessnock City Council, Coffs Harbour City Council, Kempsey Shire Council, Lake Macquarie City Council, Maitland City Council, Newcastle City Council, Penrith City Council, Port Stephens City and Shoalhaven City Council.
If you are interested in applying to work as a Polling Official or Election Casual please download, complete and return our Application. Alternatively you can receive an Application by telephoning 1800 224 420 or by request to firstname.lastname@example.org