Go to content

2021 NSW Local Government elections: Political Participants Bulletin No.3

Bulletin No 3 Issued 20 July 2020

2021 NSW Local Government elections: Political Participants Bulletin No. 3 (PDF 0.1MB)

On this page

1. Minister’s orders postponing and rescheduling 2020 Local Government elections

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, on 12 June 2020 the Minister for Local Government made an order under the new section 318B(1)(a1) of the Local Government Act 1993 (NSW) to postpone the local government ordinary elections scheduled for 12 September 2020 for twelve months. 

On 26 June 2020 the Minister made a further order setting the date for the postponed local government ordinary elections as Saturday 4 September 2021. There is also a NSW Office of Local Government’s circular to councils available.

The NSW Electoral Commission has commenced planning for the delivery of elections in 2021 and is working towards the new election date. 

2. By-elections postponed

The effect of the order postponing the ordinary elections is that all councillor elections have been postponed for the duration of the order, including by-elections. Current Councillors will continue to hold their offices until the rescheduled elections are held in 2021. 

3. Electoral expenditure caps

Electoral expenditure caps will apply at the 2021 NSW Local Government elections. This means there is a limit on the amount of expenditure that can be incurred by political parties, candidates, groups and third party campaigners.

The caps on electoral expenditure apply during the capped expenditure period for the election. This period  starts on 1 July 2021 and finishes at the end of election day, 4 September 2021. 

The caps that apply to a local government area or ward are determined by the number of enrolled electors in the area or ward 12 months prior to the election. For the purposes of determining the caps, the number of enrolled electors will be determined by the Electoral Commissioner in September 2020. 

The NSW Electoral Commission will publish details of the number of enrolled electors and applicable caps for each area and ward on our website as soon as possible after the determination has been made. All registered candidates, groups and third-party campaigners will be notified of the number of enrolled electors and applicable caps in their area or ward.

Detailed information about the rules that apply to expenditure caps can be found on our website. 

4. NSW Electoral Commission operations in response to COVID-19 

The NSW Electoral Commission continues to deliver its services remotely wherever practical, due to COVID-19-related public health requirements. 

However, our Funding and Disclosure call centre has re-opened to assist with enquiries relating to lodgement of political donation disclosures, which are due 28 July, and electoral expenditure disclosures, which are due 22 September.  If political participants have an enquiry regarding the lodgement of disclosures, they can call 1300 022 011 during business hours or email fdc@elections.nsw.gov.au.

For all other election-related matters, please visit the Contact us page and send us your enquiry via the online form. We will respond as soon as we can. 

If you have any questions about the content of this bulletin please email fdc@elections.nsw.gov.au

John Schmidt 
Electoral Commissioner