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2021 NSW Local Government elections: Political Participants Bulletin No.9

Bulletin No.9
Issued 29 June 2021

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1. NSW Electoral Commission operations during current COVID-19 restrictions

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the NSW Electoral Commission’s offices are closed to the public until at least 9am on Monday 12 July 2021. Our staff continue to work remotely during this time. Our call and email enquiry centres remain operational.

2. Candidate helpdesk

The Candidate helpdesk continues to be available from 8am to 6pm Monday to Friday on 1300 022 011.

As we re-adjust our systems to remote working again, our aim is to continue to respond to your enquiries accurately and as quickly as possible. There may be some instances, however, where your call might need to be returned at a later time and we thank you for your patience should this occur.

For more detailed enquiries, please consider emailing candidates@elections.nsw.gov.au instead of calling.

3. Nomination online management system

Our nominations online management system (NOMS) is being made available to allow prospective candidates and registered political parties as much time as possible to prepare and upload nomination forms prior to the start of the nomination period on 26 July 2021.

Although nominations can still be made using paper forms, NOMS provides a more accurate and flexible process for most election participants. 

Using NOMS will:

  • verify the enrolment of candidates and nominators;
  • assist in minimising errors and ensure all compulsory sections of the nomination form have been completed;
  • allow registered political parties, administrators and groups to oversee and manage the progress of each nomination;
  • allow for the nomination and deposit (Visacard or Mastercard credit or debit cards) to be lodged online; and
  • allow for automated messaging between the NSW Electoral Commission and the party concerning the acceptance or rejection of each nomination.

Candidates can submit their nominations (online or by paper) from when the nomination period commences on Monday, 26 July 2021.  The nomination period ends at 12 noon, Wednesday, 4 August 2021.  No late nominations can be accepted.

For assistance using NOMS please call our Candidate Helpdesk 1300 022 011 or email candidates@elections.nsw.gov.au.

4. Registered political party logins for NOMS available

The party administrator for each registered political party will receive an email with a link requesting them to log in and create a password to their account in NOMS.  These emails will be sent as the system is made available. Please note the link expires after 24 hours.

For assistance with reissuing an expired link, please call our Candidate Helpdesk on 1300 022 011.

5. Capped expenditure period starts on 1 July

Electoral expenditure for these elections is capped by law during the capped expenditure period. This means there is a strict upper limit on the amount of expenditure that can be incurred during this time by political parties, candidates, groups and third-party campaigners.

The capped expenditure period begins on Thursday, 1 July 2021 and finishes at the end of election day, Saturday, 4 September 2021.

The legislated caps are based on the number of enrolled electors in each local government area or ward as at 12 months prior to the election. All registered candidates, groups and third-party campaigners are notified of the number of enrolled electors in their area or ward and the specific expenditure caps that apply to them.

Information on the number of enrolled electors and applicable caps.

6. End of financial year disclosures are due

The end of financial year disclosure period for political donations and electoral expenditure is approaching.  Disclosures can be submitted to us from Thursday, 1 July 2021:

  • Political donation disclosures for the half-yearly period 1 January to 30 June 2021 are due by 28 July 2021.
  • Annual electoral expenditure disclosures for the period 1 July 2020 to 30 June 2021 are due by 22 September 2021.

Disclosures must be lodged by each political party, local councillor and mayor, registered candidate, group, and third-party campaigner.  Disclosures must be lodged even if no political donations were made or received during the half-yearly period and/or no electoral expenditure was incurred during the annual period.

Forms for making disclosures will be available on our website from 1 July.

Disclosures will also be able to be submitted online in the near future.  A separate email will be sent to all participants soon providing details about how to register for and use the new website portal. 

More information about disclosing political donations and electoral expenditure
Disclosing political donations 2021 fact sheet
Disclosing electoral expenditure 2021 fact sheet

7. Caps on political donations and indirect campaign contributions for the 2021-22 financial year

Political donations and indirect campaign contributions are capped at NSW State and local government elections. Political parties, elected members, candidates, groups, associated entities, and third-party campaigners can only accept a certain amount from each donor in a financial year.

The caps have been adjusted for inflation for the 2021-22 financial year. The applicable caps commencing 1 July 2021 are:

Political donation or indirect campaign contribution made to or for the benefit of:Cap amount:
A registered party or group of candidates$6,700
An unregistered party (or party registered for less than 12 months), elected member, candidate, third-party campaigner or associated entity$3,100

It is unlawful to accept a political donation that exceeds the applicable donation cap. It is unlawful to make or accept an unlawful indirect campaign contribution.

More information about the caps on political donations and indirect campaign contributions.

8. Candidate information webinars

Postponement of 1 July webinar

The webinar that was to be held at 2:00pm, Thursday 1 July – Nominations, has been postponed due to the Greater Sydney COVID-19 restrictions. The NSW Electoral Commission is currently working on rescheduling this webinar and will advise of the new date as soon as possible.

Forthcoming candidate information webinars cover the following topics:

  • 11am, Tuesday 27 July – Registration of Electoral material (also known as how-to-vote material)
  • 11am, Monday 9 August – iVote explained
  • 11am, Thursday 19 August – Early voting and election day voting
  • 6pm, Tuesday 31 August – Candidate workers, scrutineers, counting and results

 View past webinars and register your attendance for future webinars. 

9. Non-client councils

Fairfield City and Penrith City councils have engaged an electoral services provider to administer their 2021 elections. Information in this Bulletin about registration for electoral funding purposes, campaign finance and disclosure rules administered by the NSW Electoral Commission still applies, however, you will need to contact those councils about the administration of nominations, electoral material, postal votes etc. for those elections.