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2021 NSW Local Government Elections: Council Update No.5

Bulletin No.5
Issued 19 February 2021

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1. Bigger venues needed for September 2021 elections

Current health orders may mean larger venues required

With the 2021 Local Government elections being conducted during the pandemic, additional precautions must be taken to ensure that electors, candidates, volunteers and election staff are kept as safe as possible. One such consideration is the size of the returning offices.

Our Venue Procurement Officers (VPOs) will shortly be contacting all councils to discuss the selection of the most appropriate venues for both the Returning Officer’s office and for pre-poll voting. Current health orders require physical distancing to be observed in work places, requiring larger spaces than in previous years. This may mean venues provided by councils in previous years are no longer fit for purpose. Should that be the case, we ask for your understanding as alternate venues are sought.

2. Election advertising

Council advertising encouraged 

In response to our recently provided ‘Save the date’ collateral, a number of councils queried whether they should consider running their own advertising campaigns during the 2021 Local Government elections.

While the Commission will run a comprehensive, state-wide awareness campaign across numerous channels, we cannot reach everyone and encourage you to undertake your own activity.

Local Government elections lack the profile of their State and federal counterparts, which can affect turnout. Working toward our shared goal of greater engagement with the democratic process, we welcome actions that increase awareness and prompt action.

The Commission will issue a proposed advertising activity calendar to guide councils as well as templates for their use locally as the election approaches. This will take the form of a Council Media Kit, including: advertising assets; newsletter articles; social media posts; press release templates; and poster templates for use within their local communities.

If you have any questions, please contact our Media Team at nswecmedia@elections.nsw.gov.au.

3. Election website link

The 2021 Local Government elections event page is now live on the Electoral Commission’s website.

Use this page whenever you refer traffic to the Commission’s website and to save you the trouble of frequently updating your own pages

We will progressively populate the event website with useful information for all participants in the election. We recommend visiting the site on a regular basis to stay up to date.

4. Sharing election resources

Smaller councils are able to share election resources

As stated in a previous Bulletin, we’ve created 33 ‘regional’ Returning Officers’ offices, comprising 85 councils, with a view to realising possible savings when conducting the election.

In each regional office, there will be a single Returning Officer managing the election for a number of councils. These sharing arrangements were agreed with all councils in early 2020.

Access the list of shared offices, and their proposed location, on our website.