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2022 NSW Local government elections: Political participants bulletin No.1

Bulletin No.1
Issued 15 June 2022

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1. Why are these elections being conducted?

The NSW Supreme Court has declared that the December 2021 elections for these three local government areas/wards were void due to a problem with the operation of the iVote system. This means that new elections must be held for all the positions of councillor in the following areas:

  • Kempsey Shire Council

  • Shellharbour City Council (Ward A), and

  • Singleton Council.

2. Election date

The elections of councillors for Kempsey, Shellharbour (Ward A) and Singleton will be held on Saturday, 30 July 2022.

3. Close of rolls

The close of rolls for these elections is 6pm Monday, 20 June 2022. 

To be eligible for election as a councillor, a person must be enrolled either on the residential roll or the non-residential roll/roll of occupiers and rate paying lessees in that council area by 6pm on the day of the close of rolls.

4. Candidate information webinar

A candidate information webinar will be held on Thursday, 16 June 2022 from 2pm. This webinar will cover key information relevant to candidates including:

  • candidate registration

  • nominations

  • ballot paper draw

  • electoral material.

To register your attendance for the webinar, please email candidates@elections.nsw.gov.au and include your full name and email address. A link to the webinar will be sent out to this email address prior to the webinar.

5. Nominations lodgement period

The nomination lodgement period commences Monday, 20 June 2022 and closes 12 noon, Wednesday, 29 June 2022.  

Candidates and registered political parties can lodge their nomination forms and pay the nomination deposit in person at the Returning Officer’s office. The nomination deposit is payable by either cash, or bank or building society cheque.

Any nomination forms or deposits received after 12 noon, Wednesday, 29 June will not be accepted.

The Returning Officer's address is available for each council under the relevant election event page on the NSW Electoral Commission website.

6. Registration as a candidate or group under electoral funding laws

Candidates and groups must register for the elections before accepting political donations or making payments for electoral expenditure. This is a requirement of the Electoral Funding Act 2018.

There are criminal offences for failing to comply with electoral funding laws. More information about how the NSW Electoral Commission regulates participation in elections, including electoral funding, is available on our website.

Candidates and groups who registered for the 4 December 2021 Local government councillor elections will need to register again for the 30 July 2022 elections to lawfully accept political donations and make payments for electoral expenditure.

Registration for the elections is open now and closes on Wednesday, 29 June 2022.

Being registered as a candidate or group for the election is a separate process to being nominated to have your name included on a ballot paper.

Candidates and groups that will not accept political donations or make payments for electoral expenditure before being nominated are taken to be registered when they are nominated by the Returning Officer. This is usually the day after the close of nominations. From this time, all nominated candidates and groups can lawfully accept political donations and make payments for electoral expenditure for the election.

Apply online to be registered using Funding and Disclosure Online, the NSW Electoral Commission’s online portal for political participants. Request access today if you don’t yet have it. If you are unable to use Funding and Disclosure Online, PDF forms to be completed and returned by email or post are available on request by emailing fdc@elections.nsw.gov.au.  

The details of registered candidates and groups are included in a publicly available register. Once registered, if your registered details change, you must let us know within 30 days using Funding and Disclosure Online.

7. Registration as a third-party campaigner under electoral funding laws

Third-party campaigners must be registered for the elections in a local government area or ward before paying for more than $2,000 in electoral expenditure.

A third-party campaigner is a person or entity (other than a political party, candidate, group, elected member, or associated entity) that incurs more than $2,000 in electoral expenditure for an election in a local government area between 6 June 2022 and election day, 30 July 2022.

Electoral expenditure incurred by a third-party campaigner is expenditure that has the dominant purpose of promoting or opposing a political party or candidate or influencing the vote at an election.

Registration of third-party campaigners is open now and closes on Monday, 25 July 2022. Use the following form to apply to register as a third-party campaigner: EF.735 Application to register a third-party campaigner and notice of appointment of official agent.

When registering, a third-party campaigner must also appoint an official agent, who is responsible for the management and disclosure of the third-party campaigner’s political donations and electoral expenditure. This includes operating a campaign account on behalf of the third-party campaigner.

The details of registered third-party campaigners and official agents are included in publicly available registers on our website. Once registered, third-party campaigners and official agents whose registered details change must notify us within 30 days by submitting the following form: EF.740 Notice of change in registered particulars.

8. Disclosure obligations of political participants

Registered candidates and groups, current councillors, political parties, and third-party campaigners have legal obligations to disclose their political donations and electoral expenditure to the NSW Electoral Commission for the disclosure periods during both the 2021-22 and 2022-23 financial years. 

Political donations made and received must be disclosed every six months. The half-yearly donation disclosure periods end 31 December and 30 June. Electoral expenditure must be disclosed annually. The annual disclosure period ends 30 June.

These obligations apply even if a candidate or group is not successful at the elections.  Failing to disclose where disclosure is required is an offence.

Candidates and groups who also registered for the 4 December 2021 Local government councillor elections that were later declared void need to submit political donation and electoral expenditure disclosures for both the December elections and July elections.

More information about disclosure obligations 

9. Caps on electoral expenditure

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

The capped expenditure period began on 6 June 2022 and finishes at the end of election day, 30 July 2022.

The caps are based on the number of enrolled electors in each local government area or ward as determined by the Electoral Commissioner. The number of enrolled electors and the applicable caps for each area and ward can be found on our website. 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 at the elections.

More information about the rules that apply to expenditure caps 

10. Further information/Candidate Helpdesk

Further information regarding the local government elections including key dates can be found on the NSW Electoral Commission website or by contacting the Candidate Helpdesk on 1300 022 011 or candidates@elections.nsw.gov.au