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2024 NSW Local Government elections: Council update No.4

4 March 2023

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1. Polls and Referenda

Councils may wish to conduct a poll or a constitutional referendum at the September 2024 local government elections.

A council may take a poll of electors for its information and guidance on any matter. A constitutional referendum is a poll initiated by a council in order to give effect to the following matters:

  • Dividing an area into wards or abolishing all wards
  • Changing the method for electing the Mayor
  • Increasing or decreasing the number of councillors
  • Changing the method of election of councillors for an area divided into wards

Voting at a poll is not compulsory. Voting at a constitutional referendum is compulsory.

It is important that referendum and poll questions are carefully drafted. Questions should be clear and capable of being answered ‘yes’ or ‘no’.

If your council is considering conducting a poll or referendum at the September 2024 elections, please don’t hesitate to contact us to discuss the process.

2. Council seminars

The NSW Electoral Commission has information available to assist councils who are planning to conduct briefings for prospective candidates. Topics include:

  • upcoming candidate webinars and how to register to attend
  • key dates for the election
  • election processes including registration, nomination and electoral expenditure
  • how to contact the NSW Electoral Commission for more information.

Slides are available from the Council information page on the NSW Electoral Commission’s website.

3. Election webinar series

A reminder that the second webinar for council staff is scheduled for 11am on Thursday, 14 March 2024, and will cover the following topics:

  • Election venues
  • Constitutional referenda & council polls
  • Non-residential rolls
  • Candidate registration and nomination, and how they differ
  • Candidate helpdesk
  • Council resource calendar
  • Countback elections
  • Upcoming council and candidate webinars.

If you have not already done so, please register your attendance.

A series of webinars for election participants will also be held in the lead-up to the 2024 NSW Local Government elections.

Information about each upcoming webinar will be published on the NSW Electoral Commission’s website and in our regular communications to councils.

Should you be unable to attend at the scheduled time, each webinar will be recorded and published on our website for viewing at any time.

4. Communications resource available - start planning

As promised, a calendar of planned communications activities in the lead-up to the elections is now live on our website. This will assist with planning your own communications.

The calendar includes the dates of key activities and when related resources will be available. It also provides suggestions about how councils may wish to use these resources.

The first resources available on the Communication resources hub are “Save the date” assets. This includes posters, flyers and a social media tile that can be used to promote awareness of the election date. We will continue to alert you as additional assets are added.

If you haven’t already done so, we encourage you to follow the NSW Electoral Commission on Facebook, X (Twitter), YouTube, Instagram and LinkedIn and share any relevant information within your own networks.

Effective social media use is a targeted and sustainable way to raise awareness of the elections and provide electors and candidates with key information and dates. We encourage you to share social media assets with your communities.

If you have any questions about the elections or the contents of this election update, please email councilelections@elections.nsw.gov.au