Local Government Elections

1. Local Government Elections Postponed until 4 December 2021 

Local Government Elections are held every four years. However, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the NSW Government postponed the 2020 election for 12 months, but due to the current COVID-19 situation the election had been postponed for another three (3) months. 

The Local Government Elections will now be held on Saturday 4 December 2021.

As advised by the Office of Local Government (OLG), the postponement will not affect the timing of future council elections, and the subsequent ordinary government elections will still proceed in September 2024. (Circular Details: 20-25 / 29 June 2020 / A706318).

Elected Councillors in December 2021 will therefore serve a term of three years until 2024.

2. COVID-19 Information

The NSW Electoral Commission has been collaborating with NSW Health to identify and implement COVID-safe measures for the elections that are scheduled for 4 December.  The election date is set under NSW legislation.

Given the rapidly changing COVID-19 situation in Greater Sydney, however, we continue to liaise closely with NSW Health and other NSW Government agencies about managing the impact of COVID-19 on the elections. The NSW Election Commission website will be updated and information sent out by Bulletin if we are notified of any changes to the election arrangements because of COVID-19.

3. Information for Candidates

If you're passionate about what happens in your local community, becoming a Councillor is an exciting opportunity to make a difference and represent the interests of residents.

To read about the process of nominating as a candidate, please click here.

Nomination Online System Now Live

The Nomination online management system (NOMS) has been in operation on the NSW Electoral Commission website since Tuesday, 29 June 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 lodgement period on 25 October 2021.

NOMS will enable candidates and registered political parties to prepare their nomination and grouping forms online.

The online system 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 candidates and registered political parties, administrators and groups to oversee and manage the progress of each nomination;
  • allow for the nomination and deposit (Visacard or Mastercard) to be lodged online;
  • allow for automated messaging between the NSW Electoral Commission and the candidate or party concerning the acceptance or rejection of each nomination; and
  • allow for candidates and registered political parties to lodge their nomination/s without having to attend an office in person.  Given the current public health situation, candidates and parties are particularly encouraged to use NOMS.

From Monday, 25 October 2021 until 12 noon, Wednesday, 3 November  2021, candidates and registered political parties can lodge their nominations and pay the nomination deposit fee online.

A recording of the webinar held on Tuesday, 13 July which covers an overview of the nomination process and using NOMS can be viewed: Candidate information webinars

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

Candidate Handbook

A Candidate Handbook for Local Government Elections is now available. The handbook explains relevant electoral processes and procedures that may be useful to new and returning candidates. 

Click here to access the handbook.(PDF, 3MB)

Women in Local Government

The NSW Government is committed to inspiring and empowering more women to stand for their local community and nominate to run for their local council in the September election.

If you have a strong sense of community and are keen to make a difference in your local neighbourhood, then you should consider nominating for the 4 December 2021 local government elections.

For further information, visit the OLG website.

Candidate Information Sessions

The first candidate information session for Cabonne Council was held at the Cabonne Council Chambers on Wednesday, 9 June 2021. Please keep an eye out for further upcoming sessions. 

The sessions aim to enable those interested in becoming a councillor to gain a better understanding of the role and responsibilities as an elected member of council. It is suitable for anyone interested in becoming a councillor. 

At the end of the workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Identify the key requirements for becoming a candidate for election
  • Understand the role of a councillor and how this fits in with other roles and levels of government
  • Understand the role as a member of the governing body and elected member
  • Explore their expectation and potential challenges in becoming a councillor
  • Understand the Integrated Planning and Reporting framework, and how Councillors work within this
  • Identify key elements of council meetings, including code of meeting practice, code of conduct and conflict of interest

Some of the content for the workshop includes:

  • The benefits and importance of Local Government
  • Understanding the role of Council and role of the Councillor
  • A typical council structure
  • Challenges of the role and how to meet them
  • The importance of diverse representation on Council
  • Importance of speaking out on key issues and how to do this confidently
  • An introduction to meeting procedures and rules of debate
  • Support available including information and networks
  • Introduction to local government jargon and what it means, and
  • Putting it together: making the commitment.

Candidate Information Webinars

A series of online candidate information sessions will be conducted by the NSW Electoral Commission (NSWEC) in the lead up to the 2021 NSW Local Government elections.

The webinars will be held from April to August 2021 and will cover the following topics:

  • Election overview
  • Election funding and disclosure
  • Registration of candidates, groups, and third-party campaigners
  • Electoral material (also known as how-to-vote material)
  • Nomination process
  • Early voting and election day voting
  • Candidate workers and scrutineers
  • Counting and results

The next round of webinars will be conducted:

  • 11:00am, Thursday 10 June – General information
  • 6:00pm, Tuesday 15 June – General information (repeated)
  • 2:00pm, Tuesday 13 July – Nominations (rescheduled due to COVID restrictions)
  • 11:00am, Tuesday 27 July - Registration of Electoral material
  • 11:00am, Monday 9 August - iVote explained
  • 11:00am, Thursday 19 August - Early voting and election day voting
  • 6:00pm, Tuesday 31 August - Candidate workers, scrutineers, counting and results

Click here for more information and to register for the webinars.

4. Working at the Local Government Elections

Expressions of interest are now open to work at the elections in December. Working at an election is a great way to earn money, learn new skills and deliver democracy by helping people have their say. There are positions available during the election period and on Election Day itself. More information can be found by clicking here.

5. Voting Information

Polling venues will be made available on the NSW Electoral Commission website. Residents are encouraged to check the website to ensure their enrolment details are up-to-date.

Postal voting

Postal vote applications will commence on 26 October 2021. Electors can apply online, over the phone or by completing a paper form available on the NSW Electoral Commission website. Postal vote applications must be received by the NSW Electoral Commission by 5.00pm Monday, 29 November 2021.

Any candidate or political party intending to distribute postal vote applications to electors must use the approved form which is available by request to pva@elections.nsw.gov.au. The approved form includes all of the content contained on the two pages of the postal vote application.

Please note that additional eligibility criteria apply for this election to provide for COVID-safe voting, i.e. any elector who:

  • is a permanent or temporary resident in a hospital, nursing home, retirement village or similar facility;
  • is self-isolating because of COVID-19 related reasons;
  • reasonably believes that attending a polling place on election day will pose a risk to the health or safety of the person, or of another person, because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

If you intend to distribute material that includes the postal vote application, it is recommended that a copy of your final artwork is provided to the NSW Electoral Commission for review to ensure that all legislative requirements have been met prior to going to print. It is an offence under NSW law to distribute material, such as postal vote application packs, that falsely appears to have been made or authorised by the NSW Electoral Commission.

Completed postal vote applications returned by electors directly to you need to be submitted to the NSW Electoral Commission for processing at the Centralised Postal Vote Count Centre. Applications must be received by the NSW Electoral Commission by 5pm on Monday, 29 November 2021.

Applications can be delivered between 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday to:

NSW Electoral Commission
Centralised Postal Vote Count Centre
Grace Pavilion – Sydney Showground
Gate 10 Australia Ave,
Sydney Olympic Park NSW 2127

or posted to:

NSW Electoral Commission
Centralised Postal Vote Count Centre
Locked Bag 5051

It is important that applications are returned as soon as possible to the NSW Electoral Commission to ensure that applications are processed, and ballot papers are distributed to electors, in a timely manner.

To support you with the postal voting process throughout the election we recommend you provide us with a contact that our postal vote team can liaise with. This information should be provided by reply email to pva@elections.nsw.gov.au.

Braille Ballot Papers

Electors who are blind or have low vision can apply for braille ballot papers.

Applications for braille ballot papers must be made to the NSW Electoral Commission by 6pm on 26 July 2021 in writing via email to pva@elections.nsw.gov.au or over the phone by calling 1300 135 736.

Braille ballot papers can be posted to an elector’s enrolled address or an alternative address or delivered to an early voting centre (during pre-poll) or voting centre (on election day) within the elector’s council area, where the elector will complete them in person.

Non-residential Roll

If you are not a resident, you may still be entitled to vote if you own, occupy or lease property in the Cabonne Council area as a corporation, business or individual.

You may register in your own right as an individual or as a nominated company officer (or equivalent) of a corporation. Registration is not compulsory.

Completed application forms should be sent to Council by email to council@cabonne.nsw.gov.au or by post to PO Box 17, Molong, NSW 2866.

Use the relevant form below for your application:

All applications must be received by 6pm Monday 25 October 2021.

For more information on the non-residential roll, please read the Non-residential roll fact sheet(PDF, 79KB)

6. Key Dates for Council Election Candidates

Date Key Event 
22 September 2021
  • Last day to lodge annual electoral expenditure disclosures for 2020/21
 25 October 2021
  • Lodgement of nominations open
  • Start of regulated period for electoral material
  • 12 noon: Receipt of the council resolution and final poll/referendum questions
  • Close of electoral rolls (6pm)
  • Candidate nominations open
 26 October 2021
  • Postal vote applications open
 3 November 2021
  • Close of candidate nominations (12pm)
  • Registration of electoral materials commences
 4 November 2021
  • Conduct of ballot paper draw (10am)
 5 November 2021
  • Caretaker period commences 
 22 November 2021
  • iVote applications and voting opens
  • Pre-poll voting period opens
  • Display of registered electoral material on the NSW Electoral Commission website commences. 
 26 November 2021
  • Registration of electoral material closes (5pm) 
 27 November 2021
  • Declared institution voting commences 
 29 November 2021
  • Postal vote applications close (5pm) 
  • Last day to apply to be registered a a third-party campaigner
 3 December 2021 
  • Declared institution voting closes (6pm)
  • Pre-poll voting closes (6pm)
 4 December 2021
  • Election day (8am-6pm) 
  • Close of capped expenditure period
  • iVote applications close (1pm)
  • End of regulated period for electoral material (6pm)
  • iVote voting closes (6pm)
 5 December 2021
  • iVote receipt portal closes
 17 December 2021
  • Return of postal vote certificates closes (6pm) 
 20 December 2021 
  • Conduct of distribution of preferences
 21 - 23 December 2021
  • Conduct of distribution of preferences
  • Progressive declaration of results
28 January 2022
  • Last day to lodge political donations disclosures for July-December 2021


7. Expenditure and Political Donations

If a candidate wishes to accept political donations or make payments for electoral expenditure, the candidate must first register for the election. The registration of a candidate or group of candidates is a separate process to the nomination process that enables candidates and groups to be included on the ballot paper for the election.

The candidate and group registration period is open now.

A registration form must be completed and submitted directly to the NSW Electoral Commission up to 12noon on nomination day i.e. before 12noon, Wednesday 3 November 2021.

A candidate or group is registered once the NSW Electoral Commission has received and processed the registration form. The candidate or group is not permitted to accept political donations or pay for electoral expenditure until registered, or until nominated. More information on the registration process including registration forms can be found on the NSW Electoral Commission website.

Registration enquiries should be directed to:

8. Resources

If you're interested in becoming a Councillor, useful resources can be found on the OLG website: