Campaign to provide new register of voters

Campaign to provide new register of voters

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Non-residential and business register

The City of Sydney has begun its largest-ever information gathering exercise to alert thousands of people across Australia and overseas of law changes that mean they must register to vote in City council elections.

The national, multi-lingual, multi-channel, communications campaign aims to advise people and corporations inside and outside City of Sydney boundaries of their obligation to register for the first time.

The program follows NSW Government amendments to the City of Sydney Act.

The amendments require the City to create a register containing the details of non-residents who may be entitled to vote at future City of Sydney elections. This includes owners, occupiers and rate-paying lessees, including corporations, of all rateable land within the City boundaries who are enrolled to vote elsewhere on the residential roll.

The City is:

  • Writing to 120,000 ratepayers and businesses explaining how the new laws expand the pool of people required to vote. The letters urge potential first-time voters to use the City’s election website or call its hotline to find out if they must now provide information for the City’s register.
  • Advertising in local and national newspapers, on radio, online and across social media from mid-October. The campaign urges people and corporations who rent, lease and own properties in the City of Sydney to find out if they are required to register.
  • Visiting every business in the City of Sydney area to explain the new state government laws and the obligations they impose on people and businesses.

While the new laws have been labelled “business voting” laws because of the new obligations for businesses to vote, they also make voting compulsory for some people who may not regard themselves as business people, including owners of residential investment properties.

Examples of people who may be required to register and vote in the City of Sydney elections include:

  • Someone who owns an apartment in the City of Sydney area, but lives outside the City area, including an Australian citizen living interstate or overseas; and
  • Someone who, for at least 3 months prior to submitting their details, pays more than $4,000 (jointly or solely) to lease land while enrolled at a residential address outside the City.

The City has established a dedicated elections unit to carry out its responsibilities under the new legislation.

The City asks anyone who thinks the new laws may apply to them or someone they know to please access the City’s website or call the City’s hotline, or email the City to help compile the register.

Eligibility can be checked by:

Calling: 1800 101 667

Register now? Election rules have changed. Find out if you're eligible.

Last updated: Thursday, 29 October 2015