2021 election

The next election for the City of Sydney Council will be held on Saturday 4 December.

People walking in front of Sydney Town Hall.

In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, the NSW Government postponed the 2020 Local Government elections.

The next election for the City of Sydney Council will be held on Saturday 4 December 2021.

Local government elections in NSW are held every 4 years.

Yet due to the 2020 election being postponed by a year, the current Council will remain for a 5-year term and the new Council that is elected at the 2021 election will serve for a 3-year term.

Electors for the City of Sydney local government election include enrolled residents and verified non-residents of the City of Sydney.

Check if you can vote

You can check your enrolment details with the NSW Electoral Commission

You must enter your details exactly as they appear on the electoral roll. 

  • For non-residents the required address is the entitlement address shown in correspondence from the City.
  • The City does not hold electoral information for residents.

How to vote

Polling places, postal voting and online voting (iVote) options are available from the NSW Electoral Commission or you can phone 1300 135 736 for more information.

Absent voting is not available for this election. You must vote using one of the options above.

How to become a councillor

Have you ever thought of becoming a councillor? Bring your skills, influence, knowledge and experience to participate in policy decisions on behalf of your local government area. 

The Office of Local Government provides information on being a councillor.

The NSW Electoral Commission provides information about becoming a candidate for the 2021 elections.

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

The webinars will be held from August to November 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

Find out more about the sessions, how to register or watch previous webinar recordings. 

Keep up to date

The 2021 City of Sydney local government election will be run independently by the NSW Electoral Commission.

The Commission provides regular updates for voters and candidates including: 

  • key dates
  • election bulletins
  • voting options
  • information for candidate and groups
  • local election employment opportunities
  • Covid-19 safety measures for this election. 

You can contact the NSW Electoral Commission on 1300 135 736.

Local election work opportunities

Expressions of interest are now open to work at the elections in December. Working at an election is a great way for members of the community to earn money, learn new skills and deliver democracy by helping people to have their say.

There are positions available during the election period and on election day itself.

The NSW Electoral Commission has further information including position descriptions, pay rates and how apply.

Election materials

The display and handing out of election materials is a traditional part of the democratic process, however there are legislative requirements and City policies that are relevant to the display of posters and handing out of materials for the purposes of the 4 December 2021 election.

Displaying and handing out election materials at polling venues

To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission between electors, election officials, candidates and volunteers, the NSW Electoral Commissioner issued a new direction under the Local Government (General) Regulation 2021 in relation to the display and handing out of electoral materials.

  • No electoral material is to be handed out, or left out for collection, in a publicly owned or occupied area (such as on the footpath) that is within 100 metres of the entrance to a polling place or a pre-polling venue on polling days
  • No posters can be displayed in a publicly owned or occupied area (such as on the footpath or school fence) within 100 metres of the entrance to a polling place or pre-poll venue on polling days, unless they are put in place before 7am (and are otherwise lawful and safe – such as not obstructing electors or other people). Any posters put in place before 7am on a polling day must not to be adjusted or moved again until after 7pm.  This direction applies to all types of posters, including A-frames and corflutes. 

Materials or posters that contravene these directions can be confiscated and destroyed by election officials. A copy of the Electoral Commissioner’s directions in full is available from the NSW Electoral Commission.

Posters on Private Land

The display of posters is exempt development under the State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008 provided that:

  • the poster is not more than 0.8 square metres in area
  • is not attached to any heritage item or draft heritage item
  • is displayed by or on behalf of a candidate at an election, or the party of any such candidate
  • is displayed in accordance with the requirements under the Local Government Act 1993 and Local Government (General) Regulation 2021
  • is only displayed within the 5 weeks immediately preceding the election, on the day of the election and in the 1 week following the election.

The relevant time period for the 2021 election is 30 October 2021 to 11 December 2021.

The above rules relate only to display of posters on property not belonging to the City. The City has not given its consent to display of posters on its land outside the conditions set out in the Graffiti Management Policy.

Posters on Public Land

The City’s Graffiti Management Policy states that the City won’t direct resources to removing campaign posters during the two weeks before and seven days after an election provided that they meet a number of criteria:

  • Are in support of a candidate for that election or a party registered to contest that election;
  • Comply with the relevant legislation;
  • Don’t endanger the general public, obstruct road signs or traffic signals or damage property;
  • Are not within 200m of the Cenotaph in Martin Place or the War Memorial in Hyde Park.

The City will remove posters on its land that don’t comply with the above conditions, or are displayed outside the time periods listed above.

The relevant time period for the 2021 election is 20 November 2021 to 11 December 2021.