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.

Check if you can vote

If you’re a resident in the City of Sydney local area you can check if your enrolment details are up to date with the Australian Electoral Commission. You must enter your details exactly as they appear on the electoral roll. The City does not hold electoral information for local residents.

If you’re not a resident, you may be entitled to vote if you own, occupy or lease property in the local area as a corporation, business or individual. Check your eligibility.

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 NSW Electoral Commission provides regular updates for voters and candidates including: 

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

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.

Voting is compulsory

Voting at local government elections is compulsory in New South Wales.

If you’re on the authorised roll and don’t vote, the NSW Electoral Commission will send you an apparent failure to vote notice after the election. You can respond to this notice with the reason you didn’t vote for consideration by the NSW Electoral Commissioner. If your reason is not accepted, you’ll be issued with a penalty notice for $55.

Display of election materials

The display of election campaign posters 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 related materials for the purposes of the 4 December 2021 election.

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.