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2018 council elections - public

Councils are part of the democratic framework of Australia. The community elects their council members every four years and the next general elections happen in November 2018. 

Unlike State and Federal elections, it is not compulsory to vote in South Australian council elections. However, council elections are the biggest single voluntary civic participation activity in the state with nearly 360,000 people voting in the 2014 council elections.

Another important difference from State and Federal elections is that all voting in council elections is done by post. Enrolled voters receive a voting package through the mail and return their votes in a reply paid envelope.

Supplementary Elections

Supplementary elections are held from time to time as required under the Local Government Act 1999. Information regarding supplementary elections can be found here: Electoral Commission of SA & to view all candidates in a council election (including supplementary elections) click the link below and then search for your candidate or your council area using the navigation options.

View candidates

Key Dates

 2018 Councils Elections timetable
 Roll close  5pm Fri 10 Aug 2018
 Nominations Open  Tues 4 Sept 2018
 Nominations Close  12 noon Tues 18 Sept 2018
 Mail out of voting materials  Mon 22 - Fri 26 Oct 2018
 Close of voting  5pm Fri 9 Nov 2018

Legislative Framework

The rules for local government elections are set out in the Local Government (Elections) Act 1999, an act of the South Australian Parliament. To view the Act go to www.parliament.sa.gov.au

Refreshing the voters’ roll

Under the Local Government (Elections) Act 1999, there is a requirement to purge the council supplementary roll on 1 January of every election year. All landlords, business lessees and resident non-Australian citizens are removed from the council voters roll (with the exception of City of Adelaide) and must re-enrol to be able to vote.

If you have been removed from the roll under these provisions you must re-enrol before the roll close deadline on Friday 9 August 2018, otherwise you will not be able to vote in 2018 elections.

See below for the types of forms available to download:

 2014 Website Button Enrol Form 1  2014 Website Button Enrol Form 2  2014 Website Button Enrol Form 3 

Enrolment for the 2018 council elections closes at 5pm on Friday 9 August 2018.

Enrolling to vote

The voters’ roll for council elections consists of two components – the House of Assembly (State) roll, and the council supplementary roll.

If you are on the House of Assembly roll you will automatically receive a voting pack mailed to your registered address.

If you have moved house or changed your name, you need to complete a new enrolment form, available at your local Post Office or at the Electoral Commission SA office located at Level 6/60 Light Square, Adelaide or by calling them on 1300 655 232 to request a form be sent to you. To check and update your enrolment click here.

If you are not enrolled on the House of Assembly roll you may be eligible to register on the council supplementary roll if:

  • You have been resident at your current address for one month and are not on the State Electoral Roll
  • You are a sole owner/occupier of rateable property
  • You are NOT an Australian Citizen but you have been a resident at your current address for one month
  • You are a landlord for rateable property
  • You are an organisation/business owner or occupier of rateable property
  • You are a group of owners or occupiers of rateable property. 

Nominating as a candidate for election

Most people who are on the council voters roll can stand for election.

Becoming a councillor is one of the most direct ways that you can influence decisions that affect the quality of life in your local area.

If you are interested in representing the people of your community on council, the Electoral Commission of SA and the LGA(SA) provide a range of resources to help you understand the role and responsibilities of being a councillor. The updated resources will be available in early 2018, however, you can find information from the 2014 elections here. It is important to note that there may be changes to this information as a result of pending changes to the Local Government Act (1999) and the Local Government Elections Act (1999). The 2014 information should be read for background information only.

The LGA and some local councils will also run information seminars for candidates during July and August, 2018. Details will be available on this website.

Voting in the 2018 council elections

Voting in council elections is done by post.

If you are on the state (House of Assembly) electoral roll or have completed a enrolment to join the supplementary roll, you will receive a voting pack in the mail in late October 2018.

The ballot paper in your voting pack will show the candidates standing for election in your council ward. To find out more about each of the candidates and what they stand for go to the council elections candidates website, then complete your ballot paper and return it in the reply paid envelope.

Votes must be received before 5pm Friday 9 November 2018.

Get involved and make a difference Local democracy is an important feature of life in Australia, and councils have a far greater influence on communities than most people appreciate.

Make a difference by participating in your council election.

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