Councils are part of the democratic framework of Australia. The community elects their council members every four years and the current elections happened in November 2018.
Consider for a moment how everyday life is improved by the many services that councils provide. Imagine your community without street lighting, rubbish collection, footpaths, libraries, playgrounds and sports club facilities, community halls, seniors’ services – and the list goes on.
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.
2018 Councils Elections timetable
5pm Fri 10 Aug 2018
Briefing Session for Intending Candidates
6pm Wed 29 Aug 2018
Tues 4 Sept 2018
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
The rules for local government elections are set out in the Local Government (Elections) Act 1999 and the Local Government (Elections) Regulations 2010, an act and regulations of the South Australian Parliament. To view the Act and Regulations go to www.parliament.sa.gov.au
You can make a difference
To ensure you have the opportunity to vote, you must be enrolled on either the State Election Roll, or your council’s supplementary roll. Find out more here.
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 10 August 2018, otherwise you will not be able to vote in 2018 elections.
See below for the types of forms available to download:
Enrolment for the 2018 council elections closes at 5pm on Friday 10 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
If you are eligible to vote in your local council elections, you may also be eligible to stand for a position on council.
Becoming a councillor presents the opportunity to influence local directions and create long term, positive outcomes within your community and for fellow residents.
Being a councillor is a rewarding challenge; one which requires commitment, responsibility and accountability.
In fact, councils actively encourage nominations from people from diverse backgrounds to ensure that a wide range of views are being represented. The Local Government Association (LGA) and many councils run information sessions for potential candidates.
With very few exceptions (such as being an undischarged bankrupt, or being disqualified from holding office by a court order), you can nominate for a position on council regardless of qualifications, religion, race, gender, experience or profession.
If you consider yourself to be invested in the future of your community, are willing to learn and participate, and prepared to contribute strategically to decision making processes that benefit your broader community, then you should explore what it takes to be a councillor and nominate yourself for council elections.
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 District Council of Peterborough held a briefing session on Wednesday 29th August 2018 at the Peterborough Town Hall, 108 Main St Peterborough.
The briefing session informed intending candidates of the election process and the responsibilities of an elected member and the level of commitment required to meet community expectation of the role.
Subject matter included was:
- Role and responsibility of a councillor
- Time commitment
- Allowances and expenses
- Council meetings
- The availability of a printed copy of the voters roll on request
- Signage regulations
- Campaign donation return requirements
Documents for intending candidates:
Nominations for the 2018 local government elections open Tuesday 4 September 2018 and close Tuesday 18 September 2018 at 12 noon. During this time, you must complete and lodge a nomination form which is available from your council and other advertised locations.
You will also be asked to lodge a 150-word candidate profile and a ‘head shoulders’ photograph which will be published on a candidates’ website.