Candidates & groups

The 6 steps to being a candidate (and forming a group of candidates) at the Local Council elections

Please click on the + symbol at the end of each step to view the expanded information

The information below is based on legislation and processes at the date of publication. If the legislation changes, the information below will be updated. Prospective candidates should regularly check this page for updated information.

Registrations for the 9 September 2017 local Council elections closed at 12noon on Wednesday, 9 August 2017.

If a candidate or group was not registered by this time the NSWEC will register the candidate or group allowing them to lawfully accept political donations and make payments for electoral expenditure.

All candidates and groups must appoint an official agent. If at any time a candidate or group has not appointed an official agent:

  • the candidate (including a candidate who is a member of a group) acts as his or her own official agent, and
  • the head candidate of a group acts as the group's official agent

This must only be a temporary arrangement. All candidates and groups are required under NSW law to appoint an official agent. Penalties (including a fine of $2,750) may apply to those who do not appoint an official agent

Find out more about appointing an official agent.

Official agents are responsible for managing the political donations and electoral expenditure of candidates and groups.

There are strict legal requirements for political donations and electoral expenditure that must be complied with. This includes that there are now caps on political donations at local council elections.

Find out more information about campaign finances.

All electoral material (how to votes) that is to be distributed on Election Day by Registered Political Parties, groups, candidates, and any other person or organisation must be registered with and approved by the Electoral Commissioner.

It is an offence to distribute electoral material on Election Day unless the material has been registered by the Electoral Commissioner. 'Distribution' also means the placement of electoral material that can be collected by electors.

Polling venue data - Data files of the Polling Place, Pre-poll, and Declared Institution locations are available for the purpose of allocating party or candidate workers.

Every candidate and group must disclose political donations and electoral expenditure to the NSWEC following the end of the financial year. Even if a candidate or group has nothing to disclose a “nil” disclosure form must still be submitted.

Financial records must be kept from the election campaign to ensure complete and accurate disclosure.

The NSWEC will advise all official agents following the end of the financial year of the disclosure requirements.

Find out more information about disclosure.