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UPDATE - The nomination process for Local Government Elections is now open!

Notice of Election was provided by the Tasmanian Electoral Commission on Saturday 8 September 2018.

The nomination process to become a candidate in the 2018 Local Government Elections is now open. 

Read more below to find out how to stand for council and become a candidate.


UPDATE - Changes to Electoral Advertising

On 1 August, changes to the Local Government (General) Regulations related to Local Government election campaigns came into effect yesterday – applying for the period commencing 9 August to 30 October 2018.

One aspect of the changes related to advertising spend limits.

While the advertising spend for the period was going to be $8000 (inclusive of GST) for all candidates it was only recently picked up by the sector that this spend limit now included the cost of pamphlets which previously candidates had been advised were not included in advertising returns made to the Electoral Commission.

In recognition that the cost of distributing candidates is significantly more in larger urban councils, indeed likely to exceed the spend threshold, the Government has agreed to LGAT’s request to rapidly progress a change.

For councils with more than 15,000 ratable valuations the spend limit will be $16,000.  This applies to councils categorised as Urban Medium – namely Hobart City Council, Clarence City Council, Glenorchy City Council*, Launceston City Council and Kingborough Council. 

* (although Glenorchy City Council is not going to election in October, as elections were held there earlier this year)

For all other councils, the spend limit is $10,000.

The other changes made to the Regulations for 1st August remain unaltered.  Namely: 

  •  There is no difference in advertising spend limits for candidates who are running for Mayor, Deputy Mayor or councillor (in a council area). 

  • There is no longer a limit on the number and size of posters in the Regulations HOWEVER you must still be mindful of signage requirements under your local planning scheme.  Please seek advice from your councils.

  • There are no limitations on the amount of television, radio and newspaper advertising (time and size) as long as your total electoral advertising spend (including that spend on posters, signs, pamphletts and internet advertising) does not exceed the spend limits.  As outlined above, previously the limit included only purchased newspaper, television and radio advertising.

Outside of election provisions, the Regulations also have changes related to the treatment and declaration of Gifts and Donations, and the Declaration of Office which now includes a commitment to ongoing professional development and to abide by the principles of good governance.  

These changes will apply for the relevant period to be included in the expenditure limit  (that is: 9 August to 30 October 2018).

Please note that both the TEC and LGAT are currently updating candidate materials related to the changes, and will ensure these changes are reflected consistently as soon as possible.


1. Stand for council - Introduction


Dear Everyone,

Council elections will be held by postal ballot in October 2018. 

Would you like to participate in local democracy and stand for council election?

To help you decide, we will go through some of the things you need to think about with video and links to the people, organisations and information you need to talk to. If you prefer to look at a document we have also prepared Becoming a Councillor August 2018(422 kb) to guide you through the process. Just scroll down the page and get started. 

Thank you for your time, and I hope some of you will consider running in the council elections. I wish you the best of luck on your election journey. 

Mayor Doug Chipman
President Local Government Association of Tasmania


2. Stand for council - Are you able to stand for council?

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You need to be certain you are eligible to stand for your council.

The Local Government Act 1993 lays out the criteria candidates must meet: 

  •  be enrolled to vote in the council area
  • live in Tasmania


3. Stand for council - What skills do you need?

Serving as a councillor allows you to be involved in the major decisions that will shape the future of your own community. We have prepared some advice to describe the qualities that help make a good councillor. Please look at the personal qualities you may need as well as the time commitment you might need to make.  You may also like to contact one or more of your local councillors and ask them for advice about the role.


4.  Stand for council - What's in it for me?

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The role of councillor can be personally and professionally enriching but councillors are also entitled to receive an allowance to compensate for the time and effort they give, as well as have some basic expenses covered.


5.  Stand for Council - What do councillors do?

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Councils are busy and diverse entities and councillors will receive information about and make decisions on a wide range of matters.  Councils and councillors must respond to numerous pieces of legislation.  The key roles and functions of councils, councillors and staff are prescribed in the Local Government Act 1993.

Councillors have both individual and collective roles to undertake and their decisions are at a strategic level. 

Operational matters are the responsibility of the Council’s General Manager, who is appointed by the Council.

Decisions of council are made through formal council meetings and so councillors must be familiar with the Local Government (Meeting Procedures) Regulations 2015 from the very beginning of their tenure.

Another important role of councillors is acting as a member of the planning authority.  For this role they must put aside their councillor ‘hat’ and abide by the requirements of the Land Use Planning and Approvals Act.


6.  Stand for council - Campaigning

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Running for election requires development of a campaign. Our video presentation will describe most of what you need to know about campaigning. To summarise we recommend that you:

  • build your profile early - plan the campaign well ahead of time, including use of the media at such busy times;
  • try and convey who you are and what you want to achieve as a council; and

  • be honest in your messaging through understanding what councils and councillors can and can’t do.


7.  Stand for council - What if you are elected?
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If you are elected, you will have to make a prescribed declaration before you can take up office.

You will get a lot of information quickly, but both your council and the Local Government Association Tasmania will support your induction and beyond. For example, LGAT will run a workshop for newly elected councillors in November 2018.


8.  Stand for council - How to nominate?

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To run for council election, you must nominate using the required process as outlined on the  Tasmanian Electoral Commission website’s Local Government section. Please read: The Local Government Candidate’s Handbook for 2018 - August 2018.


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