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Council Elections

See LGAQ's post election results and analysis.

See the LGAQ's in-depth pre-analysis of the 2016 Local Government Elections, which attracted a record number of nominations.


The most recent Quadrennial Local Government elections were conducted on Saturday, 19 March 2016. Electoral Commission of Queensland (ECQ) were responsible for the conduct of all Local Government Elections.

Mayors and councillors are elected for a four year term. Local Government Areas are either whole of Local Government areas (undivided) or divided into individual divisions / wards (divided). For divided Local Government Areas, each division is required to have approximately an equal enrolment of electors.



Information for prospective candidates in the Queensland local government elections.

If you want to stand for election as a local government candidate you should understand the respective roles and responsibilities of a councillor and mayor and the key functions of local government in Queensland.

The information below provided by the Department of Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning is designed for individuals interested in becoming a candidate for the upcoming local government election and other interested people. It is relevant to all local government elections, including quadrennial elections, and by-elections.

So you want to be a councillor or mayor?


When can I nominate?

Nominations will be invited by the ECQ via an advertisement in newspapers. Once nominations are called, candidates will be able to access the Candidates portal on the ECQ's website to enable them to nominate.

Nominations can be lodged with the Returning Officer when the notice of the election is published, but must be lodged by 12 noon on the day nominations close.

How much does it cost?

When a nomination form is lodged, a deposit of $250.00 must be paid to the Returning Officer (in cash, bank cheque or by electronic funds transfer (credit card only). Personal cheques cannot be accepted under any circumstances.)

Further information:

Department of Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning- How to nominate for council election

Electoral Commission Queensland - Guide for Candidates


Candidates can start campaigning at any time, even before they have officially nominated.

When campaigning, several key points must be considered:

  • All campaign materials, including advertising, must be properly authorised by the candidate, so it is clear who produced and is accountable for it.
  • All non-electoral laws still apply, such as those relating to defamation.
  • Materials that are likely to mislead an elector in relation to the casting of their vote must not be printed or distributed as part of a candidate's campaign.

You are expected to conduct your campaign in a way that maintains the public's trust and confidence in the democratic election process. You are expected to adhere to the principles of section 4 of the Local Government Act 2009.

Further information visit The election campaign on the Department of Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning website.


Any handbill, pamphlet or card that is handed to voters at voting centres that shows how a party or candidate would like voters to fill in their ballot papers is classed as a 'how-to-vote card'.

You should make sure that your how-to-vote cards:

  • are authorised for a political party or a candidate endorsed by a political party
  • state the name and address of the person who authorised the card
  • are in the approved format
  • are prepared well ahead of the election
  • are given to the electoral commission no later than 5pm on the Friday that is at least 7 days before the polling day for the election.

For more detailed information and advice on how-to-vote cards check with the Electoral Commission of Queensland.



Now you are a councillor - What happen next?

Getting started as a councillor - what happens after the election?

Your role as an elected councilor or mayor

Your responsibilities as a councillor or mayor

You must disclose your election gifts

Win or lose, you must disclose all your electoral gifts and donations after the election. During the election campaign it is important to maintain a record of who is:

  • providing voluntary help
  • performing a service (e.g. printing)
  • providing gifts or loans.

The Electoral Commission of Queensland must keep a register of all election gifts – known as the gifts register. You (the candidate or your group of candidates), donors and third parties must all disclose election gifts by providing a completed disclosure return form to the Electoral Commission of Queensland within 30 days after the polling day of the election.

For more information:
Electoral Commission of Queensland website 
ECQ - Funding and Financial Disclosure Information