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Previous Council Elections

2016 Local Government 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.

2016 Archives


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 happens 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

Local Communities Decide - Elections 2012

The Electoral Commission of Queensland conducted the 2012 Local Government Elections, as prescribed by the Local Government Electoral Act 2011, which more closely aligns council electoral arrangements with those applying at State Government elections in Queensland.  As a result of the subsequent higher financial cost, pressure remains within local government for councils to return to the option of contracting other parties (including ECQ) to conduct their elections or to do so themselves, as was the case prior to the 2008 Local Government Elections. 

Another unusual feature of the 2012 elections that the 2008-2012 term was extended by one month beyond the normal four year fixed term, to allow for the State election that was held on 24 March 2012. There also continued to be a high turnover of experienced mayors and councillors, exacerbated by the end of the first term after a difficult four year term following the forced 2008 council amalgamations, with a record number of sitting mayors defeated, new mayors with no previous local government experience and new elected councillors.

For more detail see

Pre-election resources

  • Everyone Has A Say - Make your say count on the day
  • Visit the Electoral Commission of Queensland website to view the election timetable and further information for electors, candidates, political parties, media, employment, legislation and Q&A.
  • LGAQ thanks Scenic Rim Regional Council for their permission to link to this handy Governance resource - prepared by Scenic Rim Regional Council  to assist their staff and councillors understand caretaker period operation of Council. Caretaker Period Protocol (2012)
  • LGAQ thanks Toowoomba Regional Council for their permission to link to this handy Governance resource - prepared by Toowoomba Regional Council  to assist local government staff interested in standing as candidates in LG Elections.  Fact Sheet - Employees seeking to stand for Election to Council 

Local Communities Decide - Elections 2008

As a result of the State Government's Local Government Reform there were 73 councils in Queensland local government for the 2008 elections - 37 continuing councils (unchanged in terms of area) and 36 new councils (changed in area by amalgamation or boundary change).

Another unusual feature of the 2008 local government elections was that for the first time, no council conducted their own elections. The Local Government Reform legislation prescribed that the Electoral Commission of Queensland (ECQ) conduct all elections, whereas up to 2004, only Brisbane City Council elections had been conducted by ECQ.

LGAQ has compiled some facts, figures and analysis of the Queensland Local Government Elections held on Saturday 15 March 2008. 

Local Communities Decide - Elections 2004

(The information on this page was compiled following the declaration of all elections across the State, except Dalrymple Shire Division 2, where the death of a candidate on the eve of the election required that the election be recommenced.)

Two councils did not need to hold an election: Bendemere had the exact number of nominations for the number of positions of mayor and councillors; and Tambo had fewer nominations than required for the positions of councillor and the mayor had been returned unopposed.  One council (Wondai) had fewer nominations than required for councillors with eight nominations for nine positions.

LGAQ has compiled some facts, figures and analysis of the Queensland Local Government Elections held on Saturday 27 March 2004.