Local government elections 2021

COVID-19 vaccination status and voting

Please note unvaccinated people may attend a polling place or voting centre to vote or participate in the conduct of an election.

This applies even if those premises would otherwise require people to be vaccinated.

We understand many community members are concerned about the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. We’d like to let you know that many Council services are available online or over the phone.

For more information read Kempsey Shire Council response to coronavirus.


In New South Wales, local government elections (or Council elections) are normally held every four years. At these elections, you have the opportunity to vote for local candidates to become Councillors. The elected Councillors then normally serve Kempsey Shire Council for a four-year term.

When is the next election?

The next election will be held on Saturday 4 December 2021. In 2020, the NSW Government postponed the election for a year, to September 2021, due to COVID-19. In July, the NSW Government further postponed the election from September to December 2021.

In New South Wales, the current Councillors and popularly elected Mayors will continue to hold their civic offices until the 4 December election.

The postponement means the existing Councillors will have held their role for a term of slightly longer than five years. This will not affect the timing of future Council elections, and the subsequent ordinary local government elections will still proceed in September 2024, meaning incoming Councillors will hold office for a term of slightly less than three years.

Who are the candidates?

To find out about the candidates for the upcoming election, please visit the NSW Electoral Commission website:

Voting in the election

Voting in local government elections is compulsory for anyone registered on the electoral roll, and to vote you must be registered.

If you are a resident in the Kempsey Shire Council area, you can check with the Australian Electoral Commission whether your enrolment details are up to date.

Key information and dates

Residential Roll: Close of electoral rolls 6pm 25 October 2021.

Non-Residential Roll: Non-resident owners, occupiers and rate-paying lessees can apply to be placed on the non-residential roll to be eligible to vote in the election. Applications to be on the non-residential roll close on 25 October 2021.

See Non-residential Roll Nominee Application form(PDF, 315KB)

See Non-residential Roll Individual Application form(PDF, 277KB)

Nominations for candidates: Commence on 25 October 2021 and close at 12 noon on 3 November 2021.

Postal voting: Applications close at 5pm on 29 November 2021. Return of postal votes closes 6pm 17 December 2021.

Pre-poll voting: Opens on 22 November 2021 and closes 6pm 3 December 2021.

Election day: In-person voting from 8am to 6pm on Saturday 4 December 2021.

Results: Results will be declared progressively as counts are finalised from 21 to 23 December 2021.

Further key election dates can be found on the NSW Local Government Elections page.

Running as a candidate

Nominations for candidates opened on 25 October 2021 and closed at 12 noon on 3 November 2021.

For information about becoming a candidate, please see the links below that will take you to the NSW Electoral Commission website.

Becoming a Councillor

Kempsey Shire Council’s Mayor and eight Councillors are elected by their local community. 

As democratically elected representatives, Councillors work together to make decisions about what Council will do to meet community needs and how to spend money in the best interests of the shire.

If you are passionate about your local community then you already have what it takes to become a Councillor. Being a Councillor is a rewarding opportunity to: 

  • make well-informed decisions in the interests of your local community 
  • influence the long-term vision and direction of your community 
  • facilitate communication between Council and community members
  • work with diverse and passionate people on a range of issues 
  • uphold and represent the policies and decisions of Council
  • learn new skills, such as public speaking and advocacy

The NSW Office of Local Government has resources on becoming a Councillor.

Candidate briefing sessions

Potential candidates were invited to attend briefing sessions at Kempsey Shire Council.

Two candidate briefing sessions were conducted by Local Government NSW facilitatores on Wednesday 7 July and Thursday 8 July. In accordance with NSW Public Health Orders in response to the recent coronavirus outbreak, the sessions were delivered online in Zoom.  

The sessions provided an opportunity for potential candidates to:

  • identify the key requirements of becoming a Councillor
  • recognise how the Councillor role fits in with other roles and levels of government
  • address key expectations and potential challenges in becoming a Councillor
  • know how the Councillor role fits in with Integrated Planning and Reporting
  • understand key elements of Council meetings, including the code of conduct and conflicts of interest.

More information on the election

Election results

Past election results are available on the NSW Electoral Commission’s website.