Local Government Elections

Councils have a significant impact on the lives of all Tasmanians, enabling the economic, social and cultural development of the community, supporting individuals and groups, and providing a wide range of services for the wellbeing of the community. 

Local Government is the third tier of government in Tasmania. Tasmania is divided into 29 municipal areas, with each area having a governing council consisting of between 7 and 12 councillors. Council elections are held every four years, when all councillors from each council in Tasmania vacate their positions and nominations are called for these vacancies.

The next Local Government elections will be held during September and October 2018.

The rules for elections are set out in the Local Government Act 1993 (Part 15).

Enrolling to Vote

Almost everyone over 18, living, owning or leasing property in a municipality (or Council area) can be eligible to vote. 

  • You can vote if you are on the State Electoral Roll and are a resident in the municipality (you don’t have to own a property)
  • You can vote if you own or manage property in the municipality but are not a resident, but you need to complete an enrolment form to be included on the General Manager's Roll for owners/occupiers or corporate bodies

For more information on enrolment, visit the Tasmanian Electoral Commission website.


Standing as a Candidate

Whether you are a resident, property owner or business operator, becoming a Local Government councillor can be the most direct and rewarding way to contribute to your local community.  

Councillors play a vital leadership role, working together to create and implement their community’s vision, strategic direction and the values within which they operate.

Mayors, deputy mayors and councillors are all elected for four year terms.  Mayors and deputy mayors are popularly elected.

Standing for election provides you with a great opportunity to influence the future direction of the local community and help those who require support. It can be daunting and time consuming, but also rewarding. Councils are complex and vibrant organisations that require talented and dedicated individuals to participate in making the decisions that count. It is an important decision.


Under section 270 of the Local Government Act 1993 a person is eligible to nominate as a candidate for the office of councillor if the person:

  • is an elector in the municipal area 
  • is not a councillor of another council whose term of office is to end after the issue of the certificate of election is issued in respect of that other council's elections
  • has not been barred by a court under section 48(6) of the Local Government Act 1993 from nominating as candidate at any election
  • is not an employee of the council in that municipal area
  • has not been removed from office of councillor because of inadequacy or incompetence
  • is not bankrupt
  • is not subject to an order under the Mental Health Act 1963
  • is not undergoing a term of imprisonment
  • has been sentenced for a crime but the sentence has not been executed

You also cannot be a candidate in more than one municipal area.

Mayors and deputy mayors are popularly elected and must also nominate. You cannot be a candidate for both mayor and deputy mayor. You must successfully stand for and be elected as a councillor before you can accept the office of mayor or deputy mayor.

For more information

The Tasmanian Electoral Commission has produced a Candidate Information Booklet to help you comply with the legislative requirements and election processes.

The Local Government Association of Tasmania (LGAT) has produced a presentation and handbook for candidates, Becoming a Councillor, which focuses on what councillors do (functions), campaigning and other relevant information


By voting, you can help influence what sort of place your community will be.  It is about your future so vote for the representative(s) you want. Talk to other people you know and encourage them to vote too.

Voting in the Local Government Elections is about voting for who decides about some key things that happen in your local community. The people who get elected to the Council will help decide what happens locally – for now and into the future. Each candidate standing for election to the Council is likely to have different views about what should happen in your community. Find out what they are to help you work out who you want to vote for.

Voting in Local Government elections in Tasmania is conducted through a postal ballot. Contact candidates to talk to them about what they want for the area and why they want to be elected. You may decide that some candidates will be better at representing you and your views than others.

The Hare-Clark distribution of preferences is undertaken for all councillor elections.