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Department of Premier and Cabinet

Local government elections

The Local Government Act 1993 establishes the framework for the conduct of local government elections. The Tasmanian Electoral Commission conducts elections on behalf of councils.

Local Government elections in Tasmania are held on the last Tuesday in October every two years. Elections are held in uneven years, with the most recent elections taking place in 2009.

Councillors are elected for four-year terms, with half of the council positions being declared vacant at every election. At each council election, the offices of the mayor and deputy mayor become vacant and those positions are filled by election for a period of two years.

Tasmania was the first state to introduce postal voting for local government elections when it was trialled in the 1994 and 1996 elections. All council elections are now conducted with postal voting and the participation rate has been consistent, between 55-60 per cent at every election for the last decade.

The introduction of compulsory voting in local government elections is currently under consideration.

Please see the Local Government Act 1993 or contact the Tasmanian Electoral Commision or the Local Government Division for more information on local government elections in Tasmania.

2009 Elections

The overall voting participation rate in the 2009 local government elections was 55.54 percent.

In the lead up to the 2009 elections the Local Government Division and Women Tasmania with Australian Local Government Women's Association and Local Government Association of Tasmania conducted the WomenCan campaign to encourage more women to stand for election. Results from the 2009 election indicate the program has been a success, with an increase in the number of women candidates standing for the elections and an overall increase in the number of women elected.

Elections were held for 27 of Tasmania's 29 councils in October 2009. The elections for the Break O'Day and the Glamorgan-Spring Bay Councils were postponed in 2009, as the Local Government Board was carrying out a review into a potential voluntary merger between those two councils at the time the election was due. The Local Government Board recommended that the merger not take place and the elections were subsequently held in December 2009.