Information for Prospective Councillors

Councillors hold an important role in representing the collective interests of the local community. Collectively, by directing the Council, councillors make important decisions about Council services and strategies, which directly impact the community and the local environment.

Being a councillor can be a rewarding opportunity to make decisions for the local community, influence the long term vision and direction of the Uralla Shire by balancing the needs and priorities of the community, as well as work on a range of issues and learn new skills.

The Office of Local Government provides a wealth of resources for persons interested in becoming a councillor.

Click here to view or download the Office of Local Government's Stand for Your Community Candidate Guide. The Office of Local Government also has tailored guides for women, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and culturally and linguistically diverse people, as well as guides for candidates in other languages.

For more information on how to nominate and register as a candidate, important dates and deadlines, as well as election campaign finances and your funding and disclosure obligations, please visit the NSW Electoral Commission website. The NSW Electoral Commission also provides support and assistance to candidates to help them understand their legal obligations regarding political donations and electoral expenditure.

Due to the 2020 Local Government elections being delayed one year to 2021 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2021 election will be for a three year term, with the next Local Government election to be held in 2024.

Nominations for candidates will open on 28 June 2021. Council will conduct a public information session for prospective candidates prior to this date. This information session will be advertised on the Council website, facebook page, and in the Council newsletter. 

Following the close of candidate nomination and registration period, Council will hold a public “Meet your Candidates” night (or nights) in August 2021, with the days and times of the sessions to be set closer to the date.

Election day will be held Saturday, 4 September 2021.

Please visit the NSW Electoral Commission website for other key dates in the 2021 Local Government elections.

Role of the governing body, councillors, and mayor

The governing body 

Collectively, councillors are the policy-makers of the Council and represent their Wards to bring their views into the Council’s decision-making process. The role of the governing body (the elected Council) is defined by section 223 of the NSW Local Government Act 1993:

(1)  The role of the governing body is as follows—
(a)  to direct and control the affairs of the council in accordance with this Act,
(b)  to provide effective civic leadership to the local community,
(c)  to ensure as far as possible the financial sustainability of the council,
(d)  to ensure as far as possible that the council acts in accordance with the principles set out in Chapter 3 and the plans, programs, strategies and polices of the council,
(e)  to develop and endorse the community strategic plan, delivery program and other strategic plans, programs, strategies and policies of the council,
(f)  to determine and adopt a rating and revenue policy and operational plans that support the optimal allocation of the council’s resources to implement the strategic plans (including the community strategic plan) of the council and for the benefit of the local area,
(g)  to keep under review the performance of the council, including service delivery,
(h)  to make decisions necessary for the proper exercise of the council’s regulatory functions,
(i)  to determine the process for appointment of the general manager by the council and to monitor the general manager’s performance,
(j)  to determinthe senior staff positions within the organisation structure of the council,
(k)  to consult regularly with community organisations and other key stakeholders and keep them informed of the council’s decisions and activities,
(l)  to be responsible for ensuring that the council acts honestly, efficiently and appropriately.
(2)  The governing body is to consult with the general manager in directing and controlling the affairs of the council.

Councillors 

The role of a councillor is defined by section 232 of the NSW Local Government Act 1993:

(1)  The role of a councillor is as follows—
(a)  to be an active and contributing member of the governing body,
(b)  to make considered and well informed decisions as a member of the governing body,
(c)  to participate in the development of the integrated planning and reporting framework,
(d)  to represent the collective interests of residents, ratepayers and the local community,
(e)  to facilitate communication between the local community and the governing body,
(f)  to uphold and represent accurately the policies and decisions of the governing body,
(g)  to make all reasonable efforts to acquire and maintain the skills necessary to perform the role of a councillor.
(2)  A councillor is accountable to the local community for the performance of the council.

The mayor

A constitutional referendum passed in the 2012 Uralla Shire elections determined that the election of the Mayor would decided by the electors for a four year term (as opposed to the Council electing its own mayor). The role of the mayor is defined by section 226 of the NSW Local Government Act 1993:

The role of the mayor is as follows—

(a)  to be the leader of the council and a leader in the local community,
(b)  to advance community cohesion and promote civic awareness,
(c)  to be the principal member and spokesperson of the governing body, including representing the views of the council as to its local priorities,
(d)  to exercise, in cases of necessity, the policy-making functions of the governing body of the council between meetings of the council,
(e)  to preside at meetings of the council,
(f)  to ensure that meetings of the council are conducted efficiently, effectively and in accordance with this Act,
(g)  to ensure the timely development and adoption of the strategic plans, programs and policies of the council,
(h)  to promote the effective and consistent implementation of the strategic plans, programs and policies of the council,
(i)  to promote partnerships between the council and key stakeholders,
(j)  to advise, consult with and provide strategic direction to the general manager in relation to the implementation of the strategic plans and policies of the council,
(k)  in conjunction with the general manager, to ensure adequate opportunities and mechanisms for engagement between the council and the local community,
(l)  to carry out the civic and ceremonial functions of the mayoral office,
(m)  to represent the council on regional organisations and at inter-governmental forums at regional, State and Commonwealth level,
(n)  in consultation with the councillors, to lead performance appraisals of the general manager,
(o)  to exercise any other functions of the council that the council determines.