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Electoral Commission of Queensland

The Electoral Commission of Queensland (ECQ) is the independent authority set up to ensure impartial and democratic elections in Queensland, including local government elections.

The ECQ is responsible for:

Mandatory training

All candidates for election as a councillor or mayor at a local government election or by-election must complete So you want to be a councillor? training before submitting their nomination, even if you have completed the training before.

Candidate factsheets

View the resources below for more information about what it’s like being a councillor and what you need to know to run for election:

For more information on elections and candidate obligations contact the Electoral Commission of Queensland.

Do you need party endorsement or sponsorship to be a councillor or mayor?

In Queensland, you can nominate as:

The election campaign

As a candidate, you are expected to conduct your campaign in a way that maintains the public's trust and confidence in the democratic election process.

Whether you are running as an independent or with a group or a political party, you need a campaign strategy to:

Your campaign bank account

As a candidate, you are required to maintain a dedicated bank account for your campaign donations and expenses. Groups of candidates are also required to maintain a dedicated bank account for donations and expenditure.

Points to consider:

Donations and expenditure disclosures

All donations and expenditure must be transacted via the dedicated campaign account, and there are limitations on how funds remaining in the account are disbursed after the campaign has concluded.

It is important that you keep accurate records of all campaign donations and electoral expenditure.

You are required to disclose donations that you have received to the Electoral Commission of Queensland.

Points to consider:

Disclosure period:

Ban on political donations from property developers

Queensland law bans political donations from property developers and industry bodies which have property developers as the majority of their members. It is illegal to make or accept these prohibited donations. It is also against the law to solicit someone to donate on behalf of a prohibited donor.

Advertising

Advertising material for your campaign may include billboards and signs, newspaper or radio advertisements, advertisements online, handbills (pamphlets) or other election material designed to influence voting decisions.

Any election advertising must comply with the Local Government Electoral Act 2011 if undertaken during the election period:

Other laws such as defamation laws may also apply before and during the official election period.

In promoting your candidature, it is important that you comply with the relevant local council’s laws on advertising and signage for elections.

For more information check with your local council about their laws on advertising.

Anyone wishing to make a complaint about advertising that misleads voters or contains false statements of fact about other candidates should refer the matter to the Queensland Police Service.

Social media

It is important to follow best-practice guidelines when posting election material on social media pages as part of your campaign.

Election material includes anything able to or intended to influence an elector about voting at an election, or affect the result of an election.

Posts on social media must comply with the Local Government Electoral Act 2011 if they are posted during the election period:

The above applies regardless of whether you are posting on your personal or official social media account.

For further details, a social media guide (PDF, 2.3MB) to help candidates and sitting councillors in managing their social media pages has been created by the Office of the Independent Assessor and the Local Government Association of Queensland.

Dealing with the media

Dealing with the media and promoting your candidature are important aspects of your campaign. This may include, for example:

How-to-vote cards

You should make sure that your how-to-vote cards:

For more information and advice on how-to-vote cards contact the Electoral Commission of Queensland.

More information

Contact the Electoral Commission of Queensland (ECQ) or visit their website for more information about the election process.

The ECQ has published a range of factsheets and handbooks to help candidates navigate the election process and to provide information about the responsibilities and reporting obligations of candidates.