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Are you able to be a councillor or mayor?

All candidates must meet the mandatory eligibility requirements as set out in the Local Government Act 2009.

You are qualified to be a councillor or mayor provided you are:

  • an adult Australian citizen
  • currently residing in the local government area for which you are nominating (note: if you are standing for election in an electoral division of a divided local government area, you are not required to reside in the particular division but within the local government area as a whole)
  • enrolled on an electoral roll kept under the Local Government Electoral Act 2011
  • not disqualified from being a councillor because of a conviction for the following types of offences:
    • a treason offence
    • an electoral offence
    • a bribery offence
    • an integrity offence
  • not subject to other circumstances including:
    • being an undischarged bankrupt
    • being in prison
    • currently holding another high office
      (Note: a member of a state or federal parliament cannot be a councillor).

To remove any doubt, an Australian citizen who holds dual citizenship with another country is eligible to nominate as a candidate for a local government election.

The details of offences and situations that disqualify you from being a councillor are identified in chapter 6 of the Local Government Act 2009 the City of Brisbane Act 2010 and in section 26 of the Local Government Electoral Act 2011.

What issues are councillors and mayors involved in?

The role of councillor or mayor requires enthusiasm and motivation. It may be helpful, when considering your final decision as to whether or not to nominate for election, to think about how interested you are in:

  • being actively involved in resolving key local community issues
  • ensuring all members of the local community have equitable access to services and opportunity
  • advocating on behalf of community members and managing that responsibility against your responsibility to act in the interest of the broader community
  • policy formulation, corporate planning, advocacy and budgeting.

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

In Queensland, you can nominate as:

  • an individual
  • a member of a group of candidates
  • a member of a political party.

For all Queensland local government elections, you may nominate as a candidate provided your nomination is endorsed by six community members who are on the electoral roll for the local government area (they do not need to be on the roll for the specific division). Section 27 of the Local Government Electoral Act 2011 provides the details about how and when you can nominate as a candidate.

If you belong to a group of candidates – i.e. not a political party – that contest the election as a team, your group must appoint an agent for the group and give a record of the membership of the group to the returning officer after the candidates in the group are nominated. The record must be on the approved form and signed by each of the candidates who are in the group. The returning officer must display a copy of the record of membership of the group. Section 41-43 of the Local Government Electoral Act 2011 provides details on the formation for a group of candidates.

In Queensland political parties can contest local government elections and endorse candidates. If you intend to run as a political party candidate you will need to be endorsed and nominated by that political party. Section 27 of the Local Government Electoral Act 2011 provides the details.

You can choose to stand for election as a councillor or as mayor but not for both as dual candidacy is not permitted. Your returning officer will advise you on which form to complete.

For detailed information about the Electoral Act provisions, refer to the Local Government Electoral Act 2011.