Inner West Independent

What you need to know ahead of the Inner West Council elections

The NSW Local Government Elections will take place on December 4. Photo: Inner West Council.

By DANIEL LO SURDO

Ahead of the Inner West’s Local Government Elections, the Independent has compiled all the information that voters will need to know before they cast their ballot on December 4. 

Who can vote? 

Voting is compulsory for those registered to the electoral roll. To be eligible to vote, you must have been registered on the electoral roll by October 25 this year. 

While residents will be required to vote, some non-residents in the Inner West will also be entitled to vote, should they meet the criteria for the Non-Residential Roll. Non-resident voters typically include non-resident owners, an occupier of Inner West land, a rate-paying lessee or a local business representative. 

How does voting work? 

Inner West Council is made up of 15 councillors, who are equally split into five wards: Leichhardt-Gulgadya, Balmain-Baludarri, Stanmore-Damun, Ashfield-Djarrawunang and the Marrickville-Midjuburi Ward. 

This means that three councillors will be elected from each ward. Once all 15 councillors are elected, a mayor and deputy mayor will be voted in by the newly-elected councillors. The mayor is selected for a two-year term, while the deputy mayor can be appointed for the same term or a shorter time period. 

How can I vote? 

In many different ways. Voting will occur from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm across the Inner West in a multitude of different venues, including schools and community centres. 

Alternatively, pre-polling will be available for any person who is enrolled to vote for this election. Pre-polling will be open from 22 November to 3 December and will be available at town halls and community centres throughout the Inner West. 

Online and operator-assisted voting (iVote) will also be available to those who meet the eligibility criteria. iVote will be available for those who are blind or have low vision, have a disability that presents difficulty voting at a polling place, and those who cannot read or write. Applications for iVote will close at 1:00 pm on election day. 

What if I’m away? 

Voters who will be overseas or interstate on election day should apply for a postal vote or cast their vote at a pre-polling centre prior to their departure. Postal voting packs can be sent to any nominated address in Australia or overseas. Applications for postal packs opened on 26 October and will close on 29 November, with completed votes to be returned by 6:00 pm on 17 December. 

Anything else involved? 

One more thing. Voters in the Inner West will be polled on their support to de-amalgamate back to the former Leichhardt, Marrickville and Ashfield Councils, after the State Government amalgamated the three into Inner West Council in May 2016.

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