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Acts and Regulations

The rules that govern council elections are set out in:

Special election provisions for the City of Adelaide are set out in Schedule 1 of the City of Adelaide Act 1998

The Acts and Regulations should be read in conjunction with the Local Government Act 1999.

Candidate eligibility and ineligibility

You are eligible to be a candidate for election as a member of a council if you are:

  • an Australian citizen
  • at the time the electoral roll closes:
    • enrolled in the council area you are contesting, or
    • the nominee of a body corporate or a group that has its name on the voters roll for the council area
    • left off the voters' roll for the council area in error.

You are not eligible to be a candidate for election as a member of a council if you are:

  • a member of an Australian Parliament; or
  • an undischarged bankrupt or receiving the benefit of a law for the relief of insolvent debtors; or
  • have been sentenced to imprisonment and are, or could on the happening of some contingency become, liable to serve the sentence or the remainder of the sentence; or
  • are an employee of the council; or
  • are disqualified from election by court order under the Local Government Act 1999.

You are not eligible to be a candidate for election as a member of a council if you:

  • in the case of a supplementary election - are a member of another council; or
  • in the case of any election - are a candidate for election as a member of another council
Candidate disclosure returns

A person who is a candidate for election to an office of a council must lodge the following returns with the Electoral Commissioner:

  • CAMPAIGN DONATIONS RETURN - all councils including the City of Adelaide
  • LARGE GIFTS RETURN - all councils including the City of Adelaide
  • CAMPAIGN EXPENDITURE RETURN - City of Adelaide only

Learn more on our candidate disclosure returns for council elections page.

Candidate responsibilities

As a candidate, you have a range of important responsibilities and obligations under the law. These include making sure all electoral material you publish contains the proper authorisation statement, and that the material is not inaccurate and misleading.

View the electoral advertising page for more information.

All candidates, whether successful or not, must lodge disclosure returns. Read more on our candidate returns for council elections page.

Electoral advertising

There are restrictions placed on advertising during, and outside of, an election period. These are contained within Part 7 of the Local Government (Elections) Act 1999. The Electoral Commission SA is unable to provide advice on the interpretation of these provisions. Therefore, if you are in doubt about the interpretation, we recommend you seek independent legal advice.

Learn more on our electoral advertising page.

Forms and handbooks
Legislation changes

The key dates for electoral events from the Local Government (Elections) Act 1999 (LGEA) and the City of Adelaide Act 1998 (CAA) and amendments enacted under the Statutes Amendment (Local Government review) Bill 2021 can be found in the document linked below.

LG timetable and key legislation changes (PDF, 341KB) 

Nominating as a candidate

Forms and handbooks

Access candidate forms and handbooks on our council elections forms and handbooks page

Information about what it's like to be a member of council can be found on the council elections website.

Responsibilities as a member of a council

Councils are responsible for many of the services that make South Australia such a great place to live and work, including libraries, playgrounds, sporting facilities and rubbish and recycling.

Becoming a councillor or mayor means you will help shape a wide range of policies and decisions that will impact the short and long-term future of your local community.

More information can be found on the council elections website.