When are the next council elections?

In South Australia, council elections are held every 4 years for all 68 councils except the Municipal Council of Roxby Downs, which operates under its own administration. These elections are called periodic elections. The next periodic council elections will take place in November 2022.

2022 timetable

Close of electoral roll 5:00 pm, Friday 29 July 2022
Nominations open Tuesday 23 August 2022
Nominations close 12 noon, Tuesday 6 September 2022
Mailout of ballot material to electors Between Friday 14 October and Thursday 20 October 2022
Close of voting (polling day) 5:00 pm, Thursday 10 November 2022
Scrutiny and count 9:00 am, Saturday 12 November 2022
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 designated person 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 state or federal parliamentarian.
  • an undischarged bankrupt or benefiting from insolvent debtor legislation.
  • an employee of the council.
  • disqualified from election by court order under the Local Government Act 1999.
  • sentenced to imprisonment and are, or could become, liable to serve the sentence or the remainder of the sentence.
  • a member of another council.
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.

All candidates, whether successful or not, must lodge a campaign donations return within 30 days of the conclusion of the election.

More information about your legal responsibilities as a candidate is available in the candidate handbook available closer to the election.

Nominating as a candidate

Every election has a period when you can submit your nomination. For council elections, the nomination period is 2 weeks.

During this period, you must complete a nomination form and a profile statement and lodge it with the Electoral Commission of SA. You can also lodge a photograph of yourself.

If your nomination form and statement meet the requirements, your nomination is accepted and you will officially be a candidate.

Nomination kits (forms and handbook)

We prepare a special nomination kit that contains all the forms and guides you need to become a candidate. You can download an electronic version of the kit from our website, or pick up a kit from your local council office.

Nomination kits are available around the time the nomination period opens.

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.

The Local Government Association of South Australia produces a guide on the roles and responsibilities of a council member. The guide is available at lga.sa.gov.au/coucil-elections/nominate