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Department of Premier and Cabinet

Local Government Elections

The Local Government Act 1993 (the Act) establishes the framework for the conduct of local government elections in Tasmania. The Tasmanian Electoral Commission (TEC) is responsible for conducting local government elections in accordance with the Act. Local government elections in Tasmania are held on the last Tuesday in October every four years. Voting in the Tasmanian local govenment elections is not compulsory.

Tasmania was the first state to introduce postal voting for local government elections when it was trialled in the 1994 and 1996 elections. All Tasmanian council elections are conducted with postal voting and the participation rate has been consistent, between 55-60 per cent at every election for the last decade.

In 2013, the Tasmanian Government amended the Local Government Act to prevent dual representation in both the Tasmanian Parliament and local government, and introduce all-in, all-out local government elections every four years, with four-year terms for mayors and deputy mayors

The Local Government Amendment (Mayoral Candidate Eligibility) Act 2014 was passed by both Houses of Parliament on 28 August 2014 and received Royal Assent and commenced on 11 September 2014.  This legislation removes the eligibility requirement that prevented people from nominating as a candidate for the office of mayor or deputy mayor unless the person had 12 months prior experience as a Tasmanian councillor.

Any person is now eligible to nominate as a candidate for the office of mayor or deputy mayor, provided that they are eligible to nominate as a candidate for the office of councillor under Part 15 of the Local Government Act 1993. In order for a person to accept the office of mayor or deputy mayor, they must also be successful in being elected to the office of councillor..

2014 Local government election results

Local government elections for all 29 councils in Tasmania were held in October 2014.

In keeping with previous local government elections, the turnover of councillors was approximately a third being newly elected resulting in a significant blend of experience and new faces - 14 new Mayors and 90 new councillors. There was a trend towards a much higher turnover in rural councils.

There was a high turnover in Mayors and Deputy Mayors - 50 percent of Mayors and nearly three-quarters of Deputy Mayors are new to the job. The number of female Mayors increased, with a number taking up the position in the larger urban councils.  Anecdotally, the average age of elected members appears to have decreased.

Reductions in councillor numbers for eleven Tasmanian councils following review by the Local Government Board were implemented as part of the 2014 local government elections.

Women in local government

The Australian Local Government Women's Association (ALGWA) was created as a national association in 1951 to support women's participation in local government.   Membership of ALGWA is open to anyone interested in supporting women's participation in local government.  Membership includes elected councillors, local government employees, former mayors and councillors, individual councils and intending candidates for local government elections.

ALWGA objectives are to:

  • assist in furthering women's knowledge and understanding of the functions of local government
  • encourage women into professional careers in local government
  • encourage women to offer themselves as candidates for election to local government and act as mentors for those elected
  • protect and enhance the rights of women in local government
  • take action in relation to any subject or activity of particular interest to women affecting local government bodies and/or local government legislation.

Contact details for the President of ALGWA Tasmania are:

State President:

Alderman Debra Thurley
Mobile: 0400 662 382