Become a councillor

Are you passionate about our local community? Becoming a councillor is a great way to help the people and place you love.

Why become a councillor?

There are no special qualifications required, other than a desire to serve your community. If you're passionate about your local community you have what it takes to become a councillor.

Being a councillor is a rewarding opportunity to:

  • make decisions that help people in your local community
  • influence the long-term vision and direction for your community
  • learn new skills such as leadership, public speaking and advocacy
  • work with a diverse and passionate group of people on a range of issues
  • balance the needs and priorities of your community
  • show leadership and make the best decisions for your community.

Stand for your community – diversity counts

Strong councils reflect the communities they serve.

That’s why NSW needs more people like you to run for election.

What's involved?

Being a councillor is a time commitment. Many councillors spend 10-15 hours each week on council activities, depending on the size of the council and the issues that arise.

Councillors are expected to attend all council and some committee meetings and a range of workshops and community engagement initiatives.

Councillors work together to make decisions about what the council will do to meet community needs and how money should be spent in the best interests of the community as a whole. Councillors do not get involved in the day-to-day running of the council; this is the role of the General Manager.

Read about the roles and responsibilities of Council and councillors below:

Council – elected body

Currently the council is an elected body of nine members who are elected for a four year term to carry out duties under the provisions of the Local Government Act and Regulations.

The Mayor and Deputy Mayor are elected by the elected members of the council for a two year term. The Mayor, as well as being Chairman of council meetings, represents council when it is not in session.

For further information please view Sections 266 - 273 of the Local Government Act 1993.

The Mayor

The Mayor's responsibilities vary widely, but all are intended to ensure the well-being of the city and its people.

The Mayor's role is essentially the same as that of other councillors. However, in addition, under the Local Government Act, the role of the Mayor is to:

  • where necessary, exercise urgent policy-making functions of the governing body of the council between meetings of the council
  • exercise such other functions of the council as the council determines
  • to preside at council meetings
  • carry out the civic and ceremonial functions of the mayoral office


Councillors are elected members of the council. Their jobs cover many areas, each aimed at satisfying expectations of the local community. A councillor is expected to be many things, including:

  • representative of the people
  • planner and goal setter
  • decision maker
  • civic leader
  • member of a board of directors
  • communicator
  • politician.

Councillors are the 'Board of Directors' for the Local Government organisation. They approve council expenditure; set goals, strategies and policies; co-operate with appointed managers and decide issues submitted to the council.

Councillors also allocate resources for various Local Government functions, and watch over the efficiency, cost and effectiveness of council's organisation. They help set priorities for council both in planning and in execution of its works programs.

They must be advocates for the Local Government Area and promote it, and can be called upon to represent council in inter-government matters. Councillors, like the Mayor, undertake civic duties such as receiving dignitaries and attending civic functions.

Being elected representatives, councillors are delegates and trustees, not only for the people who voted for them, but also for those who did not. They pass on information about council activities to various sectors of the community and provide input of community attitudes to council. They often receive petitions from voters, so councillors need to ensure they are familiar with the issues involved.

Councillors are expected to show leadership in the community, in the council, and as private citizens. They must at all times act reasonably, with equity and justice, and must submerge any self interest. They are expected to be active and look to the future. To do all this, councillors need to keep themselves informed of a wide range of matters, about government, administration, finance, economics and society.

If you are passionate about what happens in your local community and would like more information about becoming a councillor, talk to a councillor in your local area or contact the Office of Local Government - or phone 02 4428 4100.

If you are interested in becoming a councillor and would like to bring your skills, influence, knowledge and experience and participate in policy decisions on behalf of your local government area, it is recommend that you take the time to talk to a local councillor, past or present, to discuss this opportunity.

Standing for council is a personal choice only you can make in considering and understanding your own circumstances and what the time commitment means for you.

Am I eligible?

You're eligible to contest the Wagga Wagga local government election if:

How do I nominate?

The NSW Electoral Commission (NSWEC) provides an outline on the nomination process for Local Government elections as well as the necessary forms and fact sheets.

Candidates and groups need to register for the election with the NSWEC and appoint a person as their official agent before accepting political donations or incurring electoral expenditure. Registration and agent appointment forms are available on the NSW Electoral Commission website.

Application to Register as a Candidate (LG) 634.8 KB Download

Application to Register a Group of Candidates (LG) 737.2 KB Download

Notice of Appointment of Official Agent (LG) 603.8 KB Download

The NSWEC is responsible for regulating the political donations and election campaign expenditure of parties, groups, candidates and others. There are strict legal requirements that all parties, groups and candidates must follow when dealing with their election campaign finances. Parties, groups and candidates wishing to seek further information about candidate and group registration, appointment of an official agent or election campaign finances are advised to contact the NSWEC Candidate Helpdesk on 1300 088 942

Resources for potential candidates

Visit our Information and resources page:

Information and resources