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June 25, 2021

How to exercise more voting rights in council elections

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Being a property owner in NSW isn’t just a financial advantage, it also means you have more rights to vote than most non-property owners.

Owners of rateable property anywhere in the state are entitled to vote in the relevant local government areas come council election time, regardless of whether or not they live in those communities or maintain connections there outside their investments.

Local government elections are due to happen on 4 September this year and the deadline for property-owners to register their intention to vote in LGAs they don’t live in is 26 July.

The extra voting rights aren’t compulsory, unlike voting in local government elections relevant to an Australian citizen’s residential address.

Eligible occupiers and rate-paying lessees are also allowed to vote in council elections via one vote per property through a nominated representative.

The non-residential electoral roll is maintained by individual councils rather than by the NSW Electoral Commission.

In the Tweed Shire, Council General Manager Troy Green is encouraging all non-resident ratepayers to register to vote.

‘It’s essential eligible ratepayers have their say on how Council works,’ Mr Green said in a media release last week.

Anyone interested in registering on local government non-residential rolls must lodge their details with relevant general manager by 6pm Monday, 26 July.

More information is available via the NSW Electoral Commission at www.elections.nsw.gov.au or 1300 135 736.

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