New South Wales Consolidated Regulations

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LOCAL GOVERNMENT (GENERAL) REGULATION 2005 - SCHEDULE 8

SCHEDULE 8 – Election of chairpersons of county councils

(Clause 395)

Part 1 - Preliminary

1 When election to be held

(1) An election for chairperson of a county council is to be held:
(a) at the first meeting of the county council after an ordinary election of members of the county council, and
(b) at the first meeting of the county council after each anniversary of that ordinary election until the next ordinary election of members of the county council is held.
(2) In subclause (1) (a),
"ordinary election of members of the county council" does not include an election held in accordance with clause 1 (2) of Schedule 9 to this Regulation:
(a) after the first election of councillors for a newly amalgamated area that is:
(i) held in accordance with a proclamation made for the purposes of Division 2A of Part 1 of Chapter 9 of the Act, and
(ii) taken by that proclamation to be an ordinary election of councillors, or
(b) after an ordinary election of councillors for an area that has been postponed in accordance with the provisions of Part 6A of Chapter 10 of the Act.

2 Returning officer

The general manager of the county council in respect of which an election is being held (or a person appointed by the general manager) is the returning officer.

3 Notification of vacancy

(1) The general manager of the county council in respect of which an election is being held must give notice of the occurrence of a vacancy in the office of chairperson of the county council to the Director-General and to the general managers of the councils of the areas part or all of which constitute the county council electorate in which the vacancy has occurred.
(2) The general manager is to do that within 7 days of the occurrence of the vacancy.

4 Nomination

(1) A member of a county council may be nominated without notice for election as chairperson of the county council.
(2) The nomination is to be made in writing by 2 or more members of the county council (one of whom may be the nominee). The nomination is not valid unless the nominee has indicated consent to the nomination in writing.
(3) The nomination is to be delivered or sent to the returning officer.
(4) The returning officer is to announce the names of the nominees at the county council meeting at which the election is to be held.

5 Election

(1) If only one member of the county council is nominated, that member is elected.
(2) If more than one member is nominated, the county council is to resolve whether the election is to proceed by preferential ballot, by ordinary ballot or by open voting.
(3) The election is to be held at the county council meeting at which the county council resolves on the method of voting.
(4) In this clause:

"ballot" has its normal meaning of secret ballot.

"open voting" means voting by a show of hands or similar means.

Part 2 - Ordinary ballot or open voting

6 Application of Part

This Part applies if the election proceeds by ordinary ballot or by open voting.

7 Marking of ballot-papers

(1) If the election proceeds by ordinary ballot, the returning officer is to decide the manner in which votes are to be marked on the ballot-papers.
(2) The formality of a ballot-paper under this Part must be determined in accordance with clause 345 (1) (b) and (c) and (5) of this Regulation as if it were a ballot-paper referred to in that clause.
(3) An informal ballot-paper must be rejected at the count.

8 Count--2 candidates

(1) If there are only 2 candidates, the candidate with the higher number of votes is elected.
(2) If there are only 2 candidates and they are tied, the one elected is to be chosen by lot.

9 Count--3 or more candidates

(1) If there are 3 or more candidates, the one with the lowest number of votes is to be excluded.
(2) If 3 or more candidates then remain, a further vote is to be taken of those candidates and the one with the lowest number of votes from that further vote is to be excluded.
(3) If, after that, 3 or more candidates still remain, the procedure set out in subclause (2) is to be repeated until only 2 candidates remain.
(4) A further vote is to be taken of the 2 remaining candidates.
(5) Clause 8 of this Schedule then applies to the determination of the election as if the 2 remaining candidates had been the only candidates.
(6) If at any stage during a count under subclause (1) or (2), 2 or more candidates are tied on the lowest number of votes, the one excluded is to be chosen by lot.

Part 3 - Preferential ballot

10 Application of Part

This Part applies if the election proceeds by preferential ballot.

11 Ballot-papers and voting

(1) The ballot-papers are to contain the names of all the candidates. The members of the county council are to mark their votes by placing the numbers "1", "2" and so on against the various names so as to indicate the order of their preference for all the candidates.
(2) The formality of a ballot-paper under this Part is to be determined in accordance with clause 345 (1) (b) and (c) and (5) of this Regulation as if it were a ballot-paper referred to in that clause.
(3) An informal ballot-paper must be rejected at the count.

12 Count

(1) If a candidate has an absolute majority of first preference votes, that candidate is elected.
(2) If not, the candidate with the lowest number of first preference votes is excluded and the votes on the unexhausted ballot-papers counted to him or her are transferred to the candidates with second preferences on those ballot-papers.
(3) A candidate who then has an absolute majority of votes is elected, but, if no candidate then has an absolute majority of votes, the process of excluding the candidate who has the lowest number of votes and counting each of his or her unexhausted ballot-papers to the candidates remaining in the election next in order of the voter's preference is repeated until one candidate has received an absolute majority of votes. That candidate is elected.
(4) In this clause,
"absolute majority" , in relation to votes, means a number that is more than one-half of the number of unexhausted formal ballot-papers.

13 Tied candidates

(1) If, on any count of votes, there are 2 candidates in, or remaining in, the election and the numbers of votes cast for the 2 candidates are equal--the candidate whose name is first chosen by lot is taken to have received an absolute majority of votes and is therefore taken to be elected.
(2) If, on any count of votes, there are 3 or more candidates in, or remaining in, the election and the numbers of votes cast for 2 or more candidates are equal and those candidates are the ones with the lowest number of votes on the count of the votes--the candidate whose name is first chosen by lot is taken to have the lowest number of votes and is therefore excluded.

Part 4 - General

14 Choosing by lot

To choose a candidate by lot, the names of the candidates who have equal numbers of votes are written on similar slips of paper by the returning officer, the slips are folded by the returning officer so as to prevent the names being seen, the slips are mixed and one is drawn at random by the returning officer and the candidate whose name is on the drawn slip is chosen.

15 Result

The result of the election (including the name of the candidate elected as chairperson of the county council) is:

(a) to be declared to the members of the county council at the county council meeting at which the election is held by the returning officer, and
(b) to be delivered or sent to the Director-General and to the Secretary of the Local Government and Shires Association of New South Wales.

16 By-elections

(1) Subject to subclause (2), a by-election to fill a vacancy in the office of chairperson of a county council is to be held at the next meeting of the county council occurring after the vacancy occurs.
(2) No such by-election is to be held if the vacancy occurs after an ordinary election of councillors under Chapter 10 of the Act and before an election of chairperson of the county council in accordance with clause 1 (a) of this Schedule.



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