2020 Local Government Elections

Queensland’s next local government quadrennial elections are due to be held on Saturday, 28 March 2020.  Elections will be held for all mayors and councillors in the 77 councils across Queensland.

Voting in local government elections is compulsory.  For more information about enrolling to vote or updating your enrolment details, see Enrol to vote.

Key election dates

There are several stages to the election process.  The proposed dates for the key stages of the 2020 local government elections are listed below.  These dates are subject to change and will be formally confirmed upon publication of the Notice of Election.

The ECQ proposes to publish the Notice of Election on Saturday, 22 February 2020.  The caretaker period for all councils will start upon publication of the notice on the ECQ’s website.

For more information about the caretaker period, please see the Department of Local Government, Racing and Multicultural Affairs website.

Nominations for candidates for election as mayors and councillors will be open from the publication of the Notice of Election on 22 February, until midday on Tuesday, 3 March 2020.  Details of candidates will be published on the ECQ’s website.

New requirements apply for candidates, political parties, third party campaigners and political donors for the 2020 local government elections.  For more information, see Candidate requirements – 2020 local government elections.

Electors have until 5pm, 28th February 2020 to either update their enrolment to a new name or address or to enrol for the first time. This will ensure their eligibility to vote in this election.

The ECQ will conduct a random draw to determine the order in which candidates appear on ballot papers on Wednesday, 4 March 2020.

The ECQ must accept all how-to-vote cards before they can be distributed to voters during local government elections.  The ECQ will review candidates’ how-to-vote cards from Wednesday, 4 March to Thursday, 19 March 2020.  How-to-vote cards accepted by the ECQ will be available on the ECQ’s website.

Postal vote applications close at 7pm Monday, 16 March 2020.  Voting must be completed by 6pm on Election Day. The ECQ must receive your postal vote no later than 5pm Tuesday, 7 April 2020.

Please note that we are unable to send postal votes until after the ballot paper draw on Wednesday, 4 March 2020.

Early voting will be conducted between 16 March and Friday, 27 March 2020.  The timeframes for early voting will vary in different locations, and detailed information about early voting times will be published on the ECQ’s website prior to the election.

Election day is on Saturday, 28 March 2020, and polling booths will be open from 8.00am to 6.00pm.

The day after election day, the ECQ will start the official vote count and publish results on the ECQ website.  The official count process can take up to 10 days for postal votes to be returned. Election results for individual councils will be declared progressively.  For more information, see How are the votes counted?.

Candidates, groups of candidates, registered political parties and associated entities must give the ECQ an election summary return detailing gifts or loans received and electoral expenditure incurred during the election disclosure period.  This return must be lodged within 15 weeks of election day which, for the 2020 local government elections, will be Monday, 13 July 2020.  For more information about disclosure obligations, please see Disclosure of political donations and Handbooks, fact sheets and forms for candidates and parties.

Full postal ballot councils

Under the Local Government Electoral Act 2011, councils may apply to the Minister for Local Government for an election to be conducted only by postal ballot, either for the full local government area (full postal ballots), or part of the area (hybrid ballots).  The ECQ provides recommendations to the Minister, who decides which councils may conduct full postal or hybrid ballots.

The Minister for Local Government has approved that the following councils conduct full postal or hybrid ballots for the 2020 local government elections:

Council

Type of voting

Balonne Shire Council

Full postal ballot

Banana Shire Council

Full postal ballot

Barcaldine Regional Council

Full postal ballot

Barcoo Shire Council

Full postal ballot

Blackall-Tambo Regional Council

Full postal ballot

Bulloo Shire Council

Full postal ballot

Burke Shire Council

Full postal ballot

Cook Shire Council

Hybrid

Diamantina Shire Council

Full postal ballot

Etheridge Shire Council

Full postal ballot

Goondiwindi Regional Council

Full postal ballot

Isaac Regional Council

Hybrid (division 1 and 8)

Longreach Regional Council

Full postal ballot

Maranoa Regional Council

Hybrid

North Burnett Regional Council

Full postal ballot

Paroo Shire Council

Full postal ballot

Quilpie Shire Council

Full postal ballot

Richmond Shire Council

Full postal ballot

Western Downs Regional Council

Full postal ballot

Information for voters

Before the elections, voters are encouraged to:

  • Ensure your enrolment details are up-to-date.  To enrol to vote or update your enrolment details, see Enrol to vote or visit the Australian Electoral Commission’s website.
  • Check your local government area and division or ward (for divided councils). For local government elections, you must vote within the local government area you are enrolled in.  To check your council area, see the interactive map on Local government area boundaries.
  • Consider how you intend to vote at the election, which could include early voting, postal voting, or voting on polling day. More information about voting options be published closer to the election, but to find out more, see How to cast your vote or the Step-by-step guide to voting.
  • Learn about how to cast a formal vote in the local government elections. To find out more about the voting systems in use (optional preferential voting and first-past-the-post voting), see Voting system.
  • If considering whether to nominate for election as a mayor or councillor at the local government elections, check the eligibility, nomination and other requirements that apply.  For more information, see Candidate requirements – 2020 local government elections.
  • Consider whether you or someone in your care will require assistance when voting. To find out which services are available in Queensland see Voter assistance.  To learn about elections in Queensland, in another language or to access telephone translation and interpreting services see Accessibility.