Local government elections
Local government in the Northern Territory consists of 5 municipal councils and 12 councils in regional and remote areas. Of these, 2 municipalities (Darwin and Litchfield), 9 regional councils and one community government council are divided into wards.
Three municipalities (Alice Springs, Katherine and Palmerston) and 2 rural councils (Belyuen and Wagait) do not have a ward structure. The principal member in municipalities (generally called the mayor) is chosen by election; in regional councils, the principal member may be elected or chosen from within the council. The number of ordinary members varies from 6 to 14 per council and one to 5 per ward.
The Local Government Act 2019 and Local Government (Electoral) Regulations 2021 outline the procedures for conducting local government elections and by-elections to fill casual vacancies. General local government elections are held on the fourth Saturday in August in the fourth year after the most recent previous general election was held.
A vacancy may occur due to the dismissal, resignation or death of a member.
Under the Local Government (Electoral) Regulations, if a vacancy occurs more than 18 months before the next general election, a by-election must be held. The by-election must be held within 4 months of the electoral commissioner being notified of the vacancy.
However, if a vacancy occurs within 18 months or less before the next general election, a council may appoint a person to a casual vacancy or leave the position vacant in accordance with its policy.
More information on local government elections in the Northern Territory can be found via the following links:
Municipal councils (5)
Regional councils (9)
Community government councils (2)
Shire councils (1)
Small areas of land in the Northern Territory are not yet included under council arrangements ... more information