Campaign advertising and authorisation
Candidates, commentators, publishers, broadcasters and the media are advised to familiarise themselves with the electoral offences listed in the Local Government Act.
The information provided about campaigning and advertising offences is a guide only. Alleged offences under Section 99 of the Local Government Act are assessed on a case-by-case basis and, ultimately, it is for the courts to decide in any particular case. Accordingly, if you are in doubt about the interpretation of the law in particular circumstances, you should seek independent legal advice.
All campaign material and electoral matter must clearly state the name and full street address, including suburb or locality, of the person authorising the publication or distribution. The use of a post office box is not permitted. Requirements for authorisation also apply to broadcasters, newspapers and printers of electoral matter. Electoral advertisements outside of an election period should also be authorised.
There is no legislative requirement to disclose campaign expenditure or donations received for NT Local Government (Council) elections.
There is no deposit required for candidates standing for Local Government (Council) elections in the Northern Territory.
A nomination form and photo may be lodged at an NTEC office in Darwin or Alice Springs during business hours. You may also lodge your nomination form and photo by email to nominations.NTEC@nt.gov.au. Remember to include a copy of the statement, verifying that the photo was taken within the last six months and contact the NTEC to ensure that it was received.
Lodgement can be made after the close of the electoral roll and before 12:00 noon on the day nominations close.
The candidate must be nominated by at least three other persons eligible to vote at the election.
- If the candidate is standing for principal member or for an ordinary council member position in a council which is not divided into wards: the nominators of the candidate must be enrolled for an address within the council area.
- If the candidate is standing for an ordinary council member position in a council which is divided into wards: the nominators of the candidate must be enrolled for an address within the ward for which the candidate is standing.
A nominee's photograph must comply with the requirements applicable to photographs of candidates for election under section 32(1)(f) of the Electoral Act. Regulation 3 of the Electoral Regulations provides that a nominee's photograph shall:
(a) be a black and white, full faced vertical portrait of the nominee's head and shoulders
(b) have been taken within six months before lodgement of the nominee's nomination
(c) have endorsed on the reverse side, the nominee's full name and a statement signed by the nominee certifying that the photograph was taken within six months before lodgement.
The Electoral Commissioner may, at his discretion, accept a photograph which does not comply with the prescribed requirements. Photos may be lodged electronically (e.g. jpg format) by email to nominations.NTEC@nt.gov.au. If lodged electronically, a candidate must ensure that a copy of the statement, verifying that the photo was taken within the last six months, is included and must check that the photo has been received by the NTEC.
Withdrawal of nomination
A candidate may withdraw from election by giving notice, in writing, on the approved form to the Commission before 12:00 noon on the day nominations close.
Qualifications for election
Candidates must be qualified for election as a member of a council in accordance with Division 3, section 36 of the Local Government Act.
Qualifications for election
A person is, unless disqualified, eligible for election or appointment as a member of a council if enrolled as an elector in respect of a place of residence within the council's area.
(1) A person is disqualified from office as a member of a council if the person:
- holds a judicial office (other than justice of the peace)
- is bankrupt or subject to a composition or arrangement with creditors under the Bankruptcy Act 1966 (Cth)
- has been sentenced to a term of imprisonment (which has not expired) of one year or more
- is an employee of the council
- is indebted to the council for rates or surcharge and fails to discharge the debt within six months after the debt becomes due or payable
- is certified mentally unfit to carry out the functions of a member.
(2) However, an employee of a council is not disqualified from office as a member of some other council.
(3) A person is certified mentally unfit to carry out the functions of a member if two medical practitioners have certified that the person is mentally unfit, and likely to remain unfit for the remainder of the person's term of office, to carry out the functions of a member.
Candidates may appoint scrutineers to observe in the voting centre and be present during the determination of the election results. Scrutineers must complete and present their appointment forms to the Officer in Charge (OIC) of the voting centre or scrutiny centre who will check that the form is properly completed. Scrutineers are required to sign an undertaking that they will not attempt to influence the vote of any elector or disclose knowledge officially acquired concerning the vote of an elector.