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Local government general elections are held every four years, and on the same date for all 77 councils across Queensland. By-elections can also be held to fill councillor vacancies that occur between elections.

The last elections were held on Saturday 19 March 2016 and the next elections will be held on Saturday 28 March 2020.

The Queensland Government is delivering a rolling reform agenda to strengthen the transparency, accountability and integrity measures that apply to the system of local government and elections in Queensland. That means there are some changes for candidates for the 2020 elections. For more information, view resources for councillors and candidates.

Electoral Commission of Queensland

The Electoral Commission of Queensland is the independent authority set up to ensure impartial and democratic elections in Queensland, including local government elections.

The ECQ is responsible for:

  • appointing a returning officer for each local government area who is responsible for the conduct of the election for that area, from taking candidate nominations to counting the votes and formally declaring the successful candidates
  • managing the electoral roll for voters
  • managing candidates’ disclosures of donations and expenditure
  • reviewing complaints about candidate conduct during the elections.

For more information on elections and candidate obligations contact the Electoral Commission of Queensland.

So you want to be a councillor or mayor?

By becoming a councillor, or even just running for election, you can make a positive difference to your local community. Queensland’s councils also need councillors and mayors that reflect the diversity of our communities.

The mandatory ‘So you want to be a councillor?’ candidate training has now closed for the 2020 local government elections.

However, visit the So you want to be a councillor? page to:

  • find out more about the role of a councillor and what councils do
  • understand your election and campaign obligations

Caretaker period

Councils cannot make major policy decisions during the election ‘caretaker’ period near the end of their council term that could bind future elected councils. They also cannot use communications such as newsletters to help the campaigns of current councillors standing for re-election.

For more information you can read the Caretaker period for local government elections fact sheet (PDF, 93KB) and Local Government Bulletin 06/19.