Skip to content

Local government elections

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 next local government election will be held in March 2024.

Local Government Electoral and Other Legislation (Expenditure Caps) Amendment Act 2023

The  Local Government Electoral and Other Legislation (Expenditure Caps) Amendment Act 2023 (the Act) was passed by the Queensland Parliament on 18 April 2023 and received assent on 2 May 2023.

The Act amends local government legislation  to implement an electoral expenditure caps scheme (the scheme) for local government elections.

The electoral cap scheme will apply to the March 2024 elections being held across Queensland.

  • The caps are tiered to take into consideration the number of electors in local government areas.
  • For Mayoral candidates, caps range from $30,000 in council areas with 30,000 or fewer electors through to $1.3 million for the Brisbane City Council.
  • Expenditure caps for councillor candidates range from $15,000 for council areas with 20,000 or fewer electors up to $55,000 for Brisbane City Council wards.
  • The scheme applies for the seven months prior to a quadrennial election, and from the day a by-election notice is published, through to polling day.

Find out more about the local government electoral expenditure caps scheme.

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.

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

So you want to be a councillor or mayor?

Candidates must complete mandatory So you want to be a councillor? election training no more than six months before nominating for any election or by-election, even if you have completed the training before.

For more information on candidate obligations, visit the Electoral Commission Queensland website

Election leave

Read about requirements for councillors and council employees who contest elections.

Local government 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.

The caretaker period applies from the date of the notice of the election until the election is declared.

For more information you can read the Caretaker period for local government elections fact sheet ( 210.6 KB)

Last updated: 05 May 2023