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2017 Elections frequently asked questions

What are local board elections?

Each local region has a local board made up of both Ministerially-appointed and locally-elected board members.

The inaugural Local Land Services board member elections took place nearly three years ago.

Ratepayers elected 34 board members; three across 10 of the 11 regions and four in the Western region.

Has a date been set for the local elections?

Yes, the date of 31 May 2017 has been set down for the local elections.

Who is eligible to vote?

One ratepayer from each holding is eligible to enrol to vote. A person can be enrolled if:

  • the holding consists wholly or partly of rateable land
  • the person is 18 or more years old.

The following people may be enrolled in respect of a holding:

  • an individual who is the only occupier of the holding
  • if more than one individual is the occupier of a holding, the individual nominated to represent the holding
  • in the case where the occupier of the holding is a corporation, the individual who has been nominated to represent the holding by the corporation.

A person cannot be enrolled in respect of more than one holding within a region.

How do I enrol?

There are several easy ways to enrol to vote:

Ratepayers can enrol to vote, up until 31 March 2017.

If I enrolled to vote before the last election, do I need to enrol again?

No. You will still be on the electoral roll if you voted in the first Local Land Services election.

Who looks after the election?

An external contractor, Australian Election Company has been engaged to run the 2017 election process.

The election will be conducted via postal and internet voting.

Australian Election Company is the first point of contact for enquiries relating to the election process including candidate information and can be contacted by phoning 1800 224 420 or visit the Australian Election Company website.

Local Land Services has a team of customer service officers who can assist with all enrolment enquiries.

Contact your nearest customer service officer by phoning 1300 795 299.

Members of the public can inspect their region’s electoral roll by contacting their nearest Local Land Services office.

Key dates

Enrolments: open now and close on 31 March.

Nominations: open now and close noon 12 pm 10 April.

Voting: opens 8 May and closes 5 pm ballot day 31 May.

Announcement: board members will be announced by 30 June.

How does the election process work?

The elections work in a three-step process:

1. Enrolling

Ratepayers must enrol to vote. One ratepayer from each holding is eligible to enrol to vote.

Enrolled ratepayers can vote to elect three board members for each Local Land Services region and four members in the Western region.

Enrolling and voting ensures strong local representation, which helps to ensure local boards are representing the needs of ratepayers.

Enrol to vote forms are available to download from each local region’s website or an online form is available from this site.

Enrol to vote forms will be mailed out to each ratepayer.

Copies of each region’s electoral roll are available for inspection by members of the public. Contact your local enrolment officer for more information.

Ratepayers can enrol to vote, up until 31 March 2017

2. Nominating

Ratepayers in any Local Land Services region are eligible to nominate a candidate, including themselves, for election in that region.

Anyone 18 years of age or older can be nominated for election provided their normal place of residence is within the region.

Nominations are open now and close at 12 pm on 10 April 2017.

Nomination forms and a candidate information package are available online from the Australian Election Company website.

Voting will open on 8 May 2017 and will close at 5 pm on ballot day 31 May 2017.

Enrolled voters will be asked to vote for up to three nominated candidates or four in the Western region.

All enrolled ratepayers who have supplied an email address will be emailed instructions for online voting.

Ballot papers will be posted to all other enrolled voters along with instructions.

Nominations extended

Nominations now close at 12 noon on 10 April, 2017, and that any references in any materials or documentation to the close of Nominations of 27 March 2017, should now be read as 10 April, 2017.

3. Voting

Voting will open on 8 May 2017 and close at 5 pm on ballot day, 31 May 2017.

Enrolled voters will be asked to vote for up to three nominated candidates (four in Western region).

All enrolled ratepayers who have supplied an email address will be emailed instructions for online voting, however there will be an option to receive postal ballot papers. Ballot papers will be posted to all other enrolled voters along with instructions.

How do I nominate to become a candidate?

Intending nominees will need to ensure they are eligible for election as a member of a local board, under the Act and the Regulations.

Nomination forms can be found at the Australian Election Company website or by calling 1800 224 420.

Nominations are now open and close at 12 pm 10 April 2017.

Candidates must ensure they meet all formal requirements and have their nomination lodged with the Returning Officer at Australian Election Company by 12 pm 10 April 2017.

Nominations can be lodged via email: rkidd@austelect.com or whadley@austelect.com

A candidate information package and detailed candidate guide are available.

If I am on a local council or any other board, will I need to resign that position if I am elected to a Local Land Services board?

No

How do enrolled ratepayers vote?

All enrolled ratepayers will receive voting instructions either via email for online voting, or a postal ballot material pack for those enrolled electors without email contact or who opt to vote by postal voting.

Internet voting

Internet voters will receive voting instructions by email from Australian Election Company. The instruction sheet details how to cast a vote in the local elections and includes the eligible voter’s personal, random password.

A hyperlink to the voting website is included in the voting instructions.

Eligible voters will need to enter their Customer Reference Number and personal, random password before being able to access available candidate information and submit their vote.

Internet voting closes at 5 pm 31 May 2017.

Postal voting

Enrolled voters without a listed email address or who request to vote by postal voting will be sent a postal voting pack. The pack will include the ballot paper with suitable instructions and notification, candidate information sheets, a personalised declaration envelope and a reply-paid envelope addressed to Australian Election Company.

All postal voters must sign the declaration envelope to be a valid vote.

The reply paid envelope should be mailed to be received no later than 5 pm 31 May 2017.

The election process

Candidate information sheets

Information about candidates will be included in the postal voting election pack and will appear in ballot draw order. Internet voters can access candidate information online on the ballot page. Voting instructions will be emailed to all internet voters.

Australian Election Company has produced a detailed candidate guide, which includes further information about the election process.

Download a copy from the Australian Election Company website or phone 1800 224 420 to receive a copy.

Spoilt, lost or destroyed election material

The Returning Officer (and/or staff) is responsible for the issue of replacement ballot material, in bona fide situations.

Enrolled voters who claim not to have received, or to have spoiled, lost or destroyed their postal voting election material (or voting instruction sheet) may arrange for a further set of election material to be sent to them, initially by phoning 1800 224 420 and asking to complete an application for new material.

Internet voters may obtain their password by phoning 1800 224 420, and will be asked to validate their identity.

Scrutineers

Local Land Services has arranged for NSW Farmers Association representatives to scrutinise the result count on behalf of all candidates.

A candidate may, however, nominate one person to be a scrutineer at the election. A candidate may not act as a scrutineer.

Scrutineers may be present at the validation and counting of postal votes and for the finalisation of the internet vote tabulation.

Scrutineers must not interfere with or influence electors in an election, or communicate with any person (except as necessary to carry out the scrutineer’s functions) at the counting of a ballot, and a scrutineer must obey the lawful directions of Australian Election Company.

Determination of result

The candidates (in rank order of result) receiving the highest number of votes will be elected.

Australian Election Company will provide NSW Local Land Services with the results as soon as possible following the completion of the count.