Local government legislation

There are legal requirements that help shape our local councils. Here are some that you should know about, particularly if you plan on nominating for council.

On this page:

Looking for legislation surrounding your nomination campaign? This page explains the legislative requirements local government and councils must abide by. Learn more about the revised legislation around election campaign promotion material.

A brief history of local government legislation

The Adelaide Corporation (now known as the City of Adelaide) was formed in 1840. It was the first elected council in Australia.

The South Australian Constitution Act 1856 provides for a system of elected local government bodies.

In 1887, the Parliament of South Australia introduced the District Councils Act (1887). This set up local governments across the state.

In 1894, the South Australian Parliament passed the Constitutional Amendment (Adult Suffrage) Act. This meant that South Australia was the first in the world to give equal political rights to all people, including both men and women.

Acts & regulations

The legislations that govern council elections are set out in:

The Local Government Act 1999 sets up the constitution, system, and operational framework for local government in South Australia.

The Local Government (Elections) Act 1999 contains the requirements for council elections. It sets out how the elections are to be conducted, who can nominate, who can vote, and how the votes are counted.

Special election provisions for the City of Adelaide are set out in Schedule 1 of the City of Adelaide Act 1998.

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