How do you want our mayor to be elected?

Published: 12 Nov 2021 11:58am

At this year’s Local Government election, voters in the Wagga Wagga Local Government Area will be asked to decide whether they want to change the way our mayor is selected.

The question, known as a constitutional referendum, will appear on a separate ballot paper at the Saturday 4 December 2021 elections.

Currently, the mayor is selected by councillors every two years.

Council’s Manager Governance & Risk Ingrid Hensley said the referendum will ask if voters want to elect the mayor themselves, rather than sitting councillors.

“You’ll be asked to vote yes or no, and voting is compulsory,” Ms Hensley said.

“If most people vote yes, voters in the Wagga Wagga Local Government Area will elect the mayor for a four-year term, starting from the 2024 Local Government elections.

“If most people vote no, the mayor will continue to be elected every two years by the councillors.

“Either way, Council will continue to have nine councillors.”

Ms Hensley said there were pros and cons for either option.

“Moving to a popularly-elected mayor would give residents an opportunity to consider mayoral candidates' policies and vote accordingly,” Ms Hensley said.

“Holding a separate mayoral election each election day will, however, add to the cost of the elections.”

The additional costs are due to mayoral elections requiring the management of a separate set of nominations and ballot papers, separate counts at each polling place and returning office, and a separate distribution of preferences process.

The NSW Electoral Commission estimates the cost of a popularly elected mayor will be approximately $47,000 per election, which will increase as the number of voters in Wagga Wagga grows and election costs increase.

“We’ve included more information as well as some reasons why you might vote either way on Council’s website,” Ms Hensley said.

“Our aim is for the community to be able to make an informed decision before election day.”


If you have an enquiry please email or call 1300 292 442.

For more information about the 2021 NSW Local Government elections, visit

This material has been printed, published, distributed and displayed on the authorisation of Peter Thompson, General Manager of Wagga Wagga City Council, 243 Baylis Street, Wagga Wagga NSW 2650 and printed at Regional Publishers, 19-31 Peter Street, Wagga Wagga NSW 2650.