Constitutional Referendum

As well as electing councillors to serve for the next four years, the 2012 local government election in North Sydney also included a constitutional referendum regarding the number of wards and councillors, effective from 2016. Voting in a constitutional referendum is compulsory.

The 2012 Constitutional Referendum was passed in favour 69.99% to 30.01%. The changes will take effect from the 2016 election.

The following question was asked on Saturday 8 September 2012:

Currently North Sydney Council has four wards and 12 councillors (three per ward), plus the popularly elected mayor, elected for a four year term. Do you favour a reduction in the number of wards from four to three and the number of councillors from 13 to 10, inclusive of the popularly-elected mayor?

Yes Case

No Case

Reducing the number of councillors, and therefore wards, will:

  • save approximately $80,000 per annum in councillor fees, allowances and other costs.
  • bring us into line with neighbouring councils and reflect modern business practices.
  • create a smaller team, resulting in potentially more efficient decision making.
  • maintain fair representation, as each ward will still be represented by three councillors.

Reducing the number of councillors, and therefore wards, will:

  •  increase the workload of each councillor as they will be representing a larger group of people.
  • reduce community access to a councillor.
  • reduce the range of view points that will be expressed at Council meetings.
  • create unnecessary change.


For more information contact Council’s Manager Corporate Planning and Governance on 9936 8100.