NSW local government elections postponed as COVID-19 spreads
NSW local government elections postponed as COVID-19 spreads

'You're stuck with us': NSW elections postponed

LOCAL government elections in NSW have been postponed for one year to allow time for the community to recover from the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19).

The NSW government passed legislation on Tuesday to provide provisions for postponing the local government elections, which were scheduled for September 12, 2020.

The legislation states with the spread of COVID-19 pandemic, "it is reasonable in the circumstances to order the postponement".

The government decided to postpone the election for at least 12 months.

The NSW Office of Local Government released a statement on Wednesday explaining postponing the election was "to provide certainty to councils, communities and potential candidates".

"The decision to postpone the elections is necessary to ensure the health and safety of voters, NSW Electoral Commission staff and election candidates," the statement said.

"It follows Parliament passing amendments to the Local Government Act last night to provide the Minister with the power to postpone the elections for 12 months with a possible further extension to 31 December 2021 should the need arise.
 
"The Minister intends to make an order which will be published in the Government Gazette to postpone the 2020 local government elections.

"It is the Government's intention that these council elections will be held in September 2021.
 
"Current councillors and popularly elected mayors will continue to hold their civic offices until the rescheduled local government elections are held."
 
Mayoral elections will need to be held for mayors elected by councillors in September 2018 when their two-year terms expire this year.

Mayors elected in September 2019 will continue to hold office until September 2021 once the new election date is gazetted.

The postponement of the 2020 elections mean the next term of NSW local government will be for three years until September 2024.

Byron Shire deputy mayor Sarah Ndiaye said on social media: "We'll be with you through this difficult time".

Cr Michael Lyon also confirmed the postponement on social media on Wednesday.

"You'll be putting up with us all for just a little bit longer," Cr Lyon said.

"The government has signalled its intention formally that Local Government elections will now take place in September 2021.

"All sitting mayors and councillors remain in office."

More to come. 



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