The NSW Government announced a new date for the Local Government elections has been set for Saturday 4 December 2021.
Minister for Local Government Shelley Hancock said the decision, after extensive consultation with and advice from the NSW Electoral Commission and NSW Health, has been made in response to the COVID-19 situation.
“Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and current Public Health Orders impacting Greater Sydney, we have made the difficult decision to postpone the Local Government elections until later this year,” Mrs Hancock said.
“We have taken this step to postpone the election to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our communities, voters, polling staff and candidates.”
The NSW Government has worked with the Electoral Commission and NSW Health to implement a comprehensive plan to allow voters to cast their ballot safely in person, by post or online.
iVote (electronic voting) will also be available for the first time in the local council elections and the NSW Government has implemented changes to pre-poll to ensure that voters have 13 days to cast their ballot, reducing congestion on polling day.
The NSW Government has made available a total of $57 million for the elections in 2021, including $37 million to deliver them in a COVID safe way.
In this election, 5.2 million voters will cast their ballots as around 5,000 candidates vie for 1,200 councillor positions across 125 local councils.
Nominations will open on Monday 25 October 2021 and close on Wednesday 3 November 2021.
Prospective candidates can find more information at the Office of Local Government website at www.olg.nsw.gov.au.
What is important to you in the coming council elections?
By Rich Evans
Candidates are starting to announce their teams and their platforms for election, and now is the time to find out exactly what the community feels is most important for the coming election.
The Central West Village Voice has received a number of press releases from candidates, but supplied content of this nature makes it hard for the community to compare Apples with Apples. Additionally, now that we cover two regions, we need to clearly identify who is in each respective race.
Major change coming in the regions and we need leadership that accepts that, understands it and is prepared to do something about it.
The old days of Council being about rubbish and roads are gone. we need Councils that understand the need for whole of community strategy so the social, environmental and economic futures are as much a part of the planning as the infrastructure and resource management.
Both Lithgow Council and Bathurst Council have had their share of very public issues in the past, however, the work done by the respective Councils in recent times through drought, bushfires and COVID are testament to the fact that the executive and staff in these institutions are making the best of their situations.
Lithgow is seeing a resurgence in popularity with new stores and cafes opening, Portland has become a hub for the arts and culture and Bathurst continues to be a world class event superhero, even despite the most recent interruptions.
WIth elections just 6 weeks away, this latest COVID impact on our region could not come at a worse time. The usual door knocking and meeting the people may not be possible this election, so we ask the question of you our readers, what is important to you?
ASK YOUR QUESTION
Send us an email to email@example.com or find us on Facebook and let us know what your question for your region is. We will collate these and then offer all candidates the opportunity to respond in a concise fashion starting in the next issue on 5 August.