DUE to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, the NSW Government has postponed the local government election – from September 4 to December 4.
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 election had already been postponed from last year but, overall, candidates agree that voting with even partial lockdown would make voting difficult.
Parramatta Lord Mayor Bob Dwyer said he felt the three month postponement was wise.
“It is a good decision as we would not have had many people voting if it had to be all by postal or online,” Cr Dwyer said.
“It would have been just too hard for people, and I reckon the government would have waived the fine for not voting.”
Labor councillor Pierre Esber also welcomed a deferred election, echoing the lord mayor’s sentiments.
But Cr Esber also was worried that candidates would not be able to hand out election material in the lead-up to polling day or at polling booths.
“Campaigning would have been hampered,” he said. “I think it’s the best decision to defer it, but not for another full year.”
Meanwhile, the leading Parramatta and Cumberland Council candidates are lined up – well, mostly.
While Labor, Greens, Our Local Community and independents were all set for September, the Liberal Party is still deciding on its candidates due to internal drama.
The Parramatta Times will bring you a rundown of candidates for Parramatta and Cumberland closer to the election.
Any candidates who have not come forward yet can email email@example.com