COFFS HARBOUR: Councillor Resigns 30 Months Before Election - Office Of Local Government Respond

OLG Say 8 Councillors Remain


Article heading image for COFFS HARBOUR: Councillor Resigns 30 Months Before Election - Office Of Local Government Respond

Questions have emerged surrounding the future operation of the Coffs Harbour City Council, following the announcement that this September’s election has been postponed.

It was revealed by Triple M on Wednesday that Minister for Local Government, Shelley Hancock, had pushed back the elections by 12 months to September 2021, due to the Covid-19 outbreak.

While the delay means that the current council, labelled by many as ‘dysfunctional’, will remain for a further year, more questions have been asked about the lack of a 9th councillor.

Nine Councillors were elected at the 2016 Local Government elections, however, Cr Jan Strom was absent for a large part of 2018 for medical reasons.

Cr Strom did not return in 2019, tendering her resignation from Coffs Harbour City Council at the end of March 2019, just inside 18 months prior to the scheduled election.

Timing of the resignation allowed the council to vote against a costly by-election, instead running with 8 councillors for the remainder of the term.

This latest postponement means the resignation was submitted 30 months prior to the next election.

Triple M contacted the NSW Office for Local Government, asking whether any action would be taken to fill the 9th position for the remainder of the extended term.

Late on Thursday, a spokesperson for the OLG told Triple M, “The position will remain vacant as the council requested a dispensation from holding a by-election and it was granted by the Government.”

Coffs Harbour MP Gurmesh Singh has been contacted for comment.

26 March 2020




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