NO CHANGE: Local Govt Minister Will Not Change September 2021 Council Elections

Covid19 Postponement Remains

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Coffs Harbour locals will definitely not be heading to the polls this September for a full council election.

That was confirmed to Triple M on Monday by the Office of Local Government.

At the beginning of the Coronavirus restrictions, Queenslanders went to the polls to elect their local councils, however, in New South Wales, our state government made amendments to legislation to allow the Minister for Local Government, Shelley Hancock, to postpone the September elections by up to a year.

Within days of the changes, Minister Hancock announced that the elections would be postponed to September 2021. The delay would mean an extra year for current councils, and a shorter 3-year term for the successive council.

As June 1 approaches, so do the easing of many of restrictions in NSW.  Triple M reached out to the OLG to see whether that decision to delay the elections would remain in place.

In a statement received on Monday night, a spokesperson for the Office of Local Government told Triple M that the election will not be brought back to the original September 2020 date.

“The Minister for the Local Government has announced her decision to postpone the September local government elections for 12 months to address the risks of holding elections during the COVID-19 pandemic and to provide certainty for candidates and voters”.

“It is no longer possible to hold local government elections in September 2020 as there is insufficient time for the Electoral Commission to make the necessary arrangements.”

“The date of the next local government elections will be announced soon.”

The latest confirmation comes as Coffs Harbour Councillor Keith Rhoades is calling on council to provide a report investigating the possibility of a by election for the ninth Councillor position for the remaining term of local government.

Councillors will address and vote on the motion this Thursday night.

25 May 2020

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