NSW Local Government elections have been postponed by a further three months, as Greater Sydney battles to contain the worsening COVID-19 outbreak.
The election will now take place on Saturday 4 December.
This is the second time the election has been delayed, with the four year term originally set to expire in September 2020.
Announcing the new date, Local Government Minister Shelley Hancock said the decision to postpone the election for a second time had been made to ensure the safety and wellbeing of the state’s communities, voters, polling staff and candidates.
Nominations for candidates to contest the poll will now open on Monday 25 October. The electoral roll, including the non-residential roll, will also remain open until this date.
Councillors elected in December 2021 will serve a reduced term of 2 years and 8 months, with subsequent elections expected to remain on schedule. This means the next election will proceed as planned in September 2024.
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The peak body for local government officers will receive a share of $39.8 million in Commonwealth Government funding to support women’s leadership development in local government.
The Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet’s Office for Women will provide $615,000 over three years for Local Government Professionals Australia to increase female leadership in the local government sector.
LG Professionals National President, Victoria MacKirdy, said, “Local Government Professionals Australia is proud to be partnering with the Office for Women on our Local Government Women’s Future Leader Program.
“Since we set a gender balance target of 40:40:20 in local government senior leadership teams to be reached by 2025 last year – that is 40 percent men, 40 per cent women, and 20 per cent unspecified – we have been actively working to make this a reality.
“This funding is a vote of confidence in our efforts by the Minister for Women and a real commitment by the Australian Government to support local government and women in the sector.”
The funded program seeks to increase female leadership in the local government sector through tailored support for women and councils.
The program will offer leadership development opportunities to women while providing support for councils to achieve the leadership gender balance target including mentoring, scholarships, board traineeships, and virtual and face-to-face professional development event attendance.
Councils will be supported through reports, cases studies and toolkit resources to ensure they are able to encourage, accommodate and foster female leaders within their workforces.