NSW Local government elections postponed

The New South Wales Government has postponed the 2020 Local government elections for 12 months to 4 September 2021.

Local Government New South Wales (LG NSW) President, Linda Scott, welcomed the announcement, and hoped the extended period would allow time to address the rapidly rising cost of local elections borne by local communities.

“Administratively, council elections take up to 12 months to organise and can absorb considerable administrative resources. The 2020 council elections were set to be the biggest single public event on the New South Wales calendar.”

Cr Scott said postponing the elections provided LG NSW with an opportunity to work with the State Government and the Minister for Local Government on the key issue of election costs, which have increased by as much as 100 percent in the last three years.

“According to the New South Wales Electoral Commission, these cost hikes are a result of rising staffing, venue and ballot paper printing costs.

“Not only are the increases unreasonably high, they come at a time when councils can least afford them, and the people who will end up paying for it are the residents of councils that have to pull money from infrastructure and services to pay the bill.

“LGNSW wants to work with the NSW Government to ensure election costs don’t increase by more than the rate cap limit, which is 2.6 percent.

“One way this could happen is by ensuring schools and other election venues don’t overcharge, especially since public schools enjoy subsidised use of council facilities such as sporting complexes.”

Cr Scott said LGNSW had written to the Premier seeking to work with the Government to develop a sensible, long term funding program that would put the NSWEC on a stable economic footing without councils having to carry the can.