Council elections postponed until December 4 due to COVID concerns

Delayed: The new election date will be Saturday, December 4. Picture: John Veage
Delayed: The new election date will be Saturday, December 4. Picture: John Veage

Council elections have been postponed again - this time until Saturday, December 4.

They were due to be held on September 4 after being put back a year from the scheduled 2020 date because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The state government was pushing ahead with the elections despite calls by Labor and some mayors for a postponement in in Sydney and Wollongong because of the present COVID situation.

However, in a statement on Sunday, Local Government Minister Shelley Hancock said the elections would be held on December 4 "after extensive consultation with and advice from the NSW Electoral Commission and NSW Health".

"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 NSW Government has worked with the Electoral Commission and NSW Health to implement a comprehensive plan to allow voters to cast their ballot safely in person, by post or online.

iVote (electronic voting) will also be available for the first time in the local council elections and the NSW Government has implemented changes to pre-poll to ensure that voters have 13 days to cast their ballot, reducing congestion on polling day.

Mrs Hancock said $57 million had been allocated for the elections, including $37 million to deliver them in a COVID safe way.

Nominations will open on October 25 and close on November 3. More information: olg.nsw.gov.au

This story Council elections postponed again due to COVID concerns first appeared on Campbelltown-Macarthur Advertiser.