To provide certainty to councils, communities and potential candidates, the NSW Government has made the decision to postpone the September 2020 local government elections in the face of the COVID-19 crisis until September 2021.
The decision to postpone the elections is necessary to ensure the health and safety of voters, NSW Electoral Commission staff and election candidates.
This decision follows Parliament passing amendments to the Local Government Act last night to provide the Minister with the power to postpone the elections for 12 months with a possible further extension to 31 December 2021 should the need arise.
The Minister intends to make an order which will be published in the Government Gazette to postpone the 2020 local government elections and elections will be held in September 2021.
Current councillors and popularly elected mayors will continue to hold their civic offices until the rescheduled local government elections are held.
Mayoral elections will need to be held for mayors elected by councillors in September 2018 when their two-year terms expire this year. Mayors elected in September 2019 will continue to hold office until September 2021 once the new election date is gazetted. Hilltops Mayor Brian Ingram will remain Mayor until the new election date after returning to the seat of Mayor in September 2019.
“I am pleased with the decision made, it was necessary for the protection and safety of the community during the current health crisis we are facing. This also gives our current Council more time to work with Hilltops new General Manager Anthony O’Reilly to see through the priorities we set out to achieve for the community during our term,” Mayor Ingram shared.
The postponement of the next elections will not change the future schedule of council elections, and the subsequent elections will still proceed in September 2024.