Council elections in Australia’s New South Wales state postponed until next Sept

Commuters attempting to get onto packed platforms at North Sydney. Picture: Brendhan Ryan/Supplied. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

SYDNEY, Mar 25, 2020, SMH. Australia’s New South Wales state government has confirmed that it will postpone council elections for 12 months until September next year, due to the coronavirus pandemic. The decision comes after amendments to legislation were passed in Parliament on Tuesday to give Local Government Minister Shelley Hancock the power to postpone the elections for a year, The Sydney Morning Herald reported.

Before the changes, she had the power to only extend them for 28 days.

Ms Hancock said on Wednesday that the decision to postpone the polls had not been taken lightly but was necessary to ensure the health and safety of voters, NSW Electoral Commission staff and election candidates.

“This decision provides certainty for local councils, communities and election candidates,” she said.

While the terms of popularly elected mayors such as the City of Sydney’s Clover Moore will be extended for a year, those who were elected by fellow councillors in 2018 will have to go back to their councils to seek re-election this September when their two-year term expires.

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