MidCoast Council elections

Now's your chance: Nominations are open from Monday, July 31 until Wednesday, August 9. Visit http://www.votensw.info/political_participants/forcandidates

Now's your chance: Nominations are open from Monday, July 31 until Wednesday, August 9. Visit http://www.votensw.info/political_participants/forcandidates

Local Government NSW president Keith Rhoades is issuing a call for potential candidates of every age, gender and political allegiance to consider standing for council when nominations open on Monday, July 31.

Mr Rhoades said the elections, which will be held for 46 councils across the State, including MidCoast Council, on Saturday, September 9, are an opportunity to help take local government into a new era and the push is on to encourage fresh candidates to stand.

He said this is a chance for younger people to get involved and make a significant contribution to their community.

“For too long local government has been seen as a place for older people, with the average male councillor aged in his 60s and the average female councillor from mid-40s up.

“Older councillors have significant life and professional experience to bring to the table, but they don’t have a monopoly on good ideas,” he said.

Along with the call out to the younger generation, Mr Rhoades is also encouraging candidates from every gender and political allegiance to stand. 

“Local government has made enormous strides since the old days, and the role of contemporary councillors encompasses an incredibly broad remit,” Mr Rhoades said.

“It’s certainly not restricted to the traditional ‘roads, rates and rubbish’ of the old days.

“That means modern councillors are not only representing their communities but working together within a board-like structure to help govern multi-million-dollar businesses,” he said.

“What we’re looking for is a good balance that reflects the community and has a future focus.

“That’s why we need top-quality councillors from a wide variety of backgrounds, who are able to not only serve as the voice of their communities but operate at the strategic level to help deliver the first-rate services and infrastructure that communities need,” Mr Rhoades said.

He said local government employs some 50,000 staff across the State, and has an annual spend of $10 billion - as a sector we’re active in almost every sphere of daily life.

Mr Rhoades said local government was one of the most direct, logical and practical paths to help improve the quality of life in any community.

“I would urge anyone interested in contributing to the strength and growth of this State to consider nominating for election,” he said. “Nominations are only open for a very short period, and close on August 9.

"LGNSW is currently working with councils to hold candidate briefing sessions similar to those run before previous local government elections.”

He said the programs are designed to give anyone interested in becoming a councillor a better understanding of the responsibilities they would have as an elected member of council.

“I would encourage anyone thinking of standing on September 9 to contact their local council and enquire about any potential candidate sessions they may be running, so they can make the right decision for them, and for the community.”

Mr Rhoades said local government was one of the most direct, logical and practical paths to help improve the quality of life in any community.

A total of 46 councils will go to the polls on September 9: 20 newly amalgamated councils, 14 councils pending forced amalgamation and 12 regional councils originally slated for amalgamation which have been granted a reprieve.

All but one (Maitland City Council) of the elections will be conducted by the Electoral Commission of NSW.

“Anyone who has a real commitment to their community and some ideas about strengthening our local and regional economies is likely to have something to offer,” he said. “By ensuring a breadth of experience in every sphere of government, including councils, the real winners will be the people of NSW.”

September 9 will see 11 community members elected to MidCoast Council for a three-year term. MidCoast Council was formed through the merger of Greater Taree, Great Lakes and Gloucester councils in May 2016.