Second time in 12 months the election has been postponed

Mayor David West has praised the State government's decision to postpone local government elections.
Mayor David West has praised the State government's decision to postpone local government elections.

MidCoast Council mayor, David West has praised the State government for postponing this year's local government elections.

"I think the government has shown a responsible attitude to this pandemic, in particular to Delta which has mutated; it is invading very quickly," Cr West said.

"We have no idea in this particular area if we had it the effect it would have; Sydney is a catastrophe," he said.

For a second time in 12 months the local government elections have been postponed due to the worsening COVID-19 situation in Greater Sydney.

Local Government Minister Shelley Hancock, on Saturday afternoon (July 24), confirmed the election date had been pushed back from September 4 to December 4 for all NSW councils except Central Coast Council which is in the hands of an administrator.

Independent advocacy organisation Local Government NSW has urged the government to commit to holding "COVID-safe" council elections before year's end.

I think the government has shown a responsible attitude to this pandemic, in particular to Delta which has mutated; it is invading very quickly.

David West

"COVID-safe local government elections must be held by the end of the year, to uphold democracy and ensure renewal," LGNSW president, Linda Scott said.

"Public health and safety must always come first, but we do not want to reach a situation in which democracy delayed is democracy denied," she said.

"This latest three-month deferral comes on top of an existing deferral of 12 months from September 2020, with no guarantee further delays won't be incurred.

"Delaying elections further is a risk to democracy."

Cr West predicted the way elections are conducted could change in the future.

"This (pandemic) could be a catalyst for change if this beast of a thing continues.

"We need to go to something along the lines of computer or permanent postal voting; it would cut out waste."

He believed postal or computer voting would also be a cost saving measure.

"This would be a responsible decision."