COVID-DRIVEN DEFERRAL OF NSW LOCAL GOVERNMENT ELECTIONS
The NSW Government has moved to further delay the already 1 year overdue NSW Local Government elections which had been rescheduled for the 4th September 2021. They will now occur on 4th December 2021. The deferral is as a result of the current COVID crisis in the Greater Sydney area. It is understood that the current Council will now continue until 5th November, before going into caretaker mode prior to the election on 4th December. Electoral rolls will close at 6 PM on the 25th October, and candidate nominations will close at 12 PM on 3rd November 2021.
UPDATE ON CANDIDATE MEETINGS
When ABE presented at the Public Access session of Eurobodalla Shire Council on 2 February 2021, we flagged, among other things, that we would be inviting all prospective candidates for this year’s local government elections to meet with us. On 15 February 2021 ABE wrote to all incumbent Eurobodalla Shire councillors asking if they were intending to stand for re-election in 2021 and, if so, whether they will be standing as part of a ticket? We reiterated that if they were intending to stand for re-election, ABE would like to meet with them.
ABE indicated that we would like to explain to candidates what ABE is doing in the lead up to September’s local government elections, and what our community engagement is telling us is important to the people of Eurobodalla. ABE has been asking residents and ratepayers how they would like their council to operate and what issues are engaging them.
We have had positive responses from Councillors Constable, Mayne and Pollock and are in the process of setting dates for meetings. Councillor McGinlay has referred us to the Eurobodalla Green’s campaign manager and we will be following up on that. Councillor Brown has indicated that he is yet to decide whether he will stand for re-election.
ABE received an invitation to meet with Mayor Innes, which we assumed to be an indication that the Mayor was planning to stand for re-election (our initial correspondence requested to only meet with candidates for the September 2021 election). ABE representatives attended the meeting with Mayor Innes on 1 March 2021 which was also attended by General Manager Dr Catherine Dale. At the meeting Mayor Innes informed ABE that she has not decided whether or not she will stand for council re-election in 2021. As a result ABE was unable to question the Mayor about whether she was running on a ticket or would have running-mates on a ticket and if so whether it would be as part of the Community Action Alliance, her 2016 team. Other questions relating to the Community Action Alliance and its 2016 Manifesto will have to wait until we know whether Mayor Innes is standing for re-election. We have asked that ABE be informed when she does make a decision.
Recently ABE has started meeting with prospective candidates for the September 2021 council election. We invite all prospective candidates to meet with us so we can explain what ABE is doing in the lead up to the election and what our community engagement is telling us about what is important to the people of Eurobodalla. We will report on all these meetings in our newsletter and on the website.
ABE has been distributing flyers across Eurobodalla to inform non-resident ratepayers of their eligibility to vote in the September 2021 council election. Distributing this information at markets across the shire has given us a great opportunity to listen to residents and ratepayers about what is important to them. Interestingly most non-resident ratepayers were unaware of their right to one vote per property and the need to register with council to exercise that right. More information at : https://abettereurobodalla.org/voting-information-2/voting-information/
ABE is publishing all sent and received correspondence on our website at https://abettereurobodalla.org/our-letters-to-council-and-their-replies/. ABE has been writing to Eurobodalla Shire Council on a number of issues and has received replies. We will be following up and reporting on the issues as they emerge. Email us with any comments at https://bettereurobodalla.wordpress.com/contact-us/.