Mayoral elections will be held at a council meeting in Gundagai tonight where the mayor and deputy will be elected for a two-month term.
Due to the coronavirus and the lockdown restrictions imposed by the State Government, the local government elections which were scheduled to be held September 4 have been deferred to December 4. Even though the elections have been deferred, the term for the current mayor and deputy mayor lapses this month. As such, the election of mayor and deputy mayor, if the council resolves to elect a deputy mayor, for the term of September 28 to December 3 still needs to proceed.
Current mayor Abb McAlister and deputy mayor Dennis Palmer have held office since September 2017.
Cr McAlister intends to run again for the council’s top job.
The elected mayor and deputy mayor will serve for just over two months, holding the seats until the local government elections take place.
The decision to postpone the September council elections was made in response to the escalating outbreak of the Delta variant of the COVID-19 virus in Greater Sydney and the potential for further outbreaks in regional areas.
The decision was made in consultation with and on the advice of the NSW Electoral Commissioner and NSW Health
The postponement of the next ordinary local government elections will not affect the timing of future council elections, and the subsequent ordinary local government elections will still proceed in September 2024.
Meanwhile, nominations for the new council will open on Monday October 25 and close on Wednesday November 3.
Prospective candidates can find more information at the Office of Local Government website at www.olg.nsw.gov.au.
The NSW Government has worked with the Electoral Commission and NSW Health to implement a comprehensive plan to allow voters to cast their ballot safely in person, by post or online.
iVote (electronic voting) will also be available for the first time in the local council elections and the government has implemented changes to pre-poll to ensure that voters have 13 days to cast their ballot, reducing congestion on polling day.
The NSW Government has made available a total of $57 million for the elections in 2021, including $37 million to deliver them in a COVID safe way.
In this election, 5.2 million voters will cast their ballots as around 5,000 candidates vie for 1,200 councillor positions across 125 local councils.
Tonight’s council meeting will be held at the Gundagai Council Chambers and commences at 6pm.