Thursday, 14 June 2018

Berejiklian- Barilaro Government to make councils pay for costly by-elections

The NSW Liberal National Government has rejected an amendment by the Greens that would have allowed local councils to use simply countback mechanisms to fill casual vacancies for elected councillors.
Councils will instead be required to have costly by-elections with significant cost to councils, candidates and the local community whenever a councillor needs to be replaced.

Greens MP and Local Government Spokesperson David Shoebridge said:

"There are a number of councils facing potential by-election and this may see ratepayers spending around half a million dollars on unwelcome by-elections.

"We gave the Government an opportunity to fix this by allowing councils to choose to countback election results to fill a casual vacancy.

"Residents have already had their say at a general election and a countback is often a far more democratic way to fill a vacancy than a one-off by-election.

"Allowing consideration of the existing votes would save a significant amount of money for local communities and reflect the overall democratic will of the area.

"In July 2017 the Campbelltown by-election cost the community over $500,000, that's half a million dollars taken from essential local services because the State Government can't get its act together.

"It's no wonder the State Government is dragging its heels,  the same by-election that cost Campbelltown $500,000 saw the Bereiklian Government rake in $1.42 million from residents who fail to vote.

"It's simply unfair to make local councils pay for the sheer bloody mindedness of a State Government that is more interested in political manoeuvres than providing services," Mr Shoebridge.

Wed, 6 Jun 2018

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