Nominations for the local government elections on 8 September have now opened and people interested in representing their communities have a week to put their hand up for the poll.
Local government minister and Ballina MP Don Page has urged people who feel they can improve services and infrastructure in their areas to nominate to become a councillor, especially women and younger people who are under-represented in local government.
Mr Page said most councillors are aged over 50 and only a quarter are women.
He said many people were not happy with their councils but were not prepared to ‘stick their hands up’ and now had their chance ‘to make a difference’.
Nominations have to be filed with the Returning Officer by noon, Wednesday 8 August. Forms are available by download from the NSW Electoral Commission website www.votensw.info or by calling the candidate call centre on 1300 135 736.
On the afternoon of Wednesday 8 August, the Returning Officer for each shire will conduct the all-important draw to determine the order in which candidates’ names appear on the ballot paper.
A candidate information kit is available on request, containing: an election calendar, nomination and grouping forms, an application to register electoral material, a handbook for parties, groups, candidates and scrutineers, a request for an electronic roll form, a scrutineer appointment form, and a nomination deposit refund form.
Byron Shire Council’s acting general manager, Ray Darney, said the nomination process ‘is really important, because it is during this time the Byron Shire community finds out who is seeking to represent them for the next four years on Council’.
Details of nominated candidates will be posted on the NSW Electoral Commission website as they are processed. It is compulsory for residents to vote in the council election.
To find out if you are on the electoral roll, or to update your details, visit the NSW Electoral Commission web site or telephone 1300 135 736.
Current councils were elected in 2008.