NSW local government elections are postponed again due to the pandemic.
Local Government Minister Shelley Hancock issued a directive on Saturday re-scheduling this year’s council elections until 4 December.
Elections had been scheduled for September 2020 in accordance with the state’s four-year local government cycle.
But in late June last year, the state government announced a year’s delay, allowing councillors and mayors to serve five years instead of four.
COVID-19 concerns in Sydney
Some local councillors have declined to see out the extra time, with former Byron Mayor Simon Richardson resigning earlier this year and two members of the Lismore City Council resigning towards the end of 2020.
The weekend’s announcement was short on detail but came as thousands of people protested against lock-down rules in Sydney, sparking fears of further COVID-19 outbreaks.
Some experts have predicted lock-downs in Sydney could be necessary until as far away as December thanks to a lack of vaccine availability and the fact most people in outbreak-areas work essential jobs that can’t be done from home.
The NSW government has said most workers in the worst-affected areas of Sydney are under sixty and have therefore, up until recently, been advised against taking the more widely available Astra Zenecca shot.
The local government minister has also delayed any local government by-elections until 4 December.
The only exception in the minister’s latest directive is the Central Coast Council, which is due to have an election on 8 June next year, having already had an election postponed by twelve months last month.