Member for Orange, Philip Donato MP is calling on the NSW Government to reinstate council elections and hold them this year.
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In March, Local Government Minister Shelley Hancock announced council elections, originally set down for September 2020, would be postponed 12 months due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mr Donato said holding elections this year was vital "so that local communities' democratic voice is returned and they can elect representatives to initiate recovery and renewal".
"Many local communities across regional NSW have suffered economic ravages from years of devastating drought, unprecedented bushfires and now COVID-19," Mr Donato said.
"Their financial rebuild requires the input of community, and that their voices be heard.
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"I'm calling on Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Minister for Local Government, Shelley Hancock, to reinstate a 2020 date for Local Government elections and restore the democratic voice to our local communities," said Mr Donato.
Mr Donato said the decision to postpone the elections was made with "unnecessary haste".
"To delay democracy for a whole year will delay economic healing and development, such a lengthy delay is unnecessary and no longer justifiable," he said.
"We have the capability to conduct elections in a safe manner, by following health advice and adhering to social distancing at booths.
"Postal or electronic voting may now play an increasing part in how we all vote.
"As we emerge from COVID restrictions to restore life in our towns and villages, our communities need renewed leadership to bring about positive change.
"As we emerge from restrictions the people want to have their say about what happens in their hometowns.
"As public health order restrictions continue to ease, there is no further need of delaying Local Government elections, and locals having their say in who is elected is an important part of how communities cohere and how they will recover post-COVID."
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