Council elections which had already been postponed by a full year, have now been pushed back a further four months, with December 4th set as the new election date.

Minister for Local Government Shelley Hancock, who announced the decision on Saturday said safety was the main reason for the decision to further delay.

“Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and current public health orders impacting Greater Sydney, we have made the difficult decision to postpone the local government elections until later this year.”

“We have taken this step to postpone the election to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our communities, voters, polling staff and candidates,” Hancock said.

The delay means outgoing Yass Valley Councillors Alison Harker, Geoff Frost, Michael McManus and Mayor Rowena Abbey will have to wait until December to leave the role. It also extends the election campaigns of the Yass Valley’s prospective councillors.

Potential candidate Cayla Pothan, recently declared her intention to run for election online.

“Being flexible is a new part of life in these times of living in a pandemic. I am both a little disappointed that the September elections have been moved back, and grateful to have more time talking to people, educating myself even more on the roles and responsibilities of council life,” she said.

The iVote electronic voting system will be implemented for the first time, and voters will have 13 days to cast their ballot, to avoid the risk of large crowds. This has caused many online to question the decision to further delay the elections, particularly in regional NSW which has had minimal cases at this stage.

Max O’Driscoll