State’s councils enter caretaker mode as delayed elections near

By Jackson Graham

November 5, 2021

local elections
NSW’s local government offices won’t be able to make any major policy decisions over the next four weeks heading into the December 4 elections. (Glenys/Adobe)

NSW’s local councils are entering caretaker mode as candidates ramp up their campaigns to join city and shire halls. 

The elections usually occur every four years but were postponed in 2020 due the COVID-19 pandemic.  

The state’s local government offices won’t be able to make any major policy decisions over the next four weeks heading into the December 4 elections. 

All except four of NSW’s 128 councils are taking part in the election. 

Council officers have planned to avoid passing any major decisions during the caretaker period, in a move that prevents any outgoing councils burdening new councils with last-minute decisions. 

The caretaker mode limits councils from entering into any contract or agreement worth $150,000 or more, or 1% of the council’s revenue from rates in the past financial year. 

Local government offices also can’t appoint or appoint the council’s general manager — although temporary appointments are allowed — or decide on a controversial development where at least 25 people have made submissions during consultation. 

Thirty-five of the councils are also having mayoral elections in addition to elections for councillors. 

Nominations for council candidates opened on October 25 and candidates had until midday on November 3 to place a hit in the ring. 

Voting is compulsory with about 5.2 million people across the state expected to cast a ballot.


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