After being postponed twice due to COVID-19, voters will finally head to the polls today to vote in the Local Government Elections.
Voting in these elections is compulsory and carries a fine of $55 for failure to do so.
COVID restrictions meant for the first time, voters could vote early without having to provide a reason. Postal voting eligibility was also extended for the first time in council elections.
A number of health and safety measures will be in place at booths. We’re being advised to check in via the QR Codes, wear a mask, use hand sanitiser and bring our own pen to vote. Unvaccinated people are permitted to vote in person.
Each local government area has different council wards, of which residents belong to one of them. Voters will need to vote within their own wards. To find out what ward you belong to and places to vote, visit the NSW Electoral Commission website.
Local Government Minister Shelley Hancock says exercising your democratic right to vote is an important responsibility.
“The days of local government being just roads, rates and rubbish are long gone. Local councils employ more than 48,000 people and spend more than $12 billion a year on infrastructure, facilities and services.
“They manage assets worth $178 billion and maintain 168,000km of roads and 109,000ha of open space.
“That is why it is so important to know what your local candidates stand for and how they intend to make your local community a better place,” Ms Hancock said.