NEW South Wales Local Government elections scheduled for Saturday, September 4, have been pushed back until December 4 because of the COVID pandemic.

Naturally that includes the Wentworth Shire elections on the NSW side of Sunraysia.

Minister for Local Government Shelley Hancock said the decision, after extensive consultation with and advice from the NSW Electoral Commission and NSW Health, has been made in response to the COVID-19 situation.

“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,” Mrs Hancock said.

“We have taken this step to postpone the election to ensure the safety and well-being of our communities, voters, polling staff and candidates.”

The NSW Government has worked with the Electoral Commission and NSW Health to implement a comprehensive plan to allow voters to cast their ballot safely in person, by post or online.

iVote (electronic voting) will also be available for the first time in the local council elections and the NSW Government has implemented changes to pre-poll to ensure that voters have 13 days to cast their ballot, reducing congestion on polling day.

The NSW Government has made available a total of $57 million for the elections in 2021, including $37 million to deliver them in a COVID safe way.

In this election, 5.2 million voters will cast their ballots as around 5000 candidates vie for 1200 councillor positions across 125 local councils.

Nominations will open on Monday, October 25, and close on Wednesday, November 3.

Prospective candidates can find more information at the Office of Local Government website at www.olg.nsw.gov.au.