Media Release – Labor Calls For Local Council Elections To Be Postponed Due To COVID-19 Concerns – Cessnock

GREG WARREN MP  – LABOR SHADOW MINISTER FOR LOCAL GOVERNMENT

CLAYTON BARR MP  – STATE MEMBER FOR THE ELECTORATE OF CESSNOCK, LABOR SHADOW MINISTER FOR THE HUNTER

NSW Labor has called on the Berejiklian Government to postpone the Cessnock City Council elections scheduled in September due to concerns regarding COVID-19.

The pandemic has forced the cancellation of many large events and Labor believes it makes sense for council elections to follow suit.

Shadow Minister for Local Government Greg Warren said the health and welfare of the community should be the priority.

Mr Warren said delaying the elections by six months until March 2021, or by one year if needed, would be a sensible and practical solution.

“This is not about taking away the democratic right of residents to vote for their council representatives, this is simply about prioritising the health and safety of communities throughout our state” Mr Warren said.

“Aside from the obvious risks posed by mass gatherings, the risks posed by and to candidates whilst out and about could also compromise the health and safety of many in Cessnock, Kurri Kurri and surrounding areas.”

Clayton Barr MP, State Member for Cessnock said delaying the elections would ensure the health and wellbeing of residents and candidates in Cessnock City area was not compromised unnecessarily.

“This is a sensible and practical solution in the name of public safety during what is an unprecedented and unpredictable time.

Mr Barr added: “There are more pressing matters for our community to focus on in the short-term.”

“We all need to be extra vigilant and make some tough decisions in order to protect our local community here in the Cessnock Electorate.”