Media Release: Call for Potential Candidates

12 May 2017

The call has gone out for community-minded individuals to help restore local democracy to NSW councils forcibly amalgamated by the Baird Government in 2016, Local Government NSW (LGNSW) said today.
LGNSW President Keith Rhoades issued the call for potential candidates to stand in the September 9 Local Government elections scheduled for all amalgamated councils, as well as a range of councils still slated for amalgamation by the Berejiklian Government.
“September 9 is not a long way off when it comes to getting across all the issues in local communities and putting a campaign together,” Clr Rhoades said.
“Now is a really great time to start gearing up for the restoration of local democracy.”
Clr Rhoades was speaking on the one-year anniversary of the mass sackings of elected representatives in the metropolitan, regional and rural councils forcibly amalgamated by the Baird Government.
 “It was a really difficult time, especially for many who had devoted years, even decades to their local communities,” Clr Rhoades said.
“A lot of these people have continued to work tirelessly on behalf of their communities even though they are no longer serving councillors.
“I am confident that those who stand for council on September 9 will recognise the importance of local government as the democratic voice of local communities.”
Clr Rhoades said LGNSW was working with councils who want to candidate briefing sessions similar to those run before previous local government elections.
“These programs are designed to give anyone interested in becoming a councillor a better understanding of the role and responsibilities they would have as an elected member of council, he said.  
“I would encourage anyone thinking of standing on September 9  to contact their local council and enquire about any potential candidate sessions they may be running, so they can make the right decision for them, and for the community.”
Clr Rhoades said the sessions usually covered:
  • a typical council structure, and the importance of diverse representation
  • challenges of the role and how to meet them
  • importance of speaking out on key issues and how to do this confidently
  • meeting procedures and rules of debate
  • support available including information and networks
  • introduction to local government jargon and what it means
“Councillors play a critical role in giving the community a voice on day-to-day life in their area, and I welcome  a return to local democracy in these amalgamated areas,” he said.
Media Enquiries
LGNSW President, Cr Keith Rhoades: 0408 256 405
Media, Toni Allan: 0412 774 441