COVID-19: Parkes Shire Council extends its mayoral and deputy terms for 12 months

EXTENDED: Parkes' Deputy Mayor Barbara Newtown and Mayor Ken Keith OAM will remain in their leadership roles for another 12 months. Photo: Submitted
EXTENDED: Parkes' Deputy Mayor Barbara Newtown and Mayor Ken Keith OAM will remain in their leadership roles for another 12 months. Photo: Submitted

With the NSW Local Government Elections postponed until September next year, Parkes' Mayor Ken Keith OAM and Deputy Mayor Barbara Newton will remain in their leadership roles for another 12 months.

The council elections were scheduled to take place this September but the NSW Government decided in March to postpone them to address the risks posed by the COVID-19 virus.

All councils have now had their terms extended by 12 months.

And so too councils like Parkes, who follow the recently introduced procedure of electing mayors and deputy mayors for a two-year term, must carry an additional election for an extended 12-month period.

At its ordinary monthly meeting on September 15, Parkes Shire Council maintained its executive leadership, returning Cr Keith and Cr Newton to their positions of mayor and deputy mayor.

Cr Keith celebrates his 13th year as mayor in 2020, with Cr Newton marking her sixth year as deputy.

"It is a really humbling experience to be mayor of this Shire and I am honoured to be able to carry out that role for another year," Cr Keith said.

"I would like to thank my fellow councillors for their support and the roles they play, this is a wonderful team.

"Everyone in Parkes Shire Council carries out their roles with passion and desire to benefit the whole community.

"I would particularly like to thank the deputy mayor Cr Newton, for her support of me.

"There are a lot of things to be done. It is a very exciting but very challenging time for the community at the moment.

"But I think we are laying the foundations for a wonderful future for the Parkes Shire."

Cr Newtown admitted during her acceptance speech that due to the extension of the term, she did "think long and hard" about renominating and thanked the mayor for his support in this decision.

"I would like to thank the council, it is very much a privilege to be deputy mayor for this council," she said.

"I think we are a wonderful council and I think all councillors are great contributors to the work of council ...And this is why our council does such a great job."

The postponement of the next election to September 2021 will not change the future schedule of council elections, and the subsequent election will still proceed in September 2024.

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