WHAT'S ON

Information sessions for 2021 Parkes Local Government elections are on this month

Preparations are underway for the 2021 Local Government elections.
Preparations are underway for the 2021 Local Government elections.

There's less than three months until the 2021 Local Government elections, allowing anyone who's passionate about what happens in their community the opportunity to make a difference.

Five Parkes Shire residents have already registered their intention to stand for election for Parkes Shire Council on September 4 - three of them new faces and two councillors looking to serve their second term.

Cr Bill Jayet and Cr Neil Westcott are the two currently serving councillors who have officially indicated they will be re-standing, while Central West Lachlan Landcare coordinator Marg Applebee, retired Parkes SES controller Phil Snow and Trundle Central School principal John Southon are the new faces.

There are three current councillors who plan to not re-stand in this election - Deputy Mayor Barbara Newton who has served for 17 years and Cr Pat Smith who has served for 13 years, both are retiring, with Cr Wally Biles stepping down after one term.

There are 10 councillor positions on Parkes Shire Council, with one term usually served over four years.

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But because of the COVID-19 pandemic, last year's elections were postponed for 12 months and councillors elected this year will hold for a three-year term.

Becoming a councillor can be a rewarding opportunity to make decisions that help people in the community, influence long-term visions and learn new skills such as leadership, public speaking and advocacy.

Council will be hosting an information session for people interested in standing as a candidate, to take place in the Council Chambers at 2 Cecile Street, Parkes on Monday, June 28 and will be facilitated by Local Government NSW.

This program will enable those interested in becoming a councillor to gain a better understanding of the role and responsibilities as an elected member of council.

The workshop will include:

  • The benefits and importance of local government;
  • Understanding the role of council and the role of the councillor;
  • A typical council structure;
  • Challenges of the role and how to meet them;
  • The importance of diverse representation on council;
  • Importance of speaking out on key issues and how to do this confidently;
  • An introduction to meeting procedures and rules of debate;
  • Support available including information and networks; and
  • Introduction to local government jargon and what it means.

Council also plans to hold its own specific information sessions, with dates yet to be confirmed.

For more information on being a councillor, visit the Office of Local Government (OLG) website www.olg.nsw.gov.au or Local Government NSW (LGNSW) website www.lgnsw.org.au.

Those wishing to stand for election for Parkes Shire Council can register their intention now by completing a 'register to start campaigning' form with the NSW Electoral Commission.

A Returning Officer has been appointed to run the election for Parkes, Forbes and Lachlan local government areas. Their office will be at the former Currajong Disability Centre at 32 Welcome Street, Parkes, opening on July 12.

Some key dates for the elections are:

  • June 28 - Online nomination system opens for candidates.
  • July 26 July - Lodgement of nominations opens.
  • August 4 - Close of nominations (12 noon), close of registration for candidates and groups, registration of electoral material opens.
  • August 5 - Ballot paper draw (commences 10am).
  • August 23 - Pre-polling voting opens; iVote registrations and voting opens.
  • August 27 - Close of registration of electoral material (5pm), close of registration for third-party campaigners.
  • August 30 - Postal vote applications close (5pm).
  • September 3 - Pre-poll voting closes (6pm).
  • September 4 - Election day, polling places open 8am to 6pm.
  • September 6 - Return of postal votes closes (6pm).

The Coventry Room at the Parkes Shire Library and Cultural Centre will be open from August 23 for pre polling.

For more information on how to nominate and register as a candidate, election campaign finances as well as funding and disclosure obligations, visit the NSW Electoral Commission (NSWEC) website www.elections.nsw.gov.au.

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