Swings against Liberal party candidates in the weekend’s council elections were a backlash against the state government, former Dubbo mayor Mathew Dickerson said.
Dubbo residents were among millions not required to vote in local government elections, but elsewhere in the state voters turned out in force.
Liberal councillors lost seats in Penrith and Campbelltown, while Labor reportedly enjoyed an 11 per cent swing in Blacktown.
Mr Dickerson said “there’s no doubt in my mind” the results were a backlash against the state government.
Forced amalgamations and the greyhound racing ban would have been on a lot of people’s minds, Mr Dickerson said, but the anger and frustration went further.
“I think it's the fact that we think we’re really starting to lose the democracy that we all believe in,” he said.
“The symptoms of that are a range of items, we’ve seen that in the amalgamations, we’ve seen that with the greyhounds, with poles and wires, the lock-out laws in Sydney.
“Decisions are being made with really little consultation, minimal regard for the community and I think people are expressing that in the vote and that’s the only power people still have left.”
Labor also benefited from swings in the Hunter, the Blue Mountains, Liverpool, Camden and Sutherland, with state Labor leader Luke Foley claiming similar swings in the state election would deliver victory to Labor.
But Mr Dickerson said the same backlash would not be seen in Dubbo, where councillors don’t typically stand on party platforms.
He said it was a shame the state government would not be accountable to voters until 2019.
“They’re doing things with little regard and hope that people forget about the decisions,” he said.
“But I hope that people remember the contempt with which the electorates across the entire state have been treated.”
Deputy Premier and Dubbo MP Troy Grant declined to comment.
The National Party does not field or run candidates at local government elections.