THE second postponement of council elections due to be held in September is probably not a bad thing for our region.
The election should have been held in September 2020 but was delayed for 12 months due to COVID.
But with the COVID outbreak in Sydney still far from under control, Local Government Minister Shelley Hancock confirmed last weekend the the elections would be delayed for another three months and are now set down for December 4.
It's not surprising.
Independent advocacy organisation Local Government NSW has urged the government to commit to holding "COVID safe" council elections before year's end.
"COVID safe local government elections must be held by the end of the year, to uphold democracy and ensure renewal," LGNSW President Linda Scott said.
"Public health and safety must always come first, but we do not want to reach a situation in which democracy delayed is democracy denied."
That's a blow for a growing list of candidates in our region who, over the past few weeks, have announced their intention to run for Dubbo Regional Council because it seriously disrupts their campaign plans.
Running for council takes a significant investment of both time and money and it's no accident that intending candidates tend to hold off making an announcement for as long as they can.
But now what most had planned to be a short, sharp two-month campaign has stretched out and that makes it extremely difficult for new candidates to maintain momentum on limited resources and with just small teams to support them.
New candidates traditionally face an uphill battle to win a spot on council and this latest setback will only make that challenge more difficult.
While for many in town the election can't come soon enough, given the tumult we've seen over the past few months, maybe a bit of stability is what we need before we head to the polls.
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