Yesterday the NSW Government announced that all local government elections scheduled for September would be postponed until September 2021.
"I sent a message to each councillor saying they'd need to recalculate the number of sleeps until retirement," Mayor Rhonda Hoban said.
Cr Hoban said it was a "sensible decision" by the State Government given the uncertainty of the coronavirus pandemic.
We don't know how long this will continue. We certainly don't want people congregating around a ballot box and risking the spread of infection.Mayor Rhonda Hoban
"I think everyone will understand the reasoning, and I don't think local elections will be a high priority for the community given everything else going on."
Local Government NSW President Linda Scott was grateful the government had acted swiftly.
"In light of the Minister's decision to delay local elections because of the COVID-19 crisis, I know all elected councillors will continue to work across political boundaries to pull together for the public good," Cr Scott said.
"Mayors and councillors are working hard to ensure good governance continues during the COVID-19 crisis and will continue to do so.
"When asked to serve for an additional year, I'm confident mayors and councillors will understand the need to provide stability and continuity of governance."
Cr Scott said a small number of elected leaders may need to stand down and LGNSW would work with councils to support them during any necessary periods of transitions.
"Councils are the closest level of government to the community, and we are only too aware of the need to keep our communities safe and healthy," Cr Scott said.
It is democracy that makes Australia the country it is, and while we should always be cautious about any action that has the potential to weaken that democracy or diminish the right of the community to have a say in their own lives, this change by the NSW Government is welcome at this time.