September's council elections have been deferred for a year in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
Local Government Minister Shelley Hancock announced the change this week following legislative amendments.
"The decision to postpone them has not been taken lightly but is necessary to ensure the health and safety of voters, NSW Electoral Commission staff and election candidates," Ms Hancock advised City of Sydney chief executive Monica Barone.
The NSW Electoral Commission also called for the deferral.
The amendments to the Local Government Act allow for councils to postpone the poll for 12 months, with a possible further extension until the end of 2021.
The election was due to be held on September 12.
Several Goulburn Mulwaree councillors intended to stand down this year, including Andrew Banfield, Denzil Sturgiss and Alfie Walker.
Cr Banfield, who was elected in 2008, previously said it was time to give others a chance but on Thursday he was having second thoughts, given the developments.
"If we need to go for another year, so be it," he said.
"I'm happy enough to do that because this (coronavirus response) is not about the individual, but the whole community. It would be extremely selfish not to because it's a nationwide crisis."
Cr Banfield said the extra year could also give him time to change his mind, particularly if the pandemic affected the progress of major projects on the books. These included the Performing Arts Centre and Aquatic Centre redevelopment. He wanted to prevent any chance of a up to five new councillors vetoing them.
"They're an important part of our project planning and I'm happy to see them advance," he said.
Mayor Bob Kirk said he had previously questioned whether the election should be held in September, due to the pandemic.
"Nominations were due to open in July and it seemed to me that assumed everything would be resolved by then," he said.
"I thought the sensible thing was to extend the current council term and that has happened."
He too will re-nominate for the council and re-stand as Mayor this September.
Meantime, council meetings will be slightly adjusted to comply with social distancing rules and to give flexibility. Councillors will be set apart, given the option of joining via video-link, and numbers in the room will be restricted. There will be no public gallery but people can view proceedings on the live-stream. Media is permitted. Meals will not be served to councillors and staff.
Most of Cr Kirk's engagements have been cancelled. Communications will be via phone or video-link.
Cr Denzil Sturgiss has taken a leave of absence due to ill-health. He said he was undergoing melanoma treatment on his legs but expected to beat it and could serve on the council for another year.
"I think it's a good idea to defer the elections. Queensland should have done the same," he said.
Come September, he will have served 21 years in local government.
General manager Warwick Bennett has strongly advocated electronic voting, as has existed in New Zealand for many years.
"However, the fact that the elections have been deferred is irrelevant to our need to transfer to electronic voting," he said in a statement.
"No election of any format could be held under the current circumstances."
At the most recent meeting, councillors decided that Goulburn Mulwaree would share a returning officer with Upper Lachlan and Yass Valley Councils. The poll, run by the NSW Electoral Commission, was expected to cost $213,000.
Councillors also called for an "access friendly" facility, given complaints about the pre-poll at Saint Saviour's hall at the 2016 poll.
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Local Government NSW president Linda Scott said the election deferral would "provide certainty to communities in uncertain times."
"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," she said.
Cr Scott said a small number of elected leaders might need to stand down and LGNSW would work with councils to support them during any necessary transition periods.
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