Cessnock councillor Suellen Wrightson has resigned, bringing the number of current Cessnock councillors who will not contest the next local election to six.
Ms Wrightson is the Palmer United Party’s Senate candidate for NSW, and has resigned in order to abide by Section 44 in the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution.
The section states that a member of either the upper or lower house is disqualified if they hold “any office of profit under the Crown”.
The Ward C representative said she was conscious when resigning that the next council election was only three months away, meaning there would be no need for a by-election at taxpayers’ expense.
Ms Wrightson said she was disappointed that she had to resign but that she had enjoyed working alongside the other councillors.
She said she would continue to campaign as a community member on behalf of residents about issues such as flooding in Greta.
Ms Wrightson had served one term on council, having been elected as a Liberal Party representative in 2012. She switched her alliance to the PUP the following year, when she ran as the party’s number three candidate for the Senate.
Liberal councillor Bryce Gibson has also announced he will not contest the next council election.
The single-term councillor said he was not running in order to focus on his family and real-estate business.
Labor councillors Morgan Campbell, Graham Smith and Catherine Parsons and former Liberal-turned-independent councillor Cordelia Troy will not to re-contest their positions.
Cr Troy is running as an independent candidate for the seat of Hunter at the federal election on July 2.
Elections for NSW councils not subject to amalgamation or merger proposals (including Cessnock City Council) will be held on September 10 – just 10 weeks after the federal election.
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