NSW local government elections postponed until at least September 2021 due to COVID-19 pandemic

The NSW Government has postponed the September 2020 local government elections until by at least 12 months due to the risks associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.

This means Cessnock's current councillors will continue to hold office until the ordinary election is held.

Cessnock mayor Bob Pynsent said he remains committed to advocating for the community.

"I will continue to work hard for our community. We're currently experiencing difficult times," he said.

"It's hard for many of us to stay positive and see a way out

"I will look for every opportunity that will allow our community to recover from this."

Minister for Local Government, Shelley Hancock said the State Government had made the "regrettable" decision to postpone the elections.

"Local government elections are a vital part of the democratic process, ensuring local councils are accountable to their local communities," Ms Hancock said.

"Therefore, 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.

"The decision follows Parliament passing amendments to the Local Government Act to provide me with the power to postpone the elections.

"The NSW Electoral Commissioner has also requested that the Government postpone the council elections.

"This decision provides certainty for local councils, communities and election candidates."

The Local Government Act 1993 has been amended to confer on the Minister a time-limited power to postpone council elections.

The amendment, which operates for only a limited period of 12 months, allows the Minister by an order published in the Gazette, to postpone elections for 12 months from the date of the order.

The order may be extended for an additional period to December 31 in the year after the order is made.

The postponement of the next election will not change the future schedule of council elections, and the subsequent election will still proceed in September 2024.