In March this year, the Minister for Local Government announced that the NSW Local Government Elections that were scheduled for September 2020 would be postponed to address the risks posed by the COVID-19 virus and that all Councils would have their terms extended by twelve months.
As a result, Councils like Parkes who follow the recently introduced procedure of electing Mayors and Deputy Mayors for a two-year term must carry an additional election for an extended twelve-month period.
At its meeting on the 15 September Parkes Shire Council maintained the executive leadership, returning Councillors Ken Keith OAM and Barbara Newton to the positions of Mayor and Deputy Mayor, respectively.
In 2020, Councillor Keith celebrates his 13th year in the position, with Councillor Newton marking her 6th year as Deputy.
Parkes Shire Mayor, Councillor Keith OAM said, “It is a really humbling experience to be Mayor of this Shire and I am honoured to be able to carry out that role for another year. I would like to thank my fellow Councillors for their support and the roles that they play, this is a wonderful team".
"Everyone in Parkes Shire Council carries out their roles with passion and desire to benefit the whole community"
" I would particularly like to thank the Deputy Mayor Cr Newton, for her support of me. There are a lot of things to be done. It is a very exciting but very challenging time for the community at the moment. But I think we are laying the foundations for a wonderful future for the Parkes Shire".
Parkes Shire Deputy Mayor, Cr Barbara Newtown admitted during her acceptance speech that due to the extension of the term she did have to think long and hard about renominating and she thanked the Mayor for his support in this decision.
She went on to say, "I would like to thank the Council, it is very much a privilege to be Deputy Mayor for this Council"
"I think we are a wonderful Council and I think all Councillors are great contributors to the work of Council … and this is why our Council does such a great job".
The postponement of the next election to September 2021 will not change the future schedule of council elections, and the subsequent election will still proceed in September 2024.