Voters head to the polls

Local council elections are this Saturday and voters will head to polls to have a say on who should be on the next Snowy Valleys Council.

A big field of 21 candidates are vying for the nine seats, giving voters plenty of choice.

That’s in stark contrast to last time around, when candidates outnumbered the seats available by just one.

There’s a large contingent from the Tumbarumba area, while candidates are also spread across Batlow, Adelong, Talbingo and Tumut.

The council’s financial woes have been front and centre during the campaign, with Snowy Valleys recording deficits and flagging a 38 per cent rates hike.

Current councillors have at the same time defended the council’s record during its inaugural term, noting the completion of infastructure projects as a highlight.

Pre-poll voting is already open at the RSL Memorial Hall in Tumbarumba and the Tumut CWA building.

On election day, the Tumbarumba High School is the place to vote, along with Khancoban Visitor Centre, Rosewood Public School,  Batlow Technology, Talbingo Public, Tumut Public and Tumut High schools, and Adelong S and C Club.

Technology assisted voting, or iVote, will also be available until election day and will operate in the same way it does for State elections. Information on iVote can be found at: www.elections.nsw.gov.au/Voters/Online-voting-iVote

Due to the Covid pandemic, the State Government said it had no choice but to postpone elections to December 4 to ensure the health and safety of voters, candidates and election staff. The decision was based on advice from NSW Health and the NSW Electoral Commission.

Voters are reminded absentee voting is not available at local government elections, and they must vote in their local government area or ward.

Voting is compulsory for all enrolled electors and there are penalties for not voting.

All polling places will be run in line with Covid election guidelines including physical distancing, mask wearing, single-use pens and queue management. Signage and staff will direct voters to check in and comply with NSW Health advice.

The candidates are: John Larter (Mundongo), Kane Stewart (Tumbarumba), Johanna (Hansie) Armour (Bookham), Michael Ivill (Bombowlee), Julia Ham (Oberne Creek), Colin Agate (Batlow), James Hayes (Adelong), Sam Hughes (Batlow), Kenneth Dale (Maragle), Trina Thomson (Tumut), Ian Chaffey (Tumbarumba), Gordon Kelso (Burra), Michael Barton (Wondalga), Brent Livermore (Tumbarumba), Michael Inglis (Little River), Caitlin Larter (Mundongo), Kevin Gee (Talbingo), James Metcalf (Tumbarumba), Martin Brown (Tumbarumba) Marjory Tomlinson (Batlow), Andrianna Benjamin (Mundongo).

The Times invited candidates to provide submissions on why they should get your vote – see inside starting page 4.