Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Clarence Valley Council votes to abandon referendum on creating a popularly elected mayor - for now

Clarence Valley Council media release, 27 January 2015:

Council votes against February poll

PEOPLE eligible to vote in Clarence Valley Council elections will no longer be required to go to the polls on February 21.

A by-election was to be held on that date to fill a position left vacant by the death of Cr Jeremy Challacombe, who died with his wife Sue in a motor vehicle crash on the Pacific Highway last year.

A constitutional referendum was to be held at the same time to determine if the mayor was to be elected by popular vote or by a vote of his or her peers.

But when Arthur Lysaught was the only person to nominate for the vacant councillor position, he was declared elected and there was no need for a by-election.

Mayor, Cr Richie Williamson, said the referendum was to be held in conjunction with the by-election to save costs but when the by-election became unnecessary, the cost of a stand-alone referendum
was not justified.

At an extraordinary meeting late today, council determined it would not proceed with the referendum.

Cr Williamson said the decision was the right one.

“This decision has saved ratepayers many thousands of dollars,” he said.

The council’s decision does not affect the State election, planned for March 28.

For media inquiries contact:
David Bancroft Communications Coordinator 6643 0230

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