Voters are going to the polls in the two NSW cities of Wollongong and Shellharbour to elect their local councils for the first time in over seven years.
Wollongong and Shellharbour city councils were sacked in mid 2008, shortly before the scheduled elections in September 2008. Both councils had suffered from corruption scandals which engulfed Labor councillors.
Prior to the sacking, both councils consisted of a directly-elected Mayor or Lord Mayor, and twelve councillors elected from six wards, using the block voting system which results in the same group winning both seats in each ward.
The Labor government had plans to wait until the scheduled council elections in September 2012 before restoring elected councils to the two council areas to the south of Sydney. The Coalition government quickly announced plans for elections in September 2011, and these elections will take place next weekend.
Wollongong is one of the largest councils in New South Wales, and is the focus of a substantial campaign, and I thought I would focus on the campaign in that area.