Podcast #62: NSW council election results


Ben was joined by Osmond Chiu for the final episode of 2021 to discuss the results of the NSW council elections. We ran through a few of the more interesting big councils, as well as the interesting referendum and plebiscite results.

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  1. Great podcast Ben.
    Just a point of notice on your and Osmond’s Inner West Council analysis. Doesn’t the result largely become irrelevant if the referendum to de-amalgamate was successful?
    Will voters need to go back to the polls again or when does the split actually occur?

    Also re: Ryde, given the popularly elected mayor referendum was successful, when does that kick in? Next election or do they have another election subsequent to this one?

  2. Whether the deamalgamation of the Inner West occurs will be up to the Minister for Local Government. The poll result (as distinct from a referendum as it was not binding) will determine whether the council submits a case to the Boundaries Commission who will then make a recommendation to the Minister as even Labor has said it will respect the result. The Minister can decide to accept or reject it, accepting it meaning there won’t be another vote, but so far the Minister has rejected the cases from rural councils.

    The question will be if the Minister rejects it but in 2023, there is a change of government which then introduces legislation to allow binding referendums to deamalgamate that do not depend on Ministerial discretion. That might mean another vote.

  3. It’ll be quite some time before any deamalgamation takes place.

    The changes to the electoral system (like the mayoral system for Ryde) will kick in at the 2024 election.

  4. Thanks Ben

    @Osmond don’t like the chances of the referendum getting approved then if it requires Ministerial sign off.
    I think Perrottet will get comfortably re-elected and given the amount of money they forked out for a new library at Marrickville and other service upgrades, I think the de-merger movement was always doomed from the start.
    Wouldn’t be surprised if Byrne and Co start knocking down the old town halls, similar to what they did in Canada Bay, to stymie any action on splitting the councils up again.

    Next step will be a popularly elected mayor and once that happens, no one will want to de-merge, as they would want to be Mayor of a super council over a municipal one

  5. Ben, just got round to listening to this Podcast – in the main it was an informative.

    However near the end you made a comment that continued a trend of theorising that the Greens will supplant the ALP in areas where the ALP can’t win, and therefore don’t try anymore. You referred to “other areas of the North Shore”. Although they are small Councils and therefore not currently covered by you, I’d ask you to look at the results in Lane Cove and North Sydney – the definition of the lower north shore. The Greens are a rabble in these areas and there is increasing evidence that the ALP can be competitive.

    A little research into how this has come about might be in order, if you want to keep repeating the theory repeated in the podcast – it might be true in the majority of situations, but not everywhere.

  6. I don’t remember the exact context but I’m sure I didn’t say it as a universal fact, just something that may happen. And probably not everywhere.

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