Vot­ers urged to have say

’Not enough’ ad­ver­tis­ing spurs fears for low turnout of vot­ers

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - NEWS -

BLACK­TOWN Coun­cil can­di­dates fear a low turnout at Satur­day’s elec­tion as voter ap­a­thy and con­fu­sion con­spire to keep res­i­dents away.

La­bor can­di­date for Ward 1 Chris Quilkey said many peo­ple he met on the hus­tings seemed un­aware there was a lo­cal gov­ern­ment elec­tion in Black­town.

“I’m stand­ing out­side the pre-poll now and peo­ple are see­ing the posters there and say­ing, ‘Is there an elec­tion on? We didn’t know’,” he said.

Not all NSW coun­cils are hold­ing elec­tions on Satur­day. Those coun­cils forced to merge will hold elec­tions next year.

Mr Quilkey said the merg­ers had caused con­fu­sion and there had not been enough ad­ver­tis­ing to in­form res­i­dents they needed to vote.

Ward 1 Lib­eral can­di­date Jess Diaz said July’s Fed­eral Elec­tion caused some con­fu­sion.

“A lot of peo­ple say they just voted in the fed­eral elec­tion, so they’re con­fused about that’,” she said.

A NSW Elec­toral Com­mis­sion spokesman said no­tice of elec­tion ad­ver­tise­ments had been placed in press, ra­dio and on­line.

“For postal and pre-polling, which we’re in now, there’s been on­line, so­cial and ra­dio ad­ver­tis­ing,” he said.

“That will be fol­lowed by re­minder to vote ads in the fi­nal week in press, ra­dio and on­line.”

De­spite the up­heaval of re­cent months, with forced merg­ers and le­gal chal­lenges, elec­tions of 81 coun­cils will go ahead, in­clud­ing Black­town and Pen­rith.

Badgerys Creek air­port cur­fews, the pro­posed in­cin­er­a­tor at East­ern Creek, gen­eral overde­vel­op­ment and pre­serv­ing re­cre­ational ar­eas are some of the key top­ics the com­mu­nity has high­lighted as it de­cides on whom to give its vote.

Across NSW, vot­ers will be forced to sift through 1600 in­de­pen­dent can­di­dates.

The Lib­er­als have en­dorsed 107 can­di­dates, ALP 92, and 67 are stand­ing for Coun­try La­bor.

Black­town Mayor Stephen Bali gets hands-on at the re­cent open­ing of Black­town Tennis Cen­tre. Pic­ture: Jess Hus­band

Pen­rith’s Todd Car­ney.

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