Shadow Minister for Local Government, Greg Warren MP, has condemned the NSW Government for using the pandemic to compromise the democratic right of voters to make educated and informed decisions.
The NSW Government has introduced a number of provisions which it claims are to ensure the safety of voters, candidates, staff and volunteers from the threat of COVID-19 while visiting polling places.
Those provisions were only meant to be used in the event of further COVID outbreaks in specific wards, suburbs and local government areas.
One of those provisions included setting a 100 metre barrier between candidates and volunteers handing out how to vote leaflets, and polling places.
Mr Warren said it was clear the NSW Government was motivated by political gain rather than the safety of communities.
“The Premier opened the gates to thousands of people for a horse race yet when it comes to local government elections, this government says it’s in the best interests of communities to tighten the reins,” Mr Warren said.
“Refusing to allow candidates and volunteers to distribute voting guides within 100 metres of polling places is an attack on the democratic right to make an informed decision about one’s local representatives.
“The Liberal and National brand has become toxic in this state and the government knows that.
“These measures for the upcoming Local Government elections have been introduced to limit the political damage to the brand of the Liberals and Nationals.
“Community safety is not the motivation for these measures.
“If it’s safe to go to a night club, surely it’s safe enough to stand outside a polling place on December 4.”