OPINION

St George Matters with Chris Minns: Leave decision on Carrs Park to the next council

Chris Minns
Chris Minns

In a little more than three months, nominations for local government elections will open. The polling day is Saturday September 4, after which a new Georges River Council will be sworn in.

These elections were delayed for a year due to COVID-19. Suspending elections is a very serious decision. Our democracy and our right to vote is what keeps Australia free and ensures our elected representatives are accountable to the people.

The year-long delay means our current local government councillors are serving a fifth year when they were only elected for four. This is unprecedented in Australia's history and raises serious questions about how these local councillors should behave.

Specifically, they should leave the decision on the future of Carss Park Pool and Todd Park to the properly and democratically elected council that will take office in September.

Georges River Council should refrain from taking controversial decisions and act as if it was in 'caretaker' mode. The Local Government rules state that during a 'caretaker period' a Council must not determine any development with 25 or more objectors.

So this Council has no moral authority to decide the future of Carss Park Pool or Todd Park when 10,000 people have signed a petition and 2,000 have signed a pledge opposing what is proposed for both sites.

There are some on Council who do not want to wait until the people have had their say at an election.

Fortunately, our right to vote will return this September and the future of Carss Park Pool and Todd Park will be the biggest election issues.