Next local election could cost extra $513,000

NEXT year’s local government elections could cost Cumberland an extra $513,000.

A review of the costs of conducting local government elections carried out by the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART), has proposed moving to cost-reflective pricing.
That would see Cumberland’s bill for the 2020 local government elections, increase by an estimated 64 per cent compared to elections held in 2016.
IPART’s draft report noted that submissions received from dozens of councils were overwhelmingly concerned that the move to cost-reflective prices for the NSWEC’s services would not be affordable, at least in the short term.
While Cumberland didn’t make a submission, general manager Hamish McNulty says they strongly believe that any additional administrative costs should not be shifted onto councils, as this will ultimately impact the provision of services to the local community.
He said the cost of the first Cumberland election following amalgamations in 2016, was $887,000 which included a poll of electors estimated at 10 per cent of the overall election cost.
“It is difficult to offer a composite view prior to this period,” Mr McNulty said.
“Election costs associated with the former Auburn and Holroyd councils (excluding the Woodville ward of the former Parramatta City Council) amounted to approximately $650,000 in 2012.”
Since 2011, councils have had the option of contracting the NSW Electoral Commission (NSWEC) or a private provider to administer their elections, but Mr McNulty says the council won’t decide who will run the next election until after IPART releases its final report at the end of this month.