Embargoed until 1am on 8 November 2021

Eurobodalla Labor for Council today reminded the community that caretaker provisions in place covering the 4 December election campaign are essential to ensure ratepayers and businesses are not obliged by the outgoing council to debts and contracts made without the community’s agreement.

Mayoral candidate David Grace said that during this caretaker period, the Eurobodalla Shire Council (ESC) cannot make any major policy decisions or allow councillors to inappropriately use resources during the election period

“Inappropriate decisions and actions by council during caretaker include things such as publishing or distributing election materials intended to influence someone’s vote,” Mr Grace said, “or entering into any contract or undertaking that involves an expenditure or receipt of more than $150,000 or 1% of the council’s revenue and rates.

“Determination of a ‘controversial’ Development Application or extension of an existing controversial DA — one for which at least 25 people have lodged objections – is also not allowed during caretaker.

“If residents believe for example a councillor standing for re-election is inappropriately using council resources, or a developer is extending the scope of work beyond the DA boundaries, we want to know about it because immediate action would need to be taken to stop this,” he said.

The caretaker period concludes at 6pm on election day — 4 December.

“The new council will not be responsible for making any decisions until at least its first official ordinary meeting after the election,” Mr Grace said.

“No ESC logos, letterhead, or other council branding can be used for, or linked in any way, to a candidate’s election campaign,” Mr Grace said.

“Also, councillors can not use their council-issued mobile phones, iPads, email addresses, or corporate clothing for election campaigning including in photos in brochures, flyers, on websites or how-to-vote cards,” he added.

Pre-polling commences 22 November and concludes on 3 December at three locations in the shire:

Narooma Sports and Leisure Centre, Batemans Bay Visitor Information Centre and at the RSL Hall in Moruya.

“Labor is campaigning on a range of integrity issues including restoring transparency to council decision-making processes; demonstrating full accountability by council staff, delegates and elected councillors; and ensuring full community engagement,” Mr Grace said.

“We’ll make council meetings more accessible so that all community voices can be heard, not just the loudest ones,” he said.

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