Referendum on Election Day 2016

Warragamba Panorama

Referendum on Election Day 2016

Posted on: 05.09.2016

Referendum on Election Day 2016

In conjunction with the Council elections on 10 September 2016, a constitutional referendum will be conducted to determine if Wollondilly wants to have a Popularly Elected Mayor and reduce the number of wards.

At present the Mayor is elected by Councillors for a term specified in the Local Government Act, whereas if Wollondilly moves to a Popularly Elected Mayor, the Mayor is elected for 4 years by the voting public. Electors will be asked to choose how the Mayor is elected and the number of wards.

The Constitutional Referendum will ask electors to vote ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ to this change. The majority decision on the question is binding on the Council and will apply from the next general election of the Council, scheduled for 2020.

 What this means

This means that on voting day each elector will have an additional voting paper with one question where they will be required to write a ‘Yes’ OR ‘No’ answer.

The ‘YES’ Case

  • Popular election of the Mayor excludes internal politics from the Mayoral Election.
  • A popularly elected Mayor can lead Council with considerable independence.
  • A popularly elected Mayor is elected by the people and as such is seen as the community’s elected leader.
  • Popular election of the Mayor enables the residents an opportunity to consider the candidates’ policies and vote accordingly thus providing the Mayor with an election mandate.
  • The possibility of the Mayor being elected “out of the hat” is avoided in the event that two or more Councillors receive equal votes.
  • A reduction in Wards will help to better manage any imbalance of elector numbers between Wards.

The ‘No’  Case

  • The elected Council should not have a leader imposed upon them with whom they may not be able to work cooperatively or constructively.
  • A change in leadership cannot occur during the term unless the Mayor resigns or dies and then a by-election is required.
  • Councillors are closest to their fellow Councillors and therefore have a greater appreciation of their capabilities and credentials to fulfil the role of Mayor.
  • Having a popularly elected Mayor increases the administrative costs of elections and by-elections.
  • A further Constitutional Referendum would be required if Council wished to return to the current system of election of Mayor.
  • Councillors will have larger ward areas, with greater population to represent


Authorised by L Johnson - General Manager
62-64 Menangle Street, Picton NSW 2571 | P: (02) 4677 1100
Printed: Wollondilly Shire Council, 62 – 64 Menangle St, PICTON 2527