The NSW government should amend legislation to allow Shellharbour residents to directly elect their mayor, according to Shellharbour MP Anna Watson.
In light of the resignation of Shellharbour Deputy Mayor Paul Rankin from the Liberal Party amid claims of deals with the Greens and the interference of Liberal MPs, Section 7 of the Local Government (Shellharbour and Wollongong Elections) Bill 2011 should be immediately amended to permit the direct election of the mayoral position in Shellharbour, she said.
“The debacle in the southern Illawarra Liberal Party over the Shellharbour council mayoral position and the revelations by Cr Rankin detailing the political interference of two Liberal Party MPs places an obligation on the Minister for Local Government Don Page to amend the legislation,’’ Ms Watson said.
Shellharbour’s mayor should be elected by its residents, she said.
“This was the method of electing the mayoral position prior to the political interference of the O’Farrell government.
“The government sought to cynically gerrymander the local election system in Shellharbour council to capitalise on the controversy of the previously sacked administration.’’