Clarence Valley Council By-election and Referendum Scrapped

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Plans for a Clarence Valley Council (CVC) by-election have been scrapped, along with an associated referendum.

The by-election and referendum were planned for February 21, 2015 to fill a council vacancy created by Jeremy Challacombe’s death, and to vote on a move to a popularly-elected Mayor.

Mr Challacombe was killed in a car accident last October.

Only one nomination for the by-election was received by the due date, meaning no election will be held.

Arthur Lysaught was the sole nominee, and will be sworn in as a Councillor to serve until the next full election in 2016.

Clarence Valley Mayor Richie Williamson said he is still committed to seeing the referendum on a popularly elected mayor held at some point.

He said he will seek to have the referendum held at the 2016 election.

“Certainly it’s something that I’ll ask of the Council beforehand, but it’s a little way off yet,” he said. “I’ve long been an advocate of asking the people, not only that but a range of questions.”

“But that’s one of the questions that I believe, ratepayers should have the chance to cast their vote on either way. I think it’s very important that the question is at least asked.”

Councillor Williamson said the cost of holding the referendum alone is too great.

“If the election was held the cost of the referendum was around $15,000 to $20,000,” he said. “If there was the referendum on its own, we’d have to bear the full cost – which I would assume was somewhere around $200,000.”

Source: ABC News

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