We have elections for Penrith City Council, Blue Mountains City Council and Hawkesbury City Council on 10 September 2016. If you want to check if you have to vote or who you are voting for then go to this link and enter your suburb.
Local Councillors are elected for four years, federal politicians in the House of Representatives are elected for three years. It just so happens that the years coincide at the moment, and so we can experience the joy of two elections in two months.
You might be asking yourself what does my Local Council do? The powers given to local councils are decided by the State (or Territory) governments. The States essentially have power to do everything that isn’t given to the federal government by our Constitution. The State’s powers and therefore the Local Council’s powers could potentially be quite wide.
Typically Local Councils deal with:
- planning and zoning issues
- rubbish collection
- local roads and footpaths and other infrastructure like sewerage, drainage, boat ramps, public toilets and picnic areas
- libraries, community centres and recreation facilities
If you are wondering what counts as a local road in Penrith, Roads and Maritime Services (that is the State Government) are responsible for major roads, including the M4, Great Western Highway, Cranebrook Road, Elizabeth Drive, Erskine Park Road, Mamre Road and Mulgoa Road, including traffic signals, school zone and 50km/h signs and regulatory signs. What is left over are local roads.