COUNCIL elections in NSW may not be held until the end of next year under legislation voted on in state Parliament yesterday.
Citizens had been due to elect new councils in September but under amendments the Local Government Minister will have the power to postpone elections for 12 months with a further extension to December 31, 2021 also possible.
The Local Government Act is also being changed to allow municipalities to hold official meetings electronically, so councillors do not have to be physically present.
Albury deputy mayor Amanda Cohn had called for a change to meeting rules to allow remote gatherings in a suite of measures to address COVID-19 that were debated at Monday night's meeting.
Council general manager Frank Zaknich told The Border Mail it would be possible for Albury to stage a meeting where every councillor joined in remotely and it was hoped a gathering slated for Easter Tuesday could be conducted in that fashion.
Albury mayor Kevin Mack said he did not expect council elections to be held until next March.
"There are higher priorities and to get that into play right now is not important," Cr Mack said.
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Rate relief for those hurting due to the coronavirus outbreak will be considered by the council.
"With that comes a whole range of issues," Cr Mack said.
"As a country and as a world, financially and economically this is going to take years to get over, so let's support the people now so we can sustain ourselves through this journey."
While accepting Cr Cohn's view that allowing Albury's libraries to remain open to provide internet access was reasonable, Cr Mack said he expected them to close at some point.
He suggested there could be some sort of delivery service run from the central library.
The Greater Hume, Indigo, Towong and Wodonga councils have all closed their libraries in response to the COVID-19 threat.
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