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The Clarence Greens have pre selected Clarence Valley councillor, Dr Greg Clancy (left), to contest the NSW election next year. He is pictured with Daniel Reid, the Greens candidate for the federal seat of Page. Image: Contributed

Greens councillor preselected for state election

Geoff Helisma |

Clarence Valley Council’s only political party-aligned councillor, Dr Greg Clancy, has won pre-selection to contest next year’s state election.

Dr Clancy defeated Will Elrick of Woombah in the Clarence Greens pre selection ballot.

“I look forward to working on the campaign with Will and the other members of the Greens to raise the important issues,” he said in a media release.“These include supporting public services such as TAFE, hospitals and national park management and retaining staff in the valley to deliver regional services.
“I am also keen to promote the need for a new high school in the Lower Clarence.
“Of course, protecting the environment is a key concern, as so much of our local economy relies on a healthy environment.
“I will be continuing to oppose gas mining and the proposed cobalt, antimony and gold mines in our catchments.
“I am looking forward to promoting the four pillars of the Greens … ecological sustainability, peace and non-violence, grassroots democracy and social justice.”

On the issue of remaining a councillor during the election campaign, Mr Clancy has obtained relevant written advice from the Office of Local Government (OLG).

The Local Government Act allows a councillor to contest a stage election provided they are “not absent from three consecutive ordinary meetings of the council without a leave of absence being granted”.
If this occurs, the OLG advice stated, “their position as councillor is automatically vacated”.
“Any sitting councillor standing for election at a state or federal election must also be mindful of the provisions of the Model Code of Conduct for Local Councils in NSW prohibiting the use of council resources, property and facilities to assist in their election campaign,” the OLG advice stated.
“If a sitting councillor is elected as a member of NSW Parliament, they are not disqualified from being a councillor for the balance of their term of office as a councillor or for the period of 2 years (whichever is the shorter period).
“As such, a sitting councillor elected to the NSW Parliament at the 2019 state election can remain a councillor until the 2020 local government elections.”