THE current cohort of Bathurst Regional councillors will hold onto their positions for another 12 months after the NSW Government postponed the September 12 local government election.
The move has been welcomed by councillors, who want to focus on supporting the community during the coronavirus pandemic and the ongoing challenges presented by the drought.
While mayor Bobby Bourke said the election was "the last thing on my mind", he felt that moving it to 2021 would make things easier.
"That will give me a little bit more time to settle into the job. It hasn't been an easy time for me as mayor, with the fires and the drought and now the coronavirus," he said.
He also said the decision is about public safety, ensuring people don't need to risk visiting the polling booths.
Councillor Jacqui Rudge has also welcomed the news that the election has been postponed, saying she felt it was the right move.
"I certainly do. I think at this particular point in time and with the current conditions, I think it was the right thing to do," she said.
Prior to the pandemic, Cr Rudge was undecided on whether or not she would stand for re-election.
She has said that the situation hasn't influenced a decision and she is not thinking about it at this time.
Also supportive of the decision to push the election back by 12 months is Cr Jess Jennings.
"As a response to the COVID-19, postponing the election is a reasonable response," he said.
"The last thing you want is an election causing a spike in contagion, which you have a high potential to do if 100 per cent of the voting population is supposed to come in, touch pieces of paper, counters and exchange microbial activity."
He said the only downside was that council would not get new blood this year, which he feels is needed, especially with regard to having more female councillors.
"It would do wonders for our council if we had an influx of female councillors," he said.
Members of the public have also been urged to continue following the restrictions and guidelines imposed to stop the spread of coronavirus.
"Please, please do what you are asked to do. We really need to combat this virus and if everyone does what they are told to do. we will get out of this much quicker than if we didn't," Cr Rudge said.
She also said people to make sure they are going to the right resources for help if they are struggling, and not to be misled by social media.