Mayor Bobby Bourke fears that pre-polling for the September local government election could become a nightmare for the community if the proposed venue is confirmed.
He understands that the former Commonwealth Bank building, at 171 Howick Street, is the top contender to become the Bathurst pre-polling venue.
Cr Bourke is worried about the impact it could have on businesses, pedestrians and parking should it be chosen as the venue.
"It just seems an inappropriate spot. It'll affect a lot of businesses in that area. It's a tight street there now, a heavily-used main part of town, and to have maybe up to 40 or 60 pre-pollers taking up the footpath, it's going to inconvenience a lot of the businesses there," he said.
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He has spoken to a couple of the businesses on the same block and said there are already some concerns about the potential impact of pre-polling.
There is particular concern about the availability of disability parking, which is utilised by customers of the pharmacy and optometrist.
"I think there's only one disabled car park and that could be taken up all day and stop people from going into the chemist," Cr Bourke said.
"I don't know if that's been taken into consideration ... It'll inconvenience the chemist or the optometrist, who have elderly people going in and out."
With the post office building and the entry to the Bathurst Chase shopping centre also on that Howick Street block, parking is always hard to come across.
Cr Bourke said the situation would only get worse if shoppers had to compete with early voters.
"There's not that many car parks there to park, so I can see that being a problem," he said. "I think a little more thought should have gone into the area where [pre-polling] is going."
While Cr Bourke said that 171 Howick Street has been recommended to council by the NSW Electoral Commission, a spokesperson for the commission told the Western Advocate that a final decision has not been made.
"The NSW Electoral Commission is currently in negotiation in relation to a number of premises for the Bathurst Regional Council election in September," they said.
"A decision regarding the use of individual premises has not yet been made."
They said that a number of factors are taken into consideration when selecting a venue for pre-polling, including "size, location, internet connectivity, cost, loading/unloading facilities, accessibility for people with disability and suitability for volunteers".
Cr Bourke said businesses in Howick Street had to be aware that the old Commonwealth Bank site was being considered and to speak up now if they have any concerns about the potential impact.
"The business owners should be aware that this is where it could go and if they're happy with that, fair enough, but in my opinion it is going to be very hectic there," he said.
More than 10,500 pre-polled at Bathurst's last council election, in 2017, representing about 45 per cent of the total votes cast.
Pre-poll will start on August 23 and conclude on September 3.
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