The local government elections in Wollongong and Shellharbour are highly likely to produce outcomes where no party has an outright majority. This is a win for local democracy, according to Greens NSW Illawarra and Local Government spokesperson David Shoebridge.

“With both Wollongong and Shellharbour Councils having been dismissed for corruption in 2008, it is refreshing that local democracy has returned to the Illawarra in 2011,” Greens MP David Shoebridge said.

“The preliminary results indicate that no political party will completely dominate these local councils. After decades of one-party domination and mismanagement, this will be a relief for local residents.

“Rather than pushing through a partisan agenda, the newly elected councillors will have to work together to build consensus on what is best for the residents of the Illawarra.

“Democracy has returned to the Illawarra because of the abolition of two-member wards in Wollongong and Shellharbour.

“The two-member ward system allowed Labor to utterly dominate local government in the Illawarra, creating an undemocratic environment which encouraged corruption.

“With two member wards abolished in the Illawarra, local residents now have local councils which are genuinely representative of their political views.

“The Greens have introduced legislation into NSW Parliament to abolish two-member wards across NSW ahead of local government elections in September 2012,” Mr Shoebridge said.

Read further coverage in the Illawarra Mercury.