Local Government Minister Shelley Hancock says there will be no early election for Shoalhaven City Council.
Responding to a call by Kiama MP Gareth Ward for the postponed election election to be called forward because council was "dysfunctional", Mrs Hancock said the advice she had from the Electoral Commissioner was that it would be impossible to schedule an election any earlier than September 2021.
Mrs Hancock also said she did not agree the council was "dysfunctional".
"I will accede to Gareth's request to refer his request to the Electoral Commissioner because he's asked me to do that. But my decision to actually defer the local government elections to next September is based on the advice of the electoral commissioner himself," Mrs Hancock said.
"I think it's highly unlikely he'll agree because a number of other people have raised that with him, a number of my colleagues, and he has indicated to them that it's not possible to actually prepare for the local government elections for March given that he has to anticipate COVID and any kind of precautionary measures at polling booths including perspex protection measures for electoral workers and the like."
She said the commissioner had already indicated organising a COVID-safe election would not be possible before September next year.
Mrs Hancock said she watched part of last Tuesday's meeting and while the behaviour was disappointing, it was not uncommon in councils throughout NSW.
"I do not believe Shoalhaven City Council is dysfunctional. I disagree with Gareth on that because it's performing its obligations, it's financially sound and stable and it is, as many other councils in NSW are doing, seeking ways to help its ratepayers through bushfire and through COVID, It's really working well."
She urged all councillors, regardless of their political persuasion to try to work together, because that is what the community expected of them.
"Having said all those good things about Shoalhaven City Council, some of the behaviours do not impress me and that's not just from a couple of isolated councillors who are the usual suspects, it's five or six councillors who continually interject, make snide remarks, accuse each other of bullying or misogyny or racism.
"People just want the council to work together for the community, they want the council also to work with their state members and their federal member."