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Record postal votes delay NSW election results

Education Minister Prue Car outlines priorities

NSW’s election result won’t be finalised for at least another three weeks, with a record number of postal votes still being tallied and a lack of staff to count them.

The count won’t be finished until all postal votes have been returned to the Electoral Commissioner.

Postal votes are still being returned in high numbers and will continue to roll in until April 6, with four million votes counted so far.

“More than 540,000 postal vote packs were sent out for this election and around 400,000 have been returned so far,” the NSW Electoral Commission said on Thursday.

“More than 400,000 declaration votes were also issued. The number of early, declaration and postal votes is higher than at any previous state election.”

It also noted it faced recruitment challenges in some districts, with 30,000 temporary workers needed to finish the count.

Upper house results are expected to be declared on April 14, and the lower house count would be finalised by April 20.

Labor needs two more seats to reach the 47 needed to form a majority government and is hopeful it can clinch the Liberal-held seat of Ryde. 

A Liberal Party insider told AAP the party was confident of retaining Holsworthy, Terrigal and Goulburn. 

While Labor waits to see if it can win majority government, the party’s attention is focused on education as its number one priority.
Deputy Labor leader and Education Minister Prue Car said the government would get to work on a renegotiated pay deal with teachers, as educators were “crippled” by current workloads. 

“We will be working obviously to negotiate the teachers’ pay and conditions, cutting workload down substantially, which is a crippling burden on our teachers,” Ms Car said at Penrith Public School.

“So much of why we were elected on Saturday was to ensure that we actually take care of our teachers.”

After months of strikes and industrial action last year, NSW public school teachers were handed a pay decision by the Industrial Relations Commission of 2.5 per cent backdated over 2022 and 3 per cent over 2023.

The pay rise, bound by a public sector wage cap, was called insulting by the head of the NSW Teachers Federation, Angelo Gavrielatos. 

The new government has committed to scrapping the former government’s cap on public sector wages.

Ms Car also said the government would keep its election promise to fund Foodbank’s School Breakfast 4 Health with an additional $8 million over the next four years, supplying 1.5 million students with breakfast across 1000 schools.

A mobile phone ban in all public schools would also progress, she said.

A number of independents have pledged to support the government with supply and confidence. 

-AAP

Topics: NSW election
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