Cat among the pigeons: Cumberland’s former mayor enters the fray

STEVE Christou, the colourful former mayor of Cumberland, has entered the fray in the battle for Parramatta in the upcoming Federal election.

What was already an interesting scene, -with Labor going for “Albo choice” Eastern Suburbs businessman Andrew Charlton and Prime Minister Scott Morrison anointing local dynamo Maria Kovocic, albeit surpassing a rank-and-file plebiscite – Christou is set to set a cat among the pigeons in the election race.

Christou, who has lived in the Western Suburbs all his life, believes that only a local can truly understand and represent the interests of the community.

“I have decided to run as a candidate to give the electorate of Parramatta a real alternative outside of the two major political parties,” he said. “For way too long the Parramatta electorate has been taken for granted by political opportunists who have not delivered any outcomes for the local community. The locals feel they are being used as a vehicle to elevate big egos into Government, with no real commitment to community interests and needs.”

Christou said the Labor Party’s ‘cynical decision to install a millionaire candidate from Bellevue Hill ‘ into the electorate of Parramatta is a real ‘slap in the face’ of local residents and demonstrates the disdain they have for the community.

“This is the second time the Labor Party has parachuted an outsider into the Parramatta seat. Julie Owens was an outsider from North Sydney in 2005, now history repeats itself with this bloke from Bellevue Hill,” Christou said.

“They are opportunists who searched around for a place to land their rich mate, who was a former advisor to Kevin Rudd.  What would a multi-millionaire know about the needs of hard-working Australians? What would he know or care about the day-to-day costs of tolls, expensive commutes to the City and dealing with infrastructure changes that are taking place here on our doorstep?”

“Similarly, the Liberal Party didn’t care enough when it decided to abandon its residents in both Parramatta and Cumberland City Council. They abandoned the community in these areas and refused to endorse and run candidates.”

Christou, while Mayor, became a regular on the 6pm news speaking out against the harsh lockdowns people in his area endured.

“Our community continues to be greatly affected by Covid. It was forced to endure extended lockdowns, restrictions, curfews, extra police and the deployment of the army to our local streets.  Tens of thousands of people were unable to go to work and support their families.  They were unable to pay their mortgage, rent, bills, or put food on the table to feed their children,” he said.

Christou said businesses and residents who have not recovered from the lockkdowns were now facing the flooding crisis.

“The response by our elected leaders has been dismal and catastrophic to our local community because we are simply not on their radar,” he said..

Needless to say, he will be putting Labor last on his how-to-vote card.

Image: Steve Christou, the colourful former mayor of Cumberland is challenging the Federal seat of Parramatta.

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