ELECTION UPDATE: Donna Davis set to be MP and Lord Mayor


PARRAMATTA turned red for the first time in 12 years with the election of Labor’s Donna Davis to the State seat.

The key seat had been held by the Liberals’ Geoff Lee, who has resigned from politics.

With the redrawn seat taking in the Labor-friendly Olympic Park and Wentworth Point areas, it was always going to be a tough battle for local solicitor and political newbie Katie Mullens to retain the seat for the Liberals.

There was a swing of 15 per cent to Labor in Parramatta, reflecting the trend across the Greater West and even in Liberal-held safe seats.

But, any thoughts of stepping down from her Lord Mayor role – as touted by some councillors and former lord mayor Bob Dwyer – was for Ms Davis decided by the appointment of council’s new chief executive officer Gail Connolly.

“I will be continuing in my role as Lord Mayor until my term ends in September, to help the new CEO settle into her role,” Ms Davis told the Parramatta Times.

Ms Davis told the Times that she was not drawing her Lord Mayor pay while campaigning in the election, even though she was still performing lord mayoral duties.

“During the cross-over period, for that short time when I will be doing two roles, I will be looking at continuing that arrangement – either not drawing lord mayoral pay or donating it to charity,” Ms Davis said.

As for whether she continues as Epping Ward councillor, Ms Davis is undecided but points out that it not unusual for MPs to continue on council.

If she did resign before the 2024 council election, there would be no costly by-election as Parramatta Council has the “countback” system where the next person who would have been elected at the last election takes the place of the councillor who has resigned.

Speaking a few days after the March 25 election, Ms Davis’s head was still spinning, but she is eager to get to work in the electorate that has been her home for almost 30 years.

Married with two grown sons, Ms Davis lives in Dundas Valley and first cut her teeth in community work on the Yates Avenue Public School P and C committee.

Having worked for Labor MPs, Ms Davis is familiar with life in politics. She was elected to Parramatta Council in 2017.

A strong advocate of Parramatta’s heritage, Ms Davis is keen to work with the NSW and Federal governments to secure World Heritage Listing for the Female Factory and heritage precinct.

But more immediate concerns are the issues that turned people to Labor – health and education.

“Labor is committed to ensuring that schools and hospitals have enough personnel to deliver adequate services,” Ms Davis said.

“We have to ensure that we have quality education for every child.

“Parramatta is a major health precinct and education centre, with five universities, a growing CBD – it is the place where people come to.

“We have the CBD for business and entertainment, we have Olympic Park with its attractions.”

Wentworth Point residents, disgruntled with over-development and lack of open space, helped get Ms Davis elected as they felt the Liberal government was not listening to them.

Ms Davis is ready to listen to all residents and feels now is her time, with her experience on local government, for her to represent the area she loves in State parliament.

In Auburn, Labor’s Lynda Voltz was returned with a 13.15 pc swing and in Granville, Labor’s Julia Finn was returned with a 14.7 pc swing

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