Election update: Labor and Independents big winners on new councils

LOCAL GOVERNMENT | DI BARTOK
PARRAMATTA Council will certainly be a different make-up after Saturday’s local government election saw a boost for Labor and Independents, with the Greens’ fate undecided.

With the Liberals out of the race because of the State Executive decision not to endorse candidates due to internal wrangling, it has been a clear run for Labor in particular, with a fifth councillor – and possibly a sixth – joining their ranks.

Ange Humphries now gives Labor a councillor in North Rocks, where the Party had not been represented in the previous term.
Ms Humphries will join Labor colleagues in Dundas (Pierre Esber), Epping (Donna Davis), Rosehill (Patricia Prociv) and Parramatta (Sameer Pandey) on the new council.

With Mr Pandey and Our Local Community’s Henry Green having enough votes to be elected in Parramatta ward, the tussle for the third spot is between Phil Bradley from the Greens and Labor’s James Shaw.

But Mr Bradley, who has been Parramatta’s only Greens councillor, is confident that, with his 21.3 per cent of the 45 per cent of the vote counted, he will get over the line.

In Epping, there were no surprises when council veteran Lorraine Wearne, a proud Independent, was returned, and only slight surprise that sitting Labor councillor Donna Davis managed to bring home compatriot Cameron MacLean, given that only Labor and Wearne were above the line.

OLC, led by deputy lord mayor Michelle Garrard, also picked up extra councillors.

Ms Garrard, who represents Parramatta ward and had been the only one of her Party on council, will be joined by Henry Green in Parramatta and Donna Wang in North Rocks.

Ms Garrrard and Mr Esber will be joined in Dundas by strong community and family advocate Kellie Darley, who is known through her ParraParents lobby group.

In North Rocks, in the absence of the Liberal vote in the conservative ward, Independent newcomer Georgina Valjak, backed by former Liberal lord mayor Bob Dwyer, was a certainty, although she came in just under the Labor candidate.

Mr Dwyer, who was running to back Ms Valjak, did not get over the line as her number 2, but his purpose in running was to give Liberal voters a choice of a conservative candidate.

In Rosehill, only Labor’s Patricia Prociv has been elected at the time of the Times’ deadline, the other two spotsl undecided.

All in all, it will be an interesting council compared to the outgoing Liberal-dominated one that was perceived as “doing the bidding” of the Liberal State Government when it came to development in Parramatta.

It was a different story in Cumberland Council, where unendorsed Liberal candidates could run as Independents, seeing two such councillors Joseph Rahme in Granville ward and Michael Zaiter in Wentworthville re-elected at Independents.

But Labor also did well, with seven candidates certain, and a possible eight at the end of counting. The previous council had five Labor councillors.

Those Labor candidates already declared winners are veteran Glenn Elmore, alongside newcomer compatriot Mohamed Hussein and OLC’s Paul Garrard in South Granville;, Ola Hamad alongside mayor Steve Christou from OLC and Joseph Rahme in Granville; newcomer Diane Colman along with Independents Greg Cummings and Eddy Sarkis (OLC) in Greystanes; Kun Huang along with compatriot Sabrina Farooqui and Independent Ned Attie in Regents Park; Suman Saha, alongside Michael Zaiter in Wentworthville, with the third place possibly going to Labor’s Lisa Lake.

Council continues, with the NSW Electoral Commission declaring the poll on December 21-21.

Image: Re-elected to Cumberland, Eddy Sarkis, Steve Christou and Paul Garrard from OLC.

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