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NSW local government elections: counting continues in 46 electorates

10 September 2017 2:18 PM
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NSW local government elections: counting continues in 46 electorates

A FORMER Liberal minister has been voted mayor of Hornsby, amid big swings to Labor in this weekend’s council elections. Find out how your area voted.

He was in Ryde where Jerome Laxale has become the new Labor mayor, snatching the job from the Liberals.

“What we saw yesterday across NSW was the Liberals received a hiding,” Mr Foley told reporters.

“The Liberals copped a thumping, they forced mergers, they rigged boundaries with the intent of capturing control of local government and people across NSW punished them for that.”

Premier Gladys Berejiklian is not expected to make any public appearance on Sunday to talk about the council elections.

The Liberals saw losses in Randwick, Ryde and Parramatta, but were strong in The Hills, Hornsby and Woollahra.

Across the state voters turned out to school and church halls and cast their votes in their local polls and indulged in the obligatory election day sausage sizzle.

Final results are expected to be completed by September 16, but candidates vying for the position of mayor by a popular vote were already getting early indications last night.

Twenty new councils and 26 established regional and metropolitan councils will be elected.

Follow the live results here: or find your local council in the list below.

One of Salim Mehajer’s old mates has won election to the new Cumberland Council, but Mr Mehajer has set his sights on far bigger ambitions.

Liberal Ned Attie appears to have won election to Cumberland Council, formed from the old scandal-plagued Auburn Council and neighbouring Holroyd. Mr Attie was part of a voting bloc at Auburn with Mr Mehajer, the former deputy mayor.

Another of Mr Mehajer’s old pals, unaligned candidate Hicham Zraika also ran for Cumberland Council in yesterday’s election.

With votes to still count, it appears Mr Zraika is locked in a tight battle for one of the 15 seats on the new authority.

Mr Mehajer took to social media over the weekend to wish candidates good luck and revealed plans to run for state or federal politics.

He was prevented from running in the Cumberland election. Mr Mehajer was slapped with a three-year ban by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) in November 2015, preventing him from managing corporations and also preventing him holding public office.

Mr Mehajer wrote online: “You live, you learn, you upgrade. Plans to run state of federal election … next.”

Another former Auburn councillor, Labor’s George Cambpell has also been elected to Cumberland Council but it appears Irene Simms and Semra Batik will miss out. The trio formed part of a voting bloc at Auburn Council that often opposed Mr Mehajer’s grouping.

History repeated itself yesterday when Hornsby Shire residents voted former Berowra federal Liberal MP Philip Ruddock to represent them once again — as mayor of Hornsby.

Nearly three million voters in 46 electorates headed to the polls to pick their local councillors across the state.

“It is all over and I am very excited by the outcome,” Cr Ruddock said.

“I come intending to serve residents and will be sitting down with professional officers as soon as I can to implement the programs that are required to better this community.”

Despite the 74-year-old retiring from federal politics last year, Cr Ruddock will now serve a three-year term as mayor of Hornsby — and promises to continue to make a difference to his community.

Liberal Zac Miles, 26, may become one of Sydney’s youngest mayors, pending the result of a tight battle with fellow councillor Mark Bennett in Hunters Hill.

The two men couldn’t agree which of them was is in the best position after vote counting closed last night. Miles leads the contest with 40.83 per cent of the vote, after about a third of all votes have been counted.

Independent Bennett is next with 31.54 per cent, followed by independent Ross Williams with 27.63 per cent.

Despite his position, Mr Miles did not say he was going to win the mayoralty.

“It’s still up in the air, and it’s looking likely tonight that Mark Bennett will become mayor,” he said.

At the closing time of the vote on Saturday night, Cr Byrne had more than 61 per cent of the votes across The Hills with more than 44,000 votes.

Cr Byrne was facing a tough challenge for the position against longstanding Labor candidate Tony Hay and former Liberal councillor Jeff Lowe, as well as Building Australia Party candidate Ray Brown.

More than 110,000 Hills residents voted in the local government elections in 40 polling booths across the shire.

The Liberal Party looks set to lose control of Waverley Council after a voter backlash over the State Government’s failed merger plans and the controversial Bondi Pavilion upgrade.

Mayor Sally Betts, who announced last week she had stage two cancer in both breasts, will be returned in Hunter ward but will face a struggle to hold onto her mayoralty.

The Liberals seem likely to lose two of the seven seats they previously held in the 12-member council with Labor ​claiming to have gained ground. Labor Councillor John Wakefield​ said on Saturday night he was “very excited” by the results.

“It’s heading towards five Liberals, four Labor and three Greens,” Cr Wakefield told Wentworth Courier.

Betts did not wish to comment on the election tonight but earlier in the day, touring polling booths, the 72-year-old was well received by the majority of residents who wished her luck.

Labor has a clear path to victory in Canterbury-Bankstown, with early polling results showing the favoured party is on track to claim nine of 15 councillor seats.

As expected, Labor claimed the majority of first-preference votes in all five wards — with the party dominating 55 per cent of votes in Bankstown, Bass Hill and Roselands wards.

The Liberal party could secure five seats but so far none of the minor party or independent candidates have secured any places at the table.

Former Warringah Mayor Michael Regan and the Liberal Party look likely to control two-thirds of the new Northern Beaches Council.

As of Saturday night, the count for the first Northern Beaches Council election saw Mr Regan’s team of independents, Your Northern Beaches Independents, on track to take four of the 15 council seats.

Good for Manly candidate Candy Bingham is also expected to take one of the seats in Manly.

The remaining five positions will be determined after preferences are counted early next week.

There are three councillors for each of the five wards covering the northern beaches: Manly, Pittwater, Curl Curl, Frenchs Forest and Narrabeen.

In Parramatta the Liberals look set to dominate council again with a potential seven seats going their way. But in an historic first, The Greens are in contention for two seats on the council — with 14 per cent in Parramatta ward and 11.84 per cent in Rosehill ward. Labor looks set to gain five seats while former councillor and independent Lorraine Wearne could hold the balance of power with the final seat in the Epping ward.

All nine of the current councillors who chose to recontest Randwick’s poll look set to return to local government.

But with six new faces has come a swing away from the Liberal Party and two of its six seats on Randwick Council are predicted to go.

Both major parties have ultimately suffered a blow, with independent candidates racking up three seats and another three to be bagged by The Greens.

More than half of the votes in the south ward have now been counted and at this stage the independent ticket is flying ahead of the rest.

Independent candidate and current mayor Noel D’Souza will rejoin the council, despite separating from the Labor Party in May.

As predicted, Labor is polling well in all five wards in neighbouring Bayside Council.

With approximately 50 per cent of the vote counted in the Port Botany Ward, it’s likely the party will bag two of the ward’s three seats, with former Botany Bay councillor Christina Curry and Maroubra Surf Life Saving Club patrol caption Scott Morrissey all but assured a place on council. Overall, Labor has won 58.9 per cent of the vote in the ward.

In the Mascot Ward, Labor has won 40.5 per cent of the vote with Tarek Ibrahim bound for a seat in Council.

Former Rockdale councillor and independent Liz Barlow is likely to become a founding member of the Bayside Council alongside Labor’s Joe Awada and the Liberal Party’s Ron Bezic.

In Botany Bay, Labor and Liberal are neck and neck with roughly 35 per cent each of the vote.

Labor’s Ed McDougall and Liberal’s Vicki Poulos should claim victory with the third seat up for grabs following preferencing.

Meanwhile, Labor is leaving its competitors in the dust in Rockdale, with 41 per cent of the vote compared to Liberal’s 24 per cent.

The Liberals have retained their majority in the local Government election for Woollahra where they secured eight of the 15 seats.

Susan Wynne and Rose Bay branch president Mary Lou-Jarvis stormed to victory in Vaucluse where the Liberals achieved their best result.

The party secured 58 per cent of the first preference votes in that ward compared to the Residents First’s 28.25 per cent and the Greens’ 13.6 per cent.

Claudia Cullen, of Residents First, picked up the third spot in Vaucluse.

Residents First got a candidate up in each of the five wards while the Greens were set to get two up—in Paddington and Cooper.

Rose Bay Liberal branch president Mary-Lou Jarvis also had a resounding win in Vaucluse.

Liberal Mayor Toni Zeltzer said voters had rewarded the party for staying strong in its fight to prevent Woollahra being amalgamated with Waverley and Randwick.

“I’m thrilled we have been able to maintain a Liberal majority,” Cr Zeltzer said.

“I think our very strong fight to retain our independence was a big factor and people spoke to many of our candidates about that and thanked the Liberal team for holding its ground on that issue.”

Cr Zeltzer said voters had demonstrated their faith in the strong Liberal line up.

“Our successful candidates have a great amount of experience, with three former mayors, a number of deputy mayors and six former councillors and there’s also a number of new faces eager to share their fresh ideas to benefit the community.”

Cr Zeltzer was re-elected in Double Bay where former Liberal deputy state director Richard Shields also got up.

Mark Silcocks from Residents First picked up the third seat in Double Bay.

Isabelle Shapiro led the charge for the Liberals in Bellevue Hill where young lawyer Nick Maxwell also got elected for the Liberals.

According to the latest count, Lucinda Regan from Residents First had picked up the third spot in Bellevue Hill, which was on a knife edge—at one stage it looked like the Greens could have won it.

Matthew Robertson was easily re-elected for the Greens in Paddington where Peter Cavanagh was re-elected for the Liberals.

Residents First’s Harriet Price, sister of Studio Ten host Jessica Rowe, secured the third spot in Paddington.

Labor has retained the mayor’s seat at Burwood Council and won back the top job at Canada Bay after the Liberals were hit by massive swings against them.

Burwood incumbent mayor John Faker said his personal vote increased by about eight per cent on the 2012 election as he grabbed 52 per cent of the vote.

In Canada Bay Labor veteran Angelo Tsirekas returned to the mayor’s chair even though he had been away from the council for about 18 months.

In Strathfield, where the mayor is not chosen by a public vote, but by the council, the independent Save Our Strathfield group has grabbed one of the council’s seven seats.

Meanwhile, Labor and the Greens have dominated early counting with both parties in line to win seats in all five wards on the first Inner West Council.

As of 11.30pm on Saturday, Labor had won 34 per cent of first preferences (up from 30 per cent from the last election in 2012), the Greens had won 30 per cent (on par with 2012) while the Liberals were on 16 per cent (down eight per cent from 2012).

The seven independent teams have meanwhile taken a combined 19.3 per cent of the vote, up from 15 per cent in 2012.

A huge lead for Labor’s mayoral candidate Darcy Byrne in the Balmain ward is on track to give the party enough support for a sixth seat on the council.

Mr Byrne has pulled 44 per cent of first preferences, ahead of Greens candidate Rochelle Porteous (22 per cent), independent John Stamolis (17.4 per cent) and the Liberals Stephen Meates (16.8 per cent).

The Greens and Labor could also pick up an extra seat in Ashfield where both parties have each pulled more than 35 per cent of first preference votes.

Carolyn Corrigan took the lead in the race to become the new mayor of Mosman Council, according to early results.

Initial first preference vote counting gave the Mosman councillor and anti-amalgamations campaigner 41.4 per cent of the vote, ahead of Roy Bendall on 26.8 per cent, Simon Menzies on 19.78 per cent and Libby Moline on 12.02 per cent.

If successful, Cr Corrigan, who ran on the Serving Mosman ticket, would replace Mosman’s previous mayor, Peter Abelson, who retired and had endorsed Cr Corrigan to be his successor.

The first preference votes of six of seven booths in Mosman had been counted as at 9.30pm on Saturday.

Only half the votes have been counted but Mayor Jilly Gibson is ahead in her campaign to be re-elected at North Sydney Council.

Cr Gibson took on three other candidates in the race for the top spot at the council and soared ahead as counting got underway. Fellow councillor Zoe Baker is currently in second place.

The results so far show Cr Gibson at about 43 per cent of first preferences and Cr Baker at just under 30 per cent.

The pair were up against each other in the last election, when Cr Baker finished second.

Two other candidates also challenged for the position this year; businesswoman Jessica Keen and Liberal Democrats’ newcomer Michael Kong.

GAIL Giles-Gidney is delighted and thankful to the Willoughby community for re-electing her as mayor for another term.

At the end of counting last night, Ms Giles Giles-Gidney was still ahead of her only opponent Angelo Rozos with 69.02 per cent of the vote.

“The team worked hard and I’m pleased to be supported by so many members of the community,” she said.

“Angelo worked hard on his campaign and had some good support, but on the day I was more fortunate to get the results I did.”

Ms Giles-Gidney, who cast her vote at Willoughby Park Centre yesterday, said she looked forward to working with the new council.

“I think we’ve got four new councillors who have been elected,” she said.

“Everyone worked really hard, we have a great council to take into the next term.”

Tony Mustaca’s group has pushed ahead with 30.56 per cent of the vote in West Ward. The Greens have fallen back to third with 23.41 per cent, behind Craig Campbell’s group, which has 26.01 per cent.

In Middle Harbour, Angelo Rozos’ group leads with 42.95 per cent; Stuart Coppock is currently ahead in Naremburn, while Gail Giles-Gidney’s group leads in Sailors Bay on 65.05 per cent.

In Ku-ring-gai, Jeff Pettett surged ahead in Comenarra Ward with 54.66 per cent of the vote; Cheryl Szatow pushed ahead of Peter Kelly in Gordon on 35.56 per cent; in St Ives, the vote remains extremely tight, with David Citer on 35.65 per cent and Martin Smith on 35.22 per cent; while Donna Greenfield remains ahead in Wahroonga on 48.41 per cent.

In Lane Cove’s Central Ward, Deborah Hutchens and the Liberals continue to dominate with 40.23 per cent of the vote; Pam Palmer’s group continues to lead in East Ward on 39.81 per cent; and Scott Bennison is ahead in West Ward with 39.33 per cent.

Preliminary results indicate a strong showing from the ALP particularly in the north ward of Budgewoi and an expected backlash against the Liberals has not manifested as largely as punters may have imagined on the Central Coast.

The Liberals are likely to garner several positions on council — including one for Rebecca Gale Collins in the Gosford East ward.

Some described the text as misleading because its author was listed as NRMAA, similar to the acronym used by the nation’s peak motorist group the National Roads and Motorists’ Association.

The NSWEC confirmed the matter had been referred to them to consider if the campaign had potentially breached any electoral rules.

A total of 1938 councillor and 61 mayoral candidates are standing for seats in the 45 council elections being managed by the NSW Electoral Commission, with Maitland City Council managing its own election.

“It is early days for them but their ratepayers will continue to see improvements to services and infrastructure over the coming years,” Local Government Minister Gabrielle Upton said.

“The decision not to proceed with the remaining mergers in Sydney means ratepayers in those areas can elect councillors knowing that they will be able to serve their community for the full three-year term,” Ms Upton said.

Voters got to pick their own mayors in Burwood, Canada Bay, Hornsby, Hunter’s Hill, Mosman, Newcastle, North Sydney, Orange, Port Stephens, The Hills, Willoughby and Wollongong on Saturday.

There are nearly 2.8 million enrolled to vote for the 2017 NSW Local Government Elections.


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