City of Parramatta Local Council Elections 2017 | Candidate Information

The election for the City of Parramatta Council is this Saturday 9th September. To help us decide who to vote for, we approached each group of candidates in the five wards to answer 10 questions. Read their responses, plus some handy election information below.

2486
Local Council Elections 2017
photo credit: City of Parramatta Council

A week out from the Local Council elections, we realised that we really didn’t have much information on the candidates. And we thought it is very likely that we weren’t the only ones feeling this way. So we developed a set of questions, sought input from the Parramatta District Mums group, and sent them off to each of the 73 candidates in the City of Parramatta Local Council elections.

Candidates were asked to submit responses by a strict deadline. We appreciate candidates making the time to respond and understand that the tight time frame meant some candidates were unable to. Candidate participation was purely voluntary. Responses are published unedited and in their entirety. Where a candidate did not provide information, we have written NO RESPONSE RECEIVED.

Local Council Elections 2017It’s important to note that ParraParents is not aligned with any party or candidate. We have collected this information to help you make an informed decision when voting in the upcoming Local Council elections. The responses have been provided by the candidates themselves and have only been formatted, not edited to correct spelling or grammatical errors.


City of Parramatta Local Council Elections

What Are We Voting For?

Fifteen Councillors will be elected across the following five wards of the City of Parramatta local government area – Dundas, Epping, North Rocks, Parramatta and Rosehill. Three Councillors will be elected per ward for a three-year term. A Lord Mayor will be elected by Councillors for a period of two years and then one year.

Local Council Elections City of Parramatta

Not sure which ward you live in? Visit the Electoral Commission NSW enrolment verification page.

Who Needs to Vote?

Voting is compulsory for all Australian citizens who live in the City of Parramatta Council area and are 18 years of age or older. Fines apply for not voting.

What is the Role of Local Government?

With three levels of government in Australia, it can be confusing to know who looks after what. For a quick outline of the roles and responsibilities of each level, read information provided by the Electoral Commission NSW.

Where Can I Vote?

There is no absent voting at Local Council elections. On Election Day, you can only vote at a polling place located within the ward you are enrolled to vote in. See the Electoral Commission NSW map to find the nearest polling place within your ward.

Who Are The Candidates?

Here is a list of all the candidates running by ward. The groups and candidates in bold are the ones we received responses from.

Dundas Ward

  • Liberal (Benjamin Barrak, Aparna Vats, Katie Mullens)
  • The Local Independent Party (Lee Malkoun, Linna Zeng, Joseph Frome)
  • Labor (Pierre Esber, Anthony Ellard, Ange Humphries)
  • Our Local Community (Michelle Garrard, Hayden John, Henry Green)
  • Australia First Party (Victor Waterson, Tania Rollinson, Adele Waterson)

Epping Ward

  • The Local Independent Party (Ronghui (Donna) Wang, Vanessa Elias, A George)
  • Labor (Donna Davis, Joanne Paul, Tony Lee)
  • Liberal (Bill Tyrrell, Felicity Findlay, Wei (Selina) Wi)
  • The Greens (Lindsay Peters, Angela Lindstad, Simon Margan)
  • Lorraine Wearne Independents (Lorraine Wearne, Alain Brix-Nielsen, Shirley Tsang)

North Rocks Ward

  • Labor (Paul Han, Andrew Punch, Carol Chan)
  • Liberal (Andrew Jefferies, Bob Dwyer, Darryn Capes-Davis)
  • Christian Democratic Party (Craig Hall, Keith Piper, Geoff Facey)
  • Ungrouped (Kwok Ho)

Parramatta Ward

  • Independent (Sreeni Pillamarri, Alpesh Prajapati, Akata Patel)
  • Labor (Sameer Pandey, James Shaw, Hairong Xu)
  • The Local Independent Party (Alan Sexton, Maninder Kaur, Hong (Maria) Wang)
  • Liberal (Martin Zaiter, Jugandeep Singh, Simon Chhoeu)
  • The Greens (Phil Bradley, Annie Nielsen, Mona Burns)
  • Our Local Community (Wayne Butcher, Eric Xu, Don Crockett)

Rosehill Ward

  • The Greens (Chris James, Astrid O’Neill, Kevin Taylor)
  • Liberal (Steven Issa, Devi Shetty, Peter Tanswell)
  • Our Local Community (Andrew Wilson, Christine Rigby, Greg McKay)
  • Labor (Patricia Prociv, Michael Ng, Ajoy Ghosh)
  • The Local Independent Party (John Hugh, Nimishaben Patel, George Raffoul)

What Do The Candidates Stand For?

ParraParents emailed candidates this list of 10 questions and gave them two days to respond.

  1. What do you love about living in the City of Parramatta and your ward?
  2. What do you believe are the 3 main issues affecting our community?
  3. Please give us some information on your background (work, community connections and whether you have been a Councillor before?)
  4. What are the 3 key things you plan to achieve?
  5. Name at least one positive thing achieved by the current Administrator and one thing you want to see removed/ reversed.
  6. What do you think is a key issue affecting local parents and how do you plan to address it?
  7. What is your long term vision for the area?
  8. How do you plan to influence state policy that impacts our community?
  9. Which political party are you a member of, or have been a member of?
  10. Who are you giving your preferences to?

The unedited (though formatted) responses to these questions are provided below.

And here is an article by the Daily Telegraph, with statements from some of the candidates.


Dundas Ward

Liberal (Benjamin Barrak, Aparna Vats, Katie Mullens)

  • NO RESPONSE RECEIVED.

The Local Independent Party (Lee Malkoun, Linna Zeng, Joseph Frome)

Local Council Elections City of Parramatta
Linna Zeng

Parramatta is a multicultural and family friendly city, I am a proud resident of this city. Thank you for taking interest in our city and our election.

The aged seniors needs more suitable activities for them, give them more opportunity for public social activities in safer environment.

We Needs more local facility cater for children and their parents, for the family to have more opportunity to enjoy spending quality time together.

We need More educational and skill training for young people locally to improve their employment opportunities. I have served as marketing executive director for Fairfield city chamber of commerce. I have learned to improve my leadership and organizational skills through the experience. I am currently working with Australian Chinese orphans association ( non profit organization) as Secretary General. Through this organization I have learned to appreciate how fortunate we are to live in this city this country.

The three key things to improve in my opinion as following:

  1. We need aged and senior activity facilities to keep their mind and body happy and healthy in safer environment.
  2. We need children and parents activities facilities to provide better services for family to enjoy and spend quality time together.
  3. We need to provide young people with better and sufficient skill training to improve their opportunities for employment.

The improvement currently under way for parramatta is a positive thing for our city and our people that’s credit for current administrator. It’s a pity we lost our pool.
Parramatta is mostly occupied by working class mum and dad, I really appreciate to provide them with better facilities and more opportunities to spend quality with kids and family.

Parramatta has always being an pioneering city, with local business and hard working people whom all care about our people and our city, team work makes everything better. We will be the largest city in Australia.

We have very good and very understanding local communities, we have learned from our past and our experiences. We need to work as a team to have professional planning to influence the state policy to improve our local community.

I am a member of the local independent party. I will give preference to candidates representing local people.

Labor (Pierre Esber, Anthony Ellard, Ange Humphries)

  • NO RESPONSE RECEIVED.

Our Local Community (Michelle Garrard, Hayden John, Henry Green)

  • NO RESPONSE RECEIVED.

Australia First Party (Victor Waterson, Tania Rollinson, Adele Waterson)

  • NO RESPONSE RECEIVED.

Epping Ward

The Local Independent Party (Ronghui (Donna) Wang, Vanessa Elias, A George)

  • NO RESPONSE RECEIVED.

Labor (Donna Davis, Joanne Paul, Tony Lee)

Local Council Elections City of Parramatta
Labor candidates Epping ward

Contact Details: Donna Davis | 0451 134 261 | Email |
Facebook |

  1. What do you love about living in the City of Parramatta and your ward?
    • I love the City of Parramatta because there is always something new to see or do. Whether it is grabbing a late night gelato with the kids, going on a suburban bushwalk, visiting Parramatta Park, soaking in the heritage, riding our bikes along the river foreshore or watching a show at Riverside Theatre I can always find something interesting to do with my friends and family.
    • I love my suburb because it is so quiet – a little like the sleepy country town of Smithton where I grew up in Tasmania. Our kids could walk to primary school without even crossing a road and play their weekend sport at Curtis Oval. I love my ward because it has pockets of strong little communities with their own local parks, coffee shops and bits of local history, pretty good bus and train services and Carlingford Court on our doorstep.
  2. What do you believe are the three main issues affecting our community?
    • There are a number of issues that have prompted me to run for council. I am concerned about what appears to be a lack of planning around the rapid changes brought about by State Government policy changes. We are facing ageing infrastructure that isn’t coping with the increased population. This infrastructure includes open green recreation space for the whole community to enjoy.
    • There is an overall reduction of green space as backyards are replaced with medium and high density dwellings, and this is changing the sense of place, community feel and beauty of our area.
    • Housing affordability and general cost of living are other issues that need to be tackled by all levels of government including councils.
  3. Please give us some information on your background (work, community connections and whether you have been a Councillor before)
    • I have never been a Councillor although I have had a lot of interaction with councils through my community involvement.
    • I have been on the parent committee of Ermington Uniting Church Preschool, P & C President of Yates Avenue Public School and I am currently Group Committee President of 1st North Rocks Scouts and on the steering committee for the Together 4 Hope Walk for suicide prevention in Auburn.
    • A UNSW graduate, I have worked in both the public sector and small business, having owned and operated hearing aid clinics in Melbourne and Sydney, with my husband Michael.
    • I have extensive experience working with community and service organisations, sports associations, small business and all levels of government in my work as an electorate officer. I have hands on experience solving problems for local residents and understand the importance of effective communication and consultation with local communities.
  4. What are the three key things you plan to achieve?
    • I want to improve community involvement on council committees and resident groups.
    • I want to work with council and the community to ensure investment in local community facilities and green spaces. In particular I want to see improvements to the Carlingford, Dundas and Epping libraries.
    • I want to secure an Epping Town Plan that provides traffic solutions and ensures Epping is reinvigorated but at the same time protects its significant built and natural heritage.
  5. Name at least one positive thing achieved by the current Administrator and one thing you want to see removed / reversed.
    • A positive step was securing the future of the Dence Park Swimming Pool.
    • A negative step was the administrator approving the Development Control Plan for the North Parramatta Heritage precinct which will undermine the important heritage of that area.
  6. What do you think is a key issue affecting local parents and how do you plan to address it?
    • The provision of affordable council-run childcare is very important for local parents. As a councillor I would like to see Parramatta Council commission a report about expanding access to affordable childcare across the City of Parramatta. Accessible green space and open recreational facilities like Dence park and Curtis Oval are also important for families.
  7. What is your long term vision for the City of Parramatta?
    • With such a diverse population and being located in the heart of Greater Sydney, the City of Parramatta is in a unique position to become a heritage and arts/cultural precinct. Riverside Theatres is already home to wonderful local performance groups such as the National Theatre, Sydney Youth Orchestra, Packemin Productions and Cumberland Gang Show. The Riverside Theatres along with the natural amphitheatre in Parramatta Park, the river foreshore and the North Parramatta heritage precinct could provide the rehearsal and performance spaces that would be second to none west of the ANZAC Bridge.
  8. How do you plan to influence state policy that impacts our community?
    • As the second city of Sydney, Parramatta Councillors are in a strong position to work with the State Government to influence policies affecting those who work and live in Parramatta. I plan to work with my fellow councillors to ensure the State Government recognises that the people of Parramatta have their own vision for the future of our city including our heritage precincts in North Parramatta and Epping
  9. Which political party are you a member of, or have been a member of?
    • Australian Labor Party
  10. Who are you giving your preferences to?
    • The Greens

Liberal (Bill Tyrrell, Felicity Findlay, Wei (Selina) Wi)

  • NO RESPONSE RECEIVED.

The Greens (Lindsay Peters, Angela Lindstad, Simon Margan)

  • NO RESPONSE RECEIVED.

Lorraine Wearne Independents (Lorraine Wearne, Alain Brix-Nielsen, Shirley Tsang)

Local Council Elections City of Parramatta
Lorraine Wearne Independents

My name is Lorraine Wearne. I run my own party Lorraine Wearne Independents in order that I may have electoral equity by way of a named box above the line for voting. I have never been a member of a major party and am entirely self-funded. I do not take donations. I am a Solicitor and run my own business from home. I have been a councilor on Parramatta City Council since 1995.

We are all genuine independents who have never been members of a major political party. We have not allocated preferences. Each voter is free to do so if they wish. We are truly local, live where you do and share your interests and concerns such as

  • Overdevelopment
  • Traffic
  • Lack of infrastructure

We will protect and improve our parks and open space. We believe that Epping needs to have a viable town centre with improved facilities on both sides of the railway. When is enough, enough development? We need to push back on approvals that do not comply with agreed controls.

We are self-funded and do not take donations from anyone. We believe Council should be a democratic government elected by you.

As a democratically elected council we will consult with the community to establish the priorities for spending and allocation of the budget to achieve improvements to infrastructure, traffic problems, parks and open space as well as the continued improvement of both major CBD’s in Parramatta and Epping. Parramatta whilst a major city, also includes many suburban areas with the ongoing need to maintain footpaths, roads and local services which require equal consideration when preparing the budget.

It is important that we as independents work with our colleagues to achieve best outcomes with major projects whilst listening to the community’s voice on issues such as Parramatta Pool and the North Parramatta Government Precinct. This will then ensure proper consideration of suburban infrastructure needs in our growing area.

Lorraine Wearne Independents – Alain Brix-Nielsen

Local Council Elections City of Parramatta
Alain Brix-Nielsen

Contact Details: Alain Brix-Nielsen | Email | Facebook |

Thank you for the questions and the opportunity to respond and provide some clarity on my positions as a candidate in Epping Ward to your members of ParraParents.

Let me start by clarifying that I am the number two candidate for the Lorraine Wearne Independents party. It is important to note that the constitution of the party stipulates that all members are independent and not restricted to any ‘party line’. Our simple objective, as local residents, is to represent the best interests of our community – not a political agenda. We value independent choice, as such we do not preference any other party or candidate.

My responses below are my own.

  1. What do you love about living in the City of Parramatta and your ward?
    • I have been a resident of Epping for 18 years. One of the key factors for our family to move into Epping was the sense of place and community identity that Epping afforded. Other factors included proximity to schools, public transport, opens space – green space, architectural heritage, sports clubs and general amenities to name a few.
  2. What do you believe are the three main issues affecting our community?
    • In recent years, notably since 2012 (Epping being marked as an ‘Urban Activation Precinct’), I have witnessed a significant change of direction for Epping. For me, if I am to name just three issues affecting our community, they would be;
    • 1. Overcrowding of local schools – the increased density of population within the catchment areas are placing extreme stress on schools and the open space for students. It is worth noting that the level of owner occupiers within Epping Ward is changing, increasingly becoming a residential rental market. This fact is not being considered or accounted for in the current planning within State agencies.
    • 2. Reduced infrastructure capacity – as we have grown, our community facilities don’t even meet our current needs let alone our future ones. One such example Epping Ward’s library facility – these are already estimated to only have 50% capacity of our current population. Another example is retail and commercial floor space to supplement the projected growth of Epping Ward – with a proposal to return to the proposed 2011 levels, not accounting for growth leading to 2026.
    • 3. Traffic congestion – particularly the 89% of traffic that does not either originate or finish within Epping. This traffic contributes significantly to the congestion felt by local residents. This is a direct result of development of other districts around the boundaries of Epping Ward and beyond with no solution currently proposed by either State or Federal agencies.
  3. Please give us some information on your background (work, community connections and whether you have been a Councillor before)
    • Personally, I have been involved in local community organisations for well over 15 years. Currently I am the President of Epping Heights P&C – three years. Previously served as the Registrar for Eastwood St Andrews AFC for some 10 years (plus other roles before that).
    • Professionally, my background is in broadcast media. Currently a small business owner involved in various arenas including publishing, education, IT and marketing.
    • Politically, I have not been a councillor before. However, I did stand as an independent in the last State election. The experience was a wonderful learning opportunity for myself. It helped me personally to gain clarity on how I could further serve the local community.
  4. What are the three key things you plan to achieve?
    • As a Councillor I would make it an objective to be available and responsive to the residents of Epping Ward – just a phone call away.
    • Our Ward is seeing unprecedented change because of State Government decrees forced upon us. As such I would try to ensure that the current LEP and DCP controls are enforced. And work toward changes within those controls that will be more beneficial to our community.
    • I would support and work towards a Masterplan for the whole of Dence Park area including a swimming facility and continued upgrades of our other parks and open spaces.
    • Now that both sides of Epping fall under the planning control of City of Parramatta, it is an opportune time to reclaim and establish the community’s sense of place with major Epping Town Centre upgrades to ensure Epping becomes a dynamic living place – not just a drive through dormitory.
  5. Name at least one positive thing achieved by the current Administrator and one thing you want to see removed / reversed.
    • The primary positive thing achieved by the current Administrator was to open a dialogue with the community about the future of the Epping’s central district. Although this process has provided significant feedback for the Administrator, it lacked the breadth to accommodate scope of the new Epping Ward boundary – which is not limited to just the Epping Centre.
    • If I could reverse one thing immediately, it would be the approval of 12-22 Langston Place. The sad truth in this case is that it would require a time machine to reverse this particular approval. Moving forward, the intent would be to ensure greater and stricter application of the existing LEP and DCP controls.
  6. What do you think is a key issue affecting local parents and how do you plan to address it?
    • As a local parent, with three of my four children, attending our local Public School – one key issue is appropriate facilities to serve school children, both during and after school times – plus leisure times. Further, I would say that we require better safe pick up and drop of zones at schools and railway stations. An improved network of footpaths providing safe pedestrian access to schools and social amenities. And traffic calming provisions in our suburban neighbourhoods to encourage more foot traffic rather than vehicular congestion.
  7. What is your long term vision for the City of Parramatta?
    • The City of Parramatta’s long term vision, like it or not, is growth. Councils do not hold 100% control of their planning instruments. What councillors can do is to be positive advocates, working together with State and Federal agencies ensuring that any growth is sustainable and appropriate to meet the current and future needs of the residents.
    • I would like to see a Parramatta that has capacity to provide a living, dynamic city with facilities, open green space for recreation and other uses, retail and commercial space to adequately provide services and jobs for locals. All contributing downward pressure for residents to seek such services and facilities outside their immediate neighbourhoods.
  8. How do you plan to influence state policy that impacts our community?
    • As mentioned previously, councillors must work cohesively with State and Federal agencies to find the best outcomes to accommodate the projected growth within the five Wards of the City of Parramatta. To accomplish this, councillors need to be vocal advocates simply to realign State and Federal policy focus toward local issues with broader consequences for our community.

 


North Rocks Ward

Labor (Paul Han, Andrew Punch, Carol Chan)

  • NO RESPONSE RECEIVED.

Liberal (Andrew Jefferies, Bob Dwyer, Darryn Capes-Davis)

Local Council Elections City of Parramatta
Andrew Jefferies

Contact Details: Andrew Jefferies | 0427 928 111 | Email | Website | Facebook |

  1. What do you love about living in the City of Parramatta and your ward?
    • The North Rocks Ward is a quiet, friendly and safe community in which to live and raise a family. We’re well located to the Parramatta CBD and the M2 Motorway and our area has a great range of local schools, shopping centres, parks and bushland.
  2. What do you believe are the three main issues affecting our community?
    • Preserving local amenity, upgrading and renewing local infrastructure and ensuring that our community gets its fair share of new capital works projects. Two thirds of the North Rocks Ward are new residents of the City of Parramatta and I will be working to hard ensure that the North Rocks Ward is well looked after over the next three years.
  3. Please give us some information on your background (work, community connections and whether you have been a Councillor before)
    • I have previously served two terms on The Hills Shire Council, having represented many of our community as a Councillor for East Ward, Deputy Mayor 2012-14 and as the Mayor from 2014-15.
  4. What are the three key things you plan to achieve?
    • I’m very keen to ensure that local projects such as the new playground upgrades from the NSW Government’s Stronger Communities Fund are delivered, that parks and reserves in the Winston Hills and Northmead areas are enhanced and that a new community centre and library is delivered for the Carlingford and North Rocks area.
  5. Name at least one positive thing achieved by the current Administrator and one thing you want to see removed / reversed.
    • Whilst I didn’t agree with every decision made by the Administrator, having worked along side her as opposed to throwing rocks at her from the sidelines, I am grateful that she has been able to put in place a strong set of guidelines and principles for Councillors on the next term to abide by. Many in our community have expressed concern about the behaviour of a handful of former Councillors in previous terms, across all colours of the political spectrum. I think there are opportunities over the next three years withing the administration that will save ratepayers dollars and deliver a much needed boost to local infrastructure delivery for our community.
  6. What do you think is a key issue affecting local parents and how do you plan to address it?
    • Local parents want to know that their kids can grow up in a safe and friendly community, have great access to local schools, parks and recreational activities, as well as ease of connectivity to shopping centres, universities and their place of work. This will be addressed through new commuter parking, upgrades through Council’s Capital Works program and enhancement of community leisure activities such as the Hunts Creek Walking Trail to Balaka Falls.
  7. What is your long term vision for the City of Parramatta?
    • My long term vision for our City is to see a debt free Council that can deliver local infrastructure for our community, on time and within budget. A Council that fully delivers for its community that meets and exceeds the expectations of the North Rocks Ward.
  8. How do you plan to influence state policy that impacts our community?
    • I will be working very closely with our three State Members of Parliament – David Elliott, Mark Taylor and Geoff Lee to ensure that state infrastructure is delivered locally such as commuter parking along the M2 Busway, that planning for the Carlingford Light Rail proceeds smoothly and that the City of Parramatta and the NSW Government maintain a strong working relationship for the benefit of all residents. Our community is the loser if local councillors only want to spend the next three years whinging and dog whistling about the Government.
  9. Which political party are you a member of, or have been a member of?
    • Liberal Party of Australia, NSW Division, Winston Hills Branch
  10. Who are you giving your preferences to?
    • The North Rocks Liberal team have swapped preferences with the Christian Democratic Party

Christian Democratic Party (Craig Hall, Keith Piper, Geoff Facey)

Contact Details: Craig Hall, State Manager, Christian Democratic Party (CDP) | 9633 3255 or 1300 667 975 |

  1. What do you love about living in the City of Parramatta and your ward?
    • I have lived in Parramatta for 25 years and watched it grow from a town to a city. It is diverse, cosmopolitan, and convenient to three Motorways and can basic access anywhere in Sydney within 30 minutes, and most Sydney in 20 minutes. Great coffee and cafes open every evening till late and great river asset for kids and families.
  2. What do you believe are the three main issues affecting our community?
    • Excessive high rise development,
    • personal safety on street especially in CBD – stabbings and a shooting at the Police Station
    • environment and heritage loss due to development, encroaching and progressive depletion of Parramatta Park land area.
  3. Please give us some information on your background (work, community connections and whether you have been a Councillor before)
    • Degree in Economics, worked as Senior Finance Office for a City Council (5 years) small business owner and business consultant to business and government, community participation as foundation member of Parking Appeals Review Panel giving relief to motorists by cancelling unfair fines, and foundation member of Parramatta Residents panel. Council candidate once but not Councillor before.
  4. What are the three key things you plan to achieve?
    • My concept of “Parramatta Rocks” protect North heritage convict site from high rise and convert to Parramatta version of the Rocks = “Parramatta Rocks”
    • Protect right to appeal parking fines
    • Safe parks for kids and families in North Rocks Ward and Winston Hills as these were neglected under Hills Council.
  5. Name at least one positive thing achieved by the current Administrator and one thing you want to see removed / reversed.
    • Positive Administrator thing was removal of pro-developer Liberal dominated Council.
    • To be Removed = the Development plans rushed/pushed through to put 3,000 units and 3 towers in the north convict heritage site – remove now!
  6. What do you think is a key issue affecting local parents and how do you plan to address it?
    • Safety ! – a shooting at the Police Station & gang violence stabbings in the CBD mall, plus upgrade parks so they are safe for kids to use. Safety Safety Safety.
  7. What is your long term vision for the City of Parramatta?
    • As an Economist I believe Parramatta still has the opportunity to be Australia’s next great city but not under the current definition which seems defined as “lots of tall buildings”. A great spacious people friendly “river city” incorporating true green sustainability with economic development as exampled by Berlin and London both of which voted to preserve their green belts and still have vital commerce, jobs and lifestyle.
  8. How do you plan to influence state policy that impacts our community?
    • By not being in a major politics dominated party, the Christian Democrats can be dynamic and honest in being a voice for community as we have done in the Sate Parliament for 36 years. We are not a new comer to government as we have two Upper House MPs and have had for over 3o years. As a Christian group we don’t have to pretend we know what community is as it is central to our faith.
  9. Which political party are you a member of, or have been a member of?
  10. Who are you giving your preferences to? To Liberal as this gives me best chance to get the Liberal overflow of votes and give the people their first chance at a new objective economics and finance experienced voice.

Ungrouped (Kwok Ho)

  • NO RESPONSE RECEIVED.

Parramatta Ward

Independent (Sreeni Pillamarri, Alpesh Prajapati, Akata Patel)

Local Council Elections City of ParramattaContact Details: Sreeni Pillamarri | 0452 025 666 | Email | Facebook |

  1. What do you love about living in the City of Parramatta and your ward?
    • The City of Parramatta is a great example of evolving with times and it’s personality is unique which is also because of the diverse community that continued to settle here from Indigenous, Europeans, Middle-Easterns, Asians and more.
    • I love that despite the commercial development, there are open spaces to relax and spend time with kids, for senior citizens and just families. There are pockets of nature spots which I love, the bird population, magnificent trees and the vibrant community.
    • While changing with times is inevitable, it’s important that council representatives ensure that residents and generations to come, enjoy the public assets to its full quality and standards.
  2. What do you believe are the three main issues affecting our community? This is my view about Parramatta Ward
    • Infrastructure and facilities: Sydney’s second CBD is needs improved facilities for residents and community in general. There has been focus on growing businesses, but the residents also need attention towards better access to public assets, be it swimming centre, allowing more child care centres, more shuttle buses and programs for senior citizens.
    • Improving road and safety measures: Traffic has increased phenomenally and even the areas / streets that were once considered safe are under threat due to intense traffic. It’s important for the council to recognise these locations and improve safety measures, spread awareness and get feedback from the local community.
    • Protecting the Environment: Sustainability and preserving open spaces is a challenge and will continue to be in the years to come. What’s important is that the local representatives review decisions from a long term perspective and really make an effort to save open spaces for the next generations. We want them to be healthy, go out cycling, exercise….and this is possible only with open spaces.
  3. Please give us some information on your background (work, community connections and whether you have been a Councillor before)
    • I am a Director, at SoftLabs, an IT consulting firm. I have worked with top Australian companies like ABC, WoolWorths and more. I continue to work closely with PCYC sports club, local ethnic communities.
    • I have never been a councillor before.
    • I came to Australia as a student, worked hard to establish myself as an IT professional and then an Entrepreneur. Parramatta is home for me, a place that welcomed me with open arms and blessed me with wonderful things.
  4. What are the three key things you plan to achieve?
    • Proposing traffic lights and improving road safety
    • Proposing the growth of Child Care centres in Parramatta Ward
    • Protecting open spaces, heritage sites and review proposals that have been opposed by local communities
    • I am a Parramatta Local first, and I want the best for its people here.
  5. Name at least one positive thing achieved by the current Administrator and one thing you want to see removed / reversed.
    • I have limited information this. It’s better for me to comment after I have more information about this.
  6. What do you think is a key issue affecting local parents and how do you plan to address it?
    • Child care and decreasing access to public spaces and playgrounds is something that I feel local parents are facing.
    • The first step would be to propose child care centres in and around Parramatta.
  7. What is your long term vision for the City of Parramatta?
    • To ensure that the City of Parramatta doesn’t lose its charm and unique character, in the name of fast paced development. It’s important to realise that it’s the local council and its representative that will be able to make a difference.
  8. How do you plan to influence state policy that impacts our community?
    • As an Independent Candidate, I will be able to work more objectively without any party affiliations and bureaucracy. Any state policy that directly impacts a local community can be influenced based on its social and economical impact, this of course has to be supported in large numbers by local people, has to backed by facts and of course needs to be addressed on various public platforms.
    • Personally, for me this is how any candidate with integrity can bring about a change.
  9. Which political party are you a member of, or have been a member of?
    • I strongly believe that affiliation to the big politicial parties with bigger goals and objectives is better suited at the State and Federal Level.
    • Being Independent at the council level gives one greater freedom and self reliance to collate root level issues.
    • My stand is clear that I am a part of the community and my focus is to work for their betterment and to mitigate any conflicting views.
  10. Who are you giving your preferences to?
    • When it comes to council I am an independent and I’m going to work as an independent. If any party has a good policy I would vote for it as I would love to work for the residents and for their development.

Labor (Sameer Pandey, James Shaw, Hairong Xu)

  • NO RESPONSE RECEIVED.

The Local Independent Party (Alan Sexton, Maninder Kaur, Hong (Maria) Wang)

Local Council Elections City of Parramatta
The Local Independent Party, Parramatta Ward

I won’t follow the prescribed formula dictated by the questionnaire for this press release, but give an editorialised version instead. I have worked in a major western Sydney hospital as an anaesthetist for the last 32 years. I had joined the Liberal Party while Tony Abbott was Liberal Leader, but left when he was deposed. The current leadership of the major parties leaves me demoralised.

I am focused on local issues to improve the welfare of the Parramatta community. I am a member of the Lions Club at Dundas Carlingford, and have lived in the area since 1983. My community interactions greatly affect my views on what people are thinking.

The number one issue is traffic congestion and parking, especially around the Westmead Medical Precinct, but evident in other major corridors. The proposed sale of Horwood place car park in the CBD is unacceptable on two grounds. We need more parking not less. We should be keeping council land for future generations, not selling it. Our Safer City policy with a focus on CCTV and improved lighting in community shopping centres is necessary. Management of the location of new unit developments should be more carefully integrated with service provision: playgrounds, parking, roads, health and education services. Traffic resources need to be planned long term to safely service new demand. Parking spaces for units should be maximal, not minimal within the confines of the unit basement. The assumption that people living in a unit near a rail line won’t have at least one car is lunacy.

The council should continue to interact with local schools to acclaim the success of students at the HSC. The Council Youth policy should be focused on improving the health of our young by fostering outdoor activities. Obesity starts when young and is linked to inactivity. Many immigrants in the Parramatta community have traditional outdoor activities, which their children undertook in their home nations: kite flying in Afghanistan. Council is ideally placed to foster such activities on the grounds of community integration and health promotion. The Seniors policy is based on the free provision of council community halls, in order to encourage regular group activities among our valuable seniors.

On the question of why I like Parramatta, my great appreciation of this city is associated with its timelessness. You can stand in Parramatta Square and see what our citizens saw 100 years age. The panorama of the Town Hall and St Johns Church: a memorable skyscape, fixed in time. So much of our heritage is an immortal legacy from the brilliant architects and builders of the past. Councillors are the guardians of that legacy and must more avidly defend it.

On the questions about the administrator, I note that my campaign is about positivity. There is no place for being disparaging about our candidates in other parties. Similarity, there is no scope for comments about an administrator doing the job of an entire council over a protracted period of time. There is no place for making uninformed judgements about her performance.

For those families looking for fun on election day, remember you can make this a great day out in Parramatta. Time to pack up the family and head off to your nearest booth. Expect to collect lots of paper to start the BBQs for later. Vote early to miss the rush. If in a long line, take the time to bask in the limelight as local party hacks attempt to prise out your vote for their inglorious party. In the event you meet a candidate for a major party, be aware that his social skills are more amenable to branch stacking and the odd hint of intimidation than the diplomatic vocation of genteel social skills and oration. Vote for a real independent. That is the guy NOT preferencing either of the major parties. Make sure you talk to your neighbours and swap those informative anecdotes. No time to catch up until the next elections two years away. Go the EELS.

Liberal (Martin Zaiter, Jugandeep Singh, Simon Chhoeu)

Contact Details: Martin Zaiter | 0490 737 174 | EmailFacebook |

Local Council Elections City of Parramatta
Liberal candidates, Parramatta ward
  1. What do you love about living in the City of Parramatta and your ward?
    • Born and raised locally in Harris Park, I absolutely love the great open spaces (for example: Parramatta Park and Parramatta Lake) that Parramatta offers its young families and the great diversity that it brings. Parramatta is a vibrant and liveable city which I am proud to call home.
  2. What do you believe are the three main issues affecting our community?
    • Traffic congestion and infrastructure demands to keep up with a growing city. This includes the requirement for additional car parking locations and capital works in local infrastructure.
    • Additional employment opportunities which are close to home to ensure we spend less time commuting and more time with our families. As a local small business owner, the lack of A-grade commercial space is a real concern which I believe is limiting our economic growth.
    • Maintaining the character of our suburbs and community.
  3. Please give us some information on your background (work, community connections and whether you have been a Councillor before)
    • Attended school locally before completing a Bachelor degree in Taxation at UNSW.
    • Carmen and I have been married for the past 9 years and are proud parents of three young children.
    • Partner in a Parramatta accounting practice, where we specialise in helping locals grow their businesses and manage their taxes.
    • I’ve been involved with the St Vincent de Paul mobile outreach programme, and have worked with the Salvation Army, providing pro bono financial and taxation assistance to families.
    • Lifelong Parramatta Eels fan who grew up playing rugby league for the Parramatta Junior Eels at Richie Benaud Oval in North Parramatta.
  4. What are the three key things you plan to achieve?
    • Advocate for additional employment opportunities by working with both large and small businesses to increase economic activity in Parramatta.
    • Integrate transport and infrastructure planning across all modes of transport.
    • Use my professional experiences as an accountant to ensure that we have strong financial management in council and ratepayers receive value for their money.
  5. Name at least one positive thing achieved by the current Administrator and one thing you want to see removed / reversed.
    • Should I be fortunate enough to be elected, I believe that it is important that I review all the major decisions that have been made by the administrator to ensure that they were made in the best interests of our ratepayers.
  6. What do you think is a key issue affecting local parents and how do you plan to address it?
    • Increased safety and cleanliness of our amenities is very important for all families. Additional capital works in local infrastructure such as our parks, playgrounds and footpaths are also key issues. Local parents and families have every right to feel safe in their homes and in their community. That’s why I will take real action to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour, including support for additional integrated CCTV security cameras, graffiti cleaning squads and security patrols in known trouble spots.
  7. What is your long term vision for the City of Parramatta?
    • Long term, I want Parramatta to truly reach its maximum potential and be the envy of all councils. As someone who loves Parramatta, I want all of us to be proud to call it our home. Whilst the CBD is very important, we need to ensure that we don’t leave our suburbs behind. This means that we need to support the provision of additional employment opportunities in Parramatta and ensure that we have the correct infrastructure in place to deliver for a growing community.
  8. How do you plan to influence state policy that impacts our community?
    • I commit to be a passionate advocate for those who need a voice. I plan to use my relationships with all levels of government to fight for what I believe is best for our community.
  9. Which political party are you a member of, or have been a member of?
    • Liberal Party
  10. Who are you giving your preferences to?
    • Independents candidate, Sreeni Pillamarri.

The Greens (Phil Bradley, Annie Nielsen, Mona Burns)

  • NO RESPONSE RECEIVED.

Our Local Community (Wayne Butcher, Eric Xu, Don Crockett)

  • NO RESPONSE RECEIVED.

Rosehill Ward

The Greens (Chris James, Astrid O’Neill, Kevin Taylor)

  • NO RESPONSE RECEIVED.

Liberal (Steven Issa, Devi Shetty, Peter Tanswell)

Local Council Elections 2017
Steven Issa
  1. What do you love about living in the City of Parramatta and your ward?
    • In one word, the diversity. Diversity of place and cultures. Where i can go from Harris Park and experience the colour and food of places like India, to Wentworth Point and Sydney Olympic Park where we have events and waterfront. No other electorate is as fortunate.
  2. What do you believe are the three main issues affecting our community?
    • Infrastructure demands keeping up with growth (including car parking)
    • Maintaining the character of our suburbs
    • Employment opportunities close to home. We need to increase commercial development over residential in our CBDs
  3. Please give us some information on your background (work, community connections and whether you have been a Councillor before)
    • Married with 3 children
    • Served two terms as Deputy Lord Mayor on Parramatta City Council
    • Hold a B. Computer Science (USYD) and First Class Honors Information Systems (USYD)
    • Current Senior Executive at Service SNSW. Previous university lecturer and management consultant
    • Member of Parramatta Lions, local soccer clubs, and active member of local parish
  4. What are the three key things you plan to achieve?
    • Improve the perception of Parramatta more broadly though tourism, major events and smart city initiatives
    • Maintain the momentum Parramatta has, working with all levels of government on tangible community outcomes
    • Ensure capital works on local parks, footpaths, and playgrounds increase
  5. Name at least one positive thing achieved by the current Administrator and one thing you want to see removed / reversed.
    • The Administrator did well to maintain some of the momentum and pull together regions from 5 councils. I would like to review all major decisions by the administrator to ensure the public interest was the catalyst for all decisions.
  6. What do you think is a key issue affecting local parents and how do you plan to address it?
    • The cleanliness and safety for our families are important, i believe the previous council has made significant inroads in that, which we should continue. That being said, improvements and additions of capital works programs are the key issues. We should start by ensuring the basics are right first, and then contribute to the social infrastructure like our parks, playgrounds and family spaces. Also, i’d like to increase family friendly events.
  7. What is your long term vision for the City of Parramatta?
    • Long term, i would like to see Parramatta become a place that residents are proud to call home. A place workers are happy to commute to, and stay in. There is a lot of well placed momentum around the “second CBD” which needs to continue, however this needs to be balanced with a neighbourhood focused program. The CBD is important, but where we live and play needs to be acknowledged and invested in.
  8. How do you plan to influence state policy that impacts our community?
    • I’ve got a great relationships with all levels of government and an open door to many ministers and local members. This is a result of multi generational service to the community by my family who has served the region for over 30 years.
  9. Which political party are you a member of, or have been a member of?
    • Liberal Party
  10. Who are you giving your preferences to?
    • Andrew Wilson from Our Local Community Independents. Andrew has a long history of service and would be another representative best placed to serve our residents

Our Local Community (Andrew Wilson, Christine Rigby, Greg McKay)

  • NO RESPONSE PROVIDED.

Labor (Patricia Prociv, Michael Ng, Ajoy Ghosh)

  1. What do you love about living in the City of Parramatta and your ward?
    • I have lived in Rosehill Ward for 39 years. My children have grown up here, one still lives here, and many of their friends (and their families) still live in the area. I love the fact that we have a connection that spans generations, that you can eat food from a different country every night of the week and not leave your street. Lastly I love the Temple in Eleanor Street.
  2. What do you believe are the three main issues affecting our community?
    • Travelling across the ward, and indeed most of Parramatta, the common issues seem to be over-development and its flow on effects of parking, street and road congestion and the addition of more buildings in the schools on what were once playing fields and playgrounds. Safer street crossings, particularly for children and parents with prams. Slowing the traffic down on suburban streets – I believe the installation of chicanes will achieve this.
  3. Please give us some information on your background (work, community connections and whether you have been a Councillor before)
    • I grew up in country NSW, became a nurse, got married and had 3 children. But in the middle of this My husband and I lived in Papua New Guinea and in mining towns in NSW, Queensland and the Northern Territory before settling in Rosehill. I have been President of the Rosehill Public School P&C, involved in the Harris Park Community Group, and ran holiday programs for children in the now demolished St. Oliver’s Cottage.
    • I am a practicing Artist, and went to Art School and University as a mature age student and after 16 years graduated with an Undergraduate, 2 Graduate Diplomas, 2 Masters Degrees and a Doctorate in Creative Arts. I have taught Art at Western Sydney University, the National Art School and in Western Sydney High Schools.
    • I was on the Parramatta City Councils Arts Advisory Committee for 15 yeas where we worked to establish an art gallery and studios.
    • I am currently and Electorate Officer with Julia Finn MP – State member for Granville, where i help and advocate for the constituents of the Granville Electorate.
  4. What are the three key things you plan to achieve?
    • For the City of Parramatta I would like to see the establishment of Art Gallery and Studios where the work of Local and International Artists could be created and seen by members of the community.
    • For Rosehill Ward i would like to see the area under the M4 landscaped in such a manner that it became a community asset not an eyesore. Footpaths that are flat and people are able to walk, push prams and use wheelchairs on. Roads that you can ride a push bike on without worrying about the next pot hole. Suburban streets that serve residents, and are not used by speeding cars and huge trucks bypassing traffic lights.
  5. Name at least one positive thing achieved by the current Administrator and one thing you want to see removed / reversed.
    • Positive ; Community Consultations have occurred across some suburbs
    • Negative : Not every Suburb has been included plus the Macquarie Bopys High School Site has been rezoned for high rise.
  6. What do you think is a key issue affecting local parents and how do you plan to address it?
    • Overcrowded Schools including double storey demountables at Newington. lack of decent footpaths, safe access to and from school across major and minor roads.Schools are a State issue but I believe it is the role of Council, and Councillors to advocate for their communities in issues that affect them so that’s what I would do. Footpaths are Council responsibility and it is Councillors job to see they are installed.also to advocate for safe pedestrian access across roads.
  7. What is your long term vision for the City of Parramatta?
    • I would like Parramatta to become a City for and or the Arts. The Arts have the capacity to not only invigorate the life of a City but have historically brought prosperity, where Artists go the price of property rises and they are forced to move out. Not that I want the Artists to move out but if we support them we all benefit.
  8. How do you plan to influence state policy that impacts our community?
    • As a Electorate Officer I have learnt to become an advocate for members of the community and their issues. If I am unable to find a resolution to a problem I am able to find someone who can. I seem my position as a Councillor as a proiblem solver and Advocate.
  9. Which political party are you a member of, or have been a member of?
    • I am a member of the Australia Labor Party
  10. Who are you giving your preferences to?
    • The Rosehill Ward are giving their second preference to The Greens.

The Local Independent Party (John Hugh, Nimishaben Patel, George Raffoul)

Local Council Elections City of Parramatta
John Hugh

Contact Details: John Hugh | 0414 816 751 | Email | Facebook |

  1. What do you love about living in the City of Parramatta and your ward?
    • I have called Parramatta (Rydalmere) home for over 20 years. It’s in the geographical centre of Metro Sydney and can get almost everything locally. Served as Councillor at Elizabeth MacArthur Ward, I had the opportunity to meet many people and worked on many local issues. The new Rosehill Ward has its glory past being the cradle of our nation – having earliest farms, first air field, etc. We also have diverse community and neighbourhoods. From South Parramatta and Harris Park heritage conservation areas to modern skyscrapers and one of the largest shopping complex. The combined Camelia – Rydalmere – Silverwater – Olympic Park industrial area offers endless potential to become a major growth centre.
  2. What do you believe are the three main issues affecting our community?
    • While most focus is on the CBD, our neighbourhoods do not have enough attention.
    • Over development is spreading to our residential suburbs and threatening our rich heritage
    • Families are struggling to coupe with rising cost of living
  3. Please give us some information on your background (work, community connections and whether you have been a Councillor before)
    • I have been a Parramatta resident for 20 years. Since I completed my study at Monash University, I have been working in the information technology industry for more than 2 decades. Along with completion of MBA and Building Surveying postgraduate studies, I built up diverse knowledge and experiences attending complex issues. My association with Police Citizen Youth Club (PCYC) Parramatta and the Australian Chinese Community Association and senior Citizens groups gives me a better insight into my communities.
    • I was elected Councillor for Elizabeth MacArthur Ward in 2012.
  4. What are the three key things you plan to achieve?
    • More funding to upgrade our neighbourhoods with CCTV, lighting, well maintained pavements, sporting and recreational facilities
    • Preserve and protect our rich heritage from excessive developments
    • Fighting for no rate rise above CPI, no light rail levy upon existing ratepayers.
  5. Name at least one positive thing achieved by the current Administrator and one thing you want to see removed / reversed.
    • The current Administrator has some services amalgamated, but she has done far more damage and cannot be reversed. Such as, sale of some strategic council assets – our Discovery Centre next the River and Experience Centre on top of Aspire Tower on Parramatta Square.
    • Remove “expert panels” and return power back to people. Let people to have their say on City’s future.
  6. What do you think is a key issue affecting local parents and how do you plan to address it?
    • Provide a safe and well maintained environment for kids. If I’m elected, I will work on providing more funding to improve local outdoor sporting and recreational facilities for our young families including playgrounds.
  7. What is your long term vision for the City of Parramatta?
    • Become Australia’s Next Great City with world’s leading innovation and smart technology as well as a present and liveable city for families.
  8. How do you plan to influence state policy that impacts our community?
    • Be your voice and speak for the people.
  9. Which political party are you a member of, or have been a member of?
    • I am a member of The Local Independent Party.
    • I was a member of Liberal Party but I quit due to I am disappointed that Liberal Party has been fragmented and lost its momentum. I am committed to be the voice of people, not controlled by power brokers from major parties.
  10. Who are you giving your preferences to?
    • No one.

2 COMMENTS

  1. 3 of the 5 Liberal candidates are Developers. Zaiter in Parramatta Ward is a director of WZ Developments- with his Brother Michael (running in Cumberland) and his landlord Rony Wardan, Stephen Issa is a director of Issa Holdings currently developing a nearly $7M development in Guildford, and Benjamin Barrak in Dundas is the sole Director, Secretary and Legal rep for Barrak Corporation currently still in the land and environment court against City of Parramatta Council for a development in Harris Park.
    I have reported them to the Electoral commission as they have falsely declared on their applications that they are NOT developers. ASIC registers prove otherwise – as do Development Applications lodged with Councils.
    We can’t let them get away with this!

LEAVE A REPLY