On Saturday 23rd March we get to vote for the 57th Parliament of New South Wales. This includes all 93 seats in the New South Wales Legislative Assembly. Plus 21 of the 42 seats in the New South Wales Legislative Council.

Granville Electorate

In the lead up to the election, there can be a bit of information overload. But it can also be hard to find out about our local candidates and what they stand for. Chances are most of us won’t get along to a meet the candidates forum. So to make it easier to get to know the candidates, we developed a set of 10 questions. And asked each candidate in the Granville electorate to answer them. Plus seven other electorates – Auburn, Blacktown, Epping, Parramatta, Prospect, Ryde and Seven Hills – that cover where our readers are mostly from.

| About Granville Electorate | Meet the Granville Candidates | About the State Election |

Candidates listed on the Electoral Commission website were sent the questions on 3rd March and had 10 days to respond. Unfortunately we didn’t realise that candidate nominations were still open for a few more days. And we have since emailed the candidates that nominated later our questions. We sent reminder emails to candidates on the 12th March. We strongly believe it’s in everyone’s interest for all candidates to provide responses. And we welcome your support in encouraging them to do so.

Election polling booth

We appreciate candidates making the time to respond, particularly given how busy it is for them in the lead up to the election. Candidate participation was purely voluntary. The responses have been provided by the candidates themselves and have only been formatted, not edited (even to correct spelling or grammatical errors), except where the response exceeds the question limits. Where a candidate did not provide information, we have written NO RESPONSE RECEIVED.

ParraParents is not aligned with any political party or candidate. We have collected this information to help you make an informed decision when voting in the 2019 State Election.


About the Granville Electorate

FS Garside Park Granville

The Granville electorate is 23 square kilometres. It includes the suburbs of Clyde, Granville, Greystanes, Guildford, Holroyd, Mays Hill, Merrylands, Merrylands West, Parramatta, South Granville, South Wentworthville, Wentworthville, Westmead.


Meet the Candidates for Granville

Here are the 8 candidates running in the Granville electorate. Here they are, listed in alphabetical order by surname.

Granville electorate nsw state election 2019
Granville candidates who responded to our questions, in alphabetical order by surname.

We have provided the responses below in the order they were received.


Steven Lopez (Independent)

Granville electorate nsw state election 2019

1. What is your connection with your electorate (including how long you have lived in the area) and what do you like about it?

I have lived in Merrylands for 25 years (in different parts too), I even went to Merrylands East Primary. I’ve seen the electorate grow but at the same time, the growth has been mismanaged.

Granville, Merrylands, Wentworthville and the areas around them have had a massive focus on high-rise developments. Now don’t get me wrong, I think development is a good thing but only when the infrastructure scales to accommodate them. It seems our areas have missed the memo, with high-rises with a lack of parking, spilling onto our roads and with our schools and hospitals struggling to cope.

We need to plan for the future and for some reason the people making these decisions are refusing to do that. Instead opting to ‘fix it later’… but as we all know, later never comes. Well, I plan to fix it now… before it gets worse.

2. What are 3 things that people might not know about you?

  • I’m a first generation Australian. My entire family were South American refugees that arrived in Australia.
  • I have no friends or family, that are property developers or politicians. We’re mostly truckies, most of us rent.
  • I won an award for my efforts in cleaning up Merrylands.

3. What do you believe are the main issues affecting the Granville community? (limit to top 5)

  1. Lack of transparency in all areas of Government.
  2. Poor morale (lack of respect for the area).
  3. Lack of Police and other emergency services.
  4. Public Transportation.
  5. Over-development.

4. What are 3 key things you plan to achieve if elected?

  • (Literally) Clean up the areas from the ground up. By cleaning the electorate and keeping it clean, we will improve community spirit and pride in our areas. I will be out in about with my trusty litter picker to lead the way. We just need a little elbow grease.
  • Shine a spotlight on decisions taken by the local councils so that the electorate can be informed and are able to lend their voice either for or against, with support. This ensures the electorate become principal stakeholders as opposed to bystanders who need to ‘just live with it’.
  • I really want to clean up Parliament as well. We all read the news, the trust in politicians is non-existent and justifiably so. I’d like to be the catalyst for a new type of politician, ordinary citizens standing up to help lead the way for an electorate’s best interests instead of someone else’s. Together, we can change Australia from the ground up, for the better. We just need to try.

5. What do you think is a key issue affecting local families and how do you plan to address it?

I believe the over-development is definitely impacting local families. There’s a substantial amount of property developments, some in progress, others in various stages of completion, that will have repercussions across all areas. For instance, some apartment blocks will not have sufficient parking spots for their residents, meaning they will park on the street. In large clusters, this street parking (usually on small roads) will mean cars will become concentrated, increasing lack of visibility for families or people crossing the road. This also impacts traffic, which also impacts road rage. The additional residents will also put a strain on public transportation, hospitals and other local amenities and services.

This isn’t a hypothetical, this is actually happening right now and it can be seen across the entire district of Granville.

I plan to address this by placing pressure on the local councils to review each proposal carefully and inform residents of the planned developments. This is to ensure all the above, and other areas are taken into account. It isn’t right that massive blocks of high-rises just keep going up, without the infrastructure scaling to meet the demands of the current and future population.

6. What have you already achieved locally? (limit to top 5)

I’ve actually won an award for my efforts in cleaning up the streets. Quite literally. I spent months walking around with a picker and bag, just picking up litter around my local area. I inspired others to join me and help out as well, with a few of us meeting up to pick up rubbish.

Near Merrylands Station, there’s a few metal filters that now line the sewers alongside the road. These were implemented after I submitted a report to the local council about just how much rubbish was clogging it.

The cigarette bins installed in some locations around the electorate was another proposal I raised with the local council. It was an idea I borrowed from Parramatta when I first saw them myself during my commute. I thought it was a brilliant idea, and would help quell the behaviour of smokers throwing their cigarettes on the ground in these areas.

7. Do you think there is an issue with development outpacing infrastructure? If so, what do you think needs to be done to address it?

Excellent question! As I outlined in my previous answers, I definitely do believe there’s an issue and I listed a few ideas that I think will help with that.

8. There is growing concern among parents about the overcrowding of some schools – with play areas being lost and lunch times having to be rostered. What are your thoughts on this and how to fix it?

We need more schools OR we need to stop development outright until we can get them. Plain and simple. If schools are having issues such as this, how can we keep throwing my property development at the area that the school services?

9. Western Sydney just keeps getting hotter and it can be costly for families to travel to ocean beaches. Parramatta River and other key waterways go to the heart of the area and are potentially a great way for families to cool off. But sadly they continue to be in poor health and there is no water quality monitoring of a number of natural local swimming spots used by families. What do you think needs to happen and how will you help address the issue?

Indeed it does, as we lose more trees, grass and natural shade and replace it more concrete, it will get even hotter still. We definitely should monitor the health of the water, as this will directly feed into an understanding of just how much chemicals and litter is spilling in from the surrounding areas. This of course also impacts our local environment and the native flora and fauna.

We should definitely work together on this one and it will require some assistance from the Federal Member for Parramatta and the State Member for Parramatta to ensure it gets the level of attention it really needs. In addition, I also support more local facilities to help cater to local swimmers and families.

10. Which political party are you a member of, or have been a member of, and who are you giving your preferences to?

I am an Independent. A true Independent. As such, I refuse to give preferences to anybody but I will be voting and numbering all the boxes in my own manner on voting day. I am glad you asked the question though because this is another thing I’d like to address. There’s a great deal of confusion about what a ‘preference deal’ is, many voters assume if they vote for me or another candidate, that somehow we can direct that vote elsewhere, without their consent. This is entirely false. So, what is a ‘preference deal’ then? It’s an agreement between parties and/or candidates to place one another in their “how to votes (HTVs)”. I find them being called “How to Vote” funny because they’re more “Vote as I tell you” instead of actually teaching voters how to actually vote.

When I ran last time, 4 years ago, my how to vote didn’t list any preferences. Instead, it asked the voter to number all the boxes in the voter’s order of preference instead of my own or what a deal would have required. If voters refuse how to votes, these deals become less and less important, and you can be sure, you can always vote for who you REALLY prefer instead of voting as if your vote would be wasted if you decided to vote for the ‘best’ choice but the least likely to win. Preferential voting guarantees this. You CANNOT waste your vote.

If voters only knew just how powerful they were, I wouldn’t even need to run – because most of our issues would have been solved by now.


Rohan Lazmanalal (Animal Justice Party)

Granville electorate nsw state election 2019

1. What is your connection with your electorate (including how long you have lived in the area) and what do you like about it?

I was born in Westmead Hospital and have lived in the area for over 15 years . I like the area as it is close to Sydney’s 2nd largest CBD and gives you easy access to most parts of Sydney. I love my food so only having to drive a few minutes to properly explore different cuisine is nice!

2. What are 3 things that people might not know about you?

  • I am a twin and the only male in my family
  • I like my sandwiches toasted with a knife and fork
  • I eat a plant based diet free from products derived from animals – it did take me a few years though after a failed 1st attempt, though it’s a lot easier now with restaurants and supermarkets hoping on board. Not to mention the plethora of information coming out on the internet.

3. What do you believe are the main issues affecting the Granville community? (limit to top 5)

  • Health/wellbeing
  • Waste management – Stop blaming other levels of Government
  • Urban planning – I do not believe I am the only person waiting at a bus stop for nearly 30 minutes during peak hour, watching full buses go by every few minutes while plenty of cars drive by only occupied by the driver.

4. What are 3 key things you plan to achieve if elected?

I want Government to focus on advice from independent experts in health/wellbeing, waste management and urban planning.

  • Health/wellbeing – Fund more wellbeing programs that focus on areas such as yoga, meditation, nutrition, animals and the environment.
  • Waste management –Lead recycling initiatives. Incentivise the use of biodegradable plastics.
  • Urban planning – Incentivise ride sharing and double decker buses.

5. What do you think is a key issue affecting local families and how do you plan to address it?

Education – I know of prime importance to families are the future of their children. Not that there is anything dramatically wrong with the status quo but there is always room to do better.

Everything that I have suggested and will suggest improves the lives of children.

Of course it will cost money but if we can shift funding away from corrupt industries like Greyhound Racing, then we can make it happen.

6. What have you already achieved locally? (limit to top 5)

I have no experience in politics but feel a shake up needs to happen at all levels of Government by people who are conscious of how important our animals, environment and human health/wellbeing are.

I learnt and experienced this after taking a year off fulltime work, volunteering for various organisations such as the Sydney Vegan Market (SVM), Plant Alive Festival, Super Furry Festival, and most notably the AJP Sydney East and Inner West regional groups. .

These issues are so important, far beyond dollars and must be tackled now before it is too late.

I want Government to focus on advice from independent experts in health/wellbeing, waste management and urban planning.

7. Do you think there is an issue with development outpacing infrastructure? If so, what do you think needs to be done to address it?

Whether it is a lack of skill in this area or political parties receiving donations and feeling obliged to approve projects, I do not know but it certainly needs to be looked at by an independent body – a bit like how the RBA manages the cash rate.

8. There is growing concern among parents about the overcrowding of some schools – with play areas being lost and lunch times having to be rostered. What are your thoughts on this and how to fix it?

This comes down to a wider issue and that’s Urban Planning. It appears property development is being approved without taking into account local transport infrastructure and schools.

Whether it is a lack of skill in this area or political parties receiving donations and feeling obliged to approve projects, I do not know but it certainly needs to be looked at by an independent body – a bit like how the RBA manages the cash rate.

9. Western Sydney just keeps getting hotter and it can be costly for families to travel to ocean beaches. Parramatta River and other key waterways go to the heart of the area and are potentially a great way for families to cool off. But sadly they continue to be in poor health and there is no water quality monitoring of a number of natural local swimming spots used by families. What do you think needs to happen and how will you help address the issue?

One only needs to Google Search “United nations global warming animal agriculture” to see the various not-for-profit organisatons and media outlets who have made it clear over a long time that animal agriculture is a major contributor to warmer weather.

The world is slowly shifting away from animal agriculture and the Animal Justice Party (AJP) is the best placed political to drive that: https://animaljusticeparty.org/policieslist/environment/climate-change/

10. Which political party are you a member of, or have been a member of, and who are you giving your preferences to?

Animal Justice Party

Legislative Assembly – Lower House – House of Reps:

  1. LAXMANALAL Rohan – Animal Justice Party
  2. FINN Julia – Labor
  3. PROCIV Benjamin – The Greens
  4. LOPEZ Steven – Independent
  5. CHARAF Abdul – Independent
  6. HARRIS Linda
  7. ISSA Tony – Liberal
  8. PIPER Keith – Christian Democratic Party (Fred Nile Group)

Legislative Council – Upper House – Senate:

  1. Animal Justice Party
  2. Keep Sydney Open
  3. Sustainable Australia
  4. The Greens
  5. Labor/Country Labor

Tony Issa (Liberal)

Granville electorate nsw state election 2019

1. What is your connection with your electorate (including how long you have lived in the area) and what do you like about it?

  • I’ve lived in Merrylands for more than 40 years. Our local community is my home, my family and I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.
  • I love the electorate because it represents a culturally diverse community of hardworking families, businesses and individuals who want the best for their children, family and friends.
  • Previously served as Member for Granville, and was on the former Parramatta City council for over 25 years. Over 10 years as an Independent

2. What are 3 things that people might not know about you?

  1. I love to cook, and my kids think I’m pretty good at it
  2. I have seven beautiful grandchildren who I adore. I drew strength from them during the campaign.
  3. I migrated to Australia in the 70s and worked for State Rail

3. What do you believe are the main issues affecting the Granville community? (limit to top 5)

  • Public transport services and infrastructure: efficient and convenient transportation services means you can spend more time with your family
  • Making our streets and community safer for our children
  • Delivering world class education – more teachers, a strong curriculum and suitable infrastructure

4. What are 3 key things you plan to achieve if elected?

I will continue to fight for and advocate for our community. First and foremost, I will be here to listen. I will listen to what our community are saying, listen to the things that are affecting our local families, and work hard to deliver what we need. I hope to work with the government, leveraging my 30 years of experience to Make our Electorate a better place for everyone

5. What do you think is a key issue affecting local families and how do you plan to address it?

  • Local education and access to government services have been an issue in the Electorate. With the support of the community through my petition, and my proven ability to fight for our area, we, through a Liberal Government will deliver:
  • A Service NSW return to Merrylands bringing back RMS and other government services, including the Cost of Living and 40 Rebates
  • A new school in Westmead and significant infrastructure upgrades for Merrylands Public School, Wentworthville Public School and Parramatta West Public School
  • A return to express train services to Granville

6. What have you already achieved locally? (limit to top 5)

Whilst I have not been the member of Parliament for the last 4 years, I have continued to work in and for the community. Building on my experience serving the electorate for 30 years, i have, with a state Liberal government already achieved:

  • A new Service NSW centre for Merrylands to improve access to government services and cost of living measures.
  • A new school for Westmead and significant infrastructure upgrades for Merrylands Public School, Wentworthville Public School and Parramatta West Public School.
  • CCTV cameras for local businesses and community organisations to make our streets safer.
  • Express train services for Granville
  • 774 extra nurses, midwives and doctors for Western Sydney

7. Do you think there is an issue with development outpacing infrastructure? If so, what do you think needs to be done to address it?

After the 16 years of Labor neglect when they were in Government, it was inevitable that we would face some problems in NSW. The Liberal government has done a great job of bringing NSW back to number one, but there is still more to do. Only a Liberal government has a proven record of delivery. It is always difficult to manage demand, housing affordability, and infrastructure. The Liberal government has worked hard to fund some of the improvements needed, whether it be Ring Roads programs, or Westconnex, local parks through programs with Councils, or Metros and pinch point upgrades. The Liberals have done a lot, but there is still more too do.

8. There is growing concern among parents about the overcrowding of some schools – with play areas being lost and lunch times having to be rostered. What are your thoughts on this and how to fix it?

  • The education of our children, including my 7 grandchildren, is one of the most important things any government can contribute to.
  • The Liberals will deliver record investment in our schools – $6.5 billion – to deliver another 190 new or upgraded schools. I’m pleased the Liberal committed to the construction of a new school for Westmead 8 months ago.
  • The Liberals have committed to reduce the school maintenance backlog to zero at every public school in the electorate of Granville.
  • They will hire an extra 4,600 teachers to educate, inspire and empower our children.
  • The Liberals have committed $500 million to air condition thousands of classrooms

9. Western Sydney just keeps getting hotter and it can be costly for families to travel to ocean beaches. Parramatta River and other key waterways go to the heart of the area and are potentially a great way for families to cool off. But sadly they continue to be in poor health and there is no water quality monitoring of a number of natural local swimming spots used by families. What do you think needs to happen and how will you help address the issue?

The government has invested and will continue to invest in programs and projects that make our waterways clean. The Our Living River program is a great example where numerous member Councils as well as the NSW Government, through its agencies, contribute to a program to make Parramatta River swimmable again by 2025. I support any program that makes our area, and region a better place to live.

10. Which political party are you a member of, or have been a member of, and who are you giving your preferences to?

I’m a member of the Liberal Party. I’m preferencing the Christian Democratic Party


Julia Finn (Labor) – Current Member for Granville

<hr id="candidate1" class="extramarginhr" /> <h2>Steven Lopez (Independent)</h2> <a href="http://www.parraparents.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/Steven-Lopez.jpg"><img class="alignnone size-full wp-image-39187" src="http://www.parraparents.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/Steven-Lopez.jpg" alt="Granville electorate nsw state election 2019" width="880" height="879" /></a> <strong>1. What is your connection with your electorate (including how long you have lived in the area) and what do you like about it?</strong> I have lived in Merrylands for 25 years (in different parts too), I even went to Merrylands East Primary. I've seen the electorate grow but at the same time, the growth has been mismanaged. Granville, Merrylands, Wentworthville and the areas around them have had a massive focus on high-rise developments. Now don't get me wrong, I think development is a good thing but only when the infrastructure scales to accommodate them. It seems our areas have missed the memo, with high-rises with a lack of parking, spilling onto our roads and with our schools and hospitals struggling to cope. We need to plan for the future and for some reason the people making these decisions are refusing to do that. Instead opting to 'fix it later'... but as we all know, later never comes. Well, I plan to fix it now... before it gets worse. <strong>2. What are 3 things that people might not know about you?</strong> <ul> <li>I'm a first generation Australian. My entire family were South American refugees that arrived in Australia.</li> <li>I have no friends or family, that are property developers or politicians. We're mostly truckies, most of us rent.</li> <li>I won an award for my efforts in cleaning up Merrylands.</li> </ul> <strong>3. What do you believe are the main issues affecting the Granville community? (limit to top 5)</strong> <ol> <li>Lack of transparency in all areas of Government.</li> <li>Poor morale (lack of respect for the area).</li> <li>Lack of Police and other emergency services.</li> <li>Public Transportation.</li> <li>Over-development.</li> </ol> <strong>4. What are 3 key things you plan to achieve if elected?</strong> <ul> <li>(Literally) Clean up the areas from the ground up. By cleaning the electorate and keeping it clean, we will improve community spirit and pride in our areas. I will be out in about with my trusty litter picker to lead the way. We just need a little elbow grease.</li> <li>Shine a spotlight on decisions taken by the local councils so that the electorate can be informed and are able to lend their voice either for or against, with support. This ensures the electorate become principal stakeholders as opposed to bystanders who need to 'just live with it'.</li> <li>I really want to clean up Parliament as well. We all read the news, the trust in politicians is non-existent and justifiably so. I'd like to be the catalyst for a new type of politician, ordinary citizens standing up to help lead the way for an electorate's best interests instead of someone else's. Together, we can change Australia from the ground up, for the better. We just need to try.</li> </ul> <strong>5. What do you think is a key issue affecting local families and how do you plan to address it?</strong> I believe the over-development is definitely impacting local families. There's a substantial amount of property developments, some in progress, others in various stages of completion, that will have repercussions across all areas. For instance, some apartment blocks will not have sufficient parking spots for their residents, meaning they will park on the street. In large clusters, this street parking (usually on small roads) will mean cars will become concentrated, increasing lack of visibility for families or people crossing the road. This also impacts traffic, which also impacts road rage. The additional residents will also put a strain on public transportation, hospitals and other local amenities and services. This isn't a hypothetical, this is actually happening right now and it can be seen across the entire district of Granville. I plan to address this by placing pressure on the local councils to review each proposal carefully and inform residents of the planned developments. This is to ensure all the above, and other areas are taken into account. It isn't right that massive blocks of high-rises just keep going up, without the infrastructure scaling to meet the demands of the current and future population. <strong>6. What have you already achieved locally? (limit to top 5)</strong> I've actually won an award for my efforts in cleaning up the streets. Quite literally. I spent months walking around with a picker and bag, just picking up litter around my local area. I inspired others to join me and help out as well, with a few of us meeting up to pick up rubbish. Near Merrylands Station, there's a few metal filters that now line the sewers alongside the road. These were implemented after I submitted a report to the local council about just how much rubbish was clogging it. The cigarette bins installed in some locations around the electorate was another proposal I raised with the local council. It was an idea I borrowed from Parramatta when I first saw them myself during my commute. I thought it was a brilliant idea, and would help quell the behaviour of smokers throwing their cigarettes on the ground in these areas. <strong>7. Do you think there is an issue with development outpacing infrastructure? If so, what do you think needs to be done to address it?</strong> Excellent question! As I outlined in my previous answers, I definitely do believe there's an issue and I listed a few ideas that I think will help with that. <strong>8. There is growing concern among parents about the overcrowding of some schools - with play areas being lost and lunch times having to be rostered. What are your thoughts on this and how to fix it?</strong> We need more schools OR we need to stop development outright until we can get them. Plain and simple. If schools are having issues such as this, how can we keep throwing my property development at the area that the school services? <strong>9. Western Sydney just keeps getting hotter and it can be costly for families to travel to ocean beaches. Parramatta River and other key waterways go to the heart of the area and are potentially a great way for families to cool off. But sadly they continue to be in poor health and there is no water quality monitoring of a number of natural local swimming spots used by families. What do you think needs to happen and how will you help address the issue?</strong> Indeed it does, as we lose more trees, grass and natural shade and replace it more concrete, it will get even hotter still. We definitely should monitor the health of the water, as this will directly feed into an understanding of just how much chemicals and litter is spilling in from the surrounding areas. This of course also impacts our local environment and the native flora and fauna. We should definitely work together on this one and it will require some assistance from the Federal Member for Parramatta and the State Member for Parramatta to ensure it gets the level of attention it really needs. In addition, I also support more local facilities to help cater to local swimmers and families. <strong>10. Which political party are you a member of, or have been a member of, and who are you giving your preferences to?</strong> I am an Independent. A true Independent. As such, I refuse to give preferences to anybody but I will be voting and numbering all the boxes in my own manner on voting day. I am glad you asked the question though because this is another thing I'd like to address. There's a great deal of confusion about what a 'preference deal' is, many voters assume if they vote for me or another candidate, that somehow we can direct that vote elsewhere, without their consent. This is entirely false. So, what is a 'preference deal' then? It's an agreement between parties and/or candidates to place one another in their "how to votes (HTVs)". I find them being called "How to Vote" funny because they're more "Vote as I tell you" instead of actually teaching voters how to actually vote. When I ran last time, 4 years ago, my how to vote didn't list any preferences. Instead, it asked the voter to number all the boxes in the voter's order of preference instead of my own or what a deal would have required. If voters refuse how to votes, these deals become less and less important, and you can be sure, you can always vote for who you REALLY prefer instead of voting as if your vote would be wasted if you decided to vote for the 'best' choice but the least likely to win. Preferential voting guarantees this. You CANNOT waste your vote. If voters only knew just how powerful they were, I wouldn't even need to run - because most of our issues would have been solved by now.

1. What is your connection with your electorate (including how long you have lived in the area) and what do you like about it?

I was delighted to win Granville for Labor in the 2015 state election .In March 2016.I was made a Parliamentary Secretary to the Shadow Cabinet and have worked closely with Labor’s Shadow Ministers.

Previously I served as Councillor and Lord Mayor on the former Parramatta City Council from 1999-2016. As a Councillor, I advocated for our community ensuring we get our fair share and I fought to retain local services such as Council run childcare centres and local pools.

One of the great strengths of our area is the cultural diversity of residents. Most people were born overseas or have a parent who was born overseas and this means our multicultural area benefits from a wide range of backgrounds and experiences.

I especially enjoyed meeting members of Parraparents recently at Ollie Webb Reserve in Parramatta and having the opportunity to hear directly from parents about local concerns.

2. What are 3 things that people might not know about you?

  1. I have lived in the Parramatta area for 25 years with my husband Leigh and our dog Knox.
  2. Prior to my election to Parliament, I graduated with a Master of Social Science (International Development) from RMIT, a Master of Environmental Studies from Macquarie University and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Sydney. I was employed in senior roles in NSW public sector agencies including the Motor Accidents Authority, Transport for NSW, Housing NSW and the Department of Water and Energy.
  3. My favourite colour is yellow, my favourite food is Indian food and my favourite leisure time activity is photography.

3. What do you believe are the main issues affecting the Granville community? (limit to top 5)

The Liberals brought back the M4 toll which costs regular commuters over $2000 per year. The toll is a ripoff and nothing but a great, big tax on Western Sydney motorists. Only Labor will bring back the M4 cashback.

Whether it’s stinking hot trains without airconditioning, the removal of Granville station from the Western railway line, fewer express services to the city or the Liberals’ timetable debacle, local commuters are being shortchanged when it comes to train services. Labor has announced we will review the disastrous new timetable.

A Daley Labor Government will put climate change at the centre of decision making, and introduce NSW’s first renewable energy target. The Liberals have failed to address climate change and have overseen a 60 percent increase in power bills.

Westmead Hospital is chronically understaffed. Labor and I support improved nurse to patient ratios, to ensure local residents receive the best possible healthcare at Westmead Hospital.

Only Labor will invest in schools and hospitals instead of splurging $2.2 billion on rebuilding perfectly good stadiums in Sydney.

It is clear that under the Liberals you don’t count.

4. What are 3 key things you plan to achieve if elected?

  1. Labor’s better deal for Granville means only Labor will bring back the M4 cashback.
  2. A Daley Labor Government will invest $50 million to build a new Westmead Public School. The school is the biggest public school in NSW and is bursting at the seams.
  3. Under the Liberal’s most recent timetable, people travelling from Western Sydney face longer journey times, fewer stops and fewer direct services. Labor has committed to a review of the new transport timetables in order to make them fairer for Western Sydney commuters.

The contrast could not be clearer between the Liberals’ cuts and wrong priorities and Labor’s plans to invest in schools, hospitals and in local infrastructure.

5. What do you think is a key issue affecting local families and how do you plan to address it?

The Liberals are squandering precious resources which could be used to build new schools. They promised to build one new school in Parramatta for $100 million, however the final cost blew out to $325 million and they are spending $2.2 billion demolishing and rebuilding stadiums.

Across the state, thousands of classrooms and tens of thousands of children learn in unairconditioned classrooms.For the first time ever, every public school in NSW will be air conditioned under a Labor Government. Where possible, the air conditioning will be powered with rooftop solar panels, installed by skilled and licensed local workers, inspected and regulated by School Infrastructure NSW.

Labor will allow schoolkids to travel on public transport for free. Labor will allow children to travel for free on Sydney Trains, NSW Trains, buses, light rail and ferries throughout the Opal network.

Currently, NSW lags behind Victoria in language education. Labor will help more children learn a language other than English by recruiting 100 new language teachers, help current teachers gain new qualifications and increase funding for community language schools.

Labor will make TAFE free for more than 600,000 students over the next decade. 600,000 free places will be offered for courses which are relevant to sectors experiencing shortages of skilled workers.

In addition, a Labor Government will ensure that at least 70% of the vocational education and training budget goes to TAFE. Labor will always be the party that stands up for TAFE.

6. What have you already achieved locally? (limit to top 5)

It has been an honour to represent the entire Granville community in the NSW Parliament. I’ve been privileged to be invited to share residents’ most joyous and most sacred events and call so many of you my friend.

  • I fought against the M4 toll and only Labor will bring back the cashback scheme for the M4 motorway.
  • We fought to keep Wenty pool open three times and we won. Labor will invest $1 million investment into the Pool and it is a real show of support for the future of the pool, given previous attempts by the Liberal-appointed Administrator of Cumberland Council to close the pool and the demolition of Parramatta War Memorial Pool by the Liberal NSW Government.
  • I have raised concerns about overcrowding at Westmead Public School in the Parliament and with both sides of politics – it is the biggest public primary school in the State. The academic results are outstanding but the schoolkids are suffering from lack of space to play at lunch and there are over 20 demountable classrooms. I helped them secure $70,000 towards their new outdoor learning area for Years 1 and 2 and I am delighted Labor has committed to building a new Westmead Public School.
  • Following the forced amalgamation of local government councils, I lobbied Cumberland Council to be more inclusive of our local communities, to invite Hindu representatives along with Christian and Muslim leaders to citizenship ceremonies and lobbied them to celebrate Holi and Diwali.

I am passionate about our community and by working together we have been able support Community Building Partnerships funding for long overdue local infrastructure over the past 4 years:

  • Such as $100,000 for Shade Sails at OLQP School; $70,000 towards a playground shelter at St Margaret Marys Primary School; $25,000 for the Connected Community Project at Delany College; and $94,593 for airconditioners; hall upgrade and BBQ/covered area at Granville Boys High School;
  • Such as $57,750 towards refurbishment of the hall at St Elias’ Church and $50,000 towards the roof replacement at St Margaret Mary’s Church.

7. Do you think there is an issue with development outpacing infrastructure? If so, what do you think needs to be done to address it?

Yes, especially in our area.

Without doubt, local people want good government services and yet we have been forgotten by the Liberal Government. Western Sydney is bearing the brunt of the Liberal Government’s plans for overdevelopment whereas leafy North Shore suburbs in the Premier’s backyard like Mosman, Hunters Hill, and Willoughby are let off the hook. Labor will end the developer free-for- all and close the Liberal developer backdoor of spot rezoning, which has been ruthlessly exploited, and scrap the medium density housing code for good.

From giant towers next to downgraded Granville station, to empty shops in Wentworthville our community has had enough. Labor will put people and communities back at the heart of the planning system and scrap the Liberals’ ‘Planned Precincts’ which allows the Liberals to override local communities and councils to rezone entire areas for high rise without sufficient essential infrastructure.

Despite this, for years I championed City of Parramatta’s first all-inclusive playground and water play park. It has finally been opened at Ollie Webb Reserve, Parramatta and enables kids of all ages and all abilities to play side by side. As a Councillor on the former Parramatta City Council I secured the initial $330,000 in funding for the project. I am thrilled to see it is now a reality. I saw the demand for inclusive play equipment at Lake Parramatta’s liberty swing and I was determined to make more inclusive play equipment available.

8. There is growing concern among parents about the overcrowding of some schools – with play areas being lost and lunch times having to be rostered. What are your thoughts on this and how to fix it?

Labor has also announced that a Daley Labor Government will invest $50 million to build a new Westmead Public School.

At 1600 students the current school is the biggest public school in NSW and the children are losing playground space to over 20 demountables. They need proper classrooms.
Under the Liberals, our schools are at breaking point, Our schools are underfunded and overcrowded. I believe that every child deserves the best start in life through a first rate, world class education system.

A Daley Labor Government will inject $2.7 billion over the life of the current State and Federal funding agreement to become the first state in Australia to deliver 100 per cent of the standard level of funding for every student. Only a Daley Labor State Government, together with a Shorten Labor Federal Government will deliver 100 per cent of funding by the end of the agreement.

9. Western Sydney just keeps getting hotter and it can be costly for families to travel to ocean beaches. Parramatta River and other key waterways go to the heart of the area and are potentially a great way for families to cool off. But sadly they continue to be in poor health and there is no water quality monitoring of a number of natural local swimming spots used by families. What do you think needs to happen and how will you help address the issue?

A Daley Labor Government will invest $1.8 million towards making Parramatta River swimmable again by 2025. Making the Parramatta River swimmable might sound like an ambitious goal, but it’s a goal that is built on good science and cooperation already in place with the Parramatta River Catchment Group. Labor’s $1.8 million investment will be put to immediate use to support further research and expand water quality monitoring across the river. This work will lay the foundation for a return to swimming at identified sites along the Parramatta River, with some sites proposed to open by 2025.

10. Which political party are you a member of, or have been a member of, and who are you giving your preferences to?

I joined the Labor Party in 1992 because I wanted to help make our state and our country a better place. I saw the effect of the Liberal Government cuts to schools and hospitals and I share Labor’s commitment to put people first. And to ensure universal access to health, education and transport.

At this election there is a clear choice. Labor and I want to make our area even better. Unlike our opponents, we will bring back the M4 toll cashback and we will review the train timetable. I encourage all residents to vote 1 next to my name on the small ballot paper so that a Daley Labor Government can put people first.


NSW State Election 2019 – General Info

What Are We Voting For?

The 57th Parliament of New South Wales, including all 93 seats in the NSW Legislative Assembly. Plus 21 of the 42 seats in the NSW Legislative Council.

What is the Role of the NSW Parliament?

With three levels of government in Australia, it can be confusing to know who looks after what. The State Parliament makes laws on matters such as:

  • police
  • schools and hospitals
  • state transport, roads and railways
  • housing services
  • community services

When Do I Need to Vote?

NSW Election Day is Saturday 23rd March and voting is between 8am and 6pm. Some voting centre or polling place keep different hours so be sure to check. And don’t leave it to the last minute! You’ll need up to an hour to vote in busy times. You can also vote before Election Day – it’s called pre-polling (see Where Can I Vote? section below) but you must vote.

State Election 2019
Long queues at Centenary Square for the 2016 Federal Election (Photo credit: Daily Telegraph)

Who Needs to Vote?

Voting is compulsory for all Australian citizens who live in NSW and are 18 years of age or older. Fines apply for not voting. You can check your enrolment to vote if unsure.

What Do I Need to Vote?

Take your licence or other photo identification, or something with your current residential address on it. You may also want to take some money to buy a famous election sausage sizzle. And bring a bottle of water in case you have to wait a long time. Comfy shoes are a good idea as well!

Election sausage sizzle

Where Can I Vote?

Voting in person on Election Day (23rd March) is the way most people vote in NSW. It’s generally quick and easy to vote in person at a voting centre or polling place, often at a local school. And election staff and officials are available if you need help. Plus you can usually enjoy a sausage sizzle or cake stall while you wait to vote.

If you would like vote in person, but you are unable to get to a voting centre or polling place on Election Day, you may be eligible to vote early or pre-poll. Early voting for the NSW State election opens from Monday 11th March until Friday 22nd March.

There is an early voting centre in Parramatta, at 23-27 Macquarie Street. And other centres around the local areas. Parramatta voting centre hours are: 8am-6pm Monday – Friday, 8am-8pm on Thursday 21st March and 8-5pm on Saturdays. Closed Sundays.

You can also vote by post/ mail – call 1800 011 542 to arrange this.

How is My Vote Counted?

There are two papers you will be required to fill out on Election Day to vote:

  1. Small paper is Legislative Assembly (lower house of NSW parliament)
  2. Large paper is Legislative Council (upper house of NSW parliament)

You will be given choices on each paper of which individuals or parties you would like to give your vote to. You may choose on each paper to simply put a 1 next to the candidate of your choice. But you may number more if you wish. It’s different for each paper.

  • For Legislative Assembly ballot paper (small): A candidate has to receive 50% of all votes+1 to be elected. This is called an ‘absolute majority’. If the candidate you have voted 1 for, does not have enough votes to be elected, votes are re-sorted to the other candidates remaining, according to the second preference. This is why some people choose to vote by numbering their 2nd, 3rd and 4th etc preferences. See here for more information on voting in the Legislative Assembly (small paper).
  • For Legislative Council ballot paper (large): You may vote above OR below the line, but not both. You may “Vote 1” for the party you prefer ABOVE the line (listed as “Groups”). This is the minimum you need to do to vote. But you may further empower your vote for other preferred parties by labelling 2, 3, 4 etc above the line, and preferences apply, as for the lower house. If you choose to vote BELOW the line you must number a minimum of 15 boxes. See here for more information about voting for the Legislative Council.

Some “how to vote” cards suggest preferences but you are free to vote for any candidate or party you wish. And give your preferences (2nd 3rd 4th choices) to anyone you wish.

What Do I Do After Voting?

Enjoy a (democracy) sausage sizzle, return your how to vote papers to the party for reuse and politely decline any more. A simple “I’ve voted”, or “no thank you” should keep unwanted party politics away.

If interested tune in to TV coverage after 6pm and have your own political watch party!! Results and trends often become clear on the night of election day.

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