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.

Ryde Electorate Map
Ryde Electorate Map

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 Ryde electorate to answer them. Plus seven other electorates – Auburn, Blacktown, Epping, Granville, Parramatta, Prospect and Seven Hills – that cover where our readers are mostly from.

| About Ryde Electorate | Meet the Ryde 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 Ryde Electorate

Ryde Park

The Ryde electorate is just to the east of Parramatta electorate and is 28 square kilometres in size. It includes the suburbs of Denistone, Denistone East, Denistone West, Eastwood, Epping, Macquarie Park, Marsfield, Meadowbank, Melrose Park, North Ryde, Ryde, West Ryde..


Meet the Candidates for Ryde

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

  • Steve Busch – Australian Conservatives NSW (late response)
  • Victor Dominello – Liberal (response coming)
  • Sophie Khatchigian – Keep Sydney Open (no response received)
  • Mark Larsen – Sustainable Australia (no response received)
  • Jerome Laxale – Labor (no response received)
  • Lindsay Peters – Greens (responses received)
  • Julie Worsley – Christian Democratic Party – Fred Nile Group (no response received)

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


Lindsay Peters (Greens)

Lindsay Peters Ryde 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?

My family and I have lived in the Eastwood area for 30 years. The things I value most about this area are its multiculturalism, the bushland, the heritage homes and trees, the train station within walking distance, and of course, the idyllic Dence park aquatic centre.

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

  1. I work as the Chief Technology Officer for a hi-tech company providing medical software
  2. I am the son of a refugee from war-torn Germany who was awarded the Order of Australia for his services to medicine, and have a particular empathy for asylum seekers
  3. I have been privileged to represent the Greens in many Federal, State and Local Government elections in this area since 2006

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

  1. The environmental crisis is the main issue facing all communities on this planet – rapid climate change and species extinction are now stark warnings of this crisis.
  2. The sudden, inappropriate and unplanned over-development in our area, with its attendant strain on local services such as transport, schooling and childcare facilities.
  3. The lack of affordable and social housing in our area, with young people in particular having to move out of the area to remote suburbs, away from their families, and suffering long commutes.
  4. The increased traffic congestion which makes both commuting and local trips very difficult.
  5. The lack of protection of our our natural heritage with widespread tree destruction and encroachments on recreational areas.

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

  1. To work with my parliamentary colleagues to implement the Greens plan to quickly move NSW to 100% renewable energy, including setting up the regional renewable energy plants, incentives for roof-top solar and, over time, decommissioning all coal fired power stations.
  2. To introduce legislation to return control of planning decisions back to Local Government, lift building codes to ensure all new dwellings are high-quality, zero-emission, and provide adequate recreational space and social housing. Also ensure that all building inspectors work for the council, rather than allow private certifiers.
  3. To invest substantially more in our public services, in particular rail and buses, and provide adequate funding for TAFE and local public schools and child care centres. I would also trial a free shuttle bus service as has been successfully implemented in Parramatta.

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

Lack of child care facilities is a major issue. We would ensure that each family is provided with 24 hours per week of subsidised early childhood education and care. We would also provide a grant fund of initially $200m for grants to child care providers to expand facilities and staff. Training and pay rates for child care workers would be substantially increased as is appropriate for the very important service they provide.

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

  1. In election campaigns since 2006 I have promoted to the electorate the Greens principles of environmental sustainability, economic and social justice, grass roots democracy and non-violence.
  2. I was the Greens candidate for Bennelong in 2007 when our preferences were instrumental in unseating the Liberal prime minister, returning the more centrist Labor party who in a deal with the Greens, eventually implemented a price on carbon which has been the only scheme that has ever lowered carbon emissions in Australia.
  3. With many other residents I have supported several local campaigns to save heritage buildings and trees from destruction from developers, and have lobbied (successfully far) to prevent the closure of the Dence Park aquatic centre.
  4. With other Greens supporters we have campaigned successfully to have Greens elected to Ryde local council where they have introduced many important initiatives including renewable energy, bushland protection and support for the arts.

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. Major development approvals are made by the state planning minister not Ryde council, with the developers given priority over the community’s needs. There is a lack of proper town planning that would include adequate building codes, appropriate levels of social housing, sufficient recreational areas and all the necessary infrastructure such as transport, health, educational and child care services.

  • Control of planning decisions needs to be put back in the hands of Local Government.
  • The private certification system should be abolished and replaced by publicly accountable building certifiers employed by local councils, with oversight by a statewide professional body.
  • The requirements for adequate public services including transport, education, childcare and health should be an essential part of the planning and approval process for any proposed development.

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?

  • Local public schools should be adequately funded and maintained. In particular, Marsden High should be refurbished rather than closed.
  • New primary and secondary schools should be built in the local area, including on the Peter Board site.
  • Parks and other recreational areas that are close to schools should be preserved, and more recreational areas created, so that there are additional play areas for children both during and after school.

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 recent Auditor General’s damning report on the NSW Environmental Protection Agency has confirmed what we all know, that its regulatory frameworks are weak and it is ineffective in its compliance and enforcement activities. Our government needs to give it the power to deal with the realities of water pollution and illegal waste dumping, all too evident in the Parramatta river and other local waterways, and which is causing harm to both the environment and our health, as well as depriving us of great recreational areas. Tightened standards for waste disposal, improved storm water management and a strong EPA to monitor pollution and prosecute offenders would address this issue.

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 a member of The Greens. In the lower house we don’t “give” preferences – voters choose their own preferences. However we are recommending that voters consider giving their second preference to Labor in the upcoming election.

The complete list of Greens policies for NSW can be found at https://greens.org.au/nsw/policies


Steve Busch (Australian Conservatives NSW)

Steve Busch ryde 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?

Having been a resident in the local area for 30 years I am familiar with its history. My grandfather was a resident on Carlingford road and we would visit as children we observed cows grazing over the road. I am also a parishioner of C3 Church at Top Ryde

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

  • Former Bennelong Campaign Leader for Coalition for Marriage to maintain traditional marriage.
  • Employed for 27 years as a Captain, Pilot and Leader in Australia’s leading Airline
  • Father of four ranging ages 25 to 10 years

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

Main issues affecting Ryde are

  1. increased development lacking vital appropriate State Government infrastructure including roads, public transport, over/under passes to ease local congestion.
  2. End government sell off of local schools and land holdings with zero return to our community.
  3. More police to arrest the rise in crime in the Ryde electorate.

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

I plan to achieve State intervention on the abandoned Ryde Council Civic Centre to build a new centre and stop the waste of millions in ratepayers dollars annually on temporary office accomodation.

Constructive relations with local businesses on development policy and local value capture. Oppose reckless spending on renewable subsidies for power that achieve nothing but hardship for the vulnerable and struggling families.

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

Living affordability is crippling young families through State Government gouging on tolls, fees, charges and levies. Affordable housing. We back parental rights over children not institutions and a need a return to educational basics. Protect our children in schools against harmful gender-fluidity theory and social indoctrination.

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

I have assisted in achieving a “No Vote” majority for the Bennelong Electorate. I achieved this before I had any political platform.

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?

As discussed above for overdevelopment.

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?

Many schools have been sold in the area and now we face shortages and hence the problems. We need to stop ALL sale of local schools otherwise, our only choice will be High Rise School Buildings as is the case in countries like Japan.

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?

My local pool at Dence Park in Epping was going to be shut down but a strong anti response from the community saved it. Once vital infrastructure is lost it will never be regained. Community needs recreational spaces.

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

Australian Conservatives are my political party, the fastest growing party in Australia. We give only one preference to the Christian Democrats and allow voters to make up their personal choice. We recommend that if you are entirely happy with a party of choice, Vote them as Number One and us as second. If you are not entirely happy with your normal party of choice, put Australian Conservatives as number one and the other party as number two. The vote will most likely go to your second choice as a preference, if it is a major party, but it will send a strong message for change.


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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