On Saturday 25th March we vote for the 58th 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.
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 five electorates in and around Parramatta – Auburn, Epping, Granville, Parramatta, Winston Hills. Note: you can read about the Ryde candidates here.
| Candidate Questions | Candidate Responses | Democracy Sausage or Cake | What You Need to Know About NSW State Election |
10 Questions for Candidates
- What is your connection to your electorate (including if you live or work in the area) and what you like about it?
- What are 3 things people might not know about you?
- What have you already achieved for/ in the electorate?
- What do you see as the main issues affecting your electorate? (limit to 5)
- What is one key issue affecting local families in your electorate and how do you plan to address it?
- What are your thoughts on projected population growth for your electorate, associated development and community infrastructure?
- Please share your thoughts on local schools in your electorate and what they need
- Western Sydney keeps getting hotter! It can be costly for families (and others) to keep cool and our changing climate impacts on health and wellbeing. What do you think is needed and what do you commit to doing?
- What are your thoughts on the current planning system, in particular complying development? And what, if any, improvements do you want to see?
- What are 3 key things you plan to achieve if elected?
- We also gave candidates the opportunity to provide any other comments (200 word limit)
These questions were developed based on discussions in Parramatta District Mums group and other local Facebook parents groups. Plus, feedback received via ParraParents. We decided to ask the same questions for all candidates to ensure they were politically neutral and allowed you to make a comparison.
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 2023 State Election.
Candidate Responses from 5 Electorates
The responses to our 10 questions have been presented by electorate to help you compare your candidates:
- Parramatta (3 of 5 candidates responded in writing, 1 candidate provided answers in live Q&A)
- Epping (2 of 6 candidates responded)
- Winston Hills (2 of 4 candidates responded)
- Granville (3 of 6 candidates responded)
- Auburn (1 of 6 candidates responded)
This was a large amount of work, involving several hours per electorate for both us and the candidates. We strongly believe it’s in everyone’s interest for all candidates to provide responses. And welcome your support in encouraging those who have not yet responded to do so.
Democracy Sausage or Cake – School Fundraisers
It’s not an election without a good sausage sizzle or cake stall. Most schools double as a voting centre for elections and welcome the community to their school with a sausage sizzle or cake stall or some other activity that helps the school raise much needed funds.
Here are some of the schools where you can grab a democracy sausage or cake, in alphabetical order of suburb:
- DUNDAS: Dundas Public School – fete, with BBQ, market stalls, rides (9am to 4pm)
- DUNDAS VALLEY: St Bernadette’s Primary School – sausage sizzle
- EASTWOOD: Eastwood Community Baptist Church – sausage sizzle
- NEWINGTON: Newington Public School – sausage sizzle and cake stall
- PARRAMATTA: Parramatta East Public School – sausage sizzle (8am to 4pm)
- PARRAMATTA: Parramatta North Public School – sausage sizzle
- OATLANDS: Oatlands Public School – sausage sizzle and cake stall (8am to 2pm)
- TOONGABBIE: Toongabbie Public School – sausage sizzle and cake stall
NSW State Election 2023 – General Info
What Are We Voting For?
The 58th 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:
- schools and hospitals
- state transport, roads and railways
- housing services
- community services
When Do I Need to Vote?
NSW Election Day is Saturday 25th March and voting is between 8am and 6pm. Some voting centres or polling places 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 (when in person) – and early voting starts from 18th March 2023.
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!
Where Can I Vote?
Voting in person on Election Day (25th March) is still the way a lot of 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 18th March until Friday 24th March.
The local early voting centres can be found at the following locations and are open Mon-Wed 8:30am to 5:30pm; Thur 8:30am to 8pm; Fri 8:30am to 6pm; Sat 9am to 6pm; closed Sundays.
- Parramatta: Phive Makers Space, 5 Parramatta Square, level 3. I
- Ermington: Ermington Community Centre, 6 River Road. It’s open Mon-Wed 8:30am to 5:30pm; Thur 8:30am to 8pm; Fri 8:30am to 6pm; Sat 9am to 6pm; closed Sundays.
- Wentworth Point: Pulse Centre, 9 The Crescent
You can also vote by post/ mail – applications close 20th March.
There are two papers you will be required to fill out on Election Day to vote:
- Small paper is Legislative Assembly (lower house of NSW parliament)
- 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.