New Faces in Local Government

New faces in local government Following a month of internal ballots across the State, there are a number of new faces leading NSW and Sydney local councils.

They include: the first Green Mayor for Waverley, Liberal Mayors in Leichhardt and Randwick councils, a Labor Deputy Mayor in Woollahra, a Liberal Deputy Mayor in the Blue Mountains, the first female mayor in Wentworth Shire, a new Green Mayor at Marrickville and a Labor Deputy Mayor in Sydney City.

Most NSW mayors are elected from among existing councillors in annual elections held during September.

And only 30 of the 152 councils have popularly elected mayors. These include City of Sydney Council (with Lord Mayor Clover Moore), Willoughby Council (Patrick Reilly), Canterbury City Council (Robert Furolo), Botany Bay Council (Ron Hoenig), Broken Hill (Ron Page), Wollongong (Alex Darling), Newcastle (John Tate), Hornsby Shire (Nick Berman), Manly (Peter Macdonald), Bellingen Shire (Mark Troy) and North Sydney Council (Genia McCaffery).

However, the deputy mayoral positions are still elected from within the councillors. Labor’s Verity Firth became Deputy Lord Mayor of the City of Sydney Council, replacing Lord Mayor Clover Moore’s running mate Councillor John McInerney.

In elections to the important Central Sydney Planning Committee, the sole Liberal councillor Shayne Mallard joined the committee. The other members are: Lord Mayor Clover Moore, Clr John McInerney, Ms Jennifer Westacott*, Mr Peter Mould, Ms Antoinette le Marchant, and Mr Neil Bird. (*Ms Westacott has recently resigned her position as Director-General of the NSW Department of Planning.)

The September election season may come to an end if Minister for Local Government Kerry Hickey gets his way. He recently proposed that all mayors of NSW councils should be popularly elected. He also proposed that councils with an even number of councillors should lose one to prevent tied votes. In recent years some mayoral positions were determined by a draw from a hat.

Hawker Britton Managing Director Mr Bruce Hawker said for many families and businesses local government can be the most important tier of government as it affects decisions impacting on their daily lives.

“A new leadership team can dramatically influence the direction and approach of a local government area”, Mr Hawker said.

“The importance of local government can be measured by the sheer volume of development applications they process. For instance, in the 2003-2004 period, NSW local councils processed 131,532 development applications.”

Some key changes this September include:

Labor’s Marcus Ehrlich was elected as the Deputy Mayor of Woollahra Municipal Council – the first ALP leadership position in the most affluent area of Sydney in more than a decade, and the youngest Deputy Mayor in NSW at the age of 22. He replaced a Green Deputy Mayor, David Shoebridge. The new Mayor is Andrew Petrie, a Liberal councillor.

Elsewhere in the East, Mora Main became the first Green Mayor of Waverley Council and has already indicated her commitment to environmental issues, including heritage, affordable housing and combating overdevelopment. Waverley Deputy Mayor George Newhouse retained his position.

Meanwhile, Liberal councillor Ted Seng became Mayor of Randwick City Council, the first Asian-born Mayor since the council was established 146 years ago, with former Greens Mayor Murray Matson as his Deputy

In Leichhardt, Liberal Nick Dyer became mayor but Labor retained the deputy position with Christopher Windsor.

In Marrickville, former Deputy Mayor and Greens candidate for Marrickville in the recent NSW by-election, Sam Byrne, was elected Mayor, with Dimitrios Thanos (Independent) as his Deputy.

At Ryde City Council, former Liberal MP for Gladesville Ivan Petch replaced Terry Perram as Mayor. Mr Petch has previously served as Mayor of Ryde.

In Penrith, the Mayor and Deputy swapped roles, as John Thain became Mayor and Jackie Greenow became the new Deputy Mayor.

In Mosman, there is a new leadership team with Denise Wilton as mayor and Simon Menzies as her deputy.

The high-profile Mayor of Ku-ring-gai Council, Adrienne Ryan, was replaced by Elaine Malicki, an independent and one of Ku-ring-gai’s longest serving councillors.

In Broken Hill, for the first time both Mayor and Deputy Mayor positions are held by non-Labor people. Independent Ray Steer was elected to Deputy Mayor.

In Wentworth Shire in southwest NSW, Margaret Thomson became the council’s first female Mayor.

In Manly, Barbara Aird, an independent, was elected Deputy Mayor.

In the Blue Mountains, where ALP member Jim Angel was re-elected mayor for the sixth time, there is now a Liberal Deputy Mayor, Fiona Creed.

Armidale, a key regional centre and university town in the northern tablelands, replaced long-serving Mayor Brian Chetwynd with his former deputy Peter Ducat. And Bruce Whan became new deputy mayor.

In Wollongong, Deputy Mayor Kiril Jonovski was re-elected.

Administrators are still in place at Tweed Shire Council on the far north coast and Liverpool City Council in Sydney.

Other new council leaders include:

Deputy Mayor Nick Adams (Council of the Municipality of Ashfield)
Deputy Mayor Barbara Gapps (Blacktown City Council)
Mayor Vince Badalati, Deputy Mayor Philip Sansom (Hurstville City Council)
Mayor Nick Varvaris, Deputy Annie Tang (Kogarah Municipal Council)
Deputy Mayor Ann Smith (Lane Cove Municipal Council)
Mayor Alex McTaggart, Deputy Mayor Patricia Giles (Pittwater Council)
Deputy Mayor Melanie Gibbons (Sutherland Shire Council)
Deputy Mayor Labor’s Glenn Taylor (Orange City Council)
Deputy Mayor Barbara Moran (City of Lithgow Council)
Deputy Mayor Adrian Cox (Willoughby City Council)
Mayor Bob Graham (a former State Liberal MP for The Entrance) and Deputy Mayor Kath Forster (Wyong Shire Council)
Deputy Mayor Claudia Gall (Moree Plains Shire Council)
Mayor Tony Allen, Deputy Mayor Janette Neilson (Bega Valley Shire Council)
Deputy Mayor Diana Simpson (Wagga Wagga City Council)
Deputy Mayor Denise Higgins (Deniliquin Council)
Mayor John Faker, Deputy Mayor Glen Sanders (Burwood Council)
Deputy Mayor Peter Lewis (Kyogle), replacing Patsy Nagas, who was the council’s first Aboriginal deputy mayor
Mayor Russell Matheson, Deputy Mayor Paul Lake (Campbelltown City Council); and
Deputy Mayor Labor’s Sarah Trapla (Fairfield City Council)
Mayor Shaoquett Moselmane, Deputy Mayor Bill Saravinovski (Rockdale City Council)

Elsewhere, a number of mayors and deputy mayors were re-elected, including:

Mayor Norm Mann, Deputy Mayor Paul Toole (Bathurst Regional Council)
Mayor John Davis (Orange City Council)
Deputy Mayor Craig Garland (North Sydney Council)
Mayor Ian M Tiley, Deputy Mayor Shirley Adams (Clarence Valley Council)
Mayor Helen Westwood, Deputy Mayor Tania Mihailuk (Bankstown City Council)
Mayor John Tramby (Moree Plains Shire Council)
Mayor James Treloar, Deputy Mayor Phil Betts (Tamworth Regional Council)
Mayor Bart Bassett, Deputy Mayor Diane Finch (Hawkesbury City Council)
Mayor Gordon Lewis, Deputy Mayor Nicholas N Campbell-Jones (Wingecarribee Shire Council) Mayor Sandra McCarthy, Deputy Mayor Robert East (Council of the Municipality of Kiama)
Mayor Roger Norton, Deputy Mayor Katrin Hackney (Cooma-Monaro Shire Council)
Mayor Arthur Frauenfelder, Deputy Mayor Kevan Porter (Albury City Council)
Mayor Kerry Pascoe (Wagga Wagga City Council)
Mayor John Dal Broi, Deputy Mayor Dino Zappacosta (Griffith City Council)
Mayor Lindsay Renwick (Deniliquin Council)
Deputy Mayor Ian Hogbin (Coffs Harbour City Council)
Mayor Phillip Silver, Deputy Mayor John B Felsch (Ballina Shire Council)
Deputy Mayor John Chant (Lismore City Council)
Mayor Rae Jones (Council of the Municipality of Ashfield)
Mayor Leo Kelly (Blacktown City Council)
Deputy Mayor Nick Ebbeck (Ku-ring-gai Council)
Mayor Ian Longbottom (Lane Cove Municipal Council)
Deputy Mayor Gabrielle O’Donnell (Ryde City Council)
Mayor Bill Carney, Deputy Mayor Elizabeth Gewandt (Strathfield Municipal Council)
Mayor Kevin Schreiber (Sutherland Shire Council)
Mayor Sonya Phillips, Deputy Mayor Martin Tolar (Council of the Shire of Baulkham Hills)