Internal fighting has forced the Liberal Party to step in and shut down the Dundas branch.
The party’s state executive met on Friday night after footage of a recent branch meeting which erupted into threats of violence was aired on Channel Nine. Sources said Dundas Sports Club staff had to intervene and eject members from the premises.
“It was embarrassing and disgusting,” a senior party source told the Sun.
“Police were contacted but couldn’t lay charges as the footage was inconclusive.”
The Sun understands there’s a fierce battle within the party for preselection to run for Parramatta Council at the September 9 local government elections.
It’s understood party nominations for council preselection closed on Monday. Candidates are expected to be revealed in the next month.
Numbers at Dundas were critical, where party’s right wing faction was battling for control. The branch, which consisted of 90 members, has been dissolved.
“The Liberal Party expects a higher standard of conduct from all of our members, in line with community expectations. We do not condone intimidation, harassment or any other unacceptable behaviour,” Liberal Party state director Chris Stone said.
The incident sparked Sydney Business Chamber western Sydney director David Borger to publicly issue a timely reminder to all future councillors. The former Parramatta Lord Mayor took a parting shot at former councillors as a guest speaker at Parramatta Chamber of Commerce’s annual State of the City address last Friday.
“The biggest risk to Parramatta’s future is governance,” Mr Borger said.
“It’s one of this city’s greatest challenges. I was on the council for 13 years, where I saw some terrible, shocking examples of councillors putting politics before governance. If Parramatta is going to be a great city, we need great leaders who have the knowledge and skills and will put Parramatta before their own self interests.”
He has since been described by independent party Our Local Community as the pot calling the kettle black. “His comments came as a surprise, particular as his own Labor members have occupied near half of the councillors in recent years. In fact, his own small time thinking together with his inability to work with the general manager of the day resulted in poor leadership at the highest level,” a spokeswoman said.