Parramatta Council shake up in local government elections

In her father's footsteps: Michelle Garrard will continue the legacy started by her dad Paul, who was a Parramatta councillor for 42 years until the state government's amalgamations in May 2016. Picture: Geoff Jones

In her father's footsteps: Michelle Garrard will continue the legacy started by her dad Paul, who was a Parramatta councillor for 42 years until the state government's amalgamations in May 2016. Picture: Geoff Jones

Fresh faces will outnumber the familiar when the incoming Parramatta Council meet for the first time.

Up to five former Parramatta councillors will return to the chamber following Saturday’s local government elections.

Phil Bradley is set to become the first Greens councillor on the council.

One thing that won’t change will be the Garrard legacy. While former lord mayor Paul Garrard has moved on and won a spot on the new Cumberland Council, his daughter Michelle will most likely be elected in Parramatta’s Dundas ward.

The Our Local Community candidate vowed to continue her dad’s tradition of quarterly community meetings. He was the first councillor to introduce community precinct meetings in 1993.

“I’ll continue his legacy he left in Parramatta, which was a focus on the community,” Ms Garrard said.

““I look forward to representing the community. It’s a privilege I take seriously.  There will more independents who have a larger say in keeping the major parties honest and ensure they put the community first.”

Mr Garrard was “over the moon” for his daughter and had this advice for her.

“Listen to your community very carefully, read the business papers and don’t be afraid to ask the community about what they need.”

Mr Bradley could be joined by fellow Greens candidate Chris James, who’s in a close battle for the final spot in the Rosehill ward.

“You can’t count your chickens before they hatch but I’m quietly confident,” Mr Bradley said.

“We’ve seen a big increase in the primary vote, which shows resurgence in confidence in the Greens.There’s a strong feeling in the Parramatta community about excessive high rises, not just in the CBD but also in the suburbs. We are keen to start putting our Greens policies into practice, especially those of supporting communities not developers, and protecting our environment and heritage."

Federal Parramatta MP Julie Owens predicted a shake up of the council while campaigning for Labor candidates last Saturday.

“I think we’ll see the independents do well,” she told the Sun. “There have been a lot of changes and dissatisfaction with the Liberal state government, which will drive people towards the independents.”

Due to the close vote count in some wards, the mayoral election originally due to held next Monday has been postponed until September 25.

Likely line-up of Parramatta Council

Parramatta: Martin Zaiter (Liberals), Sameer Pandey (Labor) and Phil Bradley (Greens)

Rosehill: Steven Issa (Liberal), Patricia Prociv (Labor) and Andrew Wilson (Our Local Community)/Chris James (Greens)

Dundas: Benjamin Barrak (Liberals), Pierre Esber (Labor) and Michelle Garrard (Our Local Community).

North Rocks: Andrew Jefferies (Liberals), Bob Dwyer (Liberals) and Paul Han (Labor).

Epping: Bill Tyrrell (Liberals), Donna Davis (Labor) and Lorraine Wearne (independent).

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