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Makous Makari and Paul Garrard. Makous Makari and Paul Garrard. Featured
30 September 2015 Posted by 

LOCAL GOVERNMENT MAYORAL ELECTIONS

Libs back veteran for Lord Mayor

By Di Bartok

PAUL Garrard brought a spade to Parramatta Council on the night he was elected to his sixth term as Lord Mayor - but it had nothing to do with how he almost dug his own grave.

Always ready for a light-hearted dig, the self-effacing but consummate politician  - who always calls a spade a spade - announced that the sturdy implement signified how he would continue to build “Sydney’s dual CBD”.

But Liberal sources have told WSBA that Clr Garrard’s ability to rankle both sides of the chamber almost led to his own burial.

While Garrard was promised the Lord Mayoralty for this term as per an “agreement” struck with the majority Liberals after the last local government election in 2012, the deal looked like it would unravel at the 11th hour.

According to Garrard himself, the ruling Liberals were set to reinstate Scott Lloyd as Lord Mayor over two sticking points - his publicly-stated opposition to council mergers and his intention to field his own team at next year’s council elections.

“It has been tough, I have to say, I’ve had to do some negotiating,” Garrard told WSBA the night before the meeting.

Liberal councillor Steven Issa, the outgoing deputy lord mayor, told WSBA before election night that his side would stick to its agreement despite reservations over Garrard’s ongoing support.

The Liberals commitment to their agreement thwarted Labor’s plans to back Lloyd for another term; given the bitterness Garrard’s former party has towards him.

That is according to political sources but denied by Labor councillor Pierre Esber, who stood for the position as a formality.

So, on Monday September 29, the “grandfather of the house” Paul Garrard was elected as Lord Mayor for the sixth time in his 41 year career in a show-of-hands vote.

He was supported by Liberal councillors and independent Liberal Andrew Wilson, with independent Lorraine Wearne abstaining in protest over the “horse trade” voting agreement.
Liberal Makous Makari was elected deputy lord mayor.

After his election, Clr Garrard said he would drive the Smart City initiative he had instigated when Lord Mayor five years ago.

“There are many positive changes taking place in Parramatta, with work set to start on a $300 million redevelopment of Pirtek stadium, plans for the Powerhouse Museum to come to the City and work still underway to determine the first route of the Western Sydney Light Rail,” he said.

“We have made great progress on the $2 billion Parramatta Square urban renewal project, which will see a new City heart created for residents, workers and visitors.

“We also stand at the crossroads of how Local Government will be administered for generations to come with the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) soon to release its recommendations on the State Government’s ‘Fit for the Future’ reform process. I support Council’s proposal for the creation of a new Parramatta based Council with the scale and capacity to deliver growth and improved services.

“We will continue to work closely with State and Federal Governments to achieve large scale projects to enhance our City and secure Parramatta as Sydney’s dual CBD.”

But he also emphasised that there would be renewed focus on Parramatta’s suburbs, as well as a greater acknowledgement of the original custodians of the land as well as new arrivals from other countries.

IN OTHER COUNCILS:

  • Holroyd: Greg Cummings re-elected
  • Blacktown: Stephen Bali re-elected
  • Penrith: Ross Fowler re-elected
  • Hills: Michelle Byrne elected
  • Liverpool:  Ned Mannoun continues four year term


editor

Publisher and editor, Michael Walls.
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Western Sydney Business Access (WSBA) covers the business and community issues of the Greater Western Sydney region of Australia. WSBA is the popular media source for connecting with the pulse of the region and tapping into it's vast opportunities and networks.