Inner West Independent

Labor to increase presence on Inner West Council

Results from the election are expected to be confirmed in the coming week. Photo: The Dictionary of Sydney.

By DANIEL LO SURDO

The Australian Labor Party (ALP) is set to increase its presence on Inner West Council after Jessica D’Arienzo – who ran alongside incumbent ALP councillor Mark Drury in the Ashfield-Djarrawunang ward – has all but secured the party a sixth seat on council, one further than in the previous Inner West term.

It comes after Julie Passas, who represented Ashfield-Djarrawunang as a Liberal councillor in the past term, was not reelected as an independent candidate. Labor’s success in the elections will help pave the way for Cr Darcy Byrne – who was reelected in the Balmain-Baludarri ward – to be returned as Inner West mayor, following councillors’ decision to place outgoing Greens Cr Rochelle Porteous to the posting for the last three months of the term.

Joining Byrne, D’Arienzo and Drury for Inner West Labor will be Philippa Scott (Leichhardt-Gulgadya), Mat Howard (Marrickville-Midjuburi) and Chloe Smith (Stanmore-Damun).

The Greens have kept a seat at each ward, with incumbent Cr Marghanita da Cruz (Leichhardt-Gulgadya) retaining her position, while Justine Langford (Marrickville-Midjuburi), Kobi Shetty (Balmain-Baludarri), Dylan Griffiths (Ashfield-Djarrawunang) and Liz Atkins (Stanmore-Damun) will each occupy seats on council.

Incumbent independents John Stamolis (Balmain-Baludarri) and Pauline Lockie (Stanmore-Damun) have each been reelected, while remaining independent Victor Macri’s reelection status has not yet been confirmed.

Incumbent councillor Vittoria Raciti, who ran as an independent after the Liberal Party decided against endorsing Inner West candidates, remains in a battle for reelection in the Leichhardt-Gulgadya ward.

With six Labor, five Greens and two Independent candidates set to be elected as councillors, the status of the two remaining seats will be crucial in the mayoralty vote, which is expected to be contested between Labor and the Greens.

To be appointed mayor, a councillor needs to receive a majority of votes from fellow councillors. Labor’s success at the polls will be a boost for Cr Byrne’s chances to return to the posting, with the party now the largest single contingent on council.

After two rounds of voting in September, Cr Porteous was voted mayor through the support of independents Lockie and Stamolis, with then Liberals Passas and Raciti – who had previously helped Cr Byrne in the mayoralty – both abstaining from the second round of voting.

Yes to Deamalgamation

Early results from the Inner West’s poll on deamalgamation has shown support to revert back to the Leichhardt, Marrickville and Ashfield councils.

Responses from the NSW Electoral Commission’s iVote system, which forms about 15 per cent of total votes, has seen more than 61 per cent of votes favouring a deamalgamation.

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