Inner West Independent

Mark Drury to champion Ashfield in new Inner West Council term

Drury

Mark Drury (right) has been a councillor in the Inner West since 2006. Photo: Inner West Labor.

By DANIEL LO SURDO

Mark Drury has been a councillor in the Inner West for over 16 years.

In that time, he has helped build the new Ashfield Aquatic Centre, propelled calls for the GreenWay infrastructure project and pushed for improvements to Dulwich Hill Station. He has also served as the Chair of the Parramatta River Catchment Group, which is working to make the Parramatta River swimmable by 2025.

Now, after being reelected to Inner West Council in the Ashfield-Djarrawunang ward, Cr Drury hopes he can continue his work around the Parramatta River and reward the trust that “the people of Ashfield” put in for him and fellow Labor councillor and deputy mayor Jessica D’Arienzo at the polls last December.

At the elections, which formed the councillors for the second term of Inner West Council after its merger from the previous Ashfield (where Cr Drury was a councillor from 2006), Leichhardt and Marrickville councils in 2016, Cr Drury and Labor earned a one-seat majority which helped return Balmain-Baludarri councillor Darcy Byrne to the mayoralty, and insert Cr D’Arienzo as deputy.

Cr D’Arienzo, who ran second on Labor’s Ashfield-Djarrawunang ticket, won the seat formerly occupied by then-Liberal Julie Passas, who wasn’t endorsed for the 2021 elections and unsuccessfully ran as an independent.

Ashfield intersection action

While describing council operations as an “ongoing challenge” since the merger, Cr Drury has continued to champion issues felt by the Ashfield community.

Cr Drury attended a public meeting near the crossing after the pedestrian death. Photo: Philippa Scott.

Following the death of a pedestrian at the Frederick and John Street intersection in Ashfield last month, Cr Drury has called for the state government to take responsibility for the road, saying that he “will not stop until the Minister [for Metropolitan Roads] does something”.

He added that he was “particularly annoyed with the state government” about the inaction prior to the pedestrian fatality. Concern for the intersection goes back as far as 2001 when the now-defunct Ashfield council approved upgrades to increase the intersection’s safety.

In 2018, the council-commissioned WestConnex local area improvement report warned of the dangers of the Frederick and John Street intersection, saying that increased traffic volume could “increase the exposure to crash risk for vulnerable road users”.

Nancy Yang, the granddaughter of the man killed at the crossing this year, said that it was “extremely upsetting to know that there were many other incidents … that took place here, yet nothing has been done about it”.

Cr Drury has been a social worker and has lived with his family in the Inner West for over 25 years. With council set to face many new challenges in the coming years, Cr Drury is looking forward to continuing his work in Ashfield and on council during the new term.

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