Fairfield City Council elections are crossing party lines

Greens for Fairfield: Candidates Alisha Westerberg, Bill Cashman, Member for Balmain Jamie Parker, Roxie Vuong and Henry Thay outside Fairfield City Council on Monday. Picture: Chris Lane
Greens for Fairfield: Candidates Alisha Westerberg, Bill Cashman, Member for Balmain Jamie Parker, Roxie Vuong and Henry Thay outside Fairfield City Council on Monday. Picture: Chris Lane

The chaotic nomination and pre-selection process for Fairfield’s Council elections has led to three cross-party tickets that could make life difficult for the Labor and Liberal endorsed candidates.

In the cross-party tickets, the team of Mayor Frank Carbone, Councillor Dai Le and Councillor Charbel Saliba has formed.

Cr Le is running a ticket comprised of ALP member Sam Leonardi, independent Sue Lee Lim and independent Courtney Lor, after being passed over by the Liberal party in favour of Councillor Joe Molluso.

Cr Le confirmed on Monday that the NSW Liberal party had gone silent on her independent nomination for Mayor, neither awarding her dispensation or asking for her resignation. Councillor Charbel Saliba’s ticket has all candidates listed neither as independents or party members. With Cr Saliba are Reni Bharko, Nina Nguyen, and Gwendoline Riley.

Mayor Carbone has re-nominated for Mayor after being refused endorsement by the ALP, saying in a statement on Facebook: “I will continue to support the ALP principles that are good and just, but not those ... linked to corrupt former MPs.”

Mayor Carbone has gone public to allege rorting of the preselection for the top job at Fairfield Council, declaring that corrupt former ALP minister Joe Tripodi "is at work again". 

But Mr Tripodi hit back, accusing Cr Carbone of making "desperate noise. Always crowing brilliance when he wins, crying foul when he loses.

"Carbone will throw my name into anything to grab a headline," Mr Tripodi said.

Running on Mayor Carbone’s ticket are former Liberal Smithfield MP Andrew Rohan, current Fairfield deputy mayor Milovan Karajcic, and pending Liberal Nguyen Brown.

"I am not an independent. I love the Labor Party - and what it stands for. However, I must do what I believe is in the best interests of not only the ALP but also our local community,” Cr Carbone said.

To add to the confusion of the ballot process, the list of candidates for Parks Ward was redrawn after a group’s position was questioned.

“After receiving legal advice it was necessary to redraw ballot positions on the ballot paper for the Parks ward,” Fairfield’s Election Returning Officer said.

Meanwhile the party-endorsed Mayoral candidates are beginning their campaigns, with ALP Councillor Del Bennett sending out an introduction letter to voters.

“I am proud of our local community and I know what our community needs to make it a better place to live,” Cr Bennett said in the letter.

On Monday, The Greens Member for Balmain Jamie Parker visited Fairfield with Mayoral candidate Bill Cashman, calling for a ban on property developers in council. “We have this ridiculous situation where it’s illegal in this state for developers to make a donation, but a developer can be Mayor of this council, and a councillor of this council,” Mr Parker said.

I know what our community needs.

Councillor Del Bennett