Council nominees disagree on ALP preselection deal

Endorsed: Fairfield Councillor Del Bennett on the campaign trail at Edensor Park Plaza. Picture: Chris Lane
Endorsed: Fairfield Councillor Del Bennett on the campaign trail at Edensor Park Plaza. Picture: Chris Lane

Fairfield Mayor Frank Carbone has denied that there was an agreement between he and Councillor Del Bennett over the results of the Australian Labor Party’s Mayoral preselection ballot.

The party’s endorsed candidate for Mayor, Cr Bennett said that there was an agreement between the two ALP candidates that whoever lost the party’s endorsement would walk away from the upcoming Council election completely.

The successful candidate would then face no internal opposition during their campaign for Fairfield Mayor.

After ALP members voted to endorse Cr Bennett’s run for Mayor instead of current Mayor Frank Carbone, she said it was expected that the deal would be upheld.

“I would have honoured that deal,” Cr Bennett told the Champion.

However, Mayor Carbone then declared his intention to run for Mayor without ALP endorsement, saying that his campaign was in the interests of the people.

“The only agreement I have is with the people of this city who elected me four years ago as their Mayor,” Mayor Carbone said. 

An ALP spokesperson told the Champion that their endorsed candidates led by Cr Bennett “would provide strong local representation for the community.”

“Mr Carbone made his own decision to run as an independent,” the spokesperson said.

A source within the Labor party told the Champion that “it’s only a matter of time” before Mayor Carbone’s ALP membership will be revoked.

In response, Mayor Carbone pointed to his track record of leadership against the ALP’s refusal to endorse him.

“We won the battle to amalgamate with Liverpool, invested in our future, with improvements to parks, roads, infrastructure across our city, a total investment of $70 million this year alone," he said.

“I will continue to work to bring light rail to our community, make the Showground a destination for sporting excellence … and deliver one of the best events arenas in south-west Sydney.

“I'm happy for my contribution and performance as Mayor over the past 4 years to be judged by the people.”