Fairfield City council election: Frank Carbone declares victory

Back in Fairfield: Frank Carbone has won the recount vote, increasing his lead to 233 votes. Picture: Anna Warr
Back in Fairfield: Frank Carbone has won the recount vote, increasing his lead to 233 votes. Picture: Anna Warr

Independent candidate for mayor Frank Carbone claimed victory in the recount of the mayoral ballot, returning him to office for the next four years.

The Returning Officer Joe Beath officially declared Cr Carbone the winner of the recount on Thursday afternoon.

The recount, initiated early Monday due to the closeness of the 135-vote margin between Cr Carbone and his Australian Labor Party-endorsed rival Del Bennett, increased Cr Carbone’s lead by 100 votes.

Cr Carbone’s total percentage is 50.15 per cent against Cr Bennett’s 49.85 after preferences.

“We can work together towards making our city an even better place,” Cr Carbone wrote on Facebook.

He is the first independent mayor of Fairfield, after serving as an Australian Labor Party mayor for the past four years.

Cr Carbone’s fellow independent mayoral candidate Dai Le, whose preferences were instrumental in getting Cr Carbone across the line, told the Champion that the result “reaffirmed the votes for Frank to be an independent mayor.”

“The people spoke very strongly,” Cr Le said.

More than 55 per cent of voters did not vote for Liberal or Labor.

Cr Carbone likewise told the Champion last week that the initial vote result, which gave him a 135-vote win over Cr Bennett, that the election was a message that “people won’t be taken for granted.”

Both Cr Carbone and Cr Le, as independents on Fairfield council, said they were looking forward to working with new faces on council for a unified and constructive four year term.

“The more united the council is, the better,” Cr Carbone said when asked what his priorities were for the next mayoral term.

“Obviously I ask for all my councillor colleagues, whoever they are when they’re elected, to leave politics behind and put the people first.

“The second thing is we’ve shown our vision for the city, and we’ll continue to build a better place for people to live.”

Projects such as making Fairfield Showground into the heart of Fairfield as a Centre of Excellence for sports and community events, improving parks, roads and infrastructure are at the top of the list for Cr Carbone.

The councillors will be confirmed in the coming days.

Cr Bennett told the Champion on Tuesday that Labor was “considering its options” for a Supreme Court challenge should the recount go against the ALP.

She has been contacted for comment.