Fairfield City Council meeting shows Liberal and Labor vote against independents

Deputy mayor: Labor councillor Kien Ly was confirmed as deputy mayor of Fairfield for a 12-month term. Picture: Fairfield City Council

Deputy mayor: Labor councillor Kien Ly was confirmed as deputy mayor of Fairfield for a 12-month term. Picture: Fairfield City Council

New and returning councillors met at Fairfield council chambers on Tuesday night for the first council meeting since the election result last week.

In what may be prophetic for the next four years, Liberal and Labor councillors consistently voted together to prevent any motions or amendments put forward by the Independent councillors.

While no major business was undertaken at the extraordinary meeting, returning mayor Frank Carbone welcomed all councillors to the task of working for Fairfield.

Councillors took the oath of office, with only Cr Del Bennett choosing to take the affirmation rather than the oath.

Councillors then worked out which councillors would be on what committee.

The first sign of election-bred divisions came as the vote for deputy mayor was called.

The Independents – mayor Frank Carbone and councillors Dai Le, Charbel Saliba and Andrew Rohan – put forward Cr Le for deputy mayor.

The six Labor and three Liberal councillors responded with a united front, defeating Cr Le’s nomination and nominating Labor councillor Kien Ly, who was voted in as Fairfield’s deputy mayor for the next 12 months.

Speaking after his nomination, Cr Ly congratulated his fellow councillors on their success and said he “had no doubt everyone would do their best to serve the community.”

Reflecting the divisions, the seating arrangements showed the six Labor councillors seated in the centre, with Liberal councillors to their left and Independents to their right.

New Labor councillors Sera Yilmaz and Adrian Wong were nominated for a number of committees, including the Multicultural Advisory Committee, the NSW Public Libraries Association Inc and the Youth Advisory Committee.

Prior to the meeting Cr Bennett said that Labor “will be pursuing ... the clean up of our creeks and waterways”, with Labor councillor Wong nominated as chair and sole member for the Fairfield Floodplain Management Committee.

No councillor nominated for the Floodplain Management Association or the Georges River Combined Councils Committee.

In a second attempt to make an amendent, Cr Le moved that the Westpool Board and United Independent Pools representative councillor be limited to a one-year term instead of a four-year term, to give more councillors the chance to gain experience.

This motion was rejected after a division was called by Cr Molluso.

Looking to the future, councillors expressed hope that the divisions would not be permanent, but that councillors would be able to work together once ordinary council meetings begin.

The meeting ended after less than two hours, with the next ordinary meeting due on October 25.