Fairfield residents head to the polls on Saturday with the 57th Parliament of NSW to be elected.
Ahead of the state election, the Champion asked candidates in the Fairfield and Cabramatta electorates to explain why they are running and the three key issues for the area.
- It covers the suburbs of Canley Heights, Canley Vale, Carramar, Fairfield, Fairfield East, Fairfield Heights, Fairfield West, Guildford, Guildford West, Old Guildford, Prairiewood, Smithfield, Villawood, Wakeley, Woodpark and Yennora.
- Candidates (in ballot order)
SAM GEORGIS (Christian Democratic Party)
"I am the founder and senior Pastor of Kingdom Living Church located in Wetherill Park and am a strong supporter and advocate of single parents and have a calling for social justice for those in our society who are in most need, including the elderly and pensioners, low socio-economic families, indigenous communities, veterans, people with a disability and many more.
If elected, I will ensure the voice of the mainstream, conservative Australians in Fairfield is heard. For 35 years the CDP has stood for Aussie values and traditions, job and national security, industry protection, infrastructure enhancement, better healthcare and workplace equality and One Law for all Australians.
I am committed to stay up to date with the achievements of the Christian Democratic Party as we work to preserve Christian ethics and values in NSW and improve health services (committed to a $50 million funding for Fairfield Hospital), transport, provide more parking, increase local jobs and incentives for local businesses and improve community safety."
SAM YOUKHANA (Liberal)
"I believe the Labor Party has neglected our local community. It's time Labor's stranglehold on the community ends. Only with a strong local Liberal, backed by the Gladys Government's strong economic management, can our community effectively fight for the infrastructure we need now and in the future. I believe I am the right person for to do that.
If elected my first priority will be getting additional funding for Fairfield Hospital. Labor has previously tried to shut down the hospital and in 16 years in government they let hospitals across the state fall into disrepair. Any promise they make cannot be trusted. The Liberals are building and upgrading hospitals across the state. I'll make sure our local health services are included in that plan.
My second priority is to get improved train services at Fairfield station with an express train between Central in the morning and afternoon commutes.
My third priority will be fighting for more employment opportunities in Fairfield."
ASTRID O'NEILL (Greens)
"I am standing because I love Fairfield's diversity and multiculturalism. I want to ensure it has a future which is both equitable and environmentally sustainable, that we reverse climate change and create a better future for our children.
The Greens NSW accept no corporate donations. Our policies are not influenced or bought by money, unlike the two major parties. Our priorities include access to good public education at all levels, public hospitals and health care, aged care, mental health care and public transport.
The main issues in Fairfield are:
- Lack of affordable housing: The Greens will create a universal affordable housing scheme, cap rents and increase tenant's rights.
- Jobs and the environment: The Greens will build a 100 per cent publicly owned renewable energy company generating, distributing and storing energy and creating many new economy jobs.
- Under-funded public schools, hospitals and transport: We will stop privatisation of Fairfield's public services and assets, make TAFE free and increase its funding by $200 million over 4 years and all Opal fares in the metro area will be $1."
GUY ZANGARI (Labor)
"It's been a great honour to have represented the community of Fairfield for the past eight years. Together we have advocated for better services and resources for our local area. I look forward to continuing my hard work with our community to improve essential services and infrastructure.
A Daley Labor Government will provide $55 million to upgrade Fairfield Hospital and develop its master plan. This will examine the need for new buildings and staff and which wards will need to be included as part of a future expansion to the hospital.
Labor intends to cut waiting times and improve patient care by employing thousands more nurses, paramedics, and hospital security.
Fairfield's Transport infrastructure continues to be neglected under the Liberal Government. Labor has committed $8 billion to fast-track the Western Metro and $3 billion towards improving Sydney's existing rail network.
A future Labor Government has also committed $800 million provide air-conditioning in every classroom throughout NSW. In addition, NSW Labor will reinstate the M4 Cashback Scheme."
- It covers the suburbs of Bonnyrigg, Bonnyrigg Heights, Bossley Park, Cabramatta, Cabramatta West, Canley Vale, Edensor Park, Greenfield Park, Lansvale, Mount Pritchard and St Johns Park.
- Candidates (in ballot order)
PHUOC VO (Independent)
"The community has no representation at state level. ALP political domination means little for Cabramatta...a safe seat. Spending money in marginal seats beneficially wins the party the government.
I believe that Cabramatta can claim its fair share of the state annual revenue by a good representation in our state parliament.
I stand for health, education and security. The three issues effect most people regardless of age. The constant pressure of Australia's ageing population causes much anxiety. As the owner of Lansvale Pharmacy I see all the concerns.
I arrived in Australia from the boat from Vietnam at the age of 11, receiving state education and later university education.
I have a full appreciation for what Australia has offered me and I hope that I can pay back the goodness owed to Australia and the people by offering my humble contributions."
DAI LE (Independent)
"I believe the people of Cabramatta area are ready for honesty and integrity. For far too long, this area has been ignored and taken for granted by the major parties with broken promises and internal party scandals. As a Vietnamese refugee, I understand this community and its people. I am here to create a better Cabramatta. I will work for the people, not a party. I can make a difference.
The people of Cabramatta have told me what is important to them and their needs have formed the basis of my political platform. Health care and improvement to Fairfield Hospital is high on the list. Our community has told me they are fed up with the existing transport system. I will work to reestablish express train services to Cabramatta.
We also need more opportunity for small business and education and that's why I will create opportunities for small business and potential entrepreneurs through a new community program that will encourage and support."
NICK LALICH (Labor)
"I was first elected in 2008 and survived the fall of the Keneally Government in 2011. Since that time Cabramatta has repeatedly missed out on funding for new projects at every state election.
I want to help Cabramatta come back into power under a Daley Labor Government, so that Cabramatta can receive the funding it deserves. I am fighting for the reinstatement of the commuter car park at the Cabramatta Inn site, a project cancelled by then Liberal Premier Barry O'Farrell.
I also want to keep the cost of living pressures and electricity prices under control and secure funding for schools and hospitals over stadiums.
My priorities are schools and hospitals respectively, making sure our youngest get the best start in life possible and that those who need medical treatment receive it as soon as possible and to the highest quality.
I am passionate about opportunity for all through a quality education and a quality healthcare system that takes care of our community."
AUSTIN LE (Liberal)
"I decided to run as the Liberal candidate for the seat of Cabramatta because I feel that our area has been taken for granted by the Labor Party for far too long. While I'm younger than many of the other candidates, I believe my youth gives me a unique perspective and a different way of looking at decision making for the community. If elected, I will fight to ensure Cabramatta receives its fair share of the NSW Liberals & Nationals record investments in school, hospital and transport infrastructure.
Infrastructure is definitely a key issue - specifically transport infrastructure. Unemployment is another area of concern for many locals, which is why the NSW Liberals and Nationals are creating more jobs and investing in more skills and training. Congestion is also another issue I hear a lot when I'm out campaigning, which is why we've announced that smart traffic lights will be installed along the Hume Highway from Carramar to Crossroads, to help traffic flow smoother and reduce congestion."
CHRISTOPHER JAMES (Greens)
"I moved to Fairfield in 2011, for my job in the financial services sector. It was from that time that my appreciation for Cabramatta, and the people in it took root. For years, cynicism towards politics have grown in Cabramatta, with many feeling little to no investment in the political institutions that shape our community. The sole purpose of my candidature is to try and change that by giving the people of Cabramatta more authority in their public and political institutions.
Ultimately it was the authenticity of the people of Cabramatta that made me care for the area, if elected I promise to serve with that same authenticity.
A vote for me represents:
- Action on climate change.
- Support for increased funding for all local hospitals with increased focus on mental health.
- A focused campaign to ease the cost of living.
- A promise to fight to stop the sell off of public infrastructure and ease tolls."
- It covers the suburbs of Bossley Park, Fairfield West, Prairiewood, Smithfield and Wetherill Park.
- Candidates (in ballot order)
- Hugh McDermott (Labor)
- Dorothea Newland (Greens)
- Catherine Ward (Animal Justice Party)
- Matthew Hana (Liberal)
- Milan Maksimovic (Independent)
- It covers the suburbs of Abbotsbury, Cecil Hills, Cecil Park, Elizabeth Hills and Horsley Park.
- Candidates (in ballot order)
- Rob Shield (Greens)
- Jessie Bijok (Sustainable Australia)
- Todd Carney (Labor)
- Tanya Davies (Liberal)
Where can you vote?
Thousands of local schools, community halls and other venues will be used as polling booths. The full list, broken down by electorate, can be found on the NSW Electoral Commission's website.
What if I can't vote on election day?
Pre-polling is already open across the state up until Friday, March 22 - you are eligible to vote early for a variety of reasons, including being interstate or overseas, working, or approaching maternity on election day. A list of early voting centres is online.
How many seats are there?
NSW has 93 Legislative Assembly (lower house) and 42 Legislative Council (upper house) seats. Members of the Legislative Council serve eight-year terms, which are staggered, with half the council being elected every four years, roughly coinciding with elections to the Legislative Assembly.
Currently the Liberals hold 35 seats in the Legislative Assembly and the Nationals 16, forming Coalition majority of 51 seats. Labor holds 34, with three independents, three Greens and one from the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party. The Legislative Council has 13 Liberal members, seven Nationals, 12 from Labor, four Greens, two Christian Democrats, two Shooters, Fishers and Farmers, one independent and one from the Animal Justice Party.