Fairfield Council election: Meet the candidates

Fairfield Council election: Meet the candidates

Fairfield residents head to the polls on December 4 to vote in the local council elections.

The Champion caught up with the lead candidate on each ticket to talk about what they think some of the main issues are facing the community and their vision for Fairfield.

Early voting centres will operate in each local government area from Monday, November 22 until Friday, December 3. Voters are reminded absentee voting is not available at local government elections, and they must vote in their local government area or ward.

To find out what ward you are in CLICK HERE

To find out where you can vote CLICK HERE

Candidates (in ballot order)

PARKS WARD

George Barcha: Labor

George Barcha: Labor

GEORGE BARCHA (mayoral candidate)

Why are you running for council? I am a true local living in Wetherill Park for over 35 years and have served on Fairfield City council from 2012 to 2016. I was elected as deputy mayor from 2013 to 2014, and have served and helped many non-profit organisations in my lifetime. After my time in council from 2016 to 2021, I have continued to help the community especially non-profit organisations due to my passion and interest in assisting those who are less fortunate in our community, and ensuring no one is left behind. Many religious and community leaders have urged me to run as they know what I am selfless and care about doing what is best for the community that I call home. I will be able to achieve more for them if I am elected as the mayor of the city, as I have a number of policies I am championing: this is my promise for the community.

What are the three most important issues for Fairfield?

  1. Providing job opportunities and protecting small businesses especially after the pandemic. The Labor team will work hard to ensure local jobs come first, combatting Fairfield's ongoing youth unemployment issue and ensuring small business are no longer left behind. We have a range of initiatives we would like to implement to make this happen.
  1. The Labor team will not increase rates across the city: we will spend evenly throughout all the suburbs and will not be concentrating on just some specific areas. Rates in Fairfield City over the years have increased by approximately four per cent each year, costing families and businesses hundreds of dollars yearly. My local Labor team who live in the area, know the cost of living is higher, and want to provide residents with certainty as we recover from the COVID pandemic. We will ensure no rate increases until the full recovering post pandemic. If you analyse budget papers, the current Council concentrated their spending on specific areas only. However, our Labor team will ensure the spending will be evenly distributed among all suburbs in the LGA as needed. Labor will not leave any suburb behind.
  1. Improving liveability and the cost of living. Fairfield Labor will focus on easing congestion and parking in our local communities, investing in our local parks and ensuring they are not sold off to private developers. Our Labor Team will also look into upgrading roads and intersections to eliminate dangerous intersections.

How do you plan on making a difference for residents? Our Labor Team will spend evenly throughout the LGA and ensure that there is not just one focus about only beautification in the city, but also, affordability, and opportunities for residents to have more of a say when it comes to what matters the most. We will not be concentrating on just some specific areas. Our spending will be prioritised as needed and as expressed by our residents. We will cease the rates increases to ease the pressures on families due to the COVID pandemic. I believe that genuinely helping our residents means that we should not tax them higher each year: it wouldn't make sense to, given we are considered to be an LGA with one of the lowest socio economic status in NSW.

We will try to reduce the traffic congestion and parking issues, as well as investigating appropriate systems to prevent flooding, especially in the eastern side of the city.

I am a true local and have been living in the Fairfield City area for over 35 years. I am an engineer by profession and hope that with my knowledge and experience I will be able to help find real solutions to the important issues that have been neglected that the city is facing.

What is your vision for Fairfield? Our Labor team's vision is to work harmoniously together to unite the council and try to work on the important issues, to help the local community and groups and also provide for new and innovative projects. There are many people and families doing it tough and we will try to eliminate homelessness on our Streets: which is now starting to emerge more than ever before. We will work to get a better financial position for the city, so that we will have a better future for Fairfield.

Who are the other candidates running on your ticket? I am running as a mayor for the Fairfield City Council election, and also running as a councillor in the Parks Ward and the other candidates running in the Parks Ward are:

The Fairfield Labor team for the upcoming council election.

The Fairfield Labor team for the upcoming council election.

Ninos Khoshaba, who has previously served as deputy mayor on Fairfield City Council and was also elected as the state member for Smithfield in the NSW Parliament. He is an Abbotsbury local.

Sera Yilmaz, who is a current Fairfield Councillor and Secretary of the Australian Local Government Women's Association NSW, and has previously served as deputy mayor of Fairfield. She also works as a Disability Royal Commission Advocate. She is a Bonnyrigg local.

Tri Vo, who has been the principal of his Law practice in the local area for the past nearly 18 years. He is also the former president of the Vietnamese Community in Australia and NSW. He is a Wakeley local.

Joan Pellegrino, who has held the position of Club Marconi Ladies Auxiliary President and also Circolo anziano (seniors) president.

Mickey Ngo, is a physiotherapist who mainly works with NDIS patients in the Fairfield LGA. His patients are predominantly refugees of middle eastern backgrounds.

Peter Fowler Grippaudo

Peter Fowler Grippaudo

PETER FOWLER GRIPPAUDO

Why are you running for council? I am committed to serving the local community and making Fairfield a must place to live, work and shop. I am a current serving councillor and have achieved much for the community but there is more to do.

What are the three most important issues for Fairfield?

  1. Cost of living.
  2. Safety.
  3. Employment.

How do you plan on making a difference for residents? By developing and refining strategic planning for the future, ensuring services are delivered in a timely and cost effective manner, ongoing consultation with the community and lobbying sate and federal governments for grants and infrastructure.

What is your vision for Fairfield? A thriving, cleaner, greener and safer Fairfield

Who are the other candidates running on your ticket? Local residents who share my vision for Fairfield - Marko Pavolic, Rabi Harmes, Tran Dat Le, Danny Mona, Mark Masling.

Frank Carbone.

Frank Carbone.

FRANK CARBONE (mayoral candidate)

Why are you running for council? I want to continue to fight for our community. Since my election to council and my election as mayor, I have focused on making our city safer, innovative and affordable for families and residents. I have improved the choices and lifestyle; I have worked to provide better infrastructure and opportunities for our community. I have ensured we maintained the lowest rates in Sydney; improved libraries, leisure centres, parks, and building more car parking, and other facilities. At this election, it's important that candidates are judged on what they have done and delivered, not on what they promise.

What are the three most important issues for Fairfield?

  1. Keeping people safe.
  2. Creating jobs.
  3. Affordable living.

I will continue building on the foundation we have delivered to make Fairfield City one of the best cities for families, residents and businesses.

How do you plan on making a difference for residents?

Since my election, I have delivered on projects that changed the way people live and work. I will continue to fight to bring more services and infrastructure for our community. But most importantly, no what the challenge may bring, I will always stand up for the Fairfield Community.

What is your vision for Fairfield?

I want Fairfield City to be a city where people are proud to call home. My team and I have worked hard to create a city that provided our community with some of the best of infrastructure facilities for families; we have rolled out initiatives that provided opportunities for everyone to reach their potentials. I want to build further on these results, to make sure that we provide our residents a place that brings out the best in them.

Who are the other candidates running on your ticket? Reni Barkho, Hugo Morvillo, Michael Mijatovic, Marie Saliba, Martina Hanna. While it's important to have a strong leader to fight for our city, it's also as important to have the right team in place to support good decision-making for our city. I've been fortunate to work with people like Dai Le and others. The members that are on my team at this election, are passionate, love the city and its people. We will bring high level of enthusiasm and experience to make sure we continue to improve people's lives.

Andrew Rohan: Dai Le party

Andrew Rohan: Dai Le party

ANDREW ROHAN

Why are you running for council? I love my city of Fairfield, the place where I lived, work and raised my family over the past 42 years. This is our home where my children received their education and continues to be their home as well. I have always been an advocate for multiculturalism and migrant communities which our city is renowned for with more than 50 per cent of its residence speak a language at home other than English. This is why I dedicated and served our local community for over 25 years, in a volunteering role at a Non-For-Profit Organisation, as a board member and president.

With my vast experience as a former Liberal State Member for Smithfield (2011 - 2015) and as councillor on Fairfield City Council (2008 - 2012 and 2016 - 2021) and more than 25 years of experience in managing private family business, I am determined to even make more contributions for Fairfield to become an even a better place for future generations.

Over the last five years, the council, under the leadership of Mayor Frank Carbone, has embarked on executing a series of excellent and much needed programs across our city that are reshaping our city for the benefits of our residents. If re-elected, I am determined and fully committed to help see through these projects and programs be completed during the upcoming council term.

What are the three most important issues for Fairfield?

  1. Availability of local jobs with access to higher education.
  2. Vehicle parking spots especially in the CBD's.
  3. Providing more health services to the community by upgrading vital and needed service at Fairfield Hospital.

How do you plan on making a difference for residents?

First and foremost is to listen to the residents' because, in my opinion, they know better what their local community needs in terms of improving vital local services and infrastructure. The task of councillors in such matters include advocating with fellow councillors and consultation with council staff to prioritise and to support such community requests through regular council procedures.

What is your vision for Fairfield?

My vision for Fairfield is to see it through a major progressive urban renewal plan by creating programs to redevelop a futuristic and technologically advanced vision for our city as we progress into the future. This includes creating a better and smarter city that's cohesive, safe and sustainable for us to live and work in.

I like to see more specialised and high-tech job opportunities be available in our city so that our highly educated and skilled youth may find high tech job opportunities in our city rather than having to travel outside, mainly eastwards, to seek appropriate jobs.

Who are the other candidates running on your ticket? Wendy Chuyen Tran, Ly Huynh Nguyen, Thi Lyfa Thach, Rebecca Di Noia, Benjamin Saliba. I'm heading the Parks Ward ticket under the Dai Le Party.

Samir Yousif: Our Local Community

Samir Yousif: Our Local Community

SAMIR YOUSIF

Why are you running for council? I decided to run for council as many of my constituents have contacted me saying that they have attempted calling other councillors on several occasions to no avail. It was these conversations with locals that compelled me to run once again. I believe communication is the most important of all councillor commitments. If I have the honour to once again represent my constituency, I will to the best of my ability serve and communicate with residents, I want to bring back respectability into the councillors role.

What are the three most important issues for Fairfield?

One of the most important issues is the red tape. I am committed to cutting out red tape with respect to council and council processing procedures. I want to see a more transparent and productive approach adopted by the council where we can answer questions and determine simple driveway and other applications in a fast and effective manner.

How do you plan on making a difference for residents? As I have already enunciated, communication is the answer. By simply responding to residents about their enquiries or concerns I believe will alleviate much of the council's pressure and negative comments on how the council is currently operating.

What is your vision for Fairfield? I want to see Fairfield's diversity displayed in a positive light whereby all Australians of various origins showcase the cultures, foods and traditions of the places they came from. Fairfield is a fast growing city and with growth there is demand. A demand on infra-structure, housing, schooling and job availability. I note that some issues may be state related but as a council, I feel we should be doing more in assisting our constituency with this.

Who are the other candidates running on your ticket?

Yousif, Samir, Vedran Maric, Saul Soto, George Korkis, Marlin Toma, David Nguyen.

FAIRFIELD/CABRAVALE WARD

Charbel Saliba: Independent.

Charbel Saliba: Independent.

CHARBEL SALIBA

Why are you running for council? I'm running for council because I have always been passionate about serving the community where I have lived since migrating to Australia in 1983; where my children and now my grandchildren were born and raised. After almost 10 years of service as a councillor I am confident that I can continue to contribute to make our city a better place for families. It's important that we continue to have a strong team under the leadership of Mayor Frank Carbone to transform our city into a better place to live.

What are the three most important issues for Fairfield?

  1. Being a safer place to raise a family.
  2. Encouraging small business and employment to thrive.
  3. Supporting health for the youth through sports and recreation.

How do you plan on making a difference for residents? Working with like-minded individuals on council we will continue to build projects that help make our city a safer, healthier and happier place to live.

I've been instrumental in supporting for the delivery of initiatives like the Aquatopia Waterpark, the upgrade of the Fairfield Showground, the All-Abilities Park at Deerbush Park, the new Fairfield Library and the Fairfield Business Hub as well as other major infrastructure projects delivered across our city in the last ten years.

What is your vision for Fairfield? My vision is to have a city where all residents can have access to employment, education, sport and recreational facilities that they need for a better lifestyle within reach. I also want a cleaner and greener city.

Who are the other candidates running on your ticket? Milovan Karajcic, Emmanuel Brikha, Antonio Carbone, Annie Tran, Rita Paul Matti. I am part of a team that works with Mayor Frank Carbone on delivering results across our city over the past five years. I will continue to work under our mayor's leadership and I hope we will continue to build on our achievements for our city.

Members of Labor's ticket in the Fairfield/Cabravale Ward

Members of Labor's ticket in the Fairfield/Cabravale Ward

CARMEN LAZAR

Why are you running for council? My life has been dedicated to the service of others. Over many years my personal and professional life has been given to supporting the vulnerable in our community, including migrants, refugees and those without somebody to turn to. Fairfield has been at the heart of all my work and I wish to continue serving the community by contributing to the important work done by Council. I love Fairfield and believe strongly that Council needs genuine community voices to guide its direction.

What are the three most important issues for Fairfield?

  1. Housing affordability.
  2. The upgrade of the Fairfield Hospital.
  3. Support for small business.

Getting each of these areas right is critical to creating an equitable, healthy and economically prosperous community and I will work hard to advocate in support of these issues.

How do you plan on making a difference for residents? I will dedicate each day to serving the residents with passion and dedication, being responsive to community requests, listening to the views of residents and ratepayers, making decisions that have the greatest good for the greatest number and ensuring that Fairfield voices guide all my work.

What is your vision for Fairfield? To make Fairfield an even better place to live, work and visit. Fairfield has incredible potential, and I will focus strongly on advocating for increased community infrastructure and pathways to employment for our residents.

Who are the other candidates running on your ticket?

I am leading Labor's ticket in the Fairfield/Cabravale Ward. Our Group B Team includes Kien Ly, Lawrence White, Luis Borges, Abrahem Wannous and Shawn Anfernee Lu.

Basim Shamaon: Independent

Basim Shamaon: Independent

BASIM SHAMAON

Why are you running for council? Fairfield City Council needs new people with fresh ideas. That is why, we are contesting the upcoming Fairfield City Council election. The COVID-19 pandemic has been tough on all of us. We will do our best to help by working to deliver critical programs and activities. This includes supporting families, young people and our seniors. We understand your needs because like you, we are from Fairfield City and want to make it even better. We cannot do this without you and kindly ask for your support.

What are the three most important issues for Fairfield?

  1. Lack of consultation and engagement with local residents to prioritise prior to commencing construction of major projects and overdevelopments.
  2. More free car park spaces for local residents needed.
  3. More local infrastructure projects e.g. new playgrounds, revitalising the Fairfield CBD and working with the state government is ensuring adequate funding is provided to essential services and hospitals.

How do you plan on making a difference for residents? We will be advocating for more community consultation where council staff and decision makers listen and consult with its residents through quarterly meetings and councillors mobile offices.

We will be engaging with the residents through council's funded programs to bring our diverse families together and more funding to bring tutoring services for families on low income

What is your vision for Fairfield? To make it a welcoming and better place for the generations to come.

Who are the other candidates running on your ticket?

Anthony Nguyen, Navazu Buhendwa Ozegbe, Dunya Lazar, Abdal Abdal, Eliaa Hikmet Nessan.

ANDREW NGHIEP NGUYEN.

ANDREW NGHIEP NGUYEN.

ANDREW NGHIEP NGUYEN

Why are you running for council? I am running for this council elections because I want to respond to the electors' expectations to make a big change in making more independent policies. I would like to ask the electors who have bad experience with the major parties to make the big change by voting for the independents.

What are the three most important issues for Fairfield?

  1. Cutting down on council's unnecessary expenditures. Better use of ratepayers money.
  1. Privatising council work to the hands of private subcontractor. Privatising part of the planning council over control policies, the building control, the food control and the environmental control.
  1. Stopping overdevelopment without community consultation. The high rise building development should be stopped.

How do you plan on making a difference for residents? If the council is controlled by the independents, we can make the change to council policies to meet the constituents expectations. The current LEP should be changed.

What is your vision for Fairfield? My vision for Fairfield is to stop the high density development to medium and low density development which will give the residents more privacy and more spaces for breathing, In another word, to change the council zoning for less R4 rezoning to more R3 and R2 zones. To review the traffic offences specially parking infringements.

Who are the other candidates running on your ticket? Jolet Youkhana, Thanh Nha Ly, Kim Hon Meas, Tiffany Luu, Jenny Lam. My group is comprising a diverse ethnicity and mix of professions. The group is lead by me, Dr Andrew Nghiep Nguyen, who is holding a Doctorate Degree, PhD in USA and an undergraduate and a post-graduate qualifications with the Sydney Institute Technology and the University of Western Sydney. Four candidates in my group of six are the current members of the Liberal Party who are turning to independent candidates.

Dai Le: Dai Le party

Dai Le: Dai Le party

DAI LE

Why are you running for council? I'm running to continue to be the voice for my community on Fairfield City Council, and to advocate on their behalf. Over the past nine years I and my councillor colleagues have created a foundation that has made our city a healthier, a greener and a more prosperous city to live and work. We have kept the lowest rates and won the best council in NSW. If re-elected, I will continue to work to put the well- being of the community first, before the interest of any party or politicians. I will always put the people of Fairfield City first, before politics.

What are the three most important issues for Fairfield?

  1. Living standards for our residents and their families.
  2. Creating opportunities for our young people and small businesses to thrive and grow.
  3. Improving the health and wellness of the community.

How do you plan on making a difference for residents? I'm a strong communicator and advocator. I believe that through strong leadership and team work, we can make a difference and build our city. Since my election to council in 2012, I have worked with Mayor Frank Carbone and some of my councillor colleagues advocating for many initiatives and infrastructure projects to improve the standard of living for our residents and families.

My advocacy work has yielded results for our city. For example, we have seen the building of the Dutton Lane Car Park, which I have advocated for since 2008, the establishment of the Fairfield City Business Hub and the Fairfield Hospital received funds last year for upgrade of its electricity load following my call on the NSW State government to address this issue.

What is your vision for Fairfield? My vision is for a strong and resilient city, where people live cohesively, celebrating our amazing diversity and excelling at everything we do. And where no one gets left behind.

Who are the other candidates running on your ticket?

I'll be contesting both wards.

Fairfield Cabravale will be headed by me, followed by Kevin Lam, Joline Korkis, Jose Miranda Garcia, Sue Lee Lim, and Ngoc My Tang

For the first time, I will be contesting the Local Government elections under the Dai Le party. Our Party is about inclusion bringing together a diverse team of candidates through gender, cultural, lived and intergenerational experiences.

I believe my team has the experience and passion to contribute to building our city. I ask the community to give me the opportunity once again to continue to serve them.

Huu Tam Luong. Individual candidate.

Huu Tam Luong. Individual candidate.

HUU TAM LUONG

Why are you running for council? I am running for the council to have a voice for the residence and get the job done.

What are the three most important issues for Fairfield?

  1. Hospital.
  2. Education.
  3. Employment and better roads.

How do you plan on making a difference for residents? Being a local myself since 1979, I see and here what the residents wants. Complaints about not enough parking, road not being maintain and repaired properly and following it through having it done for the residence.

What is your vision for Fairfield? My vision for Fairfield is to have more business and hotels to cater for people arriving from the new international airport in Badgerys Creek.

Anything else you would like to add? We need more playgrounds, basketball courts, skate park and fitness equipment. Have more affordable housing in the area as well.

 Lachlan Hyde - Individual candidate.

Lachlan Hyde - Individual candidate.

LACHLAN HYDE

Why are you running for council? Despite never previously holding any political aspirations, I could see that as our city recovers both economically and socially from the COVID-19 lockdown I felt that now more than ever Fairfield City Council needs regular and ordinary people at the helm which is why I put my hand up to stand for election. Recent census data indicates more than 40 per cent of our LGA is under the age of 30, however there are zero councillors which fall into this age group meaning Fairfield City Council is inherently out of touch with young people and desperately needs age diversity.

What are the three most important issues for Fairfield ?

  1. These past 18 months living under COVID-19 restrictions and lockdowns has shown how important our surroundings are, and how important the local community is, it's from this experience that I feel residents discovered Fairfield's best asset is also something needing investment and improvement. That's our parks and waterways, we have terrific amounts of green space however issues exist with poor-quality and poorly designed spaces such as no bins, no seats, etc
  2. The COVID-19 experience also reinforced the importance of our mental and physical health which is why I've proposed boosting local services
  3. Lastly I believe transport is a major issue for the people of Fairfield from poorly maintained roads and traffic on our highways, to inaccessible and inequitable public transport there needs to be an investment here from all levels of Government. That is why I've proposed a Fairfield City Transport Strategy to identify the current challenges and also opportunities to improve our community with the strategy then able to be supported by the council as well as the state and federal governments.

How do you plan on making a difference for residents? I've developed a seven-step plan to reinvent Fairfield City for the 21st century as a connected and thriving community which can be read in full on my website. The key takeaways from the plan are as follows:

  • Rejuvenating our Foreshores and Waterways
  • Establish a Fairfield City Transport Strategy
  • Turn Cabramatta into Western Sydney's 'Cultural Capital'
  • Upgrading Parks and Sportsfields
  • Constructing the 'Villawood Gateway' Precinct
  • Investing in Mental and Physical Health
  • Improving Community Halls and Libraries

What is your vision for Fairfield? My vision for Fairfield's future involves placing a greater emphasis on the city's parks and waterways, our LGA's young people, boosting local mental and physical health services, and improving the transport mobility of residents. As even though Fairfield is a great community, things can be better.