Hornsby council election, 2017

Hornsby covers northern parts of Sydney. The council covers the suburbs of Beecroft, Cheltenham, North Epping, Pennant Hills, Thornleigh, Cherrybrook, Westleigh, Normanhurst, Hornsby, Asquith, Hornsby, Mount Colah, Mount Ku-ring-gai, Berowra and Brooklyn.

Council amalgamations
The Hills council mostly remained intact, but lost its southernmost tip to the expanded City of Parramatta. This area covered part of Epping, and was bounded on the northern end by the M2. This area had a population of about 20,000 as of 2014, so this reduced the population of Hornsby Shire from 169,000 to 149,000.

The state government still plans to amalgamated Hornsby with the neighbouring Ku-ring-gai council, but those plans have been held up in court.

Wards
Hornsby is divided into three wards, with each ward electing three councillors. There is also a directly-elected mayor.

A ward is the northernmost ward, and covers the majority of the council’s land area. It stretches from the Hawkesbury to the Hornsby city centre, and covers Hornsby Heights, Mount Colah, Mount Ku-ring-gai, Berowra and Brooklyn.

B ward covers the centre of the council, including Westleigh, Normanhurst, Thornleigh and parts of Asquith and Hornsby.

C ward covers the southern end of the council, including Beecroft, North Epping, Cheltenham and Cherrybrook.

Redistribution
The loss of the southern end of the council necessitated a substantial change to ward boundaries.

A ward gained part of the Hornsby city centre and lost areas to the south of Asquith.

B ward lost Cherrybrook and gained parts of Pennant Hills north of Boundary Road.

C ward lost Pennant Hills and gained the remainder of Cherrybrook.

Incumbent mayor
Steve Russell (Liberal)

Incumbent councillors

A Antony Anisse (Liberal) Mick Gallagher (Independent) Nathan Tilbury (Liberal)
B Nick Berman (Independent) Robert Browne (Liberal) Gurdeep Singh (Liberal)
C Bernadette Azizi (Independent) Jerome Cox (Liberal) Michael Hutchence (Liberal)

History
The Liberal Party has long dominated state and federal elections in Hornsby Shire, but until recently did not run official candidates for council elections.

At the 2004 election, three Labor councillors were elected, along with five independents. Independent candidate Nick Berman was elected as mayor, with one of the five independents elected on his ticket in his ward. Berman had links with the Liberal Party, and went on to stand for Liberal preselection for the 2011 state election.

At the 2008 election, Labor lost two of their seats to the Greens, for a total of three seats going to the two parties of the left. The remaining six seats went to independents, four of whom had various links to the Liberal Party. Berman was also re-elected as mayor.

Berman’s relationship with the Liberal Party broke down before the 2011 state election. After losing preselection for the state seat of Hornsby, Berman resigned from the party and ran for Hornsby as an independent. Berman polled 22% of the primary vote and 37% after preferences, missing out on the seat.

The Liberal Party first ran official Liberal candidates for Hornsby Council in 2012. The Liberal Party’s Steve Russell challenged Berman for the mayoralty, and narrowly won by a 1331-vote margin, with 50.85% of the vote after preferences were distributed.

The Liberal Party won two seats in each ward, for a total of six councillors (plus the mayor). Independents Nick Berman, Bernadette Azizi and Mick Gallagher all won seats on the council, while Labor and the Greens missed out on winning any seats.

Candidate summary
The Labor, Liberal and Greens parties are all running full tickets across the council area, including the mayoralty.

Former federal MP Philip Ruddock is running as the Liberal candidate for mayor. Sitting councillors Nathan Tilbury, Robert Browne and Michael Hutchence are leading the tickets for each ward, with fellow councillor Jerome Cox running second in C ward.

Six independent groups are running across the three wards. Former mayor Nick Berman is supporting a ticket led by his wife Christine Berman. Christine Berman is running for mayor and leading a ticket in B ward, while David Mitchell is leading their team in C ward. It’s not clear if the Berman team is affiliated to an independent group in A ward.

Sitting councillor Mick Gallagher is running for mayor and is leading a team for A ward.

Assessment
Hornsby is a strong area for the Liberal Party and they are likely to maintain control of the council.

2012 council result

Party Votes % % where contested Post-redist %
Liberal 39,758 46.0 46.0 45.1
Greens 12,409 14.4 14.4 13.9
Nick Berman 10,419 12.1 36.9 13.8
Bernadette Azizi 6,830 7.9 23.9 5.8
Mick Gallagher 5,524 6.4 18.6 7.3
Mick Smart 4,135 4.8 13.9 5.5
Linda Wu 2,596 3.0 9.2 3.4
Liberal Democrats 1,577 1.8 5.5 1.3
Jeremy Greenwood-Graham 1,228 1.4 4.1 1.6
Christian Democratic Party 1,166 1.3 3.9 1.5
Others 784 0.9 1.3 0.8

2012 mayoral result – primary votes

Candidate Party Votes % Post-redist %
Steve Russell Liberal 37,685 42.9 42.2
Nick Berman Independent 35,176 40.1 40.6
Mick Gallagher Independent 11,673 13.3 13.7
Peter Whelan Liberal Democrats 3,259 3.7 3.5

2012 mayoral result – after distribution of preferences

Candidate Party Votes %
Steve Russell Liberal 40,009 50.8
Nick Berman Independent 38,678 49.2
Exhausted votes 9,106

Ward breakdown – 2012 council results
The Liberal Party topped the poll in Hornsby, but their vote was not as high as their councillor count (six out of nine) suggests. The Liberal vote ranged from 40.8% in B ward to 49.2% in C ward.

Independents and other small parties polled between 38.2% in C ward and 44.1% in B ward.

The Greens vote ranged from 12.5% in C ward to 15.1% in B ward.

Ward LIB % GRN % OTH %
A Ward 44.9 14.1 40.9
B Ward 40.8 15.1 44.1
C Ward 49.2 12.5 38.2

Election results at the 2012 Hornsby council election
Click on the ‘visible layers’ box to toggle between primary votes for the Liberal and Greens parties.

The following map shows the location of booths at the 2012 council election. Click on each booth to see the booth name and the vote for each party, including minor parties.

Candidates – Mayor

  • Janelle McIntosh (Labor)
  • Christine Berman (Independent)
  • Mick Gallagher (Independent)
  • Emma Heyde (Greens)
  • Philip Ruddock (Liberal)

Candidates – A ward

  • A – Liberal
    1. Nathan Tilbury
    2. Warren Waddell
    3. Anthea Roache
  • B – Independent
    1. Mick Smart
    2. Stephen Holland
    3. Lara Tattersall
  • C – Labor
    1. Mick Marr
    2. Katie Gompertz
    3. Warren Soos
  • D – Independent
    1. Mick Gallagher
    2. Mariko Smith
    3. Verlaine Timms
  • E – Greens
    1. David Sentinella
    2. Junior Marchant
    3. Megan Ash
  • F – Independent
    1. Jarred Jordan
    2. Ethan Jordan
    3. John Bignold

Candidates – B ward

  • A – Greens
    1. Joseph Nicita
    2. Stacey Purcell
    3. Susan Hughes
  • B – Independent
    1. Christine Berman
    2. Barbie Blake
    3. Fionnuala Armstrong
  • C – Labor
    1. Janelle McIntosh
    2. Luke Chapman
    3. Joe Von Bornemann
  • D – Liberal
    1. Robert Browne
    2. Steve Khouw
    3. Usha Dommaraju

Candidates – C ward

  • A – Independent
    1. Vincent Del Gallego
    2. Craig Sutton
    3. Debra Trainor
  • B – Greens
    1. Emma Heyde
    2. Monica Tan
    3. M Khalid
  • C – Independent
    1. David Mitchell
    2. Lee Smith
    3. Nick Berman
  • D – Labor
    1. Justine Smillie
    2. Michael Emerson
    3. Philip Quigley
  • E – Liberal
    1. Michel Hutchence
    2. Jerome Cox
    3. Bernadette Meney

About the Author

Ben Raue is the founder and author of the Tally Room. If you like this post, please consider donating to support the Tally Room.