Ryde council election, 2017

Ryde council covers the inner north-west of Sydney, covering suburbs at the western end of the lower north shore on the north side of the Parramatta River. The council covers the suburbs of Ryde, Meadowbank, West Ryde, Denistone, Melrose Park, Eastwood, Marsfield, Macquarie Park, North Ryde and parts of Gladesville.

Wards
The City of Ryde is divided into three wards, with each ward electing four councillors.

East ward covers Putney, Gladesville, North Ryde and East Ryde.

Central ward covers Ryde, Meadowbank and parts of West Ryde and Macquarie Park.

West ward covers the remainder of West Ryde and Macquarie Park, as well as Eastwood, Denistone, Melrose Park and Marsfield.

Incumbent councillors

Central East West
Denise Pendleton (Independent) Vacant (Liberal)2 Vacant (Liberal)3
Bill Pickering (Liberal) Roy Maggio (Liberal) Jerome Laxale (Labor)
Jeff Salvestro-Martin (Independent)4 Jane Stott (Liberal)1 Justin Li (Independent)
Sarkis Yedelian (Liberal) George Simon (Labor) Terry Perram (Independent)

1 Jane Stott won the by-election for East ward in February 2015, triggered by the resignation of independent councillor Ivan Petch.

2 Liberal councillor Craig Chung resigned from council on 29 September 2016.

3 Liberal councillor Artin Etmekdjian was expelled from Ryde council in April 2017 following his conviction for tax fraud. He resigned from the Liberal Party shortly afterwards, pre-empting a bid to expel him from the party.

4Jeff Salvestro-Martin was elected as a Labor councillor in 2012, but left the party at some point during the term after being disendorsed as the Labor candidate for the federal seat of Bennelong prior to the 2013 federal election.

History
Ryde is an area which has tended to lean towards the Liberal Party, but much less so than other parts of the north shore. Despite this trend, the Liberal Party only began running official candidates in 2008.

Prior to the 2004 election, the mayoralty had been shared around amongst an independent grouping, with Edna Wilde and Ivan Petch each serving two terms as mayor from 1999 until March 2004.

At the 2004 election, Labor won three seats alongside two Greens. The remaining seven seats went to independents, including at least one who later won a seat as a Liberal.

Independent Terry Perram served as mayor from 2004 to 2005, followed by Ivan Petch from 2005 until 2008.

The Liberal Party made its first official push for Ryde council in 2008, winning four seats. Labor also won four seats, with the Greens winning no seats on the council. The remaining four were held by independents.

The mayoralty was shared between the major parties, with Liberal Vic Tagg serving as mayor from 2008 until 2009, followed by Labor’s Michael Butterworth until 2010, and then Liberal councillor Artin Etmekdjian from 2010 until 2012.

The Liberal Party gained ground from Labor in 2012, winning a fifth seat. Labor only won three, while four independents won seats. Three of these independents had served on the previous council.

Independent councillor Ivan Petch served as mayor from 2012 to 2013, followed by Liberal councillor Roy Maggio from 2013 to 2014 and then fellow Liberal Bill Pickering from 2014 to 2015.

Former mayor Ivan Petch resigned in late 2014, triggering an early 2015 by-election won by Liberal candidate Jane Stott. This gave the Liberal Party six out of twelve seats on the council.

Despite this shift in the numbers, the 2015 mayoral election saw Labor’s Jerome Laxale win when the result was drawn from a hat. Former Liberal mayor Etmekdjian won the vote of all six Liberal councillors, while the three current and former Labor councillors voted for Laxale, and the three other independents voted for Terry Perram. Laxale won the tiebreaker between himself and Perram, and Perram’s supporters went on to vote for Laxale, resulting in a 6-6 tie. This result was broken by drawing Laxale’s name out of the hat.

Liberal councillor Bill Pickering returned to the mayoralty in September 2016, thanks to former Labor councillor Jeff Salvestro-Martin switching and supporting Pickering over Labor’s Laxale.

Following the 2016 mayoral election, two of the six Liberal councillors have vacated their seats. Craig Chung resigned in late September 2016, and Artin Etmekdjian was expelled in April 2017.

Candidates
The Labor and Liberal parties are running full tickets across the three wards.

Liberal councillor Sarkis Yedelian is running as the party’s lead candidate in the Central ward. Labor councillor Jerome Laxale is leading the Labor ticket in the West ward.

Five independent groups are running. Roy Maggio, who was elected as a Liberal in 2012, is leading an independent team in the East ward. Jane Stott and Bill Pickering, who both won seats on the council as Liberals prior to this election, are running as an independent team in the Central ward.

The Greens and Christian Democratic Party are running teams in two wards each.

Assessment
The Liberal Party easily topped the poll in the 2012 council election and are the favourites to perform most strongly in the upcoming election.

2012 council result

Party Votes % % where contested Swing
Liberal 18,634 34.7 34.7 1.0
Labor 8,690 16.2 16.2 -8.7
Greens 3,688 6.9 10.4 2.0
Christian Democratic Party 1,303 2.4 7.3 2.4
Justin Li 5,217 9.7 28.9 4.2
Terry Perram 2,984 5.6 16.5 -1.3
Ivan Petch 2,956 5.5 16.7 -2.7
Vic Tagg 2,369 4.4 13.4 4.4
Denise Pendleton 2,309 4.3 12.9 4.3
Nino Stufano 2,032 3.8 11.3 3.8
Others 3,500 6.5 6.5

Ward breakdown – 2012 council results
The Liberal Party comfortably topped the poll across Ryde Council in 2012.

The Liberal vote ranged from 31% in the west to 39% in the east. The Labor vote ranged from 14.5% in the east to 17.5% in the centre.

Ward LIB % ALP % GRN % OTH %
Central 33.9 17.5 9.8 38.8
East 39.3 14.5 11.0 35.2
West 31.0 16.5 0.0 52.5

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

Candidates – Central ward

  • A – Independent
    1. Jane Stott
    2. Bill Pickering
    3. Peter Szewczyk
    4. Narain Mudaliar
  • B – Greens
    1. Edwina Clifton
    2. Rochelle Flood
    3. Helen Johnstone
    4. Rosemary Milburn
  • C – Christian Democratic Party
    1. Julie Worsley
    2. Paul Treacy
    3. Mary McMillan
    4. Gail Herring
  • D – Liberal
    1. Sarkis Yedelian
    2. Chris Moujalli
    3. Toni Courtelis
    4. Kedarnath (Kevin) Pagaddinnimath
  • E – Labor
    1. Bernard Purcell
    2. Margaret Mayger
    3. Geoffrey Lee
    4. Geoff Pullen

Candidates – East ward

  • A – Labor
    1. Penny Pedersen
    2. Libby Lawson
    3. Grant McKee
    4. Chris Rutter
  • B – Independent
    1. Roy Maggio
    2. Linda Candy
    3. Amos Anastasiadis
    4. Janine Ligato
  • C – Independent
    1. Bec Ho
    2. Sean Kearns
    3. Melanie Moss
    4. Clare Walch
  • D – Greens
    1. Christopher Gordon
    2. Jill Hartley
    3. John Clifton
    4. Ted Nettle
  • E – Liberal
    1. Jordan Lane
    2. Brigid Meney
    3. Hassib Elias
    4. Shweta Deshpande
  • Ungrouped
    • John August

Candidates – West ward

  • A – Labor
    1. Jerome Laxale
    2. Peter Kim
    3. Judy Nicholas
    4. Jack Willis
  • B – Christian Democratic Party
    1. Maureen Chan
    2. Gui Dong (William) Cao
    3. Guang Shu Jin
    4. Ying (Debbie) Xu
  • C – Independent
    1. Shuo (Simon) Zhou
    2. Badawe (Buddy) Abboud
    3. Leigh Prosser
    4. Miao Yu Xu
  • D – Independent
    1. Kit Chan
    2. Ting (Priscilla) Yu
    3. John Ellul
    4. Peter Zarro
  • E – Liberal
    1. Trenton Brown
    2. Amy Lee
    3. Janine Orban
    4. Jerry Papikian

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.