City of Fairfield election, 2016

Screen Shot 2016-08-25 at 2.00.06 pmThe City of Fairfield covers parts of western Sydney, including Fairfield, Cabramatta, Canley Vale, Bonnyrigg, Mount Pritchard, Edensor Park, Bossley Park, Wetherill Park.

Fairfield has a population of approximately 203,000 people (as of 2014), which makes it the ninth most populous council in New South Wales. Fairfield is the third most populous NSW council to be elected in September 2016.

Fairfield is divided up into three wards, with each ward electing four councillors. The council also includes a directly-elected mayor.

Cabravale ward covers the south-eastern corner of the council, including the suburbs of Cabramatta, Canley Vale, Canley Heights, Lansvale, Mount Pritchard and Wakeley.

Fairfield ward covers the north-eastern corner of the council, including the suburbs of Fairfield, Carramar, Fairfield Heights, Fairfield West and Smithfield.

Parks ward covers the western half of the council, including Bonnyrigg, Bonnyrigg Heights, Edensor Park, Bossley Park, Prairiewood, Wetherill Park and Horsley Park.

Incumbent mayor
Frank Carbone (Labor)

Incumbent councillors

Cabravale Fairfield Parks
Del Bennett (Labor) George Barcha (Labor) Milovan Karajcic (Labor)
Dai Le (Independent)1 Charbel Saliba (Liberal)2 Ninos Khoshaba (Labor)
Kien Ly (Labor) Lawrence White (Labor) Joe Molluso (Liberal)2
Nhan Tran (Independent) Ken Yeung (Unity) Zaya Toma (Liberal)2

1Dai Le was elected as an independent in 2012 but as a member of the Liberal Party and a former state candidate. Le was one of four Liberals on the council, but was recently suspended due to her decision to run an independent ticket.
2The Liberal Party did not run an official ticket for Fairfield council in 2012. Councillors Molluso, Saliba and Toma were all elected as independents but were all members of the Liberal Party.

Fairfield has been historically dominated by Labor. While Labor still holds a majority on the council, the 2012 election was the closest Labor came to losing power.

Labor’s Nick Lalich won the mayoralty in 2004, and Labor also won eight out of twelve council seats, giving the party over two thirds of the council. The Liberal Party won three seats, and the remaining seat was won by the Unity Party.

Labor held on to a comfortable majority in 2008, losing one of their eight council seats. Labor held seven seats, the Liberal Party four, and independent Nhan Tran one. Lalich won a second term as mayor, shortly before winning the state seat of Cabramatta at the 2008 by-election.

In 2012, the Liberal Party decided not to contest the Fairfield council elections, although a number of Liberal candidates contested the election as independents, including multiple sitting councillors. Unofficial Liberal independents won four seats on the council, while Labor won six. The remaining two seats were won by independent Nhan Tran and the Unity Party. Labor’s Frank Carbone won the mayoralty, giving Labor a slim majority.

Candidate summary
Labor, the Liberal Party, the Greens and the Christian Democratic Party are all running full tickets across Fairfield council. There is also an alliance of various figures linked to both Labor and the Liberal Party running across all three wards.

Three of the six sitting Labor councillors are running for re-election as part of the Labor team. Cabravale councillor Del Bennett is running for mayor, and has also moved to run as the leader candidate in Fairfield ward.

In Cabravale ward, sitting Labor councillor Kien Ly is joined by Adrian Wong at the top of the Labor ticket. In Fairfield ward, Del Bennett is joined by Anita Taoic-Kazi and Huy Tran, with sitting councillor George Barcha running in the fourth (likely unwinnable) spot on the ticket after copping a six-month party suspension over branch-stacking. In Parks ward, sitting councillor Ninos Khoshaba is supported by Sera Yilmaz. Labor councillor Lawrence White, who currently represents Fairfield ward, is not running for re-election, while two other councillors have joined an independent alliance.

Only one of the four Liberals elected in 2012 is running in 2016 as an independent. Joe Molluso is running for mayor and as the lead candidate in Parks ward. He is joined by Peter Grippaudo in Cabravale ward and Paul Azzo in Fairfield ward. In 2012, the Liberal independents were split into two factions: Molluso ran in an alliance with Grippaudo, who was unsuccessful. The other part of the local Liberals were more successful, with Dai Le, Charbel Saliba and Zaya Toma winning seats. None of these three are now running on the Liberal ticket. Toma has been banned from local government for two years after hacking the email accounts of fellow councillors. Saliba and Le are running as part of an independent alliance.

This independent alliance includes members of both Labor and Liberal. Incumbent mayor Frank Carbone is heading up a ticket in Parks ward. His second candidate is Andrew Rohan, who was the state Liberal member for Prospect from 2011 to 2015. His third candidate is fellow Labor councillor Milovan Karajcic. Carbone is also running for mayor.

Dai Le is running for Cabravale ward at the head of a ticket which includes ALP member Sam Leonardi in the second position. Le is also running for mayor. Fellow Liberal Charbel Saliba is running as an independent in Fairfield ward. Since Le and Carbone are both running as mayoral candidates, it isn’t possible to say that this grouping is a unified ticket, but there are clearly sympathies between the different groups.

The Greens are running a full ticket, led by Bill Cashman who is running in Parks ward and for mayor. Milan Makismovic is leading a full ticket for the Christian Democratic Party, running in Cabravale ward and for mayor.

Independent councillor Ken Yeung, who won a seat as a Unity Party candidate in Fairfield ward in 2012, is running for re-election as an independent.

The full candidate list is at the bottom of this guide.

This is a very unusual election for Fairfield, with both major parties suffering major splits.

It seems unlikely that the Liberal candidate has a chance of winning the mayoralty, with the race likely being between Carbone, Le and Bennett. Labor’s Bennett would normally be the overwhelming favourite, but you would expect Carbone to take away a sizeable chunk of the Labor base.

The Liberal Party is also in a weakened position and is unlikely to poll as highly as the five independent Liberal tickets did in 2012. Dai Le is quite popular for a Liberal in the Cabramatta area and it’s hard to see the Liberal Party’s official candidate doing well against her. They will also be facing up against an independent in Charbel Saliba in Fairfield ward. Only in Parks ward will the Liberal Party be running an incumbent councillor, and not facing off against a rebel Liberal.

It seems quite plausible that the Carbone-Le alliance could do well, with Carbone, Le and Chaliba having a good shot at holding their seat, possibly with an extra seat or two. Independents Tran and Yeung are also in play to hold on to their seats.

In Parks ward, the Liberal Party won two seats in 2012 quite far short of two quotas, and if they lose votes to Carbone they will likely lose their second seat, to Carbone or possibly the Greens’ Bill Cashman.

Overall, it seems likely that the official Labor ticket will lose their majority on the council, with no guarantee of holding the mayoralty.

2012 council election result

Party Votes % Swing Seats won
ALP 40,764 45.44 -4.3 6
Liberal independents 22,097 24.63 -4.0 4
Other independents 11,241 12.53 +1.7 1
Greens 7,359 8.20 +3.6 0
Unity 5,853 6.52 +0.3 1
Christian Democratic Party 2,390 2.66 +2.7 0

2012 mayoral election result

Candidate Party Votes % Swing
Frank Carbone Labor 44,641 45.36 -15.0
Nhan Tran Independent 15,833 16.09 +16.1
Zaya Toma Liberal independent 8,773 8.91 -24.6
Bill Cashman Greens 8,371 8.51 +8.5
Sam Yousif Independent 7,918 8.05 +8.1
Juliat Nasr Christian Democratic Party 7,237 7.35 +7.4
Ken Yeung Unity 5,647 5.74 +5.7

2012 mayoral election two-candidate-preferred result

Candidate Party Votes %
Frank Carbone Labor 49,041 71.31
Nhan Tran Independent 19,727 28.69
Exhausted 39,662

Vote breakdown by ward
Vote data has been broken down by ward. Mayoral results have been split based on which booth the vote was cast at, and special votes have been treated as a separate category.

Labor’s council vote ranged from 40.5% in Parks ward to just under 50% in Fairfield ward.

The vote for the Liberal independents was just under 20% in Fairfield and higher at 27% in Cabravale and Parks. The vote for other independents ranged from 10% in Parks ward to just under 14% in Cabravale and Fairfield.

The Greens council vote ranged from 7% in Fairfield to 10% in Parks.

The vote for Labor mayoral candidate Frank Carbone ranged from 44% in Parks to 46% in Fairfield.

Independent mayoral candidate Nhan Tran came second, with 25% in Cabravale and 12% in the other wards.

The vote for independent Liberal candidate Zaya Toma ranged from just under 8% in Cabravale and Fairfield to 12.2% in Parks.

Greens mayoral candidate Bill Cashman’s vote ranged from 7.8% in Fairfield to 9.2% in Cabravale.

Council results by ward

Voter group ALP % LIB % IND % GRN %
Cabravale 46.1 27.0 13.7 7.4
Fairfield 49.8 19.3 13.9 6.9
Parks 40.5 27.4 10.0 10.3

Mayoral results by ward

Voter group ALP % Tran % LIB % GRN %
Cabravale 44.7 25.1 7.8 9.2
Fairfield 45.9 11.9 7.9 7.8
Parks 44.1 12.1 12.2 9.0
Other votes 47.5 16.1 6.7 7.7

Election results at the 2012 City of Fairfield council election
Click on the ‘visible layers’ box to toggle between primary votes for Labor, the Liberal independents, and other independents.

Election results at the 2012 City of Fairfield mayoral election
Click on the ‘visible layers’ box to toggle between primary votes for Labor candidate Frank Carbone, independent candidate Nhan Tran and Liberal independent candidate Zaya Toma.

Candidates – Mayor

  • Dai Le
  • Bill Cashman (Greens)
  • Del Bennett (Labor)
  • Joe Molluso (Liberal)
  • Frank Carbone
  • Milan Makismovic (Christian Democratic Party)

Candidates – Cabravale ward

  • A – Anthony Cashman (Greens)
  • B – Liberal
    1. Peter Grippaudo
    2. Marko Pavlovic
    3. Alice Moshi
    4. Antonella de Vecchis
  • C – Kevin Lam
  • D – Independent
    1. Dai Le
    2. Sam Leonardi
    3. Sue Lee Lim
    4. Courtney Lor
  • E – Labor
    1. Kien Ly
    2. Adrian Wong
    3. Tania Huynh
    4. Peter Hansen
  • F – Milan Maksimovic (Christian Democratic Party)
  • G – Nhan Tran

Candidates – Fairfield ward

  • A – Liberal
    1. Paul Azzo
    2. Daniel Lazar
    3. Anthony Waugh
    4. Ngoc Nguyen
  • B – Labor
    1. Del Bennett
    2. Anita Taoic-Kazi
    3. Huy Tran
    4. George Barcha
  • C – Sam Georgis (Christian Democratic Party)
  • D – Andrew Nicholson (Greens)
  • E – Charbel Saliba
  • F – Ken Yeung
  • Ungrouped
    • Gabriel Bilyk

Candidates – Parks ward

  • A – Independent
    1. Frank Carbone
    2. Andrew Rohan
    3. Milovan Karajcic
    4. Nguyen Brown
  • B – Bill Cashman (Greens)
  • C – Labor
    1. Ninos Khoshaba
    2. Sera Yilmaz
    3. Donson Phetrasy
    4. David Lay
  • D – Liberal
    1. Joe Molluso
    2. Andrew Nguyen
    3. Nirari Shahen
    4. Steve Simat
  • E – Mariam Salama (Christian Democratic Party)
  • F – Livio Sartoretto


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