Bayside council election, 2021

Bayside Council covers suburbs immediately to the south-west of the Sydney city centre. The council is bounded by Botany Bay to the east, the Georges River to the south and the Cooks River to the north. The council covers the suburbs of Arncliffe, Banksmeadow, Bexley, Botany, Eastgardens, Mascot, Pagewood, Rockdale and Sans Souci. The new council had an estimated population of about 178,396 as of 2019.

Bayside is divided into five wards, with each ward electing three councillors.

Ward 1 covers the eastern edge of the council, including Botany, Banksmeadow, Pagewood and Eastmeadows.

Ward 2 straddles the centre of the council, covering Arncliffe, Mascot and Sydney Airport.

Ward 4 covers western parts of the council, including Bexley and Bexley North.

Ward 3 covers the centre-west of the council, including Bardwell Park, Rockdale and Kogarah.

Ward 5 covers those suburbs along the western shoreline of Botany Bay, including Sans Souci and Brighton-le-Sands.

Changes were made to two out of the five wards, with all five renamed from suburb names to numbers.

Botany Bay ward was renamed Ward 5, Mascot ward was renamed Ward 2 and Port Botany ward was renamed Ward 1. These three wards were otherwise unchanged.

Bexley ward was renamed Ward 4 and Rockdale ward was renamed Ward 3. Ward 3 picked up Kogarah from Ward 4/Bexley, while Ward 4 picked up Bexley North from Ward 3/Rockdale.

Incumbent councillors

Ward 1 Christina Curry (Labor) Scott Morrissey (Lab) Paul Sedrak (Liberal)
Ward 2 Tarek Ibrahim (Labor) Michael Nagi (Liberal) Dorothy Rapisardi (Lab)
Ward 3 Petros Kalligas (Lib) Bill Saravinovski (Lab) Andrew Tsounis (Ind)
Ward 4 Joe Awada (Labor) Liz Barlow (Ind) Ron Bezic (Liberal)
Ward 5 James Macdonald (Ind) Ed McDougall (Labor) Vicki Poulos (Liberal)

Bayside Council was created out of a merger of Rockdale and Botany Bay councils in 2016. The 2017 guide covers the previous history of these two councils and how much of the new council came from its predecessors.

Botany Bay had been a Labor stronghold, with the party holding all seats on the council right up until the council was abolished.

Rockdale leant towards the ALP, but they did not win majorities on the council in its final years. Labor held the mayoralty consistently from 2008 until 2016, but only held five out of fifteen seats from 2004 until 2016.

The 2017 election elected seven Labor councillors, five Liberals and three independents to the new council.

Labor has held the mayoralty since 2017, with Bill Saravinovski holding the role from 2017 until 2019, when he was succeeded by Joe Awada.

Candidate summary
Labor is running a full ticket across the five wards, with five out of seven incumbent councillors running. Labor has a new ticket in Ward 2.

The Liberal Party is not running for Bayside council, but two of the five Liberal councillors are running independent tickets. Cr Sedrak has shifted from Ward 1 to Ward 5.

The three independents are all running, along with six other independent groups.

The Greens are running candidates in four wards.

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

Labor won seven seats in Bayside council in 2017, putting them close to a majority.

Thanks to the redistribution, the eighth-best prospect for a Labor seat would be a second seat in Ward 3, where they sit on 42.3%.

The withdrawal of the Liberal Party totally shakes up the election. It’s likely many Liberal voters will instead vote for independents, but there is only two current Liberal councillors running for re-election. Some will vote for Labor and make it easier for them to win a majority.

The best chance for the Greens is Ward 2 (Mascot). Labor won their second seat with 22% of the vote after their first quota. The Greens polled 20% here, which is the ward closest to the inner west. A small swing to the Greens could see Labor lose a seat here.

2017 results

Party Votes % Swing Seats won
Labor 33,149 46.00 +5.3 7
Liberal 19,624 27.23 -1.6 5
Independents 14,453 20.06 -6.2 3
Greens 4,830 6.70 +2.5 0
Informal 6,241 7.97

Vote breakdown by ward
The following two tables show the vote in each ward before and after the recent redistribution.

The Labor vote in 2017 dipped just below 40% in Botany Bay and Rockdale wards, and peaked at 64% in Port Botany ward. They picked up second seats in Port Botany and Mascot.

The Liberal vote ranged from 23.8% in Port Botany to 32.8% in Botany Bay. They picked up one seat in every ward.

Independents were elected in Bexley, Botany Bay and Rockdale wards, with over 20% of the vote in each ward. Over one third of the vote in Bexley was cast for the independent ticket.

The Greens only ran in two wards, but polled over 20% in Mascot ward, which covers the area closest to the Greens heartland of the Inner West.

The redistribution only impacted on Bexley (renamed Ward 4) and Rockdale (renamed Ward 3).

Labor had polled about the same in both wards in 2017, but the redistribution slightly strengthens the Labor position in Ward 3, bringing them slightly closer to picking up another seat, which would give them an overall majority. The Liberal vote in Ward 4 improved from 25.2% to 26%, but their vote in Ward 3 dropped from 25.6% to 24.8%, which could prove crucial if a swing to Labor gives them a chance of wiping out the Liberals here.

Pre-redistribution vote numbers

Ward ALP % LIB % IND % GRN %
Bexley Ward (4) 40.0 25.2 34.8 0.0
Botany Bay Ward (5) 38.5 32.8 28.7 0.0
Mascot Ward (2) 47.7 29.1 2.6 20.5
Port Botany Ward (1) 64.0 23.8 12.2 0.0
Rockdale Ward (3) 39.7 25.6 21.3 13.3

Post-redistribution vote numbers

Ward ALP % LIB % IND % GRN %
Ward 1 64.0 23.8 12.2 0.0
Ward 2 47.7 29.1 2.6 20.5
Ward 3 42.3 24.8 22.8 10.1
Ward 4 37.5 26.0 32.8 3.7
Ward 5 38.5 32.8 28.7 0.0

Election results at the 2017 Bayside Council election
Toggle between primary votes for Labor, the Liberal Party and independent candidates.

Candidates – Ward 1

  • A – Independent
    1. Jennifer Muscat
    2. John Muscat
    3. Sarah Monahas
  • B – Labor
    1. Cr Christina Curry
    2. Cr Scott Morrissey
    3. Keith Grima
  • C – Greens
    1. James Macdonald
    2. Jacqueline Mack
    3. Jurgen Weber
  • D – Independent
    1. John Heffernan
    2. Marion Downey
    3. Theo Farasopoulos

Candidates – Ward 2

  • A – Labor
    1. Jo Jansyn
    2. Anne Fardell
    3. Chao Qiao
  • B – Independent Liberal
    1. Cr Michael Nagi
    2. Ali Jaafar
    3. Hussein Saab
  • C – Independent
    1. Nicola Powell
    2. Sarah Drury
    3. Carly Quaratino
  • D – Greens
    1. Peter Strong
    2. Nina Bauer
    3. Elizabeth Gordon-Werner

Candidates – Ward 3

  • A – Independent
    1. Connie Gerakis
    2. George Dakkour
    3. George Shenouda
  • B – Greens
    1. Greta Werner
    2. Scott Rickard
    3. Denise Abou Hamad
  • C – Labor
    1. Cr Bill Saravinovski
    2. Louay Moustapha
    3. Vicky Roussos
  • D – Independent
    1. Cr Andrew Tsounis
    2. Anne Field
    3. Trevor Dyet

Candidates – Ward 4

  • A – Independent
    1. Cr Liz Barlow
    2. Mark Hanna
    3. Ying Xu
  • B – Greens
    1. Catriona Carver
    2. Maria Ellensohn
    3. Luke Jeffery
  • C – Labor
    1. Cr Joe Awada
    2. Rana Saab
    3. Aida Farhat

Candidates – Ward 5

  • A – Independent Liberal
    1. Cr Paul Sedrak
    2. Fotios Koutsioukis
    3. Marianne Awad
  • B – Independent
    1. Heidi Douglas
    2. Imroze Ali
    3. Joyce Campbell
  • C – Labor
    1. Cr Edward McDougall
    2. Eva Millington
    3. Michael Rosser
  • D – Independent
    1. Ilias Tzortzis
    2. Elizabeth Antonopoulos
  • E – Independent
    1. Cr James Macdonald
    2. Sallianne Faulkner
    3. Andrew Pandelis
  • Ungrouped
    • Cr Ron Bezic (Independent)

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  1. The amalgamation of Botany and Rockdale is possibly the single worst outcome of the Baird government amalgamations. Why wasn’t Rockdale merged into George’s River, and Botany amalgamated with Randwick?

  2. Very good point Nicholas. Amalgamations are a farce.
    There’s a massive HOT airport in the way. Talking of HOT, what about Gardiner’s Pk synthetic HEAT in summer. No good. Be interesting to see Georges River opinion.

  3. One of the local Liberal MPs i am led to believe lobbied to have Kogarah and Hurstville amalgamate and then Rockdale with Botany . When Bexley Pool opened at the end of 2016 from memory , i spoke to Ron Hoenig at the opening re the matter. He indicated to me that afternoon that the Liberal MP had spoken to him . Ron Hoenig had suggested that the 3 Councils be combined – Rockdale , Kogarah and Hurstville .
    Georges River has been a disaster in many respects . The number of Codes of Conduct from Councillors indicates that there has to be something wrong – the list goes on.

  4. Lived in Botany LGA since 1979. Amalgamation with Kogarah/Rockdale has been a disaster for Botany residents, as has been the overdevelopment of Port Botany. Bob Carr and Kristina Keneally promised no further development of Port Botany in 2010 (KK Heffron Newsletter, 2919). Yarra Bay must therefore not be ruined by a new Cruise ship terminal.

  5. I thought the same thing Nicholas, but I think it was to do with Sydney Airport, I think the Government wanted 1 council for the entire Airport. I think they originally proposed that Botany Bay Council take over all of the airport but Rockdale Council refused.

  6. That just seems like an excuse. The neighbouring Randwick and Georges River councils would be much tougher for the Liberals if the more sensible mergers took place.

  7. Agree, Nicholas i am not a supporter of this boundaries. I would have preferred the Cooks River as a boundary as this is clearly a divide between the Eastern Suburbs and the St George District (Southern Sydney along with the Sutherland Shire). The St George District has a distinctive identity and there could have been a St George LGA instead.

  8. I 100% agree Ben, I was just saying that was there “reason” for merging Rockdale and Botany Bay. Do I think it was a Good Enough “reason” No.

  9. I wish all Forcibly Merged Councils including Bayside followed the Inner West Council’s lead and hold Council Polls on whether to de-amalgamate.

  10. The choice of the name Bayside for the new merged council is so unoriginal it conflicts with a merged Council in Victoria. To make matters worse, Bayside, NSW has Brighton Le Sands and Bayside, Vic has Brighton and Brighton East. The choice of name looks suspiciously like a measure to highlight one of the things that the two areas have in common.

    As theorised on the Grayndler 2022 page, the merger may potentially have some interesting consequences for the next Commonwealth redistribution, given the need for more voters in Wentworth and Kingsford Smith.

  11. I doubt the federal election commissioners would dignify the Baird government’s gerrymander in that manner. Especially since the big deficit is in Wentworth, not Kingsford-Smith, and that can be accommodated with an expansion into Kings Cross.

    The broader St George area is already split between three divisions, no need to make it four.

  12. Municipal boundaries are a known factor in redistributions. “Not dignifying” legal current municipal boundaries seems a bit partisan for the AEC to be engaging in. Submissions from locals saying the Cook River boundary is more important than municipal boundaries is however something they could take into account.

    Kingsford Smith crossing the Cook River could allow Sydney to swap Newtown for Moore Park and the part of Woolloomooloo not currently in Sydney, making it a City of Sydney and Lord Howe Island only electorate. Then Wentworth becomes and Woollahra, Waverley and Randwick only electorate. And Kingsford Smith becomes a Randwick and Bayside only electorate. On municipal boundaries, that is neater than the current situation, so I would not discount the possibility of the AEC considering it.

  13. The federal redistribution criteria makes no mention of municipal boundaries. The guidelines give consideration to four factors: community interests; means of communication and travel; physical features and area; existing boundaries.

    In so far as LGA boundaries reflect those things, they are often used. Typically they are adhered to where possible in regional areas, but less so in suburbia; particularly inner suburbia, where the continuous built environment makes them much more arbitrary. This is certainly the case for the City of Sydney, which cuts across several suburbs – e.g. Newtown, Campberdown, Paddington. The case for unifying the City of Sydney at the expense of crossing a long standing and clear physical boundary like the Cooks River/Sydney Airport is very weak.

  14. The AEC Commissioners do have predilection for local council boundaries – especially seemingly in NSW. However with amalgamations this will surely get harder and harder as it is more difficult to work with a smaller number of larger units than a larger number of smaller units. And of course, in some cases they ignore LGA boundaries altogether – says one who lives in a suburb that has been cut in three by the latest redistribution!

  15. Agree redistributed, in the Brisbane Metropolitan area there are three federal districts (Petrie, Longman and Dickson) that each contain parts of Moreton Bay Council, with Petrie also taking in a significant piece of Brisbane City Council. In fact the last redistribution added parts of Bridgeman Downs (Brisbane City council) into Dickson and that may need to continue in future redistributions as Dickson is under quota. Unless they realign boundaries and make Petrie more focussed on Brisbane City Council.

  16. Agree redistributed, in the Brisbane Metropolitan area there are three federal districts (Petrie, Longman and Dickson) that each contain parts of Moreton Bay Council with Petrie also adding a piece of Brisbane City Council. In fact the most recent redistribution added Bridgeman Downs (Brisbane city council) to Dickson, a process that is likely to continue in future redistributions as Dickson is under quota.

    Guess with the Brisbane Metropolitan area containing only 5 local councils instead of the 20+ for Sydney and Melbourne it is almost guaranteed that federal districts are unable to be wholly contained within LGA boundaries.

  17. The last Queensland redistribution was notable for the high emphasis it placed on existing boundaries. The Dickson/Lilley and Ryan/Blair boundaries were altered in way that deviated from their previous LGA alignment. The committee didn’t have to do that, but decided it was preferable to a whole lot of knock on effects elsewhere.

  18. Agree David that the AEC makes use of the ‘minimal change’ approach for redistributions, avoiding wholesale changes to boundaries particularly when a state’s entitlement does not change.


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