Parramatta council election, 2021

The City of Parramatta covers central parts of Western Sydney. The council is bordered by the M2 to the north, and mostly bordered by the M4 to the south.

The council covers Parramatta, North Parramatta, Harris Park, Rosehill, Camellia, Westmead, Northmead, North Rocks, Oatlands, Carlingford, Epping, Dundas Valley, Telopea, Dundas, Rydalmere, Ermington, Wentworth Point, Newington, Silverwater and Sydney Olympic Park.

The council has a population of approximately 257,000, as of 2019.

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

Dundas ward covers central parts of the council, including Dundas, Ermington, Telopea, Oatlands, North Parramatta and parts of Rydalmere. The ward is bounded by Victoria Road and the river to the south, Church Street to the west, and Pennant Hills Road to the north-west. The north-eastern boundary runs through Dundas Valley.

Epping ward covers the north-eastern corner of the council, including Epping and Dundas Valley. The ward is bounded by Pennant Hills Road to the west, and the south-western boundary runs through Dundas Valley.

North Rocks ward covers the northern edge of the council, including Winston Hills, North Rocks, Carlingford and parts of Northmead. The ward is bounded by Pennant Hills to the south and east, and by Toongabbie Creek on its south-western corner.

Parramatta ward covers the Parramatta city centre and the western end of the council, including Westmead, Toongabbie, Pendle Hill and Constitution Hill. The ward is bounded by Toongabbie Creek, Pennant Hills Road, Church Street, Victoria Road, Macarthur Street, Hassall Street and the railway line.

Rosehill ward covers the south-eastern corner of the council, including Rosehill, Wentworth Point, Newington, Silverwater, Harris Park, Clyde, Sydney Olympic Park and parts of Rydalmere and Parramatta. The ward’s boundary lies on the south-eastern edge of the Parramatta City Centre and then runs along the Parramatta River and Victoria Road.

Three wards were left alone. There was a small change on the border between Dundas and Rosehill wards. The Dundas ward expanded south of Victoria Road to the river, taking in the area bounded by Macarthur St and the former Carlingford train line (and future light rail line). This area was previously part of Rosehill.

Incumbent councillors

Dundas Benjamin Barrak (Lib) Pierre Esber (Labor) Michelle Garrard (OLC)
Epping Donna Davis (Labor) Bill Tyrrell (Liberal) Lorraine Wearne (Ind)
North Rocks Bob Dwyer (Liberal) Vacant (Labor)1 Andrew Jefferies (Lib)
Parramatta Phil Bradley (Greens) Sameer Pandey (Lab) Martin Zaiter (Liberal)
Rosehill Steven Issa (Liberal) Patricia Prociv (Labor) Andrew Wilson (OLC)

1 Labor councillor Paul Han died in May 2020.

The Parramatta municipality was created in 1862. It was joined by neighbouring councils covering Granville, Dundas and Ermington and Rydalmere were created between 1885 and 1891. These four councils were merged to form the City of Parramatta in 1948.

Throughout the 20th century Parramatta was usually led by independent mayors, interrupted by a few periods of Labor mayors.

Independent Alan Hyam served as mayor, and then lord mayor, from 1986 until 1991. Fellow independent mayor John Haines led the council throughout the 1991-1995 term, and in the following term Haines shared the mayoralty with fellow independents Paul Garrard and John Books.

Labor’s David Borger became lord mayor following the 1999 election: the first Labor mayor since the mid-1980s. The last three-and-a-half years of that term saw the mayoralty shared by independents Lorraine Wearne, John Haines and Paul Garrard.

Labor won a majority on the council in 2004, holding eight seats, alongside five Liberals and two independents. Labor’s Julia Finn, David Borger and Paul Barber held the mayoralty in that term.

The Liberal Party gained ground at the 2008 election, winning a sixth seat. Labor dropped from eight seats to six, with three independents. Parramatta’s first Liberal mayor, Tony Issa, took office after the 2008 election, and the Liberal Party shared the mayoralty in that term with independents Paul Garrard and Lorraine Wearne.

The 2012 election saw more gains for the Liberal Party. They won a seventh seat, with Labor dropping to five. Lorraine Wearne elected a second councillor on her team, as well as independent Paul Garrard. The Liberal Party’s John Chedid and Scott Lloyd held the mayoralty from 2012 until 2015, when they handed over to Garrard, who led the council until the council was sacked in 2016.

The 2016 council amalgamation process saw the existing council removed, but the council remained mostly intact. The southern Woodville ward, covering most of Granville, was moved into the new Cumberland Council, while the northern border shifted further north to take in areas from the Hills and Hornsby councils, so that the northern border was aligned with the M2.

The Liberal Party again won the most seats on the council at the 2017 election, winning six out of fifteen seats. Labor won five seats, and the Greens won one. The other three seats went to independents. Lorraine Wearne returned to the council, while the Our Local Community party won two seats. Andrew Wilson returned to the council, along with Michelle Garrard, daughter of the former mayor Paul Garrard, who was elected to neighbouring Cumberland Council for the same party.

The council has been run since 2017 by an alliance of independents and Liberals.

The 2017 mayoral election was close. Independent Andrew Wilson gained the support of the six Liberals and Lorraine Wearne, while the Greens and Michelle Garrard supported Labor’s Pierre Esber. Garrard was then elected unopposed as deputy mayor.

Since that election, every subsequent mayoral or deputy mayoral election has seen Wilson, Garrard and sometimes Wearne allying with the Liberals against Labor and the Greens.

Garrard has held the deputy mayoralty since 2017, while the mayoralty was handed over from Wilson to Liberal councillor Bob Dwyer in 2019.

Candidate summary
Labor is running a full ticket across the council, while the Liberal Party is not standing. Our Local Community is running in four wards, and the Greens are running in three.

Only one of the six sitting Liberal councillors is running for re-election. Former mayor Bob Dwyer is running in second place on Georgina Valjak’s ticket in North Rocks ward.

There are three independents on the council and they are all running for re-election. Andrew Wilson is running for the Small Business Party, Lorraine Wearne is running for her own named party, and Michelle Garrard is leading the Our Local Community party, which is running in three other wards.

The sole Greens councillor is running for re-election.

The Liberal Democrats and the Socialist Alliance are each running in one ward

There are also two other independent groups running, both in the Dundas ward, headed by Kellie Darley and Lee Malkoun.

Parramatta City has been governed by a conservative majority but that position has been scattered by the Liberal Party’s decision to not endorse candidates, and the decision to not even allow Liberal independents to run.

This should be good for conservative independents like those in Our Local Community, but it will likely make it easier for Labor to potentially gain a seat, along with other independents and Greens, and could see a more progressive majority formed in the council.

2017 results

Party Votes % Swing Seats won
Liberal 35,987 36.45 -6.8 6
Labor 30,850 31.25 +8.5 5
Local Independent Party 8,845 8.96 +9.0
Greens 7,310 7.40 0.0 1
Our Local Community 6,990 7.08 +7.1 2
Lorraine Wearne Independents 4,055 4.11 -4.0 1
Christian Democrats 2,683 2.72 +2.7
Other independents 1,277 1.29 -4.7
Australia First 730 0.74 +0.7
Informal 5,658 5.42

Vote breakdown by ward

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

The Liberal Party topped the primary vote in all five wards, with a vote ranging from 32.1% in Parramatta ward, to 48.2% in North Rocks.

The ALP came closest to overtaking the Liberal Party in Parramatta, with a vote ranging from 23.5% in Epping to 37.8% in North Rocks.

The Greens ran in three wards, with 12% in Epping and Rosehill and over 13% in Parramatta, where they won a seat.

The Local Independent Party ran in four wards, with a vote ranging from 8.7% in Rosehill to 13.9% in Dundas.

Our Local Community ran in three wards, with a vote ranging from 9.3% in Parramatta to 15.6% in Dundas. Lorraine Wearne ran only in Epping, where she polled 19.2%.

The redistribution was very minor and only affected two wards. The Liberal vote slightly increased in Rosehill and decreased in Dundas. The Labor vote slightly increased in Dundas and decreased in Rosehill.

Pre-redistribution vote numbers

Dundas 35.0 31.6 0.0 13.9 15.6
Epping 32.7 23.5 12.0 12.6 19.2
North Rocks 48.2 37.8 0.0 0.0 0.0
Parramatta 32.1 30.0 13.3 10.2 9.3
Rosehill 33.3 33.7 12.0 8.7 12.4

Post-redistribution vote numbers

Dundas 34.8 31.9 1.0 13.5 15.1
Epping 32.7 23.5 12.0 12.6 19.2
North Rocks 48.2 37.8 0.0 0.0 0.0
Parramatta 32.1 30.0 13.3 10.2 9.3
Rosehill 33.4 33.6 11.7 8.7 12.7

Election results at the 2017 City of Parramatta election
Toggle between primary votes for the Liberal Party, Labor, Local Independent Party, the Greens, Our Local Community and Lorraine Wearne.

Candidates – Dundas

  • A – Labor
    1. Cr Pierre Esber
    2. Anthony Ellard
    3. Sam Daher
  • B – Independent
    1. Lee Malkoun
    2. Filena Lovisa
    3. Souzie Wehbe
  • C – Independent
    1. Kellie Darley
    2. Maryanne Thompson
    3. Natalie Ng
  • D – Our Local Community
    1. Cr Michelle Garrard
    2. Wayne Butcher
    3. Kevin Wu

Candidates – Epping

  • A – Labor
    1. Cr Donna Davis
    2. Cameron Maclean
    3. Tony Lee
  • B – Lorraine Wearne Independents
    1. Cr Lorraine Wearne
    2. Ian McLeod
    3. Desmond Chung
  • Ungrouped
    • Jean Pierre Abood (Independent)

Candidates – North Rocks

  • A – Labor
    1. Ange Humphries
    2. Alan Mascarenhas
    3. Nick Nikolaidis
  • B – Greens
    1. Greg Edwards
    2. Mona Burns
    3. Damien Atkins
  • C – Independent Liberal
    1. Georgina Valjak
    2. Cr Bob Dwyer
    3. Rob Mashford
  • D – Our Local Community
    1. Donna Wang
    2. Kiara Garrard-Williams
    3. John Hugh

Candidates – Parramatta

  • A – Liberal Democrats
    1. Charles Rios
    2. Hugo Rios
  • B – Greens
    1. Cr Phil Bradley
    2. Annie Nielsen
    3. Jacki Brown
  • C – Our Local Community
    1. Henry Green
    2. Alan Sexton
    3. Jason Garrard
  • D – Labor
    1. Cr Sameer Pandey
    2. James Shaw
    3. Liz Scully

Candidates – Rosehill

  • A – Greens
    1. Franceska Strano
    2. David Schwartz
    3. Susan Chen
  • B – Socialist Alliance
    1. Susan Price
    2. Katrina James
    3. Douglas Hawthorne
  • C – Small Business Party
    1. Cr Andrew Wilson
    2. James Laurence
    3. Christine Rigby
  • D – Our Local Community
    1. Dan Siviero
    2. George Sleiman
    3. Angelo Siviero
  • E – Labor
    1. Cr Patricia Prociv
    2. Paul Noack
    3. Sinead Simpkins

Become a Patron!


  1. I read on the Parramatta council website that Steven Issa has now taken over as mayor prior to the December election. Michelle Garrard remains deputy mayor.

    I believe Steven is the son of former Liberal mayor Tony Issa, who also served as a state MP for Granville between 2011 and 2015.

  2. I decided to look into Parramatta as was curious how far OLC’s reach was and noticed with the nominations that the Liberals have pulled out running officially here!

    Bob Dywer (Liberal-Councillor) is now running as an independent in North Rocks under the Independent-Valjak group as no.2 candidate.

    Also noticed in Rosehill Ward that Andrew Wilson (OLC-Councillor) is now running for the Small Business party (the only ward they are contesting).

    Parramatta Ward is also interesting in that there is a group that doesn’t meet the requirements for a group ticket box, as normally most groups have enough candidates to qualify for the box above the line (this is a group of 2 for the Liberal Democrats and seems the two candidates are related). Will be interesting to see if that increases the informal vote in any way.

    Labor is running in every ward, OLC in all wards bar Epping (presumably because of Lorraine Wearne being strong here).

  3. Disappointing to see some independents running under the liberal party colours trying to pick up this vote as no endorsed authorised Liberals are actually running in Parramatta Council area. I find it deceptive behavior and is just purely opportunistic to catch out and mislead voters. Just be honest with the voters and electorate and don’t pretend. Major party politics is not needed in local government. Just leave it to direct representation of genuine honest independent candidates.

  4. Can you be more specific Ian? There’s only one group I’ve identified as independent Liberal because it has a sitting Liberal on it but that doesn’t tell you anything about how that group is campaigning. Are other groups trying to claim to be Liberals? I expect someone like OLC will pick up a lot of the right wing vote but haven’t seen anything claiming to be Liberal.

  5. I read that in Epping Ward, ungrouped independent Jean Pierre Abood is also conservative leaning, having previously ran as a Liberal candidate in Parramatta council at the 2016 election I believe.

  6. Hi Ben,
    I see it as only a spoiler vote. The below the line ungrouped Pierre Abood is giving his second vote to the 3rd candidate in Lorraine Wearne Independents. This is just to throw away the vote of course. In my opinion it is highly unlikely a below the line ungrouped and unendorsed candidate is going to get up. To me it is just a spoiler action to dissipate the votes from the two officially endorsed groups running labour & LW Independents.
    Plus I note at prepoll he is using a team of Hornsby electorate liberal supporters to hand out his material. Politics is a deceptive game. Libs are doing this so well after all the party factional fighting and missing out even getting any pre-selected candidates up in Parramatta.

  7. Disappointing to see independents running under the liberal party colours trying to pick up this vote as no endorsed authorised Liberals are actually running in Parramatta Council area. I find it deceptive behavior and is just purely opportunistic to catch out and mislead voters. Just be honest with the voters and electorate and don’t pretend. Major party politics is not needed in local government. Just leave it to direct representation of genuine honest independent candidates.

  8. Don’t vote for any major party, they’ll all hacks out to self profiteer and benefit from inducements from globalist lobby groups.

    These elections are about people not parties.

    Let’s make it about local community representation not the duopoly that ignores you.

  9. Ian, just to confirm the Independent ticket headed by myself, Georgina Valjak (with current Liberal councillor Bob Dwyer as #2 on the ticket) are all current Liberal Party members who are offering the North Rocks Ward a liberal/conservative voice following the Liberal Party’s decision not to endorse any candidates. There is no deception we are legally obligated to declare our membership to the Electoral Commission nomination and have been transparent with the local community that we are Liberal Party members in addition to being long standing members of the North Rocks Ward. ALL 3 candidates on the Independent Ticket Group C are long term residents of the Ward.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here