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
The Greens have announced candidates for two wards:

Independent candidate Heidi Lee Douglas is leading the Peaceful Bayside ticket in Ward 5.

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%. If they can either knock off independent councillor Andrew Tsounis or the Liberal councillor, they would hold eight seats.

On the other hand, Labor could also lose seats. Their first seat in each ward look very secure, as does their second ward in Ward 1 (Port Botany).

The second seat in Ward 2 (Mascot) could potentially come into play. Labor won the second seat with 22% of the vote after their first quota. The Greens polled 20% in the ward closest to the inner west. A small swing to the Greens could see Labor lose a seat here.

2017 results

PartyVotes%SwingSeats won
Labor 33,14946.00+5.37
Liberal 19,62427.23-1.65
Greens 4,8306.70+2.50

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

Bexley Ward (4)
Botany Bay Ward (5)38.532.828.70.0
Mascot Ward (2)47.729.12.620.5
Port Botany Ward (1)64.023.812.20.0
Rockdale Ward (3)39.725.621.313.3

Post-redistribution vote numbers

Ward 164.023.812.20.0
Ward 247.729.12.620.5
Ward 342.324.822.810.1
Ward 437.526.032.83.7
Ward 538.532.828.70.0

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

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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.


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