Campbelltown council election, 2024

The City of Campbelltown covers suburbs in the outer south-west of Sydney, including Campbelltown, Glenfield, Macquarie Fields, Ingleburn, Minto, St Andrews, Raby, Eagle Vale, Kearns, Claymore, Woodbine, Leumeah, Glen Alpine, Bradbury, Ambarvale and Rosemeadow.

The City of Campbelltown has a population of approximately 180,000 people (as of 2022), which makes it the sixteenth most populous council in New South Wales.

The City of Campbelltown has no wards.

Incumbent councillors

George Brticevic (Ind)1 Marian George (Liberal) Rey Manoto (Labor)
John Chew (Liberal) George Greiss (Liberal) Warren Morrison (Totally Locally Committed)
Margaret Chivers (Ind)1 Karen Hunt (Labor) Riley Munro (Liberal)
Masood Chowdhury (Labor) Masud Khalil (Independent) Meg Oates (Labor)
Joshua Cotter (Community First) Darcy Lound (Labor) Matt Stellino (Animal Justice)

1Councillors George Brticevic and Margaret Chivers were elected as Labor candidates, but resigned from the party immediately following the first mayoral election in January 2022 and now sit as independents.

The City of Campbelltown has traditionally leaned towards Labor, but the voting system has made it impossible for Labor to win majorities in recent decades. A council of 15 members with no wards means that the quota is approximately 6.25%, and this has allowed a number of independents to hold seats over a long period with a low vote spread across the council area. From at least 1991 until 2012, Labor shared the mayoralty with a small group of independents.

In the 1991-1995 term, Labor’s Meg Oates held the mayoralty for one term, with three other independents each having the mayoralty for a year. One of these councillors was Russell Matheson, a former local Australian rules football star who had been elected on the ticket of Jim Kremmer, an independent with a history in the Labor Party.

Oates served as mayor for two years in the 1995-1999 term, with independents Matheson and Paul Sinclair each holding the job for one year.

The 1999 election produced a result of five Labor councillors, one Liberal, one Green and one One Nation, along with seven independents. Labor’s Meg Oates held the mayoralty from 1999 until 2000, followed by independent Jim Kremmer, and then Russell Matheson. Labor’s Brenton Banfield became mayor in late 2002, with the election postponed until early 2004. During this term, the Greens’ David Hawkins left the party, while pro-environment independent councillor Verlie Fowler joined the Greens.

At the 2004 election, Labor’s position improved substantially, winning seven seats. The Liberal Party, led by Jai Rowell, won two seats. The Greens’ Julie Bourke won one seat, while the other five seats were won by independents.

Jim Kremmer retired, and Russell Matheson’s Community First ticket won enough votes to elect his running mate Paul Lake. The other three seats were won by independents running on their own tickets. Bob Thompson (formerly of One Nation) won a second term, while longstanding councillors Fred Borg and Sue Dobson were re-elected.

Labor’s dominant position let them hold the mayoralty for all but one year in that 2004-2008 term. Banfield served until September 2005, retiring after three years (and after an aborted push to move him into the federal seat of Werriwa). Matheson held the mayoralty until 2006, when he was succeeded by Labor’s Aaron Rule.

Rule held the mayoralty for two years, until the 2008 election.

Labor went backwards in 2008, losing their seventh seat. The Liberal Party won a third seat. The Greens held their one seat, and the Matheson/Lake ticket maintained their two seats, with the three other independents Borg, Dobson and Thompson all holding on. The existing alliance was maintained, with Russell Matheson serving his final term as mayor from 2008 until 2009, followed by one last term for Aaron Rule.

Matheson was preselected as the Liberal candidate for the federal seat of Macarthur in 2010, and went on to win the seat, although he continued to sit as an independent on the council. His ally Paul Lake became mayor in 2010, followed in 2011 by Anoulack Chanthivong.

The 2012 election saw a break to the long-term pattern of Labor governing in alliance with independents. Labor lost another seat, dropping to five seats, while the Liberal Party won four seats. The Greens did not stand in the election, while the Liberal Democratic Party won a seat. Fred Borg’s Totally Locally Committed party won two seats, while independents Lake, Dobson and Thompson were re-elected.

The LDP’s Clinton Mead, along with independents Lake, Dobson and Thompson, all sided with the Liberal Party to form a new governing alliance, while Borg and his ally Lound sided with Labor. Lound joined the ALP before the next election. Sue Dobson took the mayoralty in the first year, followed by Mead from 2013 until 2014. Lake was mayor from 2014 until 2015, and the Liberal Party’s Paul Hawker became the first Liberal mayor of Campbelltown in recent history in 2015.

Labor surged back in 2016, winning a sixth and seventh seat. The Greens also returned to council with a single seat. The Liberal Party dropped one seat. Liberal allies Dobson (IND) and Mead (LDP) were both defeated, while Lake and Thompson were re-elected.

Fred Borg was re-elected along with Warren Morrison, the running mate on his Totally Locally Committed Party. Borg leaned towards supporting Labor, as did the Greens, giving ten votes for a working majority.

This arrangement was very brief, however, as Borg died in December 2016. The subsequent by-election in March 2017 was a vote of the entire council area and Labor easily won the vacant seat, giving Labor an absolute majority on the council. Labor’s George Brticevic held the mayoralty throughout the 2016-2021 term.

Labor retained seven seats at the 2021 election, losing their temporary majority. The Liberal Party won four seats, alongside three independents and one Animal Justice Party councillor, who narrowly defeated the incumbent Greens councillor. Labor were left without any allies, and Liberal councillor George Greiss won the mayoralty in an 8-7 vote. Greiss has held the role since January 2022, alongside independent councillors Morrison, Cotter and Khalil as deputy mayor.

Two Labor councillors, including former mayor George Brticevic, resigned from the party in early 2022, and Greiss increased his majority to 10-5 at the 2023 mayoral election.

Council control
While Labor won almost half of the seats on the council, they are not in control. At least when it comes to mayoral elections, the council has been controlled by an alliance of four Liberals, three independents and one Animal Justice councillor. This was bolstered after the January 2022 mayoral election after two Labor councillors, George Brticevic and Margaret Chivers, resigned from the party to sit as independents, and went on to support Greiss in the September 2023 mayoral election.

Candidate summary
No information.

Labor polls very strongly in Campbelltown, but the very proportional electoral system makes it very difficult to win a majority. For Labor to win back control of the council, it will need allies. Potentially this could be the Greens if they can regain their seat, or some independents. This job will be made even harder if the ex-Labor councillors mount a bid for re-election.

2021 results

Party Votes % Swing Seats won
Labor 39,162 43.84 +0.6 7
Liberal 22,056 24.69 +8.2 4
Community First 7,561 8.46 -0.4 1
Totally Locally Committed 4,809 5.38 -4.6 1
Masud Khalil Team 4,388 4.91 +4.9 1
Animal Justice 4,261 4.77 +4.8 1
Greens 4,057 4.54 -0.4
Other independents 3,043 3.41 -7.1
Informal 6,011 6.30

Booth breakdown

Since there are no wards in the City of Campbelltown, I have split booths into five arbitrary divisions:

  • Central – Leumeah, Woodbine, Campbelltown, Ruse, Airds, Kentlyn and Bradbury
  • North – Macquarie Fields and Glenfield
  • North Central – Minto and Ingleburn
  • South – Rosemeadow, St Helens Park, Ambarvale and Glen Alpine
  • West – Raby, St Andrews, Kearns, Eagle Vale, Eschol Park and Claymore

Labor clearly topped the vote across the council, ranging from 40.7% in the south to 48.1% in north central.

The Liberal vote was highest in the north, at 28.5%, and lowest at 22.9% in the centre.

Community First came third, with a vote peaking at 11.7% in the south.

Voter group ALP % LIB % CF % TLC % % of votes
Central 43.2 22.9 6.1 6.1 13.4
North 45.7 28.5 5.5 3.2 9.9
West 45.1 24.0 8.9 5.0 9.8
South 40.7 23.6 11.7 6.2 9.2
North Central 48.1 24.2 6.8 3.9 7.6
Pre-poll 43.7 24.7 9.4 5.9 41.7
Other votes 41.3 25.7 8.4 4.9 8.3

Election results at the 2021 City of Campbelltown election
Toggle between primary votes for Labor, the Liberal Party, Community First, Totally Locally Committed, independent candidate Masud Khalil, the Animal Justice Party and the Greens.

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