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, Winston Hills, Newington, Silverwater and Sydney Olympic Park.
The council has a population of approximately 260,000, as of 2022.
- Incumbent councillors
- Council control
- Candidate summary
- 2021 results
- Vote breakdown by ward
- Results maps
Dundas ward covers central parts of the council, including Dundas, Ermington, Telopea, Oatlands, North Parramatta and parts of Rydalmere.
Epping ward covers the north-eastern corner of the council, including Epping and Dundas Valley.
North Rocks ward covers the northern edge of the council, including Winston Hills, North Rocks, Carlingford, Northmead and parts of Old Toongabbie.
Parramatta ward covers the Parramatta city centre and the western end of the council, including Westmead, Toongabbie, Pendle Hill and Constitution Hill.
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.
Rosehill Ward lost parts of the Parramatta CBD and Mays Hill to the Parramatta Ward. Parramatta Ward then lost parts of Northmead and Old Toongabbie to the North Rocks Ward.
|Kellie Darley (Ind)
|Pierre Esber (Labor)
|Michelle Garrard (OLC)
|Cameron MacLean (Lab)
|Lorraine Wearne (Ind)
|Ange Humphries (Lab)
|Georgina Valjak (IndLib)
|Donna Wang (OLC)
|Phil Bradley (Greens)
|Henry Green (OLC)
|Sameer Pandey (Lab)
|Paul Noack (Labor)
|Patricia Prociv (Labor)
|Dan Siviero (OLC)
1Labor councillor Donna Davis resigned from council in January 2024 after being elected to the NSW parliament as member for Parramatta in March 2023.
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 was run by an alliance of independents and Liberals during the 2017-21 term.
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. Every subsequent mayoral or deputy mayoral election saw Wilson, Garrard and sometimes Wearne allying with the Liberals against Labor and the Greens.
Michelle Garrard held the deputy mayoralty throughout the term, while the mayoralty was handed over from Wilson to Liberal councillor Bob Dwyer in 2019. Dwyer was replaced by fellow Liberal Steven Issa for the last three months of the council term in September 2021.
The Liberal Party opted not to contest the 2021 election, and managed to prevent all of the incumbent Liberal councillors running as independents.
The primary beneficiary of the Liberal withdrawal was the Our Local Community, now clearly led by Michelle Garrard with Andrew Wilson out of the party. The party won four seats on the council. Progressive independent Kellie Darley also won a seat, and Labor won second seats in two wards. Independent candidate (and Liberal Party member) Georgina Valjak was also elected.
This left a clear progressive majority, with seven Labor councillors alongside one Green and one progressive independent. That majority has been able to deliver Labor mayors and deputy mayors since 2021. Donna Davis held the lord mayoralty until early 2023 when she stepped down following her election to state Parliament. She was briefly succeeded by her deputy Sameer Pandey, who was replaced in September 2023 by Pierre Esber.
There is a clear progressive majority on the council when it comes to mayoral elections. Labor’s mayoral candidates have been able to gain the support of councillors Darley and Bradley.
But there is a different division which has often been crucial on policy issues. A majority has been made up of OLC, Wearne, Valjak and part of the Labor caucus. In those situations, the remainder of the Labor caucus, Darley and Bradley have made up a minority. For the first part of the term, Labor councillors Pandey, Esber, Humphries and Noack have usually voted with the right. In 2023, the conflict between Pandey and Esber over who would serve as lord mayor appears to have shifted Esber to side with the minority group.
A big question for Parramatta is whether the Liberal Party will return to the council. If they do, they will win a seat in every ward and presumably take many of those seats off the other right-wingers on the council.
With Labor and Liberal each winning a seat in every ward, the third seat in each ward would decide the majority on the council. There are a number of contenders for these seats: Our Local Community, Community Champions, the Greens, and second candidates for the major parties.
|Our Local Community
|Small Business Party
Labor topped the primary vote, ranging from 33.5% in North Rocks to 51.8% in Epping.
Our Local Community’s vote ranged from 20.3% in Rosehill to 28.1% in Parramatta.
The Greens ran in three wards. They did not run in Dundas ward, where Kellie Darley ran, so I’ve included them in one column.
The two other prominent conservative independents, Lorraine Wearne and Georgina Valjak, were also grouped together.
It’s worth noting that only two groups ran in Epping Ward, which is sure to explain why the Labor vote was so much higher there than in other wards. It also explains why Lorraine Wearne’s vote doubled between 2017 and 2021.
The redistribution slightly reduced Labor’s vote in North Rocks and Rosehill and increased their vote in Parramatta Ward. The redistribution also reduced the Greens and OLC vote in Parramatta Ward.
Pre-redistribution vote numbers
Post-redistribution vote numbers
Election results at the 2021 City of Parramatta election
Toggle between primary votes for Labor, Our Local Community, the Greens, independent Liberal candidates and independent candidates Lorraine Wearne and Kellie Darley.