Greens NSW achieved a huge boost in Local Government representation with three Mayors and 24 councillors elected from the 29 districts that were contested in the September 2016 elections.
Greens Local Government spokesperson David Shoebridge congratulated the candidates and local groups that worked so tirelessly so soon after the Federal election.
Only half the councils in NSW were contested in the September 10 election, with others deferred to 2017 pending forced amalgamations. No election was held in the Canada Bay Council area pending a decision by the Land & Environment Court in relation to an appeal lodged by the Canada Bay, Burwood and Strathfield councils against the State government decision to amalgamate the three councils.
Net increase of 11 Council representatives
The Greens went into the elections with 16 incumbents but Greens representation increased to 27 councillors.
“It’s clear the Greens NSW has had tremendous success in these elections,” Mr Shoebridge said.
Mayor of Byron Bay, Simon Richardson was rewarded for his dedication to the local community with an almost 12% swing and he will be joined by three other Greens on council, giving the party 4 out of 10 votes.
In Bellingen, sitting Councillor Dominic King came first on primaries and was elected Mayor and Greens councillors were doubled. While in Shoalhaven, Amanda Findley was elected Mayor over former Liberal federal MP, Joanna Gash.
Amanda said the results reflect community support for our core values. “As Greens we stood side by side with residents and environmentalists to protect our beautiful coast, our homes and the environment from the pressures of overdevelopment. This vote reflects our longstanding commitment to the local community.”
The Greens also broke through for the first time in a number of councils. Dr Amanda Cohn and the Albury Greens backed up their strong effort at the federal election and Amanda was elected as the first Green to Albury Council.
One of our newest local groups, New England–Glen Innes now has Carol Sparkes elected to Glen Innes Severn Council. Dr Greg Clancy was elected to Clarence Valley and Leah Ferrara elected to Goulburn Mulwaree Council.
We had narrow misses in Kyogle and Ballina (both less than 80 votes) and Saan Ecker missed out by just 13 votes in Yass Valley.
Growing vote in Western Sydney
Mr Shoebridge was buoyed by the growth of our vote in Western Sydney, where we safely retained a councillor on Hawkesbury Council and gained councillors in Campbelltown and the Blue Mountains.
In the City of Sydney, Mr Shoebridge said the Greens were squeezed between Clover Moore and the gerrymandered business vote. “We congratulate Clover Moore on retaining the Mayoralty and staring down the Baird Government’s crooked electoral system.
“Across the state the Greens have been standing up for local government in the face of the Baird government’s attacks and local residents respect our consistent voice for grassroots democracy.”