Liberals drop problematic advice in local election
Another Parramatta liberal hoping to challenge as a supported candidate, Martin Zaiter, a state executive, launched Supreme Court proceedings against the party earlier this year over rules concentrating nomination powers within the executive.
He failed, with Blacktown adviser Jess Diaz and Cumberland adviser Ned Attie jointly initiating similar proceedings. Crs Diaz and Attie are now running as independents.
Strathfield will be another area of the council without party approval in the run-up to the Dec. 4 election, with former mayor Antoine Doueihi recently found by the NSW Civil and Administrative Court for breaking local government rules for not to have declared his real estate interests. after the council watchdog took action.
Bayside’s liberal advisers have had their own public feuds, with Cr Michael Nagi’s Arncliffe kebab shop becoming the scene of a brawl in June 2018. There is no suggestion of wrongdoing by Cr Nagi .
The NSW Election Commission closed the nominations at noon on Wednesday, with the ballot being drawn, to determine the order of parties and individual candidates contesting the ballot, to be held from 10 a.m. Thursday.
The fate of some of the councils that the party backed down was only recently decided, adding to the internal turmoil the Liberals have suffered in recent years due to internal wrangling over local elections.
The party is also divided over whether to allow real estate developers to run for local government, given the risk of conflicts of interest arising from planning decisions due to their occupations.
According to party insiders not authorized to speak publicly, a concerted effort to weed out the developers was the reason for the delay in preselections ahead of the election, which was originally due to take place in 2020 before COVID-19 hit.
Labor and Greens have tried to pass a bill, banning developers by linking it to COVID-19 measures, but legislative attempts have been divided.
The NSW government has also come under fire from within its own ranks over a bill to help monitor suspicious donations to council candidates as being too little too late.
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