07 Feb 2023
Council rivals face off in Drummoyne as polling goes south for the Coalition
Council rivals face off in Drummoyne as polling goes south for the Coalition

Labor-leaning for most of its history, the state seat of Drummoyne has a past City of Canada Bay deputy mayor and the incumbent facing off for major parties in the New South Wales election.

Long-serving Liberal staffer and current deputy mayor Stephanie Di Pasqua won preselection for the Liberals almost two weeks ago, while Julia Little is the endorsed Labor candidate. Coincidentally, yet another councillor and former deputy mayor, Charles Jago, is the Green candidate.

The seat is currently held by Liberal-turned-independent MP John Sidoti, who was forced to the crossbench after an Independent Commission Against Corruption investigation found he had acted corruptly in pressuring local government about a development in which his family held an interest.

Labor had held the seat since 1962 until Sidoti won it from Angela D’Amore in 2011. Sidoti is not expected to contest.

At the last election, Sidoti defended an 18.8 percent margin to retain Drummoyne with a 15 percent buffer. Following a redistribution of boundaries, that margin is estimated to be 13.6 percent.

Charles Jago contested the last state election and ran for Reid in the Federal poll but achieved less than 10 percent of the primary vote in both.

It is said all politics is local – and Drummoyne should show as much.

Over-development is one likely issue in an area where public transport is struggling to keep up with residential growth.

The Sydney West Metro project is already under construction to connect Parramatta to Sydney’s CBD. The 24 km, nine station line is not expected to be completed until 2030. Even though it will run underground, the potential for above-the-ground development in suburbs like Five Dock and nearby Burwood North creates a potential issue.

Education, transport and health are expected to be other key issues. The electorate only has one public high school. Breakfast Point in the electorate’s north, one of the city’s largest urban renewal projects, has difficult public transport access. Health is another perennial hot topic and it’s barely a year since the Perrottet Government opened a new $341 million tower at Concord Hospital.

Stephanie Di Pasqua worked in John Sidoti’s electorate office for five years. While her connection to the sitting MP is something media are saying she is keen to downplay, Sidoti’s likely removal of himself from the contest may reduce the ICAC finding’s potency as an issue.

Article by Craig Regan, Senior Account Director at Primary Communication