Goldfinch won’t contest Council election

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Ben Goldfinch

EXCLUSIVE

Liberal Councillor Ben Goldfinch has confirmed he won’t contest September’s Local Government Election.

Penrith Council is one of 81 NSW Councils that will be holding an election on September 10, after it proved it was self sustainable and dodged amalgamating with another Council.

Cr Goldfinch said family reasons will see him bow out of Council service in September.

“I have a young family and I want to spend time with them, the last term has been a drain on that,” he told the Weekender.

Labor Councillor Prue Car will not be re-contesting her position in East Ward, as she has since been elected as the MP in NSW Parliament for the seat of Londonderry.

“I’ve loved being a Penrith City Councillor. Local Government is the closest to the issues that affect people every day and it’s been a real privilege to represent both South Ward and East Ward in eight years,” she said.

Jim Aitken will contest the election as an independent
Jim Aitken will contest the election as an independent

A few faces locals may already know will still be running in South Ward, including Councillor Jim Aitken, who will be running as an independent.

Current Mayor Karen McKeown will be re-contesting for the Labor Party, and Councillor Mark Davies will also run in South Ward for the Liberal Party.

Liberal Councillor Bernard Bratusa will be vacating his seat to run on Councillor Tricia Hitchen’s ticket in East Ward, up against Labor Councillor Greg Davies, and independent Councillors Jackie Greenow and Maurice Girotto.

Bernard Bratusa will be on Tricia Hitchen's ticket. Photo: Melinda Jane
Bernard Bratusa will be on Tricia Hitchen’s ticket. Photo: Melinda Jane

“I’m hoping people will forgive me for [past affiliations with the Australia First Party] and see me for me, not for anything radical or crazy. I deeply, deeply believe in democracy and transparency,” Cr Girotto said.

In North Ward, controversial conservative Councillor Marcus Cornish has no plans to leave Council yet, and said he will ‘be there with bells on’ – not quite music to the ears of Deputy Mayor Ross Fowler.

Cr Fowler will also be re-contesting for the Liberal Party, and Labor Party Member John Thain will also try to keep his position in North Ward.

Independent Councillor Kevin Crameri said he hasn’t made up his mind yet, but it is highly likely he will run.

“I wasn’t intending to stand this time but I don’t like what’s going on at Council,” he said.

Greens Councillor Michelle Tormey has confirmed she will be running as the party’s lead candidate in North Ward.

Voters are now urged to update their enrolment details or enrol for the first time.

Michelle Tormey will represent the Greens at the September 10 election
Michelle Tormey will represent the Greens at the September 10 election
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