Mayor’s defection slammed

LABOR councillors have once again been blindsided by a defection from their own side during the Cumberland Council’s mayoral elections.

Elected to the council on a Labor ticket for the Granville Ward, Councillor Steve Christou became Cumberland’s second Mayor with support from the four Liberal councillors and two Our Local Community Councillors (OLC).
With outgoing Mayor Greg Cummings – another ex-Labor councillor – abstaining from the vote, the support of her five remaining Labor colleagues wasn’t enough to get Cr Lisa Lake’s nomination for the role over the line.
Cr Lake declined to comment in detail after the meeting, simply telling the Review “that’s politics”.
OLC Councillor Eddy Sarkis was also elected Deputy Mayor for the second time.
Immediately after he was elected, Cr Christou announced his resignation from the Labor Party and said he would go into next year’s local government elections as an independent for the OLC.
“The decision I’ve made has not been an easy one and has been playing on my mind for some time,” he said.
“I have been a member of the Labor Party for 18 years. To now turn and walk away is an indictment of where I believe the party is at. I feel it no longer represents the values that I signed up for close to two decades ago.”
Cr George Campbell later described the move as “very disappointing”.
“The remaining Labor councillors will continue working as a team to improve the quality of life of our community without succumbing to crass personal ambition,” he said.
State MP for Granville, Julia Finn, told the Review that “Cr Christou was elected as a Labor councillor with the tireless support of local Labor party members, including me”.
“He has turned his back on the people who worked hard to put him on the council and in the most disingenuous way – jumping at the Mayoralty and dumping on those who put him there,” she said.