No Liberal Candidate For Blacktown

November 7th, 2021 · No Comments

By Benjie de Ubago

Factions within the Liberal Party have been brewing for a while. As a result, the Liberal Party will not be endorsing any candidate for Blacktown at  the December 4 elections.

Filipinos currently elected to various Councils include: Blacktown Council – one (1) Labor Councilor, Carol Israel and four (4) Filipino Liberal Councilors –  Jess Diaz, Jayme Diaz,  Frederick Brillo and Linda Geronimo Santos; Campbelltown Council has Rey Manoto, a Labor Councilor; and for Hornsby Council, Independent Councillor Vince del Gallego. This year’s elections will see three newcomers for Blacktown to include: Dorothy del Villar (Blacktown), Cesar Bartolome and Danny Peralta under a coalition team.

With the warring Liberal factions in Blacktown, no one has been endorsed by the Liberals to run for office, and all four Liberal Councilors in Blacktown have been left in the lurch.

One point of contention was that pre-selection for Liberal candidates be done at the head office level rather than having the nomination powers remain at local branches.    Diaz along with other Liberal members went to the supreme court to contest the decision in July and lost. 

According to Angus Thomson’s article in the Sydney Morning Herald the “Liberals distanced themselves from the problematic councils.”   It’s been court battles and factional warring in the chaotic run- up to the polls.

Mark Taylor MP, a Liberal MP representing Seven Hills has formed his own coalition group called “Your Community Coalition.”  Jess Diaz, a councilor since 2008, who is aiming for another re-election is listed under Ward 1.

Mark Taylor’s personal endorsement appears on the campaign materials with the statement: “I’m proud to back a team of real locals who are true community representatives and have great passion and commitment for our area.”

Then enter, Liberal MP for Riverstone, Kevin Connolly with his own group called –“Blacktown Coalition” fielding in two ambitious newbies – Cesar Bartolome for Ward 4 and Danny Peralta for Ward 5. 

Peralta claims to be an accountant and Bartolome claims that his mechanical engineering background will help with Council’s constructions. Bartolome works as a scheduler for Sydney Train. Both Peralta and Bartolome are active in the Knights of Rizal organisation.

A source alleges that Jess Diaz was intending to include Cesar Bartolome and Danny Peralta in his lineup.  However, both Bartolome and Peralta have flip-flopped and have suddenly moved to Kevin Connolly’s group.

On the Blacktown Coalition website, Kevin Connolly also personally endorses his candidates. “This is a team of fair dinkum locals, with the talent, experience and commitment to do great things for our local area. They have my backing.” he states.  One would wonder however, how well he knows the community and the candidates he picked.

So now there’s not one but two coalition teams. To add to the perplexity, both posters of the Community Coalition and Blacktown Coalition are misleading and baffling for voters.  At first glance they may look like a Liberal Party poster with the Liberal Party colour blue.  However, a closer look reveals a green border up top for the Blacktown Coalition while the Community Coalition is plain and simply blue.  One thing is for certain!  The Liberal Party logo is nowhere to be found on the campaign materials. So which coalition camp would voters prefer?  Voters will need to be more discerning when choosing their candidates.

It would also appear, that some of the candidates have been “gagged” and refuse to talk. And the little they say raises more questions than answers.  

Linda Geronimo Santos however has sadly opted not to run. Likewise, Jayme Diaz and Frederick Brillo have abandoned their campaign plans.

Filing for candidacy closed last 3 November. We’ll have to wait and see on December 4 what the voting outcome will be.  In addition to Blacktown Council, the Liberal Party will not have any candidates running in Parramatta, Strathfield, Cumberland and Bayside Councils.


7 November 2021

Tags: News