Sandy's Declaration of Independents

Sandy Grekas, centre, with Sue Szalay and Lisa Da Silva.
Sandy Grekas, centre, with Sue Szalay and Lisa Da Silva.

All three candidates on the Sandy Grekas' Independent team for Blakehurst Ward have signed the "Declaration of Independents".

"They are the first Independent ticket in the Georges River Local Government Area to do so," Ms Grekas said.

"Developed by the grassroots community group "Voices of North Sydney", the purpose of the Declaration is to differentiate "community-minded Independents" from "fake" Independents who have an affiliation with political parties, and cannot therefore be true Independents," she said.

While this idea has originally come from North Sydney, Ms Grekas felt that it was particularly relevant to the St George area.

"Every election we see Independents running for Council, only to later find out that they are paid-up members of a political party and if elected, their loyalties are with the party, not residents," she said.

"Independent candidates need to be transparent with voters about their involvement in political parties, and where their loyalties lie," she said.

The Declaration commits true Independents to the following ideals:

Independence - not currently a member of a political party and will vote as an individual

Representation - always acts in the best interests of their constituents and gives effect to the ideals of democratic government by consulting the community and acting on community priorities

Conduct - conducts themselves honourably, respectfully, honestly and transparently with dignity and care, putting the community's interests before any personal, sectional or partisan interest; and by doing so, retains the trust and respect of the community by "being their best self"

"I challenge all the Independents running in this election to sign the Declaration of Independents to prove to the community that they are a genuine Independent, and to also abide by the standards of representation and conduct outlined in the document," Ms Grekas said.

Ms Grekas also took the opportunity to introduce her Independent ticket for Blakehurst Ward.

Sue Szalay has lived in the St George area all her life, and has a strong presence in the local community. She has a long association with Connells Point Public School, serving as P and C president for six years, and currently as the Secretary of the School Council.

Ms Szalay also has a strong affiliation with St Mark's Anglican Church in South Hurstville.

"I believe that local councils should not be about politics, but should be all about the community" she said.

Lisa Da Silva has also lived in the Georges River area all her life, and has had a lifelong passion for local sports, especially athletics and football.

Ms Da Silva has worked to increase the number of females playing football, serving as the Female Football Coordinator with Connells Point Rovers FC for the past four years.

In addition to that role, she is a member of the Club's Committee, has been a volunteer coach and manager for the past nine years, and has been a subcommittee member at St George Football Association for the past two years.

Ms Da Silva has also previously volunteered her time at St Raphael's Catholic School for six years".

"I asked Sue and Lisa to join my ticket because they both embody the values that I'm running on: Honesty, Integrity and Community. Together, the three of us have decades of experience serving in our community, whether that's through the P and C, community sport or church. Sue and Lisa are women of the utmost integrity, and I'm incredibly proud to have them on my team" Ms Grekas said.

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