Meet the Candidates Running for Lane Cove Council

Lane Cove Council Elections will be held on 9 September 2017. Voting is compulsory.  We gave each candidate an opportunity to provide details of their platform.  The information is set out in alphabetical order.  Not all candidates provided information by the submission date.

Details on How to Vote and Pre Poll

If you do not know where and how to vote please visit this website.  You will also be able to see your ward.

If you can’t make it to a polling place on Election Day, you may be eligible to postal vote. Check if you are eligible to postal vote.

Your Postal Vote Pack will include ballot paper(s), instructions for postal voting, a postal vote declaration envelope and a reply paid envelope.

Your application must be received at the NSW Electoral Commission by 5:00pm on Monday, 4 September.

Your completed postal votes must be received by the Returning Officer servicing your council by 6:00pm on Monday, 11 September.

If you are a registered general postal voter, you do not need to complete a postal vote application as you will automatically receive a postal vote pack in the mail.

Pre-Poll Voting

If you can’t make it to a polling place on Election Day, you may be eligible to cast a pre-poll vote. Check if you are eligible to pre-poll vote.

Pre-poll voting opens Monday28 August and closes Friday8 September.

Details of pre-poll venues

Meet the Candidates – Free Event 31 August 2017

Want to find out more about each candidate?  Come along on Thursday 31 August at 7 pm and meet the candidates.   This is a free event.

Meet the Candidates and ask them about the issues that impact you. Local Government is important as they provide so many services that impact our day to day lives. Don’t be part of the silent majority – come along and meet the people who will be representing you. You can book at If you cannot come please leave your questions below or email us at [email protected]. We do hope you come along. Voice your views on the things that impact you on a day to day basis.



Candidate Bio and Pictures

Lane Cove Central Ward

Christopher Benness – Independent Central Ward


Chris is an Associate Professor at the University of Sydney and he practices Gynecology at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital and Mater.

Hospital. Community works undertaken by Chris include:

  • Chairman of Medical Board of Royal Prince Alfred Hospital
  • Training of medical students and medical registrars
  • Training of visiting overseas doctors
  • Member of various committees of Royal Aust & NZ College of
  • Obstetricians & Gynaecologists
  • Gynaecological services to women in rural NSW
  • Volunteer Medical work in West Africa

Karola Brent – Independent – Central Ward

Election photo Karola Brent

I have been active in the Lane Cove community since we moved here 15 years ago. My three children attended Lane Cove West Public School, where I spent years on the P&C Executive. In 2012, I stood for election wanting to bring change and a fresh approach to Council and spent the last 5 years working toward improving amenities and services to our suburb. I firmly believe that council decisions should be made outside of party politics. I am not a member of any political party and have never been one. I am a firm opponent of forced amalgamations of Councils. Without my consistent vote against amalgamations, Lane Cove would not exist today— and In The Cove may be In The Ryde!

I’m standing for election again to ensure:

-development is sustainable and supported by improvements to our infrastructure and services;
-issues of traffic congestion, insufficient public, transport and parking are addressed;
-the Rosenthal Project, Lane Cove’s biggest ever infrastructure upgrade, will be completed as planned;
-our growing need for childcare and OOSH services is answered;
-Lane Cove attracts a diverse retail base;
-our bushland and open spaces are looked after, and
that you, as individuals, have a voice on Council!

Bronwyn Deane – Labor – Central Ward

Bronwyn Deane - Lane Cove Council - Central Ward

I have a background in broadcast journalism, youth leadership facilitation, and most recently worked as a teacher at one of our wonderful local primary schools. I am also currently raising my two young children here in Lane Cove. As a mother, I’m passionate about ensuring Lane Cove maintains its village vibe for them to enjoy in the future. This is why I am running for Council – I don’t want to leave that up to chance!

I believe we all have a moral obligation to proactively create the environment we want to live in. For my part, I will consult with the community to ensure residents’ ideas and concerns flow through to local policies and services. Some of the policies I will advocate for include increased occasional before and after-school care services, additional fenced-in playgrounds, addressing the overcrowding of our local primary schools and ensuring Council balances residential development with local infrastructure capacity.

I look forward to the opportunity to represent the Lane Cove community.

Paul Hargrave – Independent – Central Ward


I represented Scott Bennison, and ran the court case that obtained the KPMG reports that largely stopped the amalgamation of Lane Cove Council.

I stood up for you, I will stand up for you.

In that fight, I realized; the bullying of State government, that party politics in Local Government did not serve our Community, that independent Council was vital to represent what residents’ want, not what Macquarie Street demands.I operate my own business. I volunteer on Boards including Lane Cove Retirement Units Association, and in assisting women and children escaping domestic violence.

I want Council to address local issues;

  • to bring back the vibrant Village feel; with inspiring healthy spaces for kids, and a dedicated dog park so our kids don’t play sport on fields with “dog-bombs”,
  • to enrich our community with “outdoor spaces” for all,
  • to provide actual solutions to the parking crisis that remains Lane Cove,
  • to responsibly and conservatively manage the business of Council, your rates money
  • to manage development, to preserve our Community.

I stood up for you, I will stand up for you.

Katherine Morris – Independent – Central Ward


Kath is a sonographer in the Maternal Fetal Medicine Unit at RNSH. She has held positions at the University of Sydney as a clinical tutor and lecturer in Medical Ultrasound. Kath has served in many voluntary roles in the community including:

  • President of the Parent Auxiliary at North Sydney Boys High School
  • Parent co-ordinator and producer of year 6 play at Lane Cove Public School
  • Parent co-ordinator of the Jazz Band at Lane Cove Public School
  • Facilitator of an After School Musical Theatre program at Lane Cove Public School
  • Scripture teacher at North Sydney Demonstration School and Greenwich Primary School
  • Fundraiser for Perinatal and Maternal Medicine Research

Katherine Morris has teamed up with Robyn McElvenny and Christopher Benness they are health professionals and educators who have all raised families in Lane Cove, and are longtime residents in the area (over 70 years combined). They are all active members of the Christian Church Community.

Her team will work to:

  • Preserve the character of Lane Cove & prevent over development
  • Increase open space, sporting facilities & well equipped playgrounds for children
  • Provide more recreational space and sporting venues especially for teenagers
  • Improve traffic flow within the village and make Lane Cove pedestrian and age friendly
  • Deliver a dedicated performing arts venue
  • Increase the number of buses to and from the city for commuters
  • Provide more parking especially near school grounds

Robyn McElvenny – Independent – Central Ward


Robyn is a retired school principal, she now tutors children and young adults.

Robyn has contributed to the community serving as:

  • Committee member of Lane Cove Public School Music
  • Committee member of Lane Cove Junior Rugby
  • Committee member of Lane Cove Women’s Golf
  • Convener of Bridge for Seniors in Lane Cove Golf Club
  • Convener of the Lane Cove Golf Club Entertainment Committee

Alex Perna – Labor – Central Ward

Alex Perna - Lane Cove Council - Central Ward

I have lived in Lane Cove my entire life and I love it. I am running for council because I want to maintain all the things that make Lane Cove special; the community feel, the greenery and the safety. Over the past few years, I have been frustrated to see the significant lack of planning and under investment in the local infrastructure including roads, parking, schools and child care. I want to ensure that these issues are tackled so we can all enjoy the benefits of our special suburb.

David Roenfeldt – Labor – Central Ward

David Roenfeldt - Lane Cove Council - Central Ward

I grew up in country towns in the Riverland and Sunraysia regions where agriculture, particularly farms, vineyards and citrus blocks were primary production. For the early decade of my working life after leaving school my primary employment was in the retail warehousing industry, where I flourished, from humble storeman to administration and management. However, at some point in that journey I felt my career was at a dead end and decided to go back to my old High School in my early 30’s to follow my Aerospace interests. I have been working as an Environmental Test Engineer since 2011.

I first got involved in politics because I was disappointed in the way that politicians behaved and wanted to change it. The way I see it, being elected by your peers, conveys goodwill by them, that you will be their champion and act in their interests responsibly and honourably. I love helping people and solving their issues. I am also an advocate for injustice and inequality, hence why I joined the Labor Party. I have been a representative for my fellow workmates and students on many occasions.

Lane Cove West Ward

Scott Bennison – Liberal – West Ward




I am the Liberal candidate for West Ward and I fought for the independence of Lane Cove. I have served on Council for 9 years serving one year as Mayor. I am also the Vice president of Northern Regional Organisation of Councils (NSROC) and Treasurer of Local Government NSW (LGNSW). I was born in Wellington NSW and moved to Lane Cove 1996 with my wife Julia. I am a Chartered Accountant, Company Auditor, and Financial Planner and an owner in a local financial services firm. My two greatest achievements this term have been flying the Aboriginal Flag in Council Chambers and defending Lane Cove against the State Governments proposed amalgamation with Ryde and Hunters Hill. I was able to obtain a version of the KPMG report and initiated Council’s legal action against the State Government that resulted in the State Government abandoning forced amalgamations. What is important however is the future of Lane Cove. The Greater Sydney Commission (GSC) continually imposes increased housing targets on Lane Cove that puts pressure on our existing infrastructure.  As your local Councillor I will secure Lane Cove’s future by ensuring that we have adequate infrastructure, parking, sporting fields, parks, community centres and transport. I am not afraid to take on the State Government as I did with forced amalgamations.


Lyn Nasir – Labor – West Ward

Lyn Nasir - Lane Cove Council - West Ward

I have lived in Lane Cove for over 30 years and love where I live.  Lane Cove is a wonderful place to reside and I am dedicated to keeping it that way. My priority is to maintain the many great advantages of our suburb – open green spaces, village atmosphere, cultural events and safety. I am also passionate about the environment and recycling. The collection of rubbish is a big budget item for Council so alternatives such as community gardens and educating residents about what they can recycle and how, would be a win for the Council and the community. I am also concerned about overdevelopment in Lane Cove and would like to see an assessment of existing infrastructures to make sure they meet our needs regarding schools, transport, child care, parking and sporting facilities, both now and in the foreseeable future.

Daniel Strassberg – Independent – West Ward


I’m  a current Councillor for Lane Cove West Ward and is not politically aligned and only represent the community of Lane Cove.

During this term I have  introduced motions specific to Lane Cove West Ward including:

  • the removal of heavy excavation work on Saturdays and reduced heavy construction hours during the weekday,
  • no illuminated advertising on cranes on weeknights or on weekends, and
  • safer pedestrian access around Lane Cove West Public School.

 Other issues he has taken positive action on include parking around Lane Cove, traffic congestion, increased public transport (new buses routes including 294, 289 & 530), more open space and fought alongside the other independent councillors to stop the amalgamation of Lane Cove Council.  I highly value Lane Cove’s village atmosphere, bush surrounds and open spaces.  I am committed to ensuring that future development in Lane Cove is sustainable and appropriate, I will continue to pursue better public transport, alleviate traffic congestion, and improve council facilities.
My team includes Deborah Hill, treasurer of the Stringy Bark Creek Residents Association, and Lyn Du, President of the Linley Point Neighbourhood Committee – a truly local team. By putting the community FIRST in my decisions, I ensure that residents have a STRONGER voice on council.

Andrew Zbik – Labor – West Ward

Andrew Zbik - Lane Cove Council - West Ward

I live in Lane Cove with my wife and our two young children. During the week I commute to the city where I am a part-owner in a financial services firm and work as a Financial Planner

Been actively involved in our community through sporting clubs and local church, plus, having being a candidate for both Council and State Elections, I have listened to residents’ joys – and frustrations of living in our beautiful suburb.

A lack of planning for local infrastructure is a frustration many residents share with me.

Our local schools are overcrowded. Our buses are beyond capacity. Our streets have become bottlenecks. Residents don’t feel like they are being heard. Lane Cove deserves better, this is why we need a diverse council. If I see something that frustrates me, I take responsibility and do something about it. For example, we have enjoyed some success in helping to get more buses for our area, and I have been greatly accessible to the community online and face-to-face.

My previous actions and efforts are the best indication of how I will carry out my duties should I be fortunate to be elected as a Councillor for West Ward. My website is

Lane Cove East Ward

David Brooks-Horn – Liberal – East Ward

David Brooks-Horn

I am a local councillor, with 9 years’ experience as a Lane Cove Councillor and 2 of those as Mayor, and I am keen to continue working for the community that I am so passionate about. I have lived in Lane Cove all my life, and I am heavily invested in the local Community as a Board Member on Lane Cove and North Side Community Aid (Sydney Community Services), Pottery Gardens and the Lane Cove Club as well as being a member of Rotary and coordinating the annual Red Shield Door Knock appeal in Lane Cove. The opening of the new synthetic playing fields at Blackman Park and 2 new community centres; one at Waterview next to the newly built Hughes Park and the other at the recently completed Little Street development, all enthusiastically supported by me has provided much needed new facilities for our growing community.

As Mayor, I pushed for more parking in Lane Cove, and it come to fruition when I turned the first sod for the Little Lane Community Facility and Car Park in 2014.  As well as additional community facilities such as the Burns Bay Boat Ramp, the Mann’s Point Walking Track, the Greenwich Shops renovation and Plaza upgrade. I believe that there is much more to be done to support our community, local economy and small businesses


Pam Palmer – Independent – East Ward


I am an experienced Councillor, having represented East Ward for two terms, including three years as Deputy Mayor.  Being an Independent is important because I can work productively with the State Government (whether Liberal or Labor) but am free to challenge proposals that are not in Lane Cove’s best interests. For example, I never wavered in my opposition to the unpopular amalgamation of Lane Cove with Ryde. During the last five years, Lane Cove has grown by 4,000 extra residents and over 2,000 new dwellings.  I have been able on Council to support this growth with expanded sports facilities, new playgrounds, new childcare and three new community centres.  I have established new walking tracks and actively lobbied to protect our urban bushland and biodiversity. Despite all this, we still need the State Government to do more and provide extra school and OOSH facilities and improved public transport, particularly better links to train stations.

I am committed to the completion of the $60m Rosenthal Project to provide new shops, more parking, improved traffic flow and open space right in the centre of the village.

To my team, “PUTTING COMMUNITY FIRST” means residents will have a strong voice on Council.

Rod Tudge – Independent – East Ward

rod tudge

I have served for 29 years on Lane Cove Council and was Mayor from 1994 to 1996. I have been a director of Lane Cove Community Aid, President and Vice-President of the Greenwich Community Association and currently on their executive. I am also Vice President of the Osborne Park Progress Association.  I stand for: preservation of the environment, controlling over development and sound financial planning and asset management.

I was a member of the LGA Executive and a Commissioner of the State Pollution Control Commission, Chairman of the Town & Country Planning Committee. I am a Fellow of the Institution of Engineers (Australia). I stand for: preservation of the environment, community consultation, controlling over development, improved public transport and reduced traffic congestion, providing community facilities, sound financial planning and asset management.

Frances Vissel – Independent – East Ward



I am a truly independent candidate, unimpeded by political party policies, with a track record of putting the needs of the community and the local environment first. I served as a Councillor from 1999 to 2004 and have strong leadership skills and experience.  I bring valuable insight into the important issues of concern to local residents including planning and development. I have lived in Lane Cove since 1960, am married with two children and six grandchildren. I served as community representative on Council’s Bushland Management Advisory Committee and Social Plan Committee and was President of a Residents’ Association for 13 years. I am a member of the Better Planning Network and previously the Police Safety Committee. I established a Lane Cove Volunteer Bush Care group where I have worked for 23 years and founded the Lane Cove Sustainability Action Group.

Now you have read the candidate’s position please come along to our FREE Meet the Candidates forum on 31 August 2017 at 7pm at the Lane Cove Community Hub.  You can book online here.


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