Meet the Candidates Running for Lane Cove Council

Lane Cove Council Elections will be held on 4 December 2021. Voting is compulsory.  We gave each candidate an opportunity to provide details of their platform.  The information is set out in the order we received the information.  Not all candidates provided information by the submission date.

Lane Cove Council has 3 Wards

There are three wards Central, East and West – a map of the wards is here.

Where to Pre Poll in Lane Cove

In Lane Cove, you can pre-poll at the Lane Cove Council Chambers from 22 November to 3 December 2021.

Recent amendments to the Local Government Act 1993 and Local Government (General) Regulation 2021 mean that voters will have a longer period in which to apply for, receive and return postal voting packs.

Postal vote applications are open from today, Tuesday 26 October, and postal votes must be received by 6 pm, 17 December.

All polling places will be run in line with COVID-safe election guidelines including physical distancing, mask-wearing, single-use pens and queue management. Signage and staff will direct voters to check-in and comply with NSW Health advice.

Where to Vote in Lane Cove

One of the most popular polling stations in Lane Cove is usually the Lane Cove Public School.  However, due to the hall fire, Lane Cove Public School will not be a polling station at this election.  Check out this article to see where the polling stations are in Lane Cove.

Note that due to the fire at the Lane Cove Public School it is NOT a polling station.

How to Apply For a Postal Voting

Postal vote applications are now open. To apply for a postal vote you can either apply online or download and return a Postal vote application.

One postal application must be completed per person.

Apply online for a postal vote

Download a Postal vote application

You may be eligible to vote using a postal vote at this election.

Eligibility criteria for postal voting


1. Tuesday, 26 October 2021: application for postal vote packs open.

2. Monday, 8 November 2021: mailing of postal voting packs commences.

3. Monday, 29 November 2021: receipt of postal vote applications close at 5pm. Applications received after this time will not receive a postal vote pack.

4. Friday, 17 December 2021: completed postal votes returned by 6pm.

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.


You may be eligible to use iVote (online voting option) at this election.

You can vote using iVote if you:

  • are blind or have low vision
  • are unable to vote without assistance or have difficulty voting at a polling place because you have a disability or have difficulties reading
  • are a silent elector
  • applied for a postal vote but did not receive your postal ballot papers before 5pm on 26 November 2021 (only available eight days before election day)
  • live more than 20 kilometres from a polling place, or
  • will not be within your council area during election day.


1. Monday, 22 November 2021: iVote applications and voting opens.

2. Saturday, 4 December 2021: iVote applications close at 1pm and iVote voting closes at 6pm.

3. Monday, 6 December 2021: iVote receipt portal closes at 6pm.

Get to Know Your Candidates


If you could not attend our Meet the Candidates Forums, the link to the recordings are below.
You don’t have to watch the whole recording – but you may be interested in watching the five-minute presentations by Each candidate for West and Central Ward (East Ward candidates were hosted by the GCA).
Thank you to all the candidates who told ITC they were so pleased to be involved.


Deborah Hill
Councillor Andrew Zbik
Rochelle Flood
Caleb Taylor Independent for West Ward

Note: Scott Bennison did not respond to the invitation until close to the event and advised he had a prior engagement.  If he had contacted ITC prior to the day of the event, we would have been more than happy to reschedule to a date all candidates could be involved.


Central Ward

Jerem Zwart
Bridget Kennedy for Lane Cove
Kathy Bryla for Lane Cove
Katherine Mort

Lane Cove Central Ward

Bridget Kennedy – Independent – Central Ward


As a community-focused independent, I represent the community, not party politics.

We need more of a voice at council and I promise to maintain a strong and open dialogue with the community.

I believe in a connected, green and creative community, improved council communications and engagement with the community, community-focused and appropriate development, safe and sustainable transport options.

I’m a founding member of The Repair Café Sydney North, the instigator of The Sydney Edible Garden Trail and The Sydney Library of Things and was awarded 2018 Lane Cove Citizen of the Year.

I bring financial management skills and an entrepreneurial, creative drive to all my initiatives.  I maintain a successful career as a jewellery artist and retail business owner, am a board member of the Australian Design Centre, and World Crafts Council of Australia and began my career in the early days of the IT industry in banking and finance.

Instagram: @bridgetkennedyforlanecove
Facebook: @bridgetkennedyforlanecove
Email: [email protected]

Kathy Bryla – Labor – Central Ward

Along with Andrew Zbik and David we are seeking to make policies that create positive climate action and I am particularly excited about the virtual solar grid initiative.
I’m passionate about creating a strong sense of community, mindful of inclusive spaces and want to preserve the environment.  Having lived in Riverview for 10 years with my family, it is time to give back to our fantastic community, hence I have nominated to stand for council in the upcoming election.

More information about our policies and commitment to serve the people of Lane Cove can be found on our website.

Facebook: Kathybrylaforlanecove/posts/
Email: [email protected]


Jerem Zwart – Independent – Central Ward

Everyone living in Lane Cove has the right to enjoy our open spaces. Our community deserves a receptive, collaborative council when decisions are being made that impact on these invaluable spaces.

We are fortunate to live in this beautiful community, but our open space, parklands and the associated amenities we enjoy are under threat. Once green space is gone, future generations will never enjoy what we take for granted today. The outgoing council’s agenda has seen open space disappear at a rapid pace. Our children will suffer, our teenagers will suffer, our family pets will suffer. Our community will pay dearly.

We are concerned about the future of Lane Cove. We’ve had enough of individual councillor driven decisions rather than community informed decisions. Once open space is sacrificed, it’s gone forever.”


Katherine Mort – Liberal – Central Ward

The reason I am standing for council election is to be involved in the decisions that affect our future and to see them reflect the needs and interests of the community.

I have lived in Longueville for ten years, continuing to raise a family in Lane Cove with children attending local schools, volunteering and participating in schools and community groups. Previously, I practised as a physiotherapist for 25 years across a range of hospitals and currently work with Australian food manufacturers to optimise efficiency and reduce their energy consumption.

If elected I would commit to increased transparency in council, maintaining our green space and bushland areas, improving infrastructure to benefit all residents and encouraging sustainable development. I would advocate for increased support and inclusion for disabled and elderly residents and improved facilities for young families. I would like to see council improve recycling within Lane Cove, reduce waste and work with the community to reduce emissions.

Phone: 0483 233 550


Hamish Asprey Stitt – Liberal – Central Ward

I grew up in Longueville and have lived in the Lane Cove area for almost 40 years. I am a Barrister-at-Law with twenty years’ experience in private practice who has worked both in Australia and overseas in London and New York.

I returned here to make a life with my family. My wife, Julia, our two young daughters and our black Labrador, Charlie love the area.

I have a fervent desire for good government and delivering for the community with a well-managed Council. I want all the best parts maintained including the parks, bushland, sports fields and dog friendly facilities and I support the improvements like the Pool, Blackman Park, and the Canopy which benefit all.

I believe in Council focused on community and its issues not selfish independent agendas.

I am proudly running for the Liberal Party with Kathy Mort and Justin Andrews. We look forward to your support.


Justin Andrews – Liberal – Central Ward

I am a finance professional with a young family, his love for community and family values drew Justin to Lane Cove which he has been proud to call home.



Lane Cove West Ward

Andrew Zbik – Labor – West Ward

Our community needs engaged local Councillors. I have put this into action with a monthly video newsletter and community zoom meeting as well as being active on InTheCove answering residents questions.

Surprisingly, the majority of Councillors opposed my initiatives to:

1)      Improve community consultation

2)      Seek more funding for the Bike Plan

3)      Stand up against developers changing local planning rules

4)      1st attempt for Council to source 100% renewable energy

I am re-contesting as many residents tell me that they want a Council that works collaboratively with our community.

Our plan is to:

1)      Reform Councils processes to move from ‘consulting’ to collaborating with the community.

2)      Build a toy library

3)      Create a virtual solar grid in Lane Cove

4)      Plus many more policies.

I am passionate about serving our community with energy and passion. Local Government is the closest to the people and impacts our everyday lives.

Facebook: andrew4lanecove
Email: [email protected]

Deborah Hill – Independent – West Ward


I have lived in Lane Cove for 16 years, have two children who attend local public schools. Motivated by my desire to give back to my community, I have been President of the Lane Cove Chamber of Commerce since 2008, Lane Cove West Public School P&C, where I have fulfilled roles of Vice President, Fundraising, Sponsorship Coordinator. I have been involved with Stringy Bark Creek Residents’ Association, Clean up Australia Day, Bushcare and Director of Sydney Community Services since 2013. Member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants. I love Lane Cove’s village atmosphere, bush surrounds, open spaces. I am committed to ensuring that any future development in Lane Cove is sustainable and appropriate. I believe Lane Cove is a great place to live and raise a family. I will work hard to ensure Lane Cove retains its community heart and village atmosphere. That is why I am running for council.


Rochelle Flood – The Greens – West Ward

I want to represent the Lane Cove community because I am passionate about our area’s close knit community, beautiful parks and bushland. While I love our town, overtime I’ve seen how over-development has impacted the community. With roads under pressure, and precious green spaces being lost, it’s clear that we need a better, more sustainable approach to planning and development.

If elected, I will work hard as your councillor to ensure genuine consultation and full community involvement in council decisions. I’ll work to protect and expand green spaces – from bushwalking areas to parks and community sport grounds. I’ll work alongside local residents to deliver services our community needs. Together, we can address inequality in the area by prioritising policies on affordable housing for local residents, as well as improving access and affordability of council run childcare; supporting local families. I’ll also work alongside residents to tackle the climate emergency.


Caleb Taylor – Independent – West Ward


Like you, I live locally and care about the future of the area. One of my core values and passions is the development of a strong sense of community. I have been fortunate to be a part of our local Repair Cafe Sydney North, volunteering as a Committee member and Manager, working with multicultural organisations holding events, and participating in a range of local sporting organisations with my young son.

​With a strong background in event management, involvement in community groups and with a desire to bring our community together, I believe I will be an exceptional representative for the Lane Cove local community.

Our Community Commitment includes:

  • Upgrading, maintaining, and protecting our parks and greenspaces, starting with fixing and upgrading  Stringybark Reserve.
  • Creating spaces for adults and children including a Ninja Warrior exercise course, off-road BMX/cycling strategy, scooter park, and community gardens.
  • Fixing our footpaths and roads by implementing a long-term approach and balanced funding plan.
  • Finding a real solution to the growing traffic flow issues in Lane Cove.
  • Development of an action plan through proactive and ongoing consultation with local business leaders to future-proof Lane Cove businesses.
  • Promoting regular events across the community, connecting Lane Cove residents together and attracting locals and visitors.

Facebook: CalebTaylorforLaneCove


Scott Bennison – Liberal – West Ward

I am a Lane Cove Councillor with thirteen years of experience, including service as Mayor and Deputy Mayor.

Born and raised in Wellington NSW. I have resided in Lane Cove since 1996 with my wife, Julia.

I am a Chartered Accountant, registered company auditor, financial planner, and a partner in a local financial services firm.

When I was Mayor in 2012, I announced the development of the Canopy, raised the Aboriginal Flag in Chambers and combined Australia Day celebrations and the Citizenship ceremony in the Plaza.

I fought against forced amalgamations and won, and our Liberal team established International Women’s Day, upgraded the Plaza, created Lane Cove Literary Awards, initiated Café Carnivale, purchased a new Xmas tree and established Xmas Street light competition.

I am committed to providing the community with infrastructure such as The Canopy, upgrading Lane Cove Pool, sporting facilities, bushland, bike paths & local parks while keeping your Council solvent.

Phone: 0402 406 241


Alicia Smith – Liberal – Central Ward


I was raised in country NSW and moved to Lane Cove in 2000, where I now reside with my husband.

I have two medical imaging degrees. I work in Cardiology within the public and private health systems.

I am actively involved on three medical boards. I recently went to East Africa to assess maternal healthcare; helping to develop maternal hospitals in rural Uganda and Rwanda with my team.

I love the access to parks and bushland around Lane Cove. I enjoy the family friendly environment of our area.

I would like to see consideration of palliative care and affordable housing options.


Cheryl Che – Liberal – West Ward

Born and raised in China, I moved to Lane Cove in 2010 with my husband where we started our family.

I am a cross-cultural communication professional, translator and a brush painting artist. I have a Bachelor of Arts in English and International Studies. I have a Master of Translation and Interpreting and a Master of Strategic Public Relations.

With a young family, we have benefited greatly from the successful local projects that the Liberals have delivered. We love the new Canopy and Blackman Park.

I would like to see more parks and family-friendly precincts around Lane Cove.



Lane Cove East Ward


Merri Southwood – Independent – East Ward

I stand as an independent candidate for East Ward.

The past 4 years have been a watershed period for me as I witnessed the views of my community being dismissed by Council or treated in a cursory manner, to the point that many wondered whether some of our Councillors had lost touch with community.

I have seen our community – a cohesive community – divided through flawed consultation processes that came too late in the progress of a proposal.

The views of community must be reflected in Council decision making.

This is often not the case now.

Council must urgently review its community engagement processes.

My legal skills will assist to ensure that I will make considered and well- informed decisions as a member of Council.

My history of community engagement as GCA President will ensure that I will represent the collective interests of residents, ratepayers and the local community.

Facebook:  merrisouthwoodforlanecove

David Roenfeldt – Labor – East Ward

Representing one’s peers, being a strong voice and achieving positive outcomes for others is something that continually inspires me and our team. It is really important to me personally that much of my life is spent in service to others.
Since narrowly missing out on being elected as a councillor in 2017 my interest in local matters remained. During my observations at most council meetings since then. It was disheartening to observe many councilors erode away their trust with the community by their voting actions.
Whether it be the St Leonards South Redevelopment, Synthetic Grass at Bob Campbell Oval, the SIX (6) Aged Care/Seniors housing developments  It was astonishing that the majority of councilors did not vote in accordance with community expectations. These decisions are already having a negative impact not just on the residents of East Ward, but the greater Lane Cove area as well.
Many of us put up our hands to run for public office not only to represent others but to make decisions that improve others lives.
Our team humbly seek your support for the upcoming Dec 4 council elections.


John Fegan – Independent – East Ward

The environment and our parks and green space are finite and must be protected.

I am concerned that instead of providing additional infrastructure for everyone in the community, Council is commercialising our precious green space.

The mega projects at Bob Campbell Oval and the Golf Course are an over-development which won’t work in the limited space available. There will be less open space for residents to enjoy.

As a result of speaking to many residents about these proposals I came to the view that Council is not in touch with the wishes, concerns or the aspirations of our community.

I also found the consultative process conducted by Council was more about process than consultation.

I have lived in Lane Cove most of my life and given my experience as a solicitor, mediator and a former councillor on Sydney City council (two Terms) I believe I could contribute to the community as a councillor.



David Brooks Horn – Liberal – East Ward

David is a current councillor with over thirteen years’ experience with Lane Cove

Council, including two years leading as Mayor from 2013-15.

David has lived in Lane Cove all his life and is deeply committed to our local community. He is a board member on both the Sydney Community Services and the Lane Cove Retirement Units (Pottery Gardens) organisations. He is a member of Rotary and also coordinates the Red Shield Appeal in Lane Cove every year.

David has been involved in all the recent significant improvements to Lane Cove and is very keen to continue working and delivering positive outcomes for our community.

Phone: 0450 288 072

David Karpin – Liberal – East Ward


David had a distinguished career as the CEO of several listed and non-listed companies.

He served on Council from 2012 to 2017, where he was a part of the Liberal team that successfully developed The Canopy. He also successfully fought against Council amalgamations with David Brooks-Horn, Scott Bennison and Deborah Hutchens.

David has become an advocate for elderly and disability issues.

Lynn Wilkson – Duncan – Liberal – East Ward

Lynne has lived in Greenwich for over twenty years. In both her business and community activities, Lynne’s focus has been on ageing, sustainability and the arts. Lynne looks forward to continuing to serve our local community on Council.

Frances Vissel – Independent – East Ward



Lane Cove is a wonderful place to live and it is an honour to be a Lane Cove Councillor. I am a true independent whose decisions are based solely on service to the community free from the shackles of party politics and self-interest.

During my time as an East Ward Councillor, I represented the views of residents.  I strongly opposed synthetic grass at Bob Campbell Oval (endeavouring to set up a meeting with a natural grass expert), over development in St Leonards South, Greenwich and Northwood.  I have continually pushed motions for extended community consultation and greater Council transparency and accountability.

I have strong links to the community, I regularly attended the Greenwich, Northwood and Osborne Park Community Association meetings to better understand the views of the community.

If elected I will continue to use my experience to be the voice of residents on Council. With more independent Councillors elected we will be able to have Council decisions better reflect the views of the community.

Don Murchison – Independent –  East Ward

I am a family man with two primary school children. Greenwich has been my home for 30 years. Upon leaving school I studied law & teaching before becoming a variety artist.  I have published three books and established ‘Comedy Specialists’ – scripting & delivering individualised witty speeches.

My involvement in the community has included facilitating ‘Meet the Candidates’ Forums for Federal & State elections; forming ‘Community Pathways Project’; being Chairperson of Council’s ‘Bicycle Advisory Committee,’ initiating & organising Lane Cove’s ‘Big Family Fun Ride;’ being on Greenwich Public School’s School Council;  a committee member of the Greenwich Community Association; & also a regular participant in the Lane Cove Festival, with the ‘Jungle Chalet Art , Craft & Watergarden Exhibition’ then ‘The Enchanted Night Garden.’

For years I have felt like a goat bleating away on a mountain top. I now realise that the only way to achieve change is to actually be part of the action. Council has not listened to the Community, inter alia, with regards to a proposed ‘field of plastic’ at Bob Campbell Oval, the loss of Open Space at 266 Longueville Rd, pedestrian and cyclist safety at the cliff footpath 200 metres from Greenwich Public School and the need for a Performing Arts Venue.

Facebook:  Don-Murchison-for-Lane-Cove/100072192736710/

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