Stephen Bali confirmed as Labor candidate for Blacktown by-election

Blacktown mayor Stephen Bali will be Labor's candidate for the state by-election next month. Picture: Isabella Lettini

Blacktown mayor Stephen Bali will be Labor's candidate for the state by-election next month. Picture: Isabella Lettini

Blacktown mayor Stephen Bali has been confirmed as Labor’s candidate for the state by-election next month.

Cr Bali was tipped for the position early, having been endorsed by his predecessor John Robertson, who retired from state politics and vacated the seat on August 25.

Greenway MP Michelle Rowland was also among those to endorse her former Blacktown Council colleague for the move to state politics.

Cr Bali, a lifelong Doonside resident, said he was honoured to be selected.

He named more staff for Blacktown Hospital, more funding for schools and TAFE, and stopping the M4 toll as his key priorities if elected.

NSW Labor leader Luke Foley praised Cr Bali as a staunch advocate for the community, and said he would be a strong voice for western Sydney.

“Stephen Bali will make sure that the issues that are first and foremost on the minds of Blacktown residents will get a hearing in Macquarie Street,” Mr Foley said.

“Blacktown residents are feeling the cost of living pressures with unfair and unaffordable tolls, higher train fares and rising electricity prices – it’s time to send a strong message to Premier Berejiklian that they have had enough.”

Residents will head to the polls on October 14, with Labor expected to retain the seat it has won at 20 of 21 elections. Former member John Robertson comfortably held the seat with 53 per cent of the first preference vote in 2015.

Candidate nominations close on Thursday, September 28, after which point it will be revealed whether the Liberal party will field a candidate in the by-election.

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