There is something hilariously dysfunctional about some of the Liberal councillors on Rockdale City Council in south Sydney.

One of them, Judy Feeney, has been taken to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal because of alleged inaccuracies in her nomination form to stand for the local government elections in September last year.

She used her business address on the form when, by law, she is required to use her residential address.

A local ratepayer is asking for her election to be declared invalid and a fresh poll held.

Now a second Liberal councillor, John La Mela, is being accused of similar discrepancies.

According to a YouTube posting — which has mysteriously disappeared — Le Mela lives at Connell’s Point which is not in the Rockdale local government area. When he filled out his electoral nomination form, he used a Brighton-le-Sands address in Cashman Road which is the residence of another family altogether.

The La Mela allegations have surfaced outside the time when his election could have been challenged legally, so he is safe in the council’s third ward.

But it begs the question — what’s happening in Rockdale, can’t Liberals fill in forms correctly?

Meanwhile, the Liberal and Labor councillors remain in a grotesque unofficial coalition on the council, isolating the Greens and community independents.

In September, the ALP mayor steps down and the Liberal will have his chance at running the show. He is Peter Poulos who is on the staff of the appalling Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, a member of the hardline right-wing faction in the NSW division.

The fiercely ambitious Poulos wants to raise his local profile during his 12 months in the mayor’s robes. He hopes it will give him the momentum to stand for the state seat of Rockdale in March 2011 and knock off the sitting MP, Frank Sartor, the former Planning Minister and ex-Sydney Lord Mayor.

However, there must be doubts about whether Sartor will be his opponent. If Sartor hasn’t captured the premiership from Nathan Rees by the end of this year, he will be heading for the escape hatch and quitting politics altogether.

Sartor is not the kind of person to hang around on a backbencher’s salary of $126,000 per annum when he can make four or five times that amount in the private sector.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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