Jerome Laxale | Labor

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Tell us your name and political party

Name: Jerome Laxale

Party: Labor


What is your connection to Bennelong, and why are you running for the seat?

In 2006 I moved to Marsfield and now live in North Ryde.

In 2012 I was elected to Ryde Council, where I served as the Mayor for five years.

I love living in our vibrant and diverse community – where we celebrate all cultures and backgrounds. Our community also has a beautiful natural environment that I’m determined to protect.

I put my hand up to run federally because, like many, I am disappointed in our current Prime Minister. I am running because I want to see a Government that takes climate change seriously, addresses housing affordability and makes childcare cheaper. Bennelong deserves authentic progressive representation, not another three years of Scott Morrison.


Tell us a bit about yourself and what other “hats” you wear in your life.

After finishing Uni, I joined the family business, where I learned many life skills and lessons. I now run a small business consultancy and serve on the board of a workers compensation insurer, a procurement company, and Treasurer of Local Government NSW. I have lots of hats.

As a local councillor and former Mayor of Ryde, I was proud to deliver upgrades to parks and facilities across our community, including saving Eastwood Oval, upgrading Meadowbank Skatepark and Playground, Kings Park Denistone East and Christie Park (just to name a few). I was also proud to support the #RacismNotWelcome campaign to show our support for our diverse community.

Another “hat” I have is, of course being a Dad. I try to be the daggiest Dad I can be. I want to make sure they can grow up in an accepting society and enjoy all the opportunities I had growing up. We must take real action on climate change to protect our planet for future generations to live happy, healthy lives.


What do you love most about the area, and what is your favourite spot?

I truly love the diversity and resilience of our community. I saw this first hand during the pandemic. In the face of great adversity, our community came together to help save lives. I will never forget our community’s dedication and commitment to keeping us safe.

I have too many favourite spots, just to name one, but some of my favourite spots include the New Kings Park at Denistone East, a sunny Sunday at the Meadowbank markets and having a succulent Chinese meal at Rowe Street. I can’t talk about my favourite spots without mentioning our fantastic local cafes and restaurants. We are so lucky to have a developing food and coffee scene, and that’s something I’ve worked hard on during my time as Mayor and on Council.


What do you believe are the three main issues affecting the seat of Bennelong and why? If elected, how would you address each of those issues?

Lack of meaningful action on climate change

We have a government that simply doesn’t take climate change seriously. Their targets are weak, and they are split on the issue. Only this week, their coalition partners, the National Party, said net-zero by 2050 is “dead”.

I’m sick of the politics of taking action on climate change. It’s been 15 years since a Government was elected to do something about it, and we’re still fighting over it.

My record on climate action is strong in the City of Ryde. As Mayor, we led the way with 100% renewable energy being used by the Council, a 100% net zero target by 2030 and the banning of single-use plastics (just to name a few initiatives). If elected as your federal MP, I’d take the same urgency and passion to the climate debate in Canberra.

Unaffordable Childcare

Labor has a plan to make childcare cheaper. Our plan will mean 96 per cent of families are better off. We will reduce the cost of childcare and make it easier for mums, children and working families to get ahead. We will do this by:

  • Lifting the maximum child care subsidy rate to 90 per cent for families for the first child in care;
  • Increasing child care subsidy rates for every family with one child in care earning less than $530,000 in household income;
  • Keeping higher child care subsidy rates for the second and additional children in care;
  • Extending the increased subsidy to outside school hours care.

Corruption and lack of faith in politics

Every state and territory has an anti-corruption commission, but the Federal Government doesn’t. Scott Morrison promised one in 2018 but broke that promise.

After nearly a decade of rorts and scandal, we must have an anti-corruption commission with retrospective powers; that is, it can look at complaints made in the past.

If elected, I’ll be part of a Labor government that legislates for an anti-corruption commission by December.


What other key objectives do you have planned for the area? Please provide short-term (under 12 months) and long-term (up to 3/4 years). Please keep to a max of 4.

Short term:

Improving community engagement

Something I’ve done at the local level is make it easier for locals to engage with me as their councillor or Mayor. I’d hold weekend Mayor’s morning teas with jumping castles and coffee carts, so parents with young kids could chat about council issues. I started a Facebook group where people could interact with me in real-time, and I’ve been open and accessible throughout my time in public life.

If elected as your federal MP, I’d bring that same openness and availability on federal issues. It’s so important that our community has a two-way conversation with their leaders, and I’d act upon this straight away.

Anti-corruption commission – If elected, Labor will legislate for an Anti-corruption commission, with teeth, by the end of the year.

Long term:

Upgrades to social infrastructure

I know Bennelong inside out, and I know what roads, parks, footpaths and playgrounds need upgrading. Major projects are often jointly funded by the federal government, and as your local MP, I’d push for significant infrastructure upgrades to the parks and playgrounds that need them most.

Take real action on climate change

We simply must reduce emissions to save our planet. If elected, I’ll do that


What are your party leaders biggest strength and biggest weakness?


Anthony Albanese brings almost 30 years of experience to the table and is committed to fairness and equality. Something I admire about Albo is that he is willing to own up to his mistakes, not run from them. He has served as Deputy Prime Minister and as Minister for Infrastructure, and I think he can step up to the plate to lead our nation through challenging times.


Despite his commitment to public life before becoming leader, he did not have as big a public profile as others. As people get to know Albo as I do, I hope they’ll see the hard-working and honest man I know.