Canberra: The city of Parramatta Council in Sydney has elected Indian-origin Councillor Sameer Pandey as its new Lord Mayor. Pandey, who represents the Parramatta Ward, is the city's first Lord Mayor of Indian origin, The Australia Today reported.
Sameer Pandey was first elected to the City of Parramatta Council in September 2017. He was elected as Deputy Lord Mayor in January 2022, as per the news report. In a statement, Sameer Pandey called it a "privilege" to lead the council of one of the fastest-growing centers in Australia. He stated that the city of Parramatta is the geographical heart of Greater Sydney.
“The City of Parramatta is the geographical heart of Greater Sydney and a major economic powerhouse as well as the best place in Sydney to live,” Sameer Pandey said in the statement released by the City of Parramatta.
"Parramatta is home to a vibrant and diverse community and I'm excited to lead the City as it cements itself as Sydney's second CBD and the focus of some of its most exciting opportunities," the statement further said.
The development comes after Councillor Donna Davis MP stepped down from the role following her election as the State Member for Parramatta. She will continue as a councillor until the next local government elections in September 2024, as per the news report.
Sameer Pandey has a background in IT and has a lot of work on his hand, especially major projects like the aquatic centre, town hall and Riverside Theatre redevelopment, according to The Australia Today report.
Pandey's election to the post has coincided with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Australia on Monday. PM Narendra Modi arrived in Sydney as part of the third and final leg of his three-nation visit after concluding his visit to Papua New Guinea.
PM Modi was received by Australian High Commissioner to India Barry O'Farrell and other officials upon his arrival in Sydney. During his visit, PM Modi will hold a bilateral meeting with his Australian counterpart Anthony Albanese.