The electoral district of Penrith is located within Western Sydney. The seat of Penrith covers central suburbs of the City of Penrith and parts of the lower Blue Mountains. Suburbs include Penrith, Cambridge Gardens, Jamisontown, Kingswood, Cranebrook, Emu Plains, Leonay, Lapstone and Glenbrook.
According to 2016 Census data, Penrith has:
A population of 78,786 (47,578 voters turned out in 2015 out of 54,184 enrolled);
A lower than average median age at 36;
A lower than average level of highest educational attainment with 15.7% of constituents achieving a Bachelor Degree level and above; and
A higher than average median weekly household income of $1,538 (vs. $1,486 for NSW).
Penrith has existed since 1973. While it is currently Liberal-held, it has been won by the ALP at every general election except for 1988, 2011 and 2015.
Penrith councillor Karyn Paluzzano won the seat in 2003. She was appointed a parliamentary secretary in 2008.
In 2010, Paluzzano faced an inquiry by the Independent Commission Against Corruption over accusations that she had falsified pay forms. Following an adverse finding, she resigned from Parliament in May 2010.
In the subsequent by-election Liberal candidate Stuart Ayres won the seat with an unprecedented 25.7% swing, turning a 9% ALP margin into a 16% Liberal margin. Ayres was re-elected in 2011 and 2015.
Stuart Ayres (LIB)
Ayres is the Liberal candidate for Penrith in the 2019 election, and the current member. Ayres was elected NSW Legislative Assembly on June 19, 2010 following the Penrith by-election. Ayres comes from a Defence Force family background which saw him moving around the country until settling in Penrith. Prior to being elected to the NSW Parliament, Ayres has worked for Austereo, 2DayFM and Triple M radio stations, and the Australian College of Physical Education initially as Student Recruitment Manager and then later as Director of Marketing and Business Development.
Ayres is heavily involved in the administration of local sport in Western Sydney where he has been a Board Member of the Penrith Australian Football Club for 10 years and was also the founding secretary of the Penrith Valley Sports Foundation.
Ayres has held the positions of Deputy Government Whip, Parliamentary Secretary for Transport & Roads, Parliamentary Secretary for Western Sydney. Ayres was elevated to the NSW Ministry in December 2013 as Minister for Fair Trading and Minister Assisting the Premier on Western Sydney. In April 2014 Stuart was again elevated to Minister for Sport and Recreation before adding Minister for Police and Emergency Services to his portfolio the following month.
Ayres is currently Minister for Western Sydney, Minister for WestConnex, and Minister for Sport.
Karen McKeown (LAB)
McKeown is running as the Labor candidate for Penrith in the 2019 election.
McKeown has been a member of the ALP and her local Emu Plains Branch for over 20 years. During that time McKeown has held many positions within the Party, including Penrith SEC Secretary, FEC delegate and Conference delegate. Karen serves on the Administrative Committee and Women's Forum.
McKeown is a Councillor on Penrith City Council and was elected as a Labor Councillor to Penrith Council in 2004, 2008, 2012 and 2016 and served as Deputy Mayor in 2006-07 and Mayor in 2015-2016.