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By George, mayor’s about to get nod for two more years

Labor Party councillors celebrate two of their own, George Brticevic and Meg Oates, being voted in as mayor and deputy mayor two years ago.

Labor Party councillors celebrate two of their own, George Brticevic and Meg Oates, being voted in as mayor and deputy mayor two years ago.

It will be a mere formality, but next Tuesday Campbelltown Council will hold a mayoral vote as required by local government legislation.

There was brief talk of an independent candidate standing against the mayor of the past two years, but our sources tell us it fizzled out very quickly.

Labor has a majority on the council, with eight seats on the 15 member chamber.

One of the seven other councillors, Ted Rowell, is on indefinite leave, which makes Labor’s dominance even more certain.

Nor is anyone in the local Labor Party expected to challenge the mayor

So it’s a given that on Tuesday night George Brticevic will get the nod for another two years as mayor of our great town.

Which will give him a straight run of four years, a rare feat in the past 30 years, where mayors were in and out after a year or two at most.

Jim Kremmer served for three years in a row from 1988 to 1990, while the late Gordon Fetterplace got to wear the mayoral chains for five years between 1976 and 1980.

But the record in modern times is held by Clive Tregear, who was mayor eight years straight between 1964 and 1972.

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In among local residents celebrating Father’s Day with dinner last Sunday at Camden’s Royal Hotel – the old Merino Hotel – were players and officials of the Camden Rams rugby league footy club.

No, don’t worry, this is not another fear and loathing story about footy players getting drunk and stripping naked in public.

In fact it’s quite the opposite with the Rams, who were in the TAB bar wearing their familiar red, white and blue jackets and jumpers.

But other than being a little noisy we are happy to report the boys were pretty well behaved while we were there.

Earlier in the day the Rams had defeated Thirlmere Roosters in a Group 6 rugby league finals elimination match and the boys were enjoying a couple of quiet beers.

As for us we were chuffed to recognise among them Andrew Willis, the legendary Western Suburbs Magpies half who kicked the famous field goal from almost 50m to win a match after the hooter against North Sydney Bears in the 1990s at Campbelltown Sports Ground – Orana Park as was known then.

A wonderful chap, we had a bit of a chat about the good old days before we left him with the Rams boys.

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It got lost in the leadership change mayhem, but one of the last things he did before his boss Malcolm Turnbull got turfed out, Paul Fletcher, urban infrastructure and cities minister, (now in charge of families and social services) welcomed the news that Qantas and Jetstar had announced they will operate from Western Sydney Airport.

It followed confirmation from Virgin Australia that it intends to operate both Virgin and Tiger Airways flights from the new airport when it opens in eight years.

The airport will have a 3.7km runway, capable of servicing the largest commercial aircraft such as the Airbus A380 and Boeing 747, and will have a high quality design reflecting the confidence and aspirations of Western Sydney.

“Western Sydney Airport will be a world class facility and the intention of both major domestic airlines to operate there is a clear indication of the importance they see Western Sydney Airport having in Australian domestic aviation,’’ Fletcher said just before he was given a new portfolio.

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Campbelltown’s main library HJ Daley Library will be temporarily closed for repairs during September because on Sunday, June 17, water damage occurred to the ceiling and carpet tiles as well as some of the library’s collection.

The library will close at 5pm on Thursday, September 13 and will reopen at 9.30am on Tuesday, September 18.

During that period the after-hours return chute at the HJ Daley Library will remain open and there will be a pop-up library at Campbelltown Mall, with regular Monday programs to be held there.

Library opening hours will be extended at Greg Percival Library, Ingleburn for the weekend of the closure (Saturday 9am to 4pm and Sunday 10.30am to 4pm)

The Greg Percival Community Hall will be open during the same hours on the weekend of the closure to provide a quiet study space for students

Council’s other libraries and online services will continue to operate as normal.

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An Australian Republic is not a big priority issue for many people, but that didn’t stop a couple of local federal MPs hosting a local Wattle Day barbecue at Ingleburn Reserve on behalf of the Australian Republic Movement.

Dr Mike Freelander (Macarthur) and Anne Stanley (Werriwa) put on the barbie on September 1 for around 50 local residents.

Impressed by the reasonable turnout, the two Labor MPs put out a joint media release to say it was clear that nearly 20 years after the failed republic referendum “there is still passion and momentum behind the Australian Republic Movement’’.

“It is important for our community and the greater Australian population to have ownership and input into what we want our nation to look like,’’ the MPs said.

“A pillar of our democratic system is allowing everyone to have a say in our nation’s future.

“The Australian Republic Wattle Day barbecue was a prime example of democracy in action.’’

Dr Freelander said “Australians should be able to choose Australia’s Head of State whose primary allegiance is to our unique, diverse and multicultural people and place.”

Ms Stanley chipped in with “it would seem only reasonable for a strong democratic country such as ours to be able to choose its own Head of State.’’

 

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