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Will centre of excellence be ready in time to help Bulls launch into A-League

It looks almost certain that Macarthur FC will be the main tenants when the Campbelltown sports centre of excellence is built.

Wests Tigers have been trumpeting funding for their own centre in the inner city, so they’re obviously not interested.

But our A-League franchise might also be keeping a keen eye on the one here because according to one councillor there’s not much happening in terms of construction.

“I drove past the site the other day and there’s nothing there,’’ the frustrated councillor told us over the phone.

The mayor told us in a recent interview he was confident the centre would be open next year.

This time next year Macarthur FC will be undergoing the club’s first preseason training for the 2020-21 A-League season.

Can the centre of excellence be available by then to help our team start on the right foot?

Time will tell.

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Campbelltown councillors were sent an email on Friday from Phu Nguyen, the acting general manager, to inform them Diana Percival, wife of the late Greg Percival, former mayor of Campbelltown) has passed away.

“We are arranging for flowers and a card to be sent to the family,’’ Nguyen said in the message to councillors.

We pass on our condolences to the Percival family, especially our friend Drew.

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It was interesting, for this old journo anyway, that at its last meeting Campbelltown Council approved without any debate a request that ratepayers foot the bill for the mayor, the general manager and the executive officer to fly to Japan to accept an invitation to visit Koshigaya to mark the 35th anniversary of the sister city relationship.

In the old days, some councillors would have at least had something to say about council paying their airfares and accommodation.

It’s called speaking on matters of principle, but it’s so 20th century, especially when one political party – in this case Labor – has a majority in the council chambers.

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Camden’s local police force will be boosted by six new officers in the next 12 months to walk the beat and respond to emergencies in the local community.

Local MP Peter Sidgreaves says he’s “thrilled that our community will be a safer place with this NSW Government investment boosting our police area command”.

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Residents of so called “old’’ Minto are aware of Campbelltown Council plans to rezone the area between the eastern side of the railway line to Pembroke Road to allow for high rise medium density housing.

But if the plan goes ahead, the council believes that there will be a big need for a park and that would mean having to buy several properties – we hear up to 10 may be needed.

It has not been decided just yet how the plan will proceed, and if it will be compulsory acquisition of these properties if the plans get a green light.

But as they say, stay tuned for further developments.

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It was the year the recently departed Bob Hawke came to power in Canberra, but locally in 1983 a young lad by the name of Clem Tacca started his working life at Glenfield Cellars.

If you think that name rings a bell it’s because in the next 20 years or so Clem became a prominent local businessmen and was involved in several ventures.

They included developing – alongside his late father Paul and uncle Frank – a couple of hundred acres along Raby Road into the Macarthur Grange golf course.

The biggie was Tacca Industries, one of the country’s largest privately owned plastics companies.

Over the years I got to meet Clem in my capacity as a local newspaper editor, and we became good friends, but we lost touch in the past few years.

On Friday, at a business luncheon in Gregory Hills, we were both there, and after we exchanged greetings he produced the black and white photo of him working at Glenfield Cellars at the age of 18 all those years ago.

Clem reminded me that I had taken the black and white photo in 1983 when as a young reporter I covered the launch of his wine club at Glenfield for the Liverpool Leader.

Pictured with Clem is a Penfolds rep who attended the wine club launch.

Looking at that photo, I must confess that it brought back a rush of memories, so thank you my friend.

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Opening an envelope from a local environmentalist I was surprised that in addition to a long, long list of questions they had included a printout of a comment piece in another local media outlet.

Still scratching the old melon trying to work out whether they wanted to persuade me to their strange ways of thinking or just give me a laugh.

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Greens councillor Ben Moroney is keen to find out how Campbelltown’s tree hotline is going.

He has given notice that at next Tuesday’s council meeting he will be asking how many residents have requested trees to be planted since the tree hotline initiative was launched.

How many trees have been planted under this initiative and what is the average wait time between requests being received and actioned is also something else he will be asking.

How many requests are currently outstanding will be his final question.

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