JC’s plan for better Campbelltown: transparency and strategy

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Hardly anybody recognises Campbelltown Councillor John Chew when he’s out and about, but this could change after the September local government election.

Current Mayor George Greiss has announced he will be retiring from politics at the election, and John Chew – or JC as some people call him – is the heir apparent.

The Liberal Party has yet to name its ticket for the election but it’s common knowledge that John Chew’s name will be at the very top.

Which means he will be certain to be elected for his second term and be in the mix to become the next Mayor of Campbelltown.

He dismisses such a proposition when the South West Voice sits down with JC to find out what makes this councillor ticks.

In his three years on council Chew has patiently sat in monthly meetings, listened and learned.

In the past 12 months he has slowly become a little more assertive, taking part in debate and even proposing notices of motion.

“A very busy, action packed learning; I am very grateful for that,’’ is how Cr Chew describes the past three years.

“It’s been a good experience, Goldilocks – just right – with plenty of action behind the scenes,’’ he says.

“George [Greiss] spends a lot of time with our team, he is the most experienced, encourages us to speak up, but not overdo it.’’

Soon after getting married, John Chew and his wife moved to Campbelltown 15 years ago, to be close to family.

“My in-laws are a five minute drive away from our home in Macarthur Gardens,’’ he says.

A 13 year old daughter and an eight year old son complete the Chew family, who still live in the same house in Macarthur Gardens.

John Chew works as a software manager and his job is to prevent anything going wrong with the company’s information technology.

The family had only been in Campbelltown for a year when something happened which led JC to politics and council.

A neighbour knocked on the door and told John there was a residents’ meeting in a local park to discuss plans for a commuter carpark.

“He took me down to the local park there were 50 people there, all up in arms over the carpark plans,’’ he says.

“And that’s how I ended up in politics.’’

Curious about the process, he got involved, met councillors such as Jai Rowell and George Greiss

He first got on the Liberal Party ticket in 2012, but was listed too far down to win a spot.

Then he ran again in 2016, narrowly missing out, but finally made it in 2021, even though he was number four on the ticket.

Now, as another election looms, the man seen as the next Liberal Party leader on the council is passionate about two areas.

Firstly, he wants to see council tell residents the full story about what it plans to do.

In other words, transparency – real transparency.

“How do we as a council do a better job informing the people, what this means when it says this will happen and it will impact you.

“I’d like to see clarity and purposefulness to our communications between council and the people,’’ says Cr Chew.

And the second approach he would bring to the table would kick procrastination into the bin.

“A great society is when old men plant trees they know they will never sit in the shade of,’’ he says.

“So, no matter the issue, whether it’s a network of bike paths, a community justice centre, better Queen Street, more parking, less congestion, all those things, we’ve got to start somewhere, because if you don’t, 50 years will go past, and you still don’t have any of those things.

“It doesn’t have to be all or nothing, it’s about how to make Campbelltown work better for all of us.’’

1 thought on “JC’s plan for better Campbelltown: transparency and strategy”

  1. I find it strange that the Liberals have control of Campbelltown and Labor are in the chair in Camden. I never thought I would see the day


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