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Labor set to stick with current team for next council election

Labor Party preselections for the council election on September 12 were determined at the end of February and insiders tell us the ticket will be exactly the same as in 2016. Which means one Labor councillor would have been relieved their name would be on the ticket despite being the subject of a complaint a few weeks ago.

A copy of the complaint was sent to the general manager of the council, Lindy Deitz and every other current councillor.

The councillor, who was accused of engaging in inappropriate behaviour within another community organisation, denies there’s any truth in the claims.

The office of the general manager told the South West Voice that Ms Deitz was going to decide the appropriate course of action, but added that because it was an alleged code of conduct issue it would almost certainly be dealt on a confidential basis.

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Next Tuesday night, Campbelltown Council will go into confidential mode to discuss the general manager’s contract renewal and performance review.

There’s talk that the Labor Party, which has a clear majority on council, will vote to renew the general manager’s contract for a further four or five years.

More than that, there’s talk that Ms Deitz, who first got the job in July 2016, will also be getting a pay rise.

She currently earns close to $400,000.

We spoke to independent councillors, and all they could offer was: we’ll wait and see what happens on Tuesday night.

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On the other side of the council political divide, the Liberal Party have yet to decide their ticket for September.

But there are indications there may be an injection of youth and talent into the party in Campbelltown in a strong bid to stop Labor from winning a majority – that’s eight out of 15 councillors.

As for retirements, it was thought Cr Paul Lake, elected in 2004, would be giving it away in 2020, but he has yet to confirm it.

Labor’s Meg Oates, first elected in 1989, will be heading for a record 35 years in the Queen Street chamber.

Many experts expected the other veteran on council,  Bob Thompson – elected 1990 – to be another one to give it away, but he’s almost certain to put his hand up again.

Meanwhile we noticed on social media that Totally Locally Committed councillor Warren Morrison has already started campaigning for September.

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All staff at Liverpool Hospital got a memo yesterday after a doctor who works there was diagnosed with coronavirus.

Continue working as per usual, until further notice, the staff were told.

No doubt another memo – good or bad – will soon be on its way.

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Take cover folks, we’re about to be hit with an injection of culture, including poetry reading and author visits.

As part of this year’s Harmony Day at Glenquarie Library on Saturday, March 21 at 12.30pm, Polish-Australian poet Ludwika Amber will present a selection of poems in English and Polish.

There will also be guest readings and performances from local didgeridoo player Jestyn Nand and Polish-Australian singer Michal Macioch.

At Camden on Monday, March 16, local author of women’s fiction Deborah O’Ferry will visit Narellan Library  as part of the build up to the Sydney Writers’ Festival in April, which celebrates the love of reading and creative writing.

Ms O’Ferry, pictured above, will be at Narellan from 6.30pm.

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Good to see that Liverpool Council has come out in support of Southern Gateway Precinct residents in their bid to be included in the first stage of planning for the Aerotropolis adjacent to Western Sydney Airport.

At their last meeting, councillors voted to include as part of council’s submission a call to include this part of Bringelly early on in planning for the Aerotropolis.

Under current plans these residents miss out.

Council’s support is no guarantee they will be included, but it’s better than nothing.

The residents told us they certainly appreciate council’s intervention.

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Campbelltown Council rangers are about to start trialling body video cameras in a bid to tackle aggressive behaviour, improve safety and increase transparency.

The trial will assess the effectiveness of the cameras as a deterrence against threatening behaviour and verbal or physical assaults.

The camera will start recording when activated by the officer and include vision and audio from up to two minutes prior.

Rangers will only activate the cameras when they believe they are at risk of harassment, intimidating or threatening behaviour or verbal or physical assault.

People will be informed by the ranger if they are being recorded.

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