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Election campaign has just got a lot more interesting

There’s just over a month before we all have to vote for new councils across Macarthur and outer South Western Sydney on Saturday, December 4.

Nominations open next week, but in the meantime we can reveal that they will contain some bombshells.

The big one is that Liberal Party – are you sitting down – has endorsed Ned Mannoun as its candidate for mayor in Liverpool.

Well, we did not know whether to laugh or cry, but let’s just say the Libs can kiss the mayoralty goodbye here and now and save themselves any trouble.

Their only hope is that Liverpool voters develop collective amnesia about his stint as mayor between 2012 and 2016, pictured.

There’s better news south in Campbelltown where incredibly popular businesswoman Anne Parnham has put her hand up for election to council.

The long time owner of the Lighting Centre in Blaxland Road has assembled a very good team for her ticket, including Sandy Bartlett and Diana Welch.

Parnham has some great ideas to help boost the image of Campbelltown and most good judges would agree her election would be good for Campbelltown.

In Wollondilly Shire – also known as the Mexicans because they are so far south – a group called Wollondilly Community First looks set to shake things up on the council.

They have also put up a very good candidate for mayor in Ray Law, and it seems to me some of the councillors who’ve been on there for many years will be a little worried their days may be numbered.

There’s not much hype in Camden, but that’s probably because the status quo will be the winner.

That’s partly because Labor are squabbling among themselves and the Libs are just making sure not to rock the electoral boat.

Hopefully good quality independent candidates like Ms Parnham will throw their hats in the ring.

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Lynette Styles, a somewhat controversial Wollondilly Shire councillor from 1995 to 1999, has almost finished writing her second book.

A few weeks away from publication, the book deals in part with the forced resumption of historic Picton property Jarvisfield in 1974 from the Antill family.

As South West Voice in Macarthur readers would be aware, a current Antill family member, Marie Reeves, is trying to buy back part of the land and the heritage listed homestead from Wollondilly Council.

Ms Styles has spoken to Mrs Reeves and will use the interview to end the book.

Her first book, about her experience on Wollondilly Council, was called Kangaroo Court.

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Camden is now in the Guinness World Records for holding the largest online quiz ever.

The quiz was run last Sunday with 2,328 participants over 92 minutes, which apparently is a record, so well done everyone involved.

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Every year we publish the salary of the general manager of Campbelltown Council, Lindy Deitz.

We do it because it’s in the public interest for ratepayers to know how much of their money is going to the most senior council officer.

It has become obvious over the years that the council GM has not jumped with joy seeing her massive salary published for everyone to see.

However, it is a requirement of the Local Government Act that councils publish in their annual financial statements the remuneration packages of senior staff, including the GM.

Well, we’re going to disappoint everyone this year because this year’s financial statements have lumped everybody together, everybody being the councillors and the mayor on the one hand, and the general manager and the council directors on the other.

So all we are told is that the total bill for 2020-21 was $2.3 million. Of that, $488,000 was for the mayor and councillors, the rest for the GM and the four directors.

We did find how much council spent on consultants and professional fees over the year: a staggering $3.79 million.

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The Camden owners of 2019 Melbourne Cup winner Vow and Declare Geoff and Sue Corrigan are devastated that the chestnut gelding has a torn tendon and won’t be taking part in the race that stops a nation on Tuesday, November 2.

We asked Mr Corrigan what the future holds for the champion, who’s now in rehab.

“He may come back, but his health comes first,’’ he told us.

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Two old mates and well known Campbelltown identities, Ken Shafer and Geoff Berry, will reach milestone birthdays in 2022.

Kenny, the founder of Ken Shafer Smash repairs, turns 80 on May 13 in 2022, while Geoff Berry, a former Campbelltown chamber president, turns 90 on June 24.

An early happy birthday shout out to both of the lads.

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We were upset to hear former Macarthur Chronicle editor Vera Bertola tell us that visiting the Australian Botanic Garden Mt Annan on a recent weekend she noticed the beautiful Stolen Children Memorial had been wrapped up and fenced due to vandalism.

“The notice on the fence said the garden was waiting on artist Uncle Badger Bates to return to do the repairs. Extremely disappointing,’’ Vera told us.

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