Almost four million people have already voted, but for the rest of us there’s just one more day to go, and with that in mind here’s my favourite moments from the battle for Macarthur:
- Incumbent MP Dr Mike Freelander is very proud that his daughter Amelia and grandchild, Frankie, are volunteering at pre-poll at the Australian Embassy in Berlin, Germany of all places. He even posted this photo on his Facebook page, saying, “I am proud of the advocacy work Amelia and Frankie are involved in.’’
- Macarthur community radio host Trevar Langlands was very excited to tell me about his exclusive Pauline Hanson interview when I went over to say hello to him at lunch on Monday at Bar Centrale. We got Trevar to send in a pic and a few words, which will run under the Picture This category later today.
- And then there was Chris Bowen, who joined Dr Freelander to announce a funding commitment for a children’s ICU at Campbelltown Hospital. Chris took me to lunch at Liverpool more than 10 years ago and heading off to the media conference I was wondering whether he still remembered me saying “the next one’s on me’’. Well of course he did: “Mr Kontos’’, he says while we shook hands, “you owe me lunch’’. Indeed I do and the way things are looking I will soon be taking the Treasurer of Australia to lunch.
- Finally to the Liberal Party, and while young Riley Munro’s loyalty and enthusiasm are commendable, the same cannot be said of their head office. The Libs owned the seat of Macarthur with Pat Farmer and Russell Matheson as recently as 2016, but a little redistribution of boundaries and they seem to have flown the white flag. Disappointing for our democracy, to say the least.
The biggest shindig of the year was at the Cube on Wednesday when the Macarthur FC Bulls A-League club revealed their name and colours.
The joint was packed with the who’s who of Macarthur and Australian soccer.
MC Simon Hill did a very good job, although someone should have whispered in his ear that John Macarthur was never Governor of the colony.
The big surprise was the naming of the coach, Ante Milicic, pictured below, currently with the Matildas, a big chance to win the women’s FIFA World Cup in France this June.
But his announcement reminded us of a conversation with the club’s deputy chairman of the board, Gino Marra, who has a very nice turn of phrase.
A couple of weeks ago we emailed Gino to ask him if it was true the club would be signing the Matildas’ coach.
“We must be signing every coach in the league,’’ was his response.
On the way home from the Catholic Club we received a call from a councillor who wondered what the Wests Tigers would do if offered the same deal on Campbelltown Sports Stadium as the Bulls.
“Would they agree to play eight games here,’’ he asked.
Don’t hold your breath is our thinking.
Lindy Deitz, the Campbelltown Council general manager, gave members of the business chamber a couple of news exclusives when she appeared as the guest speaker on Wednesday night.
Our sources tell us the GM first of all told chamber members the federal government’s $15 million cheque for the Campbelltown Billabong had landed in the council’s bank account so work could now get under way in earnest.
The second news flash from the GM was that the proposed Justice Centre could become a reality and be located in Campbelltown.
But the really big news flash was that the GM revealed that if the centre got the green light Western Sydney University was seriously interested in its Law faculty being part of it.
This would mean a huge boost to the northern end of Queen Street in terms of the number of people who would be shopping or having coffee or lunch during the day and night.
Wedderburn resident and Voice reader Judith Trimboli sent the following message:
“Well, the new Wedderburn bridge is opened. No ribbon-cutting, no fanfare. It has been half open for a few weeks but this morning it is properly opened with line markings and all. After waiting over 30 years for a new bridge I thought they would at least have a bit of a ceremony. Very disappointed.’’
Before we were able to make our own enquiries Judith returned a second serve:
“I spoke to the mayor and he said they will do something after the election. Also Dr Freelander said the same thing.’’
There was the following unusual request from another reader last week:
“Could you please tell me when the section of the Northern Road near Harrington Park was upgraded. I remember driving though a year or two ago and by then there were already traffic lights to replace the roundabouts there (crossing Fairwater Drive and Hillside Drive).
“The reason for my request is my car’s Sat Nav still shows these intersection as roundabouts. My car was serviced recently so that should have been corrected if the Sat Nav was updated too at the time of service. It would help if I could say when the traffic lights were installed at these intersections.’’
Can anyone help?
And finally, no fewer than five councillors were absent from last week’s Campbelltown Council meeting, which voted to give all councillors and the mayor the full allowable increase of 2.5 percent in their renumeration package as recommended by the Local Government Remuneration Tribunal.
It means that from July 1 all Campbelltown councillors will be paid $25,790 each a year, while the mayor will also receive an additional $68,530 a year or a total of $94,320.