Whatever you say about him, Greg Warren, the Labor Party candidate for Campbelltown, knows what’s going on around town.
It’s not something he claims for himself, or even as the knowledge he has gained from having door-knocked the entire electorate.
No, it’s the impression he leaves after you have a chat with him as I did at the Bradbury Hotel today at lunch time. And in case you’re wondering, no, it was a water for him and a lemon, lime and bitters for me.
He obviously knows the big state wide election issues like poles and wires, transport, hospitals and TAFE inside out.
But Warren also knows the smallest details about the problems behind the main drag in Campbelltown’s central business district, Queen Street.
It helps that the man who could be our next MP if the suggested 10 per cent swing against the Coalition Government is replicated in Campbelltown, is a director of the Campbelltown chamber of commerce.
But Warren doesn’t just know what the issues are for Campbelltown families; he says he wants to do something about it.
“That why I put my hand up, to try to make a difference if the voters give me that chance,’’ he says.
“I love Queen Street, but we need to do a lot more for it,’’ he says.
He agrees that long term the construction of residential-commercial buildings within walking distance will be a boon for business in Queen Street.
“But we should not be sitting back waiting for years for things to get better,’’ Warren says.
“I would love to see us develop the historic southern end of Queen Street, near the art gallery,’’ he says.
“But redevelopment of the entire street should be part of the revitalisation program.’’
On getting more jobs for the Campbelltown region, Mr Warren says what’s needed is a task force, something like a Committee of Campbelltown maybe, to go to the big end of town and sell the attractions of our region.
“We have a lot to offer big prestigious companies, including good value for money,’’ says the senior manager with Grace Records. He’s on leave for the duration of the campaign.
Mr Warren also believes we should be getting more jobs now that we are a regional city.
“What’s the point of having that status unless we get some benefits,’’ he says.
Mr Warren said if he and the Labor Party were elected on March 28 he would suggest that even the Premier’s Department should be considered for relocation to Campbelltown.
“Consider this: the bureaucrats who make the big decisions will know what’s going on here and the real needs of our region if they work from here.’’
He also wants to see the University of Western Sydney medical research facility and the Liverpool based Ingham Institute joining forces to create a big teaching hospital in Campbelltown.
Mr Warren, the father of two young sons, says he does not want to engage in personal attacks or run a negative campaign.
But he says he shares his party’s real concerns about electricity poles and wires in private hands.
“Why would you do that if they bring in $1.5 billion a year that can be used for services such as schools and hospitals.
“I don’t understand why the Coalition want to do that, it means that over the 99 years of the lease, on current levels, NSW will miss out on close to $150 billion in revenue,’’ he says.
“It just doesn’t add up.’’