The campaign for East Ward in Penrith City is shaping up into an effort to block a nationalist from winning a place.
Five councillors are elected in the ward in an optional preference system that comes down to ‘first past the post’.
It is fairly predicted that Labor will elect two councillors. The Liberals will certainly elect one but will be hard-pressed to elect a second.
The ward is also contested by the Australia First Party and three groups of independents.
Consequently, we were not surprised that the Liberals had decided to ‘preference’ Marlene Shipley, an ostensible independent, who just as predictably – ‘preferenced’ the Liberals in return. It is a tight field and for those with a particular agenda, votes must not scatter!
No other party or group is giving ‘preferences’ which makes this arrangement more than telling.
Marlene Shipley is a St. Marys businesswoman and a member of the St. Marys Town Centre Corporation, a body that is keen to ‘develop’ St. Marys in ways that take advantage of the Inland Rail line from the Badgerys Creek airport to a ‘freight hub’ north of the shopping centre.
Ms. Shipley is (according to her website) remains involved the ClubGrants scheme (a charity scheme whereby local clubs supposedly contribute to worthy charities) which has come under intense scrutiny for favouritism in the last several months ( see: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-08-07/ncoss-turn-back-on-clubgrants-pokies-scheme/100357540 )
The Shipley website says:
“It looks like another long hot summer, but without adequate shade or shelter in public areas like St Marys Town Centre (picture) the space is often unusable. East Ward residents deserve to have proper sun protection, especially during the hottest and probably busiest retail time of the year. I’d like to know how other residents feel? Should adequate facilities and protection in public areas be a priority? And where do you think would benefit most?”
Really – when the Aerotropolis and airport could drive summer temperatures to 50 degrees?! There is not a word against this. Obviously, we know why.
In this election, the voters need more than just another ‘representative’. We will give them fighters! Campaigners!
To follow the campaign, two Facebook pages are of assistance:
Stop the Western Sydney Aerotropolis –
Australia First Party