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Greg Warren. Greg Warren.
31 March 2023 Posted by 

NSW ELECTION: Voters’ voices heard loud and clear in Macarthur

THE south-west showed real surprises in the State election, with the Liberal seats of Wollondilly and Camden falling to two well-known local women.
WOLLONDILLY, a Liberal stronghold for more than 70 years and held by Nathaniel Smith since 2019 fell to Climate200-backed independent candidate Judith Hannan in one of the early upsets for the Perrottet government on election night.
Ms Hannan, Wollondilly councillor and former mayor, campaigned on over-development of the area and against raising the wall of Warragamba Dam that had been mooted by the Perrottet government.
“Thank goodness that has been knocked on the head,” Ms Hannan told the Macarthur Advocate.
“Raising the dam wall would make flooding in some areas worse - it was a way of placing land that could be developed for housing in a so-called ‘flood-free zone’,” she said.
“Residents, especially those affected by floods, are upset over the level of residential development. So much development was being planned without adequate infrastructure in the Macarthur region.
"We do need development, but it has to be done very differently — not large developers coming in and land banking and squeezing every inch they can out of the land without any infrastructure."
“People felt they could not trust either of the major Parties.”
The former Liberal Party member was courted by Gladys Berejiklian to run as a Liberal in the 2019 election, before the  Party preselected Mr Smith.
Ms Hannan said she was no longer a member of the Liberal Party, nor has she received funding from Climate200.
She said running as an independent for the Climate200 cause was the best way to give people in the region the representation they wanted.
Just don’t call her a Teal.
A self-employed optometrist, Ms Hannan has lived in Theresa Park for 25 years, raising three children and now grandmother to two.
Ms Hannan will remain on council until the next local government election in 15 months.
IN CAMDEN, Labor’s Sally Quinnell unseated Peter Sidgreaves who had held the seat for the Liberals since 2011.
Preselected in September off the back of her campaign in the 2019 state and two council elections,  Ms Quinnell was able to be on the ground listening to residents longer than the average candidate.
There was a 11.13 pc swing to Labor in what had been considered a safe Liberal seat.
Ms Quinnell said the commitment to build a high school for Gledswood Hills and Gregory Hills, to cap the tolls, and keep the Camden Fire Station open caught voters’ attention.
“My number one priorities are finding a location for the high school, getting the school crossings we promised sorted,” she said.
CAMPBELLTOWN did not show any surprises,  with Greg Warren  re-elected as Labor MP, a seat he first won in 2015.
Mr Warren had been Shadow Minister for Local Government, Veterans and Western Sydney and is expected to take on at least one of those portfolios when the Minns Ministry is announced next week.
He previously served as a councillor, mayor, and the Australian Regular Army for almost 10 years after joining in his late teens.
Having lived in the region since the early 90s, Mr Warren said he was acutely aware of the issues facing the ever-expanding region.
“I joined the Australian Regular Army in my late teens out of the desire to serve my country, and I now have channelled that desire to serve into politics,” he said.

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