Labor names by-election candidates

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Penrith Mayor John Thain with Labor’s by-election candidates Liam Rankine and Robin Cook and Councillor Greg Davies. Photo: Melinda Jane

Combining the youth of Liam Rankine and the wisdom of Robin Cook, Labor is aiming for diversity as they present their Council by-election candidates.

Having run previously in the North Ward, Ms Cook is trying her luck in East Ward at the by-election on May 12.

“I’ve got a lot of family history in the Penrith area going back generations, and I feel like I’ve got something to contribute and give back to the community that have given me so much,” she said.

“It’s just the best place in the world, really.”

While he may be a newcomer, Mr Rankine brings with him a wealth of experience as he puts his hat in the ring for South Ward, having been a member of the Labor Party since he was a teenager.

“I was born in Nepean Hospital, and my first job ever was at Kmart,” he said.

Liam Rankine. Photo: Melinda Jane

“Penrith Council, at the moment, is making decisions to plan for the future. All that planning, all those decisions, are going to impact everyone from my generation for the rest of our lives.

“I want to stand up for young people and people of my generation to make sure that we have a seat at that table.”

The duo are both looking at ways to bring the community together and ensure voices are heard as Penrith continues into an important period of development and transition as Council prepares for the future.

Penrith Mayor John Thain said the preselection of Ms Cook and Mr Rankine ensures a diverse range of residents will be represented on Penrith Council.

“We have maturity and we have youth, and I think that’s a great thing because you really need that balance on Council as well,” he said.

“They have both served the party for a great number of years, they know the city, and they know what’s important to the city.”

Councillor Greg Davies echoed Cr Thain’s sentiments, hoping to see Ms Cook join him in representing East Ward, filling the vacancy left by their former Labor colleague Ben Price.

Robin Cooke. Photo: Melinda Jane
Emily Newton

Emily Newton is the Weekender’s police and political reporter. Emily is also the Weekender’s Senior Journalist.

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