Cornish: Secret deals should end

Councillor Marcus Cornish
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Councillor Marcus Cornish wants to see the end of secret deals that often dictate decisions and appointments at Penrith City Council.

It follows last month’s Mayoral election at which Labor’s Karen McKeown became Mayor with the support of Councillors from all sides of politics.

While Liberal and Labor Councillors have stood firm on their decision to work together and put party politics aside, some Councillors fear it is ruining democracy.

Conservative Councillor Marcus Cornish said the “oligopoly” he believes is in place in Council is not good for Penrith.

“It’s bad for democracy because when you have Labor and Liberal working together, it’s betraying the people who have voted for them,” he said.

“When you vote Labor, you expect Labor values, when you vote Liberal, you expect Liberal values.”

Former Australia First Party member turned Independent, Cr Maurice Girotto, said he did not support the deal brokered that saw Cr McKeown voted in as Mayor.

“Do we have here a democratic dictatorship, or a dictatorial democracy?” he questioned.

However, in taking over as Mayor after a two year reign from Liberal Councillor Ross Fowler, Cr McKeown said she is glad politics has taken a back seat in Council.

She indicated she is looking forward to working with Cr Fowler, who is now Deputy Mayor, and drawing on his experience and expertise.

Liberal Councillor Mark Davies supported Cr McKeown becoming Mayor, and said it is a demonstration of the coalition working together and putting Penrith first.

Labor Councillor Prue Car
Labor Councillor Prue Car

Labor Councillor Prue Car said she makes no apologies for working with Liberal Councillors to keep Council stable.

“I know when I am out in the community, people say they want Councillors to work together for the good of the community,” she said.

“After all, this is not State or Federal Government, where we have one party in Government and the other in opposition.”

Labor Councillor John Thain agrees the electorate want the parties to work together, and that’s what has been happening.

“That offers us stability and a firm direction. The community is sick of this partisan politics, they just want people to work together, to get things moving, to get things done,” he said.

– Dale Drinkwater

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