Greg Davies says time is right to step aside after 26 years on Council

Councillor Greg Davies will retire next month after 26 years on Penrith Council. Photo: Melinda Jane.
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After more than a quarter of a century on Penrith Council, Councillor Greg Davies is calling it a day.

The East Ward representative will finish up next month and will not contest the December 4 Council elections.

Cr Davies, who served three terms each as Mayor and Deputy Mayor during his long tenure, said it was a desire to create more local jobs that first made him run for local government in 1995.

Unsurprisingly, he lists one of his greatest achievements as helping negotiate the development of the Erskine Business Park.

“Within six months, we had Stramit Building Products down there and now look at it, it’s great,” he said.

“It went from nothing to that, and that was because I had the ability to talk to people.”

He also helped deliver environmentally-friendly changes to the City’s waste services to include recycling and compost bins.

While he would have “loved to have run again”, Cr Davies believes it is time to step aside and let a fresh face in.

He also concedes the “frustrating” new State Government regulations placed on Councillors, which stymie their planning powers, had a bearing in his decision.

Fellow Labor Councillor John Thain, who has worked side-by-side with Cr Davies for more than 20 years, described him as a “great mate”, “great Councillor”, “articulate” and a forward thinker.

“They say you don’t have friends in politics, but that’s not true,” he said.

“There was no better person to stand beside you when he was really arguing a point and he was passionate about something.”

Mayor Karen McKeown said Penrith “was the better for having had his service”.

“Greg always thinks outside the box and he’s always got a final question… he’s a very critical thinker,” she said.

“I think the City has really benefited from his experience and expertise.”

The Labor stalwart said he never wanted to be a “seat warmer” and encouraged the newly-elected Councillors to “get involved”.

“If you’re going to take the time and put the effort in – and it takes up a hell of a lot of your time if you’re fair dinkum – don’t waste opportunities,” Cr Davies said.

“You’ve got to take the opportunities that come up and try and drive the Council in the direction that’s good for the area.

“I’m a firm believer it’s not much good harping from the sidelines, get involved.”

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