A political backgrounder...


Here is a time line of my engagement in civic affairs in Liverpool

Liverpool over the last 32 years had some fine politicians who placed the Public before the Party.

In East Liverpool we had Don Syme for 15 years representing us on Liverpool City Council with a real sense of purpose. Casey Conway from the Valley was a genuine politician who served with real purpose and was capable of acting in the interest of Liverpool citizens before his Labor Party's interest. Truth in Purpose.

The East Ward Progress Association was a well led organisation with people of purpose in place. Its long time President during my formation years was Pat Devlin who had a fine commitment to his Catholic faith and to Catholic Social Teaching and its principles. The long time energetic Secretary was Kath Syme who with her husband Don were active members of the Communist Party. Flowing from Pat, Kath and Don were rivers of Purpose according to their particular Truth. And the output of Policy and Programmes through an engaged public group gained better outcomes for the local area of East Liverpool and wider.

In 1986 I led the public campaign for the rights of the people in Liverpool to elect their Mayor for the full term of 4 years. This removed the annual circus where Councillors elected the Mayor from among themselves. Strangely (or is it?) the instrument in the Local Government Act which enabled us to win this right was removed from the 1993 Local Government Act. Obviously an act to deter pesky citizens to improve the political process. What did I say about Truth in Purpose

I am well recorded as being a supporter of Mark Latham. Mark was a conviction politician who played the game hard ( too hard for some) but he got done what he saw to be in the public interest. Mark won the first popularly elected Mayor of Liverpool vote held in 1991. This followed the hard won Constitutional ( Local Gov) Referendum of 1987 where the citizens of Liverpool voted 74% in favour of electing their Mayor.
I led the campaign to win this right for the public.

Now have a quick browse of my history with a few additional comments along the way.

And do use the Comments or email links if you wish to place a comment.

2011  March
  • Liverpool is one of the safest seats for Labor in New South Wales. Its State representative Paul Lynch MP has served it poorly, which is tragic for its people and the Labor Party. However sadly it does reflect the current day ALP as a political party overall. There was to be a big swing in the elections against the ALP government. I stood as an Independent on a $15000 budget with a good chance of having it refunded after attaining the required 4% primary vote. Indeed I attained 8.7% beating the Greens and the Christian Democrats. The swing was around 14% against Mr Lynch reflecting the hard core Labor vote where there is strong welfare and immigrant presence. In East Liverpool there was a 29% swing.

2008  September
  • I ran as a candidate in the Mayoral Election for Liverpool. Unlike the previous occasions, this was a serious attempt with a budget of $9000 and supported by family, friends and the general public who supported my democratic values. I pulled 11.5% primary votes in a wide field. Preferences got me to 19% and then saw the consequence of the Independent  Phil Simm's betrayal of his word on preference exchange with 7800 votes exhausted. This huge waste of votes ( Optional Preference system) thus won the day for Wendy Waller being elected with a 35% Primary vote and 39% after preferences.
    Simm wasted 9.7% of the total votes and saw me standing with 19% and the Liberals with 22% - a total of 50.7% of the vote.  That's life.
2007 - 2010   - President of East Liverpool Progress Association ( Now a remnant organisation)

2007 - 2010   - President of Garie Surf Life Saving Club (located in the Royal National Park)

  • In 2002 I decided to attain the Surf Life Saving Bronze Medallion at Garie Beach in the Royal National Park. It was something I had long wanted to do. It gave me a purpose to get fitter ( do you know that with a desire and by making right choices and commitment you can regain the fitness of youth? I am not there but I am much fitter and well.). It was also a good excuse to go the beach more regularly. 
  • In 2007 the stalwart President of Garie Surf Life Saving Club, the late Alf Taylor, took gravely ill and I was asked by Alf to take on the Presidency. Another source of a 1000 stories.
  • In 2011 I still do volunteer patrol at Garie Beach as a Life Saver  /  IRB ( Inflatable Rescue Boat)  Driver.
2005-2007 Secretary of East Liverpool Progress Association

2003-2005 President of the Technology Alliance Group ( TAG)
                  TAG is a national body comprising independent business owners in the Information Technology
                  and Business Accounting systems market. 

2002-2004 President of East Liverpool Progress Association

2003 March Ran as a candidate ( budget $750 - about 830 votes) for the seat of Menai

  • This was done with the sole purpose of raising attention to the Oasis debacle in which Liverpool Council was still proceeding, after the exposure of the Council mishandling ratepayer funds to the tune of $20 million .Much damage was done to ratepayer interests in this delayed time before the Inquiry was initiated later in 2003.
  • Over this time Liverpool City Council, with 2008 Mayoral Candidate Wendy Waller as Finance Committee Chairman, made a desperate act. They signed over development rights of its valuable CBD assets solely to Macquarie Bank whose actions were described as "opportunistic" and "predatory"( Public Inquiry findings). This latter event happened with full knowledge of the Premier's Department. In 2007 the Administrator approved payment of fees and a payout of over $1 million to extract Liverpool citizens from this arrangement with Macquarie Bank. This is after Liverpool City Council, with Wendy Waller as Finance Committee Chairman, paid the Bulldogs Football Club over $660,000 to terminate the Oasis agreement. They were the people who spent our money on huge salaries and fees for themselves and sly payments to Bulldog players.

    And we as ratepayers were left with a $22 million hole in our budget with a concrete slab to show for it.
2002 November.

  • First letter to Premier Carr seeking Government to suspend Liverpool City Council to protect the interests of the ratepayers from the actions of a desperate Council. The Government did not act until after the State Election in March 2003. See above.

2000-2004 Policy Spokesman for East Liverpool Progress Association, with particular
focus on the Oasis project.

  • As Liverpool City Council resorted to unpublicised, secret, closed meetings to manage the key decisions on Oasis, I participated in any forum he could to seek to publicise the shortcomings and associated risks of the Oasis project.
  • I was ejected from the meeting (escorted to the door) by Council from its December 12th 2001 meeting after I politely sought to speak to a Budget Review Submission before Council concerning the transfer of $15 million to the Oasis project. Within 12 months Oasis was in ruins with the $15 million of funds placed, without adequate oversight, into an entity controlled by Canterbury Bulldog officials. The output from this for the Liverpool ratepayers was a concrete slab.
  • I provided an extensive submission to the Public Inquiry that led to the sacking of the Council over their handling of Oasis.

1994-99 Founding President of the Liverpool Boating Association Inc.:

  • I  brought together Liverpool City Council (Boat Shed), Patrician Bros. Boys High Liverpool (8 pacer Sailing Dinghies) and Members of the public with sailing experience.

  • This established sailing as a sport in Liverpool on the Chipping Norton Lakes. The sailing club participates in local, metropolitan and state sailing regattas.

1994-97 Board Member of the Whitlam Leisure Centre managed by Leisure Australia. (Liverpool Community and Recreation Association)

  • It was in this capacity I attained the first glimpse of Oasis like behaviour by Liverpool City Council under Mayor George Paciullo. A submission to the ICAC on non-disclosure of personal interest by the then General Manager and Council's failure to act on it in 1999 was rejected as not requiring investigation. If only they had done their job.

1994 Candidate in by-election for Mayor &  East Ward Councillor -

  • A "testing the waters" exercise under the preferential voting method as opposed to the independent friendly proportional method which would have seen him elected with an excess quota. The hard hitting election pamphlet drew a a good voter response ( 28%) which placed me as a political threat for the 1995 Council election. The result drew severe resentment from the Labor Party in Liverpool to the point that Clr. Paul Lynch engineered the expunging of East Ward from the political map. A shameful act.

  • As a consequence of this the following year Liverpool City Council under the sponsorship of Clr Paul Lynch - the current Local Government Minister (2008) - expunged East Ward from Liverpool's electoral map.

1993-1995 Member of Liverpool's Economic Development Unit (EDU)

1992-1993 Member of the Judging panel for the Liverpool EDU's
Business Awards: Heritage Restoration/Conservation Award.

1991-1994 Mayor Mark Latham's appointee on various Liverpool Council advisory Committees .

1988-1991 President of East Ward Progress Association - Liverpool.

Provided support to Mark Latham in attaining ALP endorsement for the first popularly elected Mayor

1986-1987 Campaign Director for the Right to Elect Our Mayor Campaign.

  • This hard fought battle won the right for Liverpool electors to elect their Mayor. An interesting story.

1985-1988 President of the Moorebank Community Association Inc

1984-1988 Foundation Committee Member of the Moorebank Community
Association - Community engagement programmes - art, youth theatre, festivals.

1983-1987 Secretary of the East Ward Progress Association

1982-1984 Foundation Board Member of local community radio 2-GLF.

1980-present Member of the East Ward Progress Association.

1977 Moved into new home in Chipping Norton - now a Liverpool citizen


Other facts:

Born Anzac Day 1950 - Burwood...

Grew up in Blakehurst : Played as a child on the river banks of the Georges River amongst the sandstone caves and cliffs far downstream from Liverpool.

Schooled at Marist Brothers Kogarah : HSC 1967

Rugby League : Played Presidents Cup with St George in 1970 & 71... played Grade with Souths in 1972-73 ( 3 First Grade games - 1st Grade Player Number 575).

Moved to Liverpool ( Chipping Norton) in 1977 - our boys played on the bushy riverbanks of the Georges River far upstream from Blakehurst.