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Crucial vote on future of St John’s land

CELEBRATIONS of the State Heritage listing of the St John’s Church precinct were sadly cut short by the announcement at services on Sunday, September 9, that the powers that be at St John’s were considering an offer from the Moran group of developers to purchase the rectory and horse paddock for $7.7 million.

These sites along with the church and graveyard were gifted to the people of Camden by the Macarthurs, as was much other land including Macarthur and Onslow parks.

The decision to sell was put to parishioner vote at church services on September 23. The concerned community of Camden pleads with St John’s to vote “no”.

Given the weight accorded this vote, it is vital the process be entirely transparent. If it is a secret ballot, a register of voters must be kept to avoid double dipping.

A clear explanation must be provided as to how the decision has been made that one is a bona fide parishioner and therefore eligible to vote. (May the Wisdom of Solomon guide this one). Two independent scrutineers must be engaged to attend the vote count and the ballot outcome must be published in full and be accessible to all. These are minimal requirements to ensure probity prevails in a process of such momentous impact, not only for the parishioners of St John’s but also the whole Camden community.

Sue Way, Camden

Slowdown questioned

ON September 10 I was travelling on the M4/Hume Motorway towards the Narellan Rd off-ramp at Campbelltown. I came over the hill and was suddenly faced with brake lights. Further up the highway in the breakdown lane was a Highway Patrol car with flashing lights. As a result everyone hit the brakes to slow down to 40km/h.

It was frightening but even more so when you are surrounded by semis and B doubles all trying to do the same. There was a lot of blue smoke from burning tyres.

The most frustrating part was when we finally passed the Highway Patrol vehicle there was no life or death emergency, simply his rear bumper bar had come loose and was touching the road.

I agree we need to keep the road safe for emergency workers but slowing vehicles from 110km/h down to 40km/h without warning is going to get road users killed.

Bill de Vries, Bradbury

Liberal Party power at Camden Council

ISN’T democracy an odd thing?

Here in Camden, we’ve just got ourselves a new Liberal mayor, despite this party only getting 32 per cent of the first preference votes at the last council elections.

While I wish Cr Peter Sidgreaves the best of luck, it should be noted that in South Ward, which he represents, he was “tail-end Charlie”. Back in 2016 he came in well behind independent councillor Eva Campbell and Labor councillor Paul Farrow, attracting just 22 per cent of first-preference votes.

We find ourselves being led by a party that is only supported by one in three voters, with a leader supported by one in five voters from his own ward.

The question has to be asked, is the new mayor a reflection of the will of the community or simply the succession plan of the Liberal Party? Sadly, I think we know the answer to that question.

Brian Calcutt, Camden

Letters should be no longer than 250 words. They must include the writer’s full address (only the suburb is published) and a daytime phone number for verification. Letters should be concise and relevant to the local community. Letters are submitted on the condition that NewsLocal Newspapers, as publisher of the Macarthur Chronicle, may edit and has the right to license third parties to reproduce them in electronic form. Responsibility for all election comment in this issue is taken by Publisher, NewsLocal John McGourty. 2 Holt St, Surry Hills, 2010.