"TO HELP Campbelltown deal with the Liberal state government."
That's why independent councillor Sue Dobson said she has done a shock deal with local Liberal councillors to become mayor.
Independents Paul Lake and Bob Thompson, and Liberal Democrat Clinton Mead, also backed the deal, creating a slim 8-7 majority on the 15-person council.
That was enough to unseat former Labor mayor Anoulack Chanthivong, who with his ALP colleagues had the support of independents Fred Borg and Darcy Lound.
Details of the deal — and who will, as a result, be the mayor in the coming years — haven't been publicly unveiled.
But it has left Labor surprised, given the ALP team swapped preferences with Cr Dobson in the recent council election.
Cr Dobson said that as an independent mayor she would be the best person to tackle the O'Farrell government.
"I thought being an independent, being experienced here on council, that I could assist the council and particularly the general manager to negotiate with the state government to bring better outcomes to Campbelltown," Cr Dobson said.
"That's why I took the mayor role."
Liberal councillor George Greiss was elected deputy mayor at the extraordinary council meeting last Tuesday night.
"He's young, he's got a lot of energy and enthusiasm, and apart from his party politics I think he's got some potential," Cr Dobson said of her deputy.
She said the mayoral deal with the Liberals would not affect how she voted on other matters.
"If you go back over my career here in council, I've voted with both sides of the chamber," she told the Advertiser.
"I've never stuck on one side."
When asked whether she thought those who voted for her based on her environment-focused election campaign might be surprised by her deal with the Liberals, Cr Dobson said she had thought very seriously about the decision.
"I think people expected me to do what's right for Campbelltown," she said.
"I don't know anybody here [on the council] who's going to not support the koala colony or the Georges River or the scenic protection areas. I see this council as a whole as supporting the environment."
She said the reality was, numbers on the council have shifted after this month's election.
"Dynamics have changed and the reality is politics changes on a day-to-day, week-to-week basis," Cr Dobson said.
"Nobody really has the balance of power."
Our new mayor's wish-list for the state government:
- A multi-storey car park at Campbelltown Hospital;
- Improvements at Badgally Rd, Raby Rd, Denham Court Rd, Appin Rd and the M5;
- Changes to the planned Landcom development at UWS to prevent further traffic jams on Narellan Road;
- Faster, cleaner trains;
- More multi-deck car park stations in CBD areas;
- Further protection of the Scenic Hills and Georges River;
- Establishment of a "Big Koala" education and research centre in Campbelltown;
- Community land in Airds, Bradbury and Claymore not to be sacrificed in the housing estate renewals.
What do you think of the new-look Campbelltown Council?