Mayor's first priority: jobs

PENRITH Council elected its new mayor, independent Liberal Mark Davies, by eight votes to seven yesterday.

Cr Davies defeated independent Jackie Greenow, who had been deputy mayor in the previous council.

He was re-elected to the council this year as an independent because the Liberal Party did not formally contest the election.

Fellow independent Liberal Ross Fowler was elected deputy mayor by nine votes to six, defeating Labor's Karen McKeown.

The new mayor said his immediate priority was to boost employment in Penrith.

"We need to see more local jobs, from managerial to manufacturing," Cr Davies said.

"Penrith has incredible opportunities but it's going to require every one of us in the council to step up and take advantage of these opportunities."

He said the fact that Penrith had been classified as a regional city in the Metropolitan Plan was one opportunity, but they would have to work to justify that.

Turning to a favourite subject of his, Cr Davies said the Nepean River was one of Penrith's great assets, but it needed more businesses to take advantage of it.

"It's under-utilised," he said. "We need a master plan to see what is possible with that river."

He also said the council had to do something about the river's less positive aspect.

"We need to have our flood policy put in place," he said.

"It's important to give certainty to individuals, developers and investors."

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