Penrith Councillor, Todd Carney, was last night elected as Mayor of the City, with Councillor Mark Davies elected as Deputy Mayor.
Mayor Carney succeeds Councillor Tricia Hitchen in the role and will serve a one-year term as Mayor, taking him through until the Local Government Election in September 2024.
Born and raised in Western Sydney, Cr Carney was elected to Council in 2016 and calls Glenmore Park home with his wife and three children. Starting an apprenticeship as a heavy vehicle mechanic at the age of 16, he is now a Service Manager for a leading international crane manufacturer and has served as an electorate officer for the then Lindsay MP, David Bradbury.
The newly elected Mayor thanked his Councillor colleagues for the opportunity to serve in the role.
“I have been asked what my priorities will be over the next 12 months – that’s a hard question to answer as we have a list of delivery programs underway with projects like Regatta Park, City Park, our day-and night-time economies, the Gipps Street Recreation Precinct and our WestInvest city transforming projects,” Mayor Carney said.
“However, like my predecessor Councillor Hitchen, I have a keen focus on St Marys and what opportunities we can leverage there with the (Western Sydney Nancy-Bird Walton) Airport and metro rail line.”
Mayor Carney said Council had begun to lay the foundations for a strong future through the St Marys Structure Plan but there was more work to be done.
“St Marys Central Park will be fantastic and we have an opportunity to build on this, to give people a place where they can work, live and play. Our community is crying out for dining options, and we also need to continue discussions with the business community… we need to get the planning right,” he said.
Outgoing Mayor Tricia Hitchen thanked those who had helped her during what she recalled as “a memorable Mayoral term.”
She said she was in the role just a few short weeks before the City was devastated by a wet weather event, causing severe flooding in parts of the region and ‘major’ flood warnings for the Nepean River.
During her term, she saw residents reunite at Council events that reactivated Penrith and St Marys, and she opened key pieces of infrastructure up to the community.
Cr Hitchen called for the delivery of the City’s first accessible changeroom, which opened in 2017 along High Street. There are now six changing places facilities throughout the region, with more to come.
Her passion for supporting domestic violence victims, which stems from her 25 years of service in the NSW Police Force, led to the Mayoral Charity Ball which saw Council and the community band together to raise a remarkable $60,000 for The Haven – Nepean Women’s Shelter in May.
“I will be forever grateful to everyone who contributed to help so many of these local women and their families on the path to a safer, brighter future,” Cr Hitchen said.
Cr Mark Davies was elected as Deputy Mayor at the September Ordinary Meeting. Cr Davies joined Council in 2004 and served as Mayor from 2012-2013.