Politi­cian’s work­ing life started in Dubbo

Dubbo Photo News - - Front Page - By JOHN RYAN

STATE Mem­ber for the Syd­ney re­gion seat of Camp­bell­town, Greg War­ren, has plenty to be thank­ful for when he thinks back on the early years of his ca­reer path.

He left Dubbo’s St Johns Col­lege in Year 10 and scored a me­chanic’s ap­pren­tice­ship, but was laid off in 1989 dur­ing a tough sea­son and loom­ing re­ces­sion,

He’d seen the army re­cruit­ing car­a­van in Mac­quarie Street and thought that might of­fer a se­cure job so went in and signed up on the spot.

GREG War­ren is one of Dubbo’s most suc­cess­ful po­lit­i­cal ex­ports yet he’s got a low pro­file when it comes to lo­cal name recog­ni­tion.

He grew up in the Dubbo re­gion be­fore mov­ing away and his path to be­com­ing an MP is proof that peo­ple can change their cir­cum­stances dra­mat­i­cally if they just stick to their dreams.

Back home to spend Christ­mas with his par­ents, he re­counts his start in life.

“I was born in Dubbo in 1973 on Mel­bourne Cup Day, Gala Supreme won that year and Dad’s mates have plenty of sto­ries how it was pay­ing high odds and Dad didn’t get his bet on at the Gar­den Ho­tel be­cause they said he had to get up to the hospi­tal,” Mr War­ren told Dubbo Photo News.

“I fin­ished school at Year 10 and started an ap­pren­tice­ship but got laid off, so I went into the army ca­reers van and be­fore I knew it I was in the Royal Aus­tralian In­fantry Corps where I served for a to­tal of about 10 years.

“It prompted my in­ter­est in other things when I got out – com­merce and law – so it led to my get­ting an MBA at the Aus­tralian In­sti­tute of Busi­ness,” he said.

Mr War­ren left the army and worked for Cal­tex at Syd­ney Air­port and drove fuel tankers, tak­ing a re­dun­dancy af­ter Ansett went broke.

He then scored a job driv­ing coal trucks, and when first son Bai­ley was born Mr War­ren kept up his stud­ies in busi­ness while look­ing af­ter their new baby dur­ing the day. He con­tin­ued to drive coal trucks at night to sup­port his fam­ily as well as his ter­tiary stud­ies.

Jobs fol­lowed as a line­haul man­ager, state pro­cure­ment man­ager and gen­eral man­ager for var­i­ous com­pa­nies, all worked at while con­tin­u­ing fur­ther ed­u­ca­tion.

“It was quite daunt­ing af­ter hav­ing left school at Year 10 and hav­ing to study again. I re­mem­ber when I got my first as­sign­ment do­ing my de­gree I had to Google what a bib­li­og­ra­phy was, that’s how un­e­d­u­cated I was, but we got through in the end,” Mr War­ren said.

“I stood for my lo­cal coun­cil at Cam­den, I did two terms on there. I was deputy mayor then mayor a cou­ple of times and then con­tested the state seat of Camp­bell­town which is where Si­mone and I chose to raise our fam­ily. She’s from Moore­bank and I met her when I was at 1 Brigade at Holswor­thy.

“It’s a great place, it re­minded me a lot of Dubbo at that time, but like Dubbo, there’s a lot of changes hap­pen­ing with the ur­ban pop­u­la­tion ex­pan­sions, and there are the chal­lenges of find­ing that bal­ance be­tween a good sus­tain­able com­mu­nity, so fu­ture res­i­dents can en­joy the same life­style as ex­ist­ing res­i­dents, whilst de­liv­er­ing the de­sired out­comes of the com­mu­nity,” he said.

He joined the ALP be­cause he be­lieved the party matched his val­ues and prin­ci­ples of fair­ness, equal­ity, sol­i­dar­ity, and con­cedes that while the or­gan­i­sa­tion hasn’t al­ways got it right, the party has de­liv­ered much for the na­tion.

Mr War­ren said he un­der­stands why some peo­ple may con­sider vot­ing in­de­pen­dent in protest against the ma­jor par­ties, but be­lieves that’s a mis­take.

“Par­ti­san pol­i­tics I think is im­por­tant in terms of cer­tainty and sta­bil­ity but what is most im­por­tant is de­vel­op­ing poli­cies that are con­sis­tent with the dreams and as­pi­ra­tions of lo­cal fam­i­lies, com­mu­nity groups and busi­nesses,” Mr War­ren said.

“To be blunt, coun­try peo­ple feel for­got­ten and in my own par­lia­men­tary role I know how for­got­ten they feel – the grey­hounds, coun­cil amal­ga­ma­tions.

"The mes­sage to the Lib­er­als and Na­tion­als is that peo­ple need to come be­fore pol­i­tics, and com­mu­ni­ties need to come be­fore cor­po­ra­tions – we need to put peo­ple first.”

 To be blunt, coun­try peo­ple feel for­got­ten and in my own par­lia­men­tary role I know how for­got­ten they feel – the grey­hounds, coun­cil amal­ga­ma­tions. 

PHOTO: SUP­PLIED.

Mem­ber for the state seat of Camp­bell­town, Greg War­ren, grew up in Dubbo. He was in Dubbo to spend Christ­mas with fam­ily here. He's pic­tured, sec­ond from right, at Taronga Western Plains Zoo with Robyn, Mary, Si­mone, Bai­ley and Darcey War­ren.

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