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Monday, 30 May 2011
Page: 5131

Mr HAYES (FowlerGovernment Whip) (10:45): With the passing of Greg Percival, Campbelltown loses one of its last genuine community builders, someone who has positively impacted on the lives of many in our region. Having lived in Campbelltown for the past 35 years, for me, three people stand out for their contributions to the area. Along with Gordon Fetterplace and John Marsden, Greg Percival played an impressive role in the realisation of a modern Campbelltown.

Greg was born in April 1925 and was the fourth generation of his family to live locally, with his grandfather establishing a butcher shop in Ingleburn in the 1880s. Locally educated, Greg served in the Navy during the Second World War, on the Fairmile class attack boats, and until his death remained an active member of the Fairmile Association. Following the war, he worked in the family butchery business. He married Diana Drew in 1951 and was blessed with three children, Virginia, Drew and Susan, all remarkable in their own right.

Not content to just live and work in the area, Greg was a person with ideas on how Campbelltown could develop from a sleepy rural centre into the city it is today. In 1956 Greg was elected as an alderman on the Campbelltown City Council, where he remained for the next 31 years. He had two terms as mayor and two terms as deputy mayor. In addition to local government, Greg served two terms in the New South Wales Legislative Council. In recognition of his outstanding service to local government and the Campbelltown community, Greg was awarded an OBE in 1976. Clearly, few had more to do with the planning and development of local infrastructure than Greg Percival. He became an institution in the area, not because of any political prominence but more for the care and commitment he gave to the community. Greg nevertheless was a man of vision as well as a thorough gentleman.

After being elected in the 2005 by-election, Greg was a regular visitor to my office. He always impressed upon me that my responsibilities were not just to represent people in the federal parliament in Canberra but to assist whenever possible in building a stronger community for local families. Greg was passionate about Campbelltown and its people. Regardless of the political differences we had, Greg being a long-time member of the Liberal Party, he and his wife Dianna befriended Bernadette and me, and for that I am truly grateful.

Few people in life we refer to as 'special people' and truly mean it. In Greg's case the term is not only appropriate but justified. On behalf of Bernadette and me, and no doubt a very grateful community, I offer Diana and the whole Percival family my most sincere condolences as I reflect on the incredible contribution that Greg Percival has made to the area and how he affected the lives of so many people for the better.