The Real Independents

Ian Grey

I’ve lived in Waverton on and off since I moved here with my parents in the late 1960s as a 10 year old, returning most recently in 2014. I am committed to improving this already beautiful part of this city, and that’s why I’m running in this election.


It’s not a career move. I’m not a member of any political party. It’s not an ego thing.


It’s because over the last five years I’ve been heavily involved in local campaigns and local issues - experiences that have left me feeling incredibly frustrated.


I’ve been immensely disappointed with the way North Sydney Council treats its community. No matter how good a campaign the community runs – how well organised; how many letters we get residents to send off; how many signatures we get on petitions; how much research we do to analyse the documents, formulate positions and suggest better solutions – it all comes to pretty much nothing. Instead of going into bat for us, the Council is clearly a captive to the current State government.


Indeed, it has a track record of NOT supporting its local communities; and openly belittling its own resident input system (the Precincts).


So, given that experience, I’m standing in this election because I know I can make a positive difference. I’m a clear thinker, I look for agreements and workable solutions, I know how to negotiate, I know how to create a high performance culture.  North Sydney Council desperately needs people with these sorts of skills for it to make a significant step change.  In my view, it really needs to make these changes to manage better on all fronts – financially, operationally, planning-wise.


I honed my negotiation skills over a long career, firstly as a young union official in the maritime and nurses unions (plus I have a Bachelor of Economics and a Masters of Industrial Relations). I then spent the next 30 years in management, mainly in State Government business entities but also with 10 years as worldwide head of Human Resources for P&O Ports. My main focus was streamlining organisational performance and improving organisational culture, plus of course negotiating terms and conditions of employment, but I also often had oversight of other major functions like property portfolios in Sydney Water  (including oversight of the design andr construction of the new Sydney Water head office in Parramatta.) and in Customs. In P&O it was Safety, and later Environmental management.


I retired from paid work in 2016 and have just stepped back as the Chair of a million dollar not-for-profit community support organization based at Eastlakes, in order to be able to spend time our election campaign. I am proud to be part of the Real Independents team – a team full of truly independent members of our community who want to see their Council make decisions in the best interests of North Sydney.


I am the current Chair of Waverton Precinct; and the current Co-Convenor of the Combined Precincts Committee of North Sydney Council. I have been heavily involved in all major issues and campaigns across the last 5 years. Most recently, I coordinated the submissions to the Upper House Enquiry into the Western Harbour Link and the Northern Beaches projects.


I have four grown up children and my wife is a Professor and Head of Department at Sydney University.


In my spare time, I like to swim, cycle, sail and travel.


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