Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Blacktown council mourns city’s ‘visionary leader’

Blacktown City Council has paid tribute to Mayor, Tony Bleasdale OAM, who passed away suddenly last night.

In a statement, Deputy Mayor Chris Quilkey said it was with great sadness that the Council learned of the 77-year-old Mayor’s death.

It’s understood Mayor Bleasdale died while on a flight home from China following a study tour. He had been leading a delegation to Council’s sister cities in South Korea and China and had been due home this morning.

“First and foremost, our thoughts are with Tony’s wife Nina, his children and their extended family,” said Cr Quilkey.

He said Mayor Bleasdale’s warm and engaging personality led him to forge many friendships across Sydney after arriving from the United Kingdom in 1963.

“Starting as a bricklayer, he worked for 40 years in the building industry, and with tremendous drive and energy, established his own successful labour hire business.”

“Tony served the community he loved with the same energy and commitment,” he said.

First elected as a Blacktown City councillor in 1996, he was a strong advocate for the area and a “champion of Western Sydney” the Deputy Mayor said.

“He was proud of the incredible diversity of Blacktown City and passionate about delivering services and opportunities for its residents and businesses.”

“Tony was also a passionate advocate for First Nations people.

“When elected Mayor in 2019, Tony proved a visionary leader in transforming the city to better serve a growing population.”

The Council says Mayor Bleasdale was central to negotiations for the $2 billion Walker Corporation Blacktown Quarter project, which will provide investment, jobs and growth for the Blacktown local government area.

“Tony was loved by his community and he loved it back, with a generous heart and a genuine commitment to a bright future,” said Cr Quilkey.

Mayor Bleasdale was awarded a medal of the Order of Australia in 2010 for his charity work and service to the Blacktown municipality.

Vale Cr Tony Bleasdale (1946 – 2024).

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