New Man In Town

James Griffin is not a well-known face in Manly yet but the new MP hopes to make his mark quietly through hard work and doing what is asked of him.

He told COVERED. about his love of the area and his hopes for the future. 

An entrepreneur and businessman, James, 32, had a fairly brief role in politics before taking the Manly seat, his first state-level role.

He did serve on Manly Council for a single term before the amalgamation into the Northern Beaches Council and, with Greens Councillor Cathy Griffin as his mum, he’s perhaps had more political exposure than one might at first think.

“There are some different perspectives at Christmas time at family lunch but we are all very respectful about each other’s views,” James laughs. “Mum and I are from different sides of the political spectrum but there are a lot of families with different political views. There is a shared belief in the natural environment and I don’t disagree with mum on that,” he explains.

A businessman, who was a director of the KPMG risk consultancy business, he is keen to promote business opportunities on the Northern Beaches. “I want to issue an invitation to businesses large and small to consider Manly and the surrounding areas like Brookvale, as a venue or workspace,” he adds.

Brookvale is a popular business startup location and James believes more can be done to foster that mentality “As part of a vision to encourage people to invest in Manly and Brookvale, I will be meeting with the government body assisting startups – Jobs for NSW – and asking them to expand beyond the CBD,” he adds.

Jobs for NSW is an innovative government-backed agency that aims to strengthen the NSW economy by generating rewarding jobs and accelerating high-potential sectors of the
state's economy.

Buses, Ferries and Tunnels

James recognises that transport is a major issue on the Northern Beaches but feels progress like the B-line buses and explorations for the Beaches Link tunnel are real steps in the right direction.

He hopes the fact people can use their single Opal card to access parking and then board regular shuttle buses that will run into the city every 10 minutes, is simplifying the process to ensure it is made easy for residents to use.

He would also like to see a direct ferry  service between Manly and Barangaroo, where he previously worked, believing it will again relieve congestion from the roads. James admits the Beaches Link tunnel will have the biggest impact on traffic in and out of the peninsula and in his maiden speech to NSW Parliament stated, “Only a Liberal Government will see the tunnel become a reality.”

Taking over from former NSW Premier and longstanding MP Mike Baird, is not an easy act to follow. James says Mike’s advice was to, ‘make sure you know why you are here -  and that’s for the community; and to put time aside for family and to pace myself’. 

His own hopes are to work hard for the people of the area he represents and says his door is always open. He is ready for the challenge and the chance to promote his area.