28 August 2008
Labor’s Newcastle council team is preferencing an electricity privatisation advocate, despite overwhelming opposition in both the general community and among Newcastle Labor voters to the Iemma/Costa power sell-off plan, according to The Greens Lord Mayoral candidate, Michael Osborne.
Cr Osborne said that this would now be a factor in local Greens decisions about Greens’ preference recommendations in the Newcastle council election.
“At the very moment that some of their local Labor parliamentary colleagues are courageously declaring that they would cross the floor of the NSW parliament to back party policy in defiance of the Iemma/Costa sell-off, Newcastle Labor’s council team is selling-out its principles and selling-off its preferences to a candidate who supports electricity privatisation,” Cr Osborne said.
Newcastle Labor has decided to preference Cr Aaron Buman, who has spoken in favour of electricity privatisation during Newcastle Council debates on the issue.
“Newcastle Labor has chosen to preference Cr Buman over Greens councillors, who have been strong and consistent advocates for keeping power in the hands of the people.
“Earlier this year, Newcastle Greens decided not to preference any candidate in the next NSW state election who supports, either by public statement or parliamentary vote, the privatisation of the state’s electricity industry.
“It’s disappointing for us and for Greens supporters. When this local Labor team was first preselected, we were looking forward to working with a team of fresh faces who claimed to have progressive views on a whole range of social and environmental issues.
“But in preferencing Cr Buman they have sold out on everything they claim to stand for, and voters need to realise that – just like the Iemma/Costa government – the Newcastle Labor team can’t be trusted.
“Cr Buman doesn’t want Greens on the council because we’re not at the beck and call of the big end of town; Newcastle Labor doesn’t want us, because we prod their conscience, and make them accountable.
“We’ll be asking voters in the council election to send both Newcastle Labor and NSW Labor a message that selling off public assets and doing grubby deals with vested interests in the big end of town just aren’t acceptable anymore.”
[Note: Newcastle Greens does not accept donations from developers, or from any corporations or organisations]