Tuesday, 12 August 2008

Taking climate change seriously

Newcastle Greens
12 August 2008

Tackling climate change at the local level will be a key focus for the Newcastle Greens team announced today for the Newcastle Council election on 13 September.

Georgie Huxtable, a doctor who tutors in medicine at the University of Newcastle, has now joined the Greens’ previously announced candidates for Lord Mayor (Cr Michael Osborne) and for Wards one, two and three (Michael Osborne, Therese Doyle and Keith Parsons).

Ms Huxtable is aiming to fill the position vacated by The Greens’ popular former councillor for Ward 4, Cassandra Arnold, who recently resigned from council for health reasons.

“I’m very excited at the prospect of representing Ward 4 residents. I’m passionate about meeting the challenge of climate change, and the issues at the forefront in Ward 4 - such as flooding, pollution, wetlands management, urban development, water, vegetation, waste and biodiversity - are all related to climate change, and all have flow-on effects on human health and well-being,” Ms Huxtable said.

Eight other candidates will support the No.1 candidates, making up full Greens tickets for all four city wards (see below for details).

The Greens Lord Mayoral candidate, Cr Michael Osborne, said he felt honoured to be part of a team with such enormous talent and experience.

“All our lead candidates have tertiary qualifications and experience in areas related to local government issues,” he said.

Newcastle has had continuous local Greens representation on the city council since 1991. At the 2004 election, The Greens won a seat in each of the city’s four wards for the first time, giving it equal representation to both Labor and the Tate Independents.

“Now, more than ever, our city needs Greens on the council,” Cr Osborne said.

“This team presents Newcastle voters with candidates capable of seriously tackling key issues, such as climate change; planning, transport, social issues, and city governance.

“We’ll be releasing further policy and position statements on these and other policy areas during the campaign,” Cr Osborne said.

“We’re fully aware of the challenge of maintaining our current level of representation on the council, especially given our limited resources, compared to the other main players.

“Unlike other groups, we don’t accept donations from developers and other vested interests. We rely on our members and supporters in the local community, who volunteer their time and talents because they want our city to have a sustainable future.”

Newcastle was the first city in Australia to elect a Green to its city council (in 1991). Since then, Newcastle Greens have contested every Newcastle council election (i.e., 1991, 1995, 1999, and 2004), and have been continuously represented on the council, winning seats in every council ward.

“As always, we’ll be offering positive and creative ideas for tackling the city’s key issues, and to show how local action by Newcastle Council can help to solve big challenges like climate change and social injustice,” Cr Osborne said.

Each Greens candidate heading a ticket will maintain an active campaign blog, recording their campaign activity, releasing policy and position statements, and commenting on key campaign issues.

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