Monday, 18 August 2008

Net-savvy Greens set sites on council elections

Newcastle Greens
18 August 2008

Greens candidates in Newcastle and Lake Macquarie are taking their campaign to cyberspace in social networking sites and candidates’ blogs – and they say councils need to switch on, too.

“For a long time, The Greens have led the way – both locally and nationally – in using the internet to communicate with voters and citizens – and we see this election campaign as an opportunity to continue to tap into the power of new communication technology,” The Greens Newcastle Lord Mayoral candidate, Councillor Michael Osborne, said today.

Cr Osborne said that despite comments to the contrary in the local media, local Greens candidates are very much on the internet in this election.

“I was the first Newcastle councillor to actively participate in social networking sites and blogging,” Cr Osborne said.

“I have nearly 400 Facebook friends, and I’ve maintained a series of blogs over the years, both as a local Greens candidate over several elections, and as a Newcastle Greens councillor.

“The net is an excellent way to do politics differently, and to communicate with voters who don’t necessarily access mainstream media, including many young people,” he said.

“Each lead candidate on Greens tickets for Newcastle and Lake Macquarie councils will be maintaining a candidate blog.

Cr Osborne said that – if elected – Greens councillors would work to improve the use of the internet as a means of communication and consultation in their councils.

“The internet has great potential for local democracy and participation,” he said.

“Councils should be engaging more actively with this medium, and expanding things like online consultation through websites (including online forums), and webcasting council meetings and other key council events,” he said.

All No.1 Newcastle and Lake Macquarie Greens candidates will be maintaining candidates’ blogs by next week. Those already active are:

For further information or comment, contact: Michael Osborne on 0439 442 984

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