Sunday, 14 September 2008

Newcastle Council goes conservative - vested interests may control city for next four years

Newcastle Greens
14 September 2008

Newcastle Council will be dominated by conservative councillors for the next four years, and has been left dangerously vulnerable to the influence of vested interests as a result of yesterday’s council election, The Greens said today.

The Greens’ analysis of Saturday’s Newcastle Council election is that the new council will comprise 4 Labor councillors), 2 or 3 Buman Independents, 2 Tate Independents, Scott Sharpe (Ward 2 Independent), 1 Liberal, and 1 or 2 Greens, plus the Lord Mayor, John Tate (see table below).

Likely Newcastle Council Composition (2008)



Tate Independents


Buman Independents

2 or 3

Independent (Sharpe, Ward 2)



1 or 2



“The result is very disappointing from a Greens perspective, because the Green vote was up across the city, and despite posting our best ever vote in most wards, the number of Greens councillors on Newcastle Council will drop from four (elected in 2004) to one or two,” Cr Osborne said.

“Voters who wanted a more functional and stable council will also be very disappointed. On the previous council, The Greens provided the only stable, unified, coherent group, and were a steadying force amid the turbulence of friction between other groups and councillors, especially from the Tate / Buman factions.

“Ironically, many voters who were concerned about the council being dysfunctional may have been misled by Cr Buman’s expensive advertising campaign to vote for a group led by one of the key destabilising forces.

“Unfortunately, local coverage of the campaign effectively shielded Cr Buman from the kind of scrutiny the public needed, and he’s consequently managed to slip in under the radar.

“The destablising factors on the previous council – especially the lack of leadership from the Lord Mayor, John Tate, and the irresponsible and puerile behaviour of Cr Buman – are still there, and with so many different groupings, the new council could be very unstable and dysfunctional.

“Certainly, the potential is there for developers to have much greater sway, and the risk of a change of direction for a progressive policy approach to challenges such as climate change and public transport are very significant.

“The outcome of the final seat in Ward 3 (which will be fought out between sitting Greens councillor, Keith Parsons and Mike King, No.1 on the Ward 3 Buman group ticket) will determine whether I will be the sole remaining Green on the council or not. [This result will depend on preferences, and will not be known for some time]

“But whether we have one or two councillors, The Greens will continue to represent the community and the public interest on the new council, and to advocate progressive policies that offer solutions to the big challenges confronting Newcastle,” Cr Osborne said.

Newcastle Council likely outcome

Likely result


Lord Mayor

John Tate

Ward 1

Sharon Claydon


Michael Osborne


Aaron Buman

Buman Independent

Ward 2

Tim Crakanthorp


Scott Sharpe


Brad Luke


Ward 3

Graham Boyd

Tate Independent

Nuatali Nelmes



Either Keith Parsons (Greens) or Mike King (Buman Independent)

Ward 4

Mike Jackson


Shayne Connell

Buman Independent

Bob Cook

Tate Independent

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

No comments: