The Newcastle and Lake Macquarie Greens have today posted all candidates for Newcastle and Lake Macquarie local council with a survey form seeking to place on the public record information about political party memberships and sources of funding. The Greens have called on all candidates to reply and make the results public.
In a step designed to increase councillor accountability to the public, the Greens sought to make available information from all candidates, seeking disclosure on issues such as party memberships, business interests in the city and sources of campaign funds.
Ian McKenzie, Greens candidate for Ward 1 and Lord Mayor sent the document to his contenders, challenging them to follow his example and disclose their political affiliations and sources of funding: “There is real concern in the community over developer donations to politicians. People want a guarantee that they’re not voting for over-development of the city.”
“The people of Newcastle deserve to make informed decisions on who they trust to represent them It’s been a problem in the past when council candidates haven’t been honest about who they represent. Candidates should be honest from the start about conflicts of interest.”
“The Greens don’t accept developer donations on ethical grounds and we think it is inappropriate for other candidates who seek to represent Newcastle to do so.”
Howard Morrison, Greens candidate for Lake Macquarie West Ward and Mayor commented. “It is particularly important for Lake Macquarie, which is under threat from serious over-development and clearing of bushland, that candidates let the voters know if there are any conflicts of interest.”
“A number of councils in NSW have come under scrutiny because of relationships between councillors and developers. We don’t want to see this happen in Lake Macquarie.”
“The Greens are proud to take the lead in making all candidates accountable to the public. We want to see Councillors that are free to make the best decisions without developer influence.”
All Greens candidates for Newcastle and Lake Macquarie have made available their responses to the survey and encourage other candidates to do so.