Media Release – Greens announce open ticket how-to-vote in Newcastle

The Greens will recommend that Greens voters choose their own preferences in the seat of Newcastle.

Announcing the preference recommendation that will appear on the
party’s Newcastle how-to-votes, The Greens federal candidate for
Newcastle Michael Osborne said that the open preference ticket was a
first for the party in a federal election in Newcastle.

“Local Greens members made this decision, and it’s an indication of
just how disillusioned they and many in the local community are with
both of the old political parties on key national and local issues,”
he said.

“Newcastle has suffered from federal and state Labor government
failures to deliver on big policy challenges like climate change,
coal, public transport and education.

“Even the Hunter Business Chamber now agrees that federal and state
governments must plan for a post-coal future for the Hunter – but both
the old parties still have their heads stuck in the coal piles.

“Newcastle is the world’s largest coal exporting port, and both Labor
and the Coalition are apparently prepared to condemn the city to an
unsustainable, coal-dependent future, with attendant rising
unemployment and social dislocation, rather than genuinely moving
forward with a plan for the inevitable shift from coal to job-rich
renewable energy industries, such as solar and wind.

“Voters are well aware of federal Labor’s failure to take real action
on climate change.

“As a Newcastle councillor, I’ve seen just how out of touch Newcastle
Labor is on the issues of coal,, when all four Newcastle Labor
councillors recently joined conservative independent and Liberal
councillors to vote down a proposal I put for the council to prepare a
scoping study on the range of possible impacts on the Newcastle
community of Labor’s planned massive increases in coal exports through
the port of Newcastle.

“They just didn’t want to know about such impacts, and it showed yet
again why Newcastle Labor preferred to preference a right-wing,
anti-worker conservative independent like Aaron Buman ahead of Greens
candidates in the last Newcastle Council election.

“The revitalisation of Newcastle’s ailing CBD is being stymied by
developers pushing to cut the city’s rail line, aided and abetted by
state Labor’s active assistance, and by federal Labor’s passive

“Instead of pandering to the vested interests behind Newcastle’s
anti-rail campaign, Newcastle’s federal and state Labor
representatives should be sending them a clear message that cutting
the rail line is simply not an option, and should take a leadership
role in moving the city forward with a federally-funded, rail-based
revitalisation strategy,” Mr Osborne said.

“It’s these and other failures in vision and leadership – at the
national and local level – that have so alienated local Greens
members,” he said.

“Unfortunately, the Coalition offers no alternative.

“Of course, in this election voters must number every box for their
vote to count, so our how-to-vote card will recommend that they vote 1
for The Greens and then number all the other boxes in the order of
their own choice.”

Contact:    Michael Osborne 0439 442984 or 4940 8149

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