Friday, 1 October 2010
Newcastle Greens today announced former Newcastle City councillor John Sutton as The Greens candidate for the state seat of Newcastle.
Mr Sutton was the first Green elected to public office in NSW when he became an alderman on Newcastle City Council in 1991, serving two terms on the council before retiring in 1999.
A former journalist and retired communication academic, Mr Sutton now works part-time as a support worker for Greens councillors around NSW. He has remained actively involved in the city’s public life through local grassroots community organisations and campaigns, including the current campaigns to save Newcastle’s heritage avenue of giant fig trees in Laman St and the Newcastle rail line, and for a more sustainable approach to the future development of Newcastle’s public beaches and parks.
“It’s a great honour to have been pre-selected as The Greens candidate for the state seat of Newcastle at this moment in its history,” Mr Sutton said.
“Our city is at a crucial political, social, environmental and economic watershed.
“As the world’s largest coal exporting port, we are at the centre of the issue of climate change. How we as a community respond to this has major local and global implications.
“As a major regional city we also face huge local challenges, such as revitalising our CBD and our public transport system, and ensuring that development occurs sustainably and equitably.
“Properly handled, these challenges present us with major opportunities for creating green jobs, and for developing a liveable and sustainable community.
“Two decades ago, Newcastle was the first city in Australia to elect a Green to its local council, and since then the Newcastle community has responded positively to Greens candidates and policies.
“The recent federal election result in Newcastle was our best ever. Newcastle voters have shown that they are becoming less rusted-on to an increasingly dysfunctional state Labor government, but are not strongly attracted to the conservative alternative offered by the Liberals and by local developer-funded Independents, who have represented vested interests but have shown little regard for grassroots community issues.
“The state election in March next year offers an exciting opportunity for Newcastle voters to embrace a genuinely progressive alternative in both the local seat, and in the NSW upper house, where The Greens may well hold the balance of power.”
Mr Sutton said he would be campaigning on climate change, coal, clean energy and green jobs; city revitalisation; public transport; port development; privatisation; reviving local democracy in planning and development decisions; improving health services (including mental health), and public education.
For more information or comment, please contact John Sutton (Greens candidate for Newcastle) on 0411 154 004 or 4969 2668.