24 February 2011
Greens candidate for Lake Macquarie, Ms Charmian Eckersley has criticised the Liberal Party after its candidates snubbed an invitation to make a pitch to Greens members for Greens preferences.
“This just confirms that the Liberal Party does not care about Lake Macquarie, where they need a 14 percent swing to win Charlestown and a 22 percent swing to win Swansea. They have no chance in the electorate of Lake Macquarie, which Labor lost to Independent Mayor, Greg Piper in 2007.
“If the Liberal Party ever wants to win seats in Lake Macquarie it has to at least close the gap. Even convincing the Greens not to preference Labor would help close the margins,” Ms Eckersley said.
“Liberals have repeatedly criticised Greens for recommending preferences for Labor, yet when we invite them to the table, they are not interested,” Ms Eckersley said.
“Whilst we may decide to not direct preferences to the Liberal candidates, this election was the perfect opportunity for the Liberals to try and convince Greens not to direct preferences to Labor,” Ms Eckersley said.
Unlike federal elections, in NSW state elections voters do not need to number all squares and are able to indicate a first preference only. Party how-to-vote cards may advise voters not to direct preferences to either large party – an opportunity that is not available to voters in federal elections.
“The Liberal Party Campaign Director, Mark Neeham, who was personally contacted and advised of the invitation, promised to get back to us, but we never heard another thing,” Ms Eckersley said.
Further information: Charmian Eckersley – 0407 730 410
Lake Macquarie Greens