The Greens candidate for Newcastle, John Sutton, said that a 2006 letter to constituents from Jodi McKay circulated at Newcastle Politics in the Pub last night casts serious doubts on Ms McKay’s credibility.
The copy of the letter bearing Ms McKay’s letterhead from her 2006 campaign, is headed “Standing by Newcastle’s Rail Line”, and states:
While I have been out doorknocking in Merewether Heights, people have asked me where I stand on the rail line.
My position is clear – I will always support keeping the rail line into Newcastle.
Saving our rail line was an important victory for our community and it’s something all of Newcastle can be proud of.
I will never support moves from any politician who tries to take our rail line away.
Sydney got the message and together we will never let them forget it.
I am committed to a vibrant inner Newcastle, which means improving public transport, as well as pedestrian and traffic flow between the Harbour and Hunter Street.
I’m proud to be your Labor candidate, but I’m prouder to be Newcastle.
Labor candidate for Newcastle
The letter appears to have been distributed prior to Christmas 2006, before the 2007 state election when Ms McKay was campaigning to win the seat.
Ms McKay is, of course, now a strong advocate for the campaign by vested interests to cut the Newcastle rail line.
If the letter is authentic (as it certainly appears to be), it completely destroys Ms McKay’s credibility on the rail line issue.
“Ms McKay must immediately confirm or deny the authenticity of this letter, and – if it is true that she has reneged on an unequivocal promise to “always support keeping the rail line into Newcastle” (letter’s original emphasis) – then she should publicly apologise to the many constituents who took her at her word, and should explain why voters should believe any commitment she makes in this election campaign,” Mr Sutton said.
“If constituents couldn’t trust her the last time she was elected, why should they trust her this time when she promises that – if the rail line is cut – the corridor would “always” be kept as a transport corridor and would “never” be developed?
“Why should they believe her when she promises that there will be a replacement service for the lost trains?
“Why should they believe her when – just before this election – she claims to ‘support light rail in Hunter Street’?
“If this letter is genuine, why should Newcastle voters believe anything that Jodi McKay now says, when she has clearly betrayed commitments that she made so categorically the last time they trusted her enough to elect her to parliament?” Mr Sutton asked.
For further information or comment, please contact John Sutton (Greens candidate for Newcastle), on 4969 2668 or 0411 154 004. John Sutton’s campaign blog is at: http://newcastle2011.blogspot.com