Newcastle Lord Mayor must step aside for good of Council

Media Release

1 August 2014

Greens MP David Shoebridge has joined with Newcastle Greens Councillors Michael Osborne and Therese Doyle to call for the Lord Mayor, Cr Jeff McCloy, to stand aside from Council while the Independent Commission against Corruption completes Operation Spicer.

Operation Spicer will be having hearings next week into whether or not the Liberal Party’s 2011 state election campaign for the seat of Newcastle was funded from prohibited donors, including Buildev Pty Ltd, Nathan Tinkler, Jeff McCloy, Hilton Grugeon and other persons and companies associated with them.

Greens MP and Local Government spokesperson David Shoebridge said:

“For the good of the council, and to ensure it retains the confidence of local residents, Cr McCloy should do the decent thing and step aside until ICAC completes its inquiry.

“Everyone facing charges or allegations deserves the presumption of innocence, and Cr McCloy is no exception, however there is also a broader public interest at stake here.

“It is illegal in NSW for property developers, or close associates of property developers, to donate to political parties and while Cr McCloy may not like these laws, that’s not his call,” Mr Shoebridge said.

Newcastle Greens Councillor Therese Doyle said:

“It is evident from ICAC’s announcement of Monday 28th July that it would be in the best interests of council for Cr McCloy to stand aside from his position as Lord Mayor of Newcastle Council while this inquiry continues.

“There are many precedents, at all levels of government, where public officials have stood aside while ICAC makes its inquiries. This is not about jumping to a conclusion of guilt or innocence; it’s about protecting public confidence in Newcastle Council”, Cr Doyle said.

Newcastle Greens Councillor Michael Osborne said:

“Plans for the future development of Newcastle have been placed under a significant cloud by the ongoing allegations of corrupt conduct surrounding the State Liberal Party.

“It would be much better for the city if Council’s proceedings could continue away from the shadow of these matters,” Cr Osborne said.

Media contacts:

Greens MP David Shoebridge:            9230 3030 / 0408 113 952

Cr Therese Doyle on                           0434 257 892

Cr Michael Osborne                           0439 442 984

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