Newcastle voters should be very cautious of “wolf-in-sheep’s-clothing” Independents standing in the Newcastle Lord Mayoral contest, Newcastle Greens Lord Mayoral candidate Councillor Therese Doyle said today.
“Many Newcastle voters were seriously burnt at the 2012 council election when they voted for the Liberal Party backed “Independent” multi-millionaire developer Jeff McCloy as the city’s Lord Mayor, only to find that his relationship with the Liberal Party involved banned donations delivered in brown paper bags filled with cash,” Clr Doyle said.
“Councillor Brad Luke, who has announced that he will resign from the Liberal Party to stand as an “Independent” Lord Mayor, has been one of Jeff McCloy’s closest political allies.
“Until Jeff McCloy’s resignation as Lord Mayor, Clr Luke was one of the key members of the “McLoyal” council voting bloc.
“He and the other Liberal councillors were part of a mutual deal with Jeff McCloy to advertise each other’s election campaigns at the 2012 council election, and the first act of the McLoyal voting bloc was to elect Clr Luke as Deputy Lord Mayor, breaking the previous rotation method for sharing the position.
“It’s simply not credible for Clr Luke to claim that he’s an “Independent” candidate, when he is clearly a Liberal,” Clr Doyle said.
“It’s just a crude and blatant tactic by Clr Luke to try to avoid his association with the current negative image of the Liberal Party and the McLoyal council voting bloc. Voters should also remember that former Newcastle Independent and Lord Mayoral hopeful Aaron Buman was an outspoken opponent of grassroots community groups and a supporter of council secrecy, and was notorious for his intemperate outbursts against a number of residents who approached him.
“Newcastle voters need a clean break from the past corruption of the major political parties, from the failed McCloyal experiment, and from the anti-community approach that has plagued the past two council terms,” Clr Doyle said.
“The Labor Party, the Liberal Party, and so-called Independents can’t offer that kind of break – only The Greens can do that,” Clr Doyle said.