Media Release: 24 October 2014
Greens candidates for Newcastle and Charlestown, Michael Osborne and Jane Oakley joined Upper House MP John Kaye to take their final message of clean politics to the voters and to sign the ethical charter (see below).
Mr Osborne said: “In 2011 Hunter voters turned to the Liberals in overwhelming numbers to escape Labor’s dodgy deals and stench of corruption.
“In just three and a half years, 10 per cent of Liberal MPs elected in the resulting landslide have either been sin binned or forced out of parliament by admissions of illegal behaviour.
“The clear message of this by-election is that the time for old party politics with old party corruption has now passed.
“For more than a decade and a half, the Greens have been calling for a clean-out of state and local politics, starting with real donations reform and an end to insider lobbying and influence peddling.
“With stronger laws and a changed culture, rail services to Newcastle and Hunter TAFE would not now be at risk.
“The T4 coal terminal would have long since dropped off the agenda and the Hunter would have had a vibrant freight port supporting the growth of local manufacturing and jobs.
“Coal mines and coal seam gas would be rapidly fading into the past as renewables took over.
“This election is about cleaning up politics so that the Hunter gets the decisions that work for the community and the environment, not the developers and the party mates,” Mr Osborne said.
Ms Oakley said: “Entrenched power broking, deals within deals and influence peddling have left the Charlestown electorate with little to show for having had the courage to turf Labor out at the last election.
“The astonishing rise and fall of Andrew Cornwall would never had happened if Labor had not abused the trust that the voters put in them for more than half a century.
“The only way to refocus state politics back onto the needs of communities like ours is to ban donations from the coal and gas companies, force the lobbyists out into the open and cut the big money politics.
“It is highly ironic that the week before the Newcastle and Charlestown by-elections, a Liberal Premier relied on the votes of Labor MPs to stymie a Greens move to cut political donations, reduce spending caps and require parties to declare donations as they receive them.
“Cleaning up politics is about getting planning decisions in Whitebridge and Warners Bay Village that focus on creating liveable neighbourhoods for the community, not mega profits for the developers.
“Four senior ministers in the last Labor government have been found to have acted corruptly by the independent watchdog.
“Hunter voters deserve better than what they have been served up by the old parties,” Ms Oakley said.
Dr Kaye said: “All of NSW is watching Newcastle and Charlestown to find a new direction in politics.
“Signing the ethical behaviour pledge is a symbol of a commitment to standing up to the developers, the lobbyists and the rivers of cash that have corrupted NSW state politics.
“On Saturday, voters will have the opportunity to push NSW along the road of a genuine clean up,” Dr Kaye said.
For more information: Jane Oakley 0401 867 080; Michael Osborne; 0429 442 984