Newcastle Greens call for climate leadership and clean politics.


Tuesday 29th January

The Newcastle Greens have today slammed the ‘manifesto’ released by the Minerals Council which calls on the major parties to use tax payer’s money to prop up the coal industry.

“Mr Galilee and his lobby group are standing in the way of progress. We want to support workers and communities to transition into new jobs and a clean energy future.” said Charlotte McCabe, Greens candidate for the state seat of Newcastle.

“The impacts of climate change are already upon us. Rivers of dead fish, drought, bushfires and heatwaves, this could have all been avoided with real political leadership” she said.

“The people in Newcastle and the Hunter want to see real action for our climate. Late last year we saw thousands of children striking from school and doctors speaking out with concerns for our health as our climate warms.” said Ms McCabe

Greens candidate for Wallsend, Sinead Francis-Coan pointed to the importance of a clear and transparent democracy at a time of low voter confidence. “It’s no surprise to us that the Minerals Council is looking to the Labor and Liberal Parties for support, both have taken large donations from fossil fuel companies and been part of the revolving door that secures cushy jobs upon retirement from politics.” she said.

Both candidates will be continuing to speak up about climate change and the importance of planning for a transition during the state election.

Contact Charlotte McCabe 0421 728 780 or Sinead Francis-Coan: 0478 188 908

Posted in 2019 State, 2019 State Campaign, Climate Change, Coal Expansion, Election Funding | Leave a comment

Tourism potential goes begging in Wallsend and the west

Sinead Francis-Coan. Greens’ Candidate for Wallsend

As the world transitions from fossil fuels to the energy of the future, local jobs and economic gain from this sector dwindle.  As a region home to the world’s largest coal exports, the Hunter needs to plan for this.

At an Upper Hunter business breakfast, I had the privilege of addressing a room full of passionate local leaders who were all excited about the role tourism can play in guiding our region into the future as we move away from unsustainable industries.

Tourism is key to a just transition for the Hunter, where workers and local community are supported through this economic and energy transition to a more sustainable future for all of us.

The west of Newcastle is ideally placed to step into its role as a geographical gateway to the Hunter and be a feature highlight of this process.

I fondly remember growing up in Jesmond where school holiday movie specials for $5 at the Regal Cinema and vacation care activities at the Jesmond Neighbourhood centre were integral parts of the local recreational framework that many enjoyed.

Many of us remember as school students the excitement of ‘dip-netting’ to see what life forms emerged from the waters of the Hunter Wetland Centre then examining them under a microscope.

With the Hunter Expressway now active, a coming cruise terminal and other planned developments, it is an opportune time for this framework to expand to appeal to domestic and international visitors.

I envisage a well-coordinated tourism plan for the west centred around the celebrated RAMSAR listed Hunter Wetlands Centre, the Blue Gum Hills Regional Park and Tree Top Adventure, the Richmond Vale Rail Trail from Hexham to Kurri, Yamuloong, Blackbutt Reserve and rehabilitation areas such as the Brickworks park and Kooragang Island.

These areas celebrate the region’s biodiversity, boast world-class bird-watching and educational opportunities and promote health and the preservation of especially natural history.

This plan includes more special film events at the Regal Cinema and greater celebration of cultural diversity in the west.

With this expansion can come pride of place, increased employment and the other benefits of improved infrastructure which go hand in hand with well-planned tourism.

In other words, the benefits are not restricted to visitors. Locals can likely make most use of the associated improved accessibility and transport options, a sore point for all Novocastrians.

Tourism often forms in clusters, where like-minded locals band together to boost the destination appeal, share resources and coordinate tourism experiences to break through in a competitive sector.

This organic form of collaboration has indeed been attributed the success of tourism in the Hunter Valley vineyards and surrounding areas. In that case, the success has been a combination of grass-roots organising and government support.

But is the state government on board with this potential in Wallsend and the west?

A government that supported tourism in the area would not have so spectacularly squandered the Newcastle light rail project for a start.

The light rail when it opens will not reach John Hunter Hospital, the University of Newcastle Callaghan campus, or centres like Jesmond, Minmi and Wallsend, let alone any place tourism-related.

If you look at the Destination NSW website, you will see a range of strategies designed to promote regional tourism in NSW, even a specific strategy to promote food and wine tourism, a sector dear to the Hunter. With that in mind, one could be forgiven for being confused at talk of closing the Newcastle Visitor Information Centre that begun as early as 2010.

For a long time it seemed that anywhere outside of Newcastle or Pokolbin had no central, independent tourism contact at all.

Where is the disconnect?

The locals deserve some cohesive explanation.

Lately it seems a restructure has been underway. Local councils in NSW are now seeming to be delegated the responsibility for running Visitor Information Centres, and probably the load of funding them.

It’s time for the NSW government to advocate effectively for our regions and facilitate the realisation of their potential.  Those who look to the future and embrace this opportunity have much to gain.

Sinead Francis-Coan holds a Bachelor of Social Science-Recreation and Tourism and a Master of Philosophy in Leisure and Tourism from the University of Newcastle

Posted in 2019 State, Climate Change, Employment | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Greens call on Wallsend candidates to make NSW A Safe State!


24 January 2019

Greens candidate for Wallsend Sinead Francis-Coan calls on all State election candidates standing in the seat of Wallsend to take the Safe State pledge.

“There were 624 domestic violence incidents in our area last year and Hunter postcodes were high in comparison to the state average – we must do better in 2019,” said Ms Francis-Coan.

The Safe State pledge with 49 recommendations has been developed by the NSW Women’s Alliance, which brings together a range of organisations working with women and children experiencing sexual, domestic and family violence.

Candidate who take the Safe State pledge commit to:

  1. Create cultural change to prevent violence and promote gender equality.
  2. Provide immediate and ongoing support for people experiencing violence.
  3. Ensure people experiencing violence have a safe home.
  4. Ensure people experiencing violence can access justice safely.
  5. Enable Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples to lead change to end violence.
  6. Be accountable to specialist workers and the wider community.

Thousands of women marched in Sydney last Sunday raising awareness about women’s rights and the 63 Australian women who died in domestic violence-related events in 2018.

“We have now already lost 7 women this year. We know this because of the work of non-government organisations in our community; the State government doesn’t even keep records of these domestic violence deaths. How can they manage this problem if they don’t keep records?” said Ms Francis-Coan.

“The State Government needs to improve how they respond to domestic violence,” said Ms Francis-Coan.

“The State Government can’t just increase police resources and think the job is done. They should be increasing their focus on prevention and early intervention measures, increasing funding for front line social services and significantly increase funding for crisis housing, particularly in the Wallsend area,” said Ms Francis-Coan.

The State Election is on Saturday 23rd March 2019.

Contact Sinead Francis-Coan: 0478 188 908

Posted in 2019 State, 2019 State Campaign, Domestic Violence, Homelessness, Local Community | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Greens announce two strong young activists as their candidates for Newcastle and Wallsend

Today, the Newcastle Greens announced Sinead Francis-Coan as their candidate for the seat of Wallsend and Charlotte McCabe as their candidate for the seat of Newcastle.

Sinead Francis-Coan grew up in Jesmond, went to the Hunter School of the Performing Arts and the University of Newcastle and is an active supporter of better domestic violence facilities in Wallend. Sinead recently spear-headed the community campaign to keep the Towers Cinema open, launching  petition that received over 5200 signatures.

Charlotte McCabe lives in Tighes Hill, works as a community organiser and is active across a range of issues in the community. Charlotte was the community spokesperson for the Cover the Wagons campaign to reduce coal dust pollution in Newcastle suburbs along the train lines. Charlotte is passionate about reducing pollution, protecting our precious environment and addressing climate change.

“Newcastle does not need oil and gas platforms off our coast line. I will work hard with the Newcastle community to oppose the offshore oil and gas project off our coast. We love our beaches and we love our marine life, we will not allow their safety to be put at risk. Climate change is already here. Opening any new gas facility, let alone off our coast is madness. We need to elect people who will act to reduce pollution, build renewable energy infrastructure and look after the workers and the communities that will be affected by this transition,” Ms McCabe said.

“The Labor and Liberal parties have both been corrupted by their desire for power above all else, and their policies are heavily influenced by the special interests of political donors. By contrast, The Greens is a grassroots party that involves ordinary people in decision-making and represents those without money or power,” Ms McCabe said.

“The State Government is letting down the people of Wallsend. They are allowing our environment to be degraded, they’re not creating jobs in our local area and they’re not investing in the facilities the community wants,” Ms Francis-Coen said.

“There’s an urgent need for better facilities and more funding  to support survivors of domestic violence. The number of domestic violence survivors shows no signs of dropping. The State Government’s current approach is not working,” Ms Francis-Coan said.

Both Greens candidates said they will provide a clear alternative to the major party candidates because they are motivated by the local community’s needs, not careerism or party politics.


Charlotte McCabe 0421 728 780 and Sinead Francis-Coan: 0478 188 908

Posted in 2019 State, 2019 State Campaign, Media Releases | Leave a comment

John Mackenzie Announced as Greens Candidate for Newcastle

The Greens have announced Councillor John Mackenzie as their candidate for the seat of Newcastle in the upcoming Federal election.

On his selection John said:

“Firstly, to all Greens members, thank you for the trust and confidence you have shown in me in allowing me to once again represent you at this election.

As a Councillor for the City of Newcastle, I’ve had the opportunity to stand up and represent our vision for this city. I’ve championed renewable and clean energy initiatives from the solar farm to electric vehicle infrastructure to microgrids. I’ve worked to make Newcastle a state leader in affordable housing and refugee justice. I’ve been a staunch advocate for new urbanism and appropriate development, and I’ve taken at times unpopular positions on cycleways and transport corridors to future proof our city.

As a federal member for Newcastle, my values will remain the same.

I’m standing to represent the Greens commitment to 100% renewable energy and a public transport system that will create jobs and tackle climate change.

I’m standing so that we all can access a doctor when we need one, and a dentist before we need one.

I’m standing to change the rules to give all working people the basic rights they need to improve their living standards.

I’m standing to permanently protect our precious coast from the greed of mining companies who would see it become a gas field.

I’m looking forward to campaigning for a better future for our great city, and a better future for all of us.

And I look forward to catching up with you soon.”

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The Inaugural Margaret Henry Lecture

Margaret Henry was an indefatigable campaigner for a Newcastle planned for the needs of its community. Margaret was a Greens Councillor on Newcastle City from 1995 until 2004. She was also a founder of Save Our Rail and campaigned until she could no longer appear in public to save the intercity rail line into Newcastle.
Marcus Westbury, founder of Renew Newcastle and significant figure in the “This Is Not Art” Festival, will be the featured speaker. Marcus was one of the many people Margaret encouraged and supported in their endeavours to improve the social engagement of Novocastrians.
Please come along to this memorial lecture in her honour.
This coming Wednesday in the Concert Hall, City Hall.

Book tickets here

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NSW State Election March 2019 Preselection

Newcastle Greens members Sinead Francis-Coan and Charlotte McCabe have nominated to stand for preselection for the seats of Wallsend and Newcastle (respectively) in the upcoming NSW State Election scheduled for March 2019.

The preselection ballot opens on Tuesday 21st August and closes on Friday September 7. Statements from the two candidates are attached. Ballots will be sent out on Monday 20th August.

Candidate Profiles:

  1. Sinead Francis-Coan – Click here
  2. Charlotte McCabe – Click here

For more information, please contact

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Newcastle City Councillor, Dr John Mackenzie nominates to stand as the Newcastle Greens candidate for the next Federal election

I am a father, a social scientist, a community campaigner, a Councillor for the city of Newcastle and a lifelong advocate of progressive politics, social justice and environmental sustainability. I was privileged to represent the Newcastle Greens as your candidate in the 2016 Federal election, and I would welcome the opportunity to represent you again at the next election. Last year I was successfully elected as a Newcastle City Councillor. I have since served the city and the Newcastle Greens in representing the progressive movement in our region, providing a coherent voice for transformative social change, and securing positive social and environmental outcomes for our city.

Download Dr John Mackenzie´s preselection pitch here


Posted in 2018/19 Federal, Elections, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Greens Back Council’s Commitment to Ambitious Affordable Housing Program

The aggressive commitment to affordable housing by Newcastle Council has been heralded by Greens Councillor John Mackenzie as the defining achievement of this Council term to date.

“Everyone needs a home where they can feel secure, live comfortably and be part of the community,” said Councillor Mackenzie. “With so many now locked out of home ownership, we need better protections for renters, to make homes more affordable and to ensure affordable housing is available in areas with access to employment, health-care, public transport, schools and other social facilities.” Continue reading

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Removal of Pedestrian Mall in Hunter Street No Solution to Choked City

Greens Councillor John Mackenzie says a move to turn the Hunter Street pedestrian mall into a road with a higher speed limit is the consequence of planning decisions “choking the city”.

Newcastle City Council approved an “East End streetscape” plan on Tuesday night which will increase the speed limit in the mall from 10km/h to 40km/h and reinstate kerb and guttering.

Continue reading

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