We have decided to discontinue this Website as it has been little used and requires maintenance. We have found that most of our members and supporters prefer to follow us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/PtStephGreens
At election times we will have a dedicated website through Greens NSW
We are very grateful to the member who has supported this website for the last few years.
To assist voters make their choice in the 9 September election, Port Stephens Greens sent a questionnaire to all Mayoral and lead Group candidates for Port Stephens Council. Greens Questions for PSC candidates
Thirteen candidates responded and their completed questionnaires can be viewed below (see disclaimer at # below). (For further information you can also view the video of the TRRA Candidates Forum HERE )
We urge all voters to consider their choices carefully, and to remember that you don’t have to follow the preference recommendations of your first choice candidate or Group. Whether you are voting ‘above-the-line’ for a Group or ‘below the line’ for individual candidates, you can choose your own second, third, etc preferences.
#Please note that anyone printing and distributing ‘election material’ must comply with electoral law, including by including an ‘authorised by … and printed by …’ imprint. Also, any such material distributed on election day (9 September) had to be registered with the Electoral Commission by 1 September. We therefore advise viewers not to print and distribute any of the information on this page. Port Stephens Greens are not endorsing or supporting any candidate or group – we provide the candidates’ responses to our questionnaire for online viewing as a public service to assist voters in making their choice.
The election for Port Stephens Council on 9 September is an opportunity to replace the current council* with a more progressive cooperative and open alternative. Several candidates have already declared and when nominations close on 9 August we are likely to see a crowded field.
Rather than join that field and risk spoiling the chances of other good candidates, Port Stephens Greens will be putting our efforts into ensuring that voters are informed about the important issues and where the various candidates stand on those issues.
We are sending a questionnaire to all declared candidates and will make the responses public. We urge our members and supporters to play whatever part they can to bring about long-needed change to Port Stephens Council. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how you can help.
*We recommend the Newcastle Herald coverage of our current Council – see links in the TRRA election page HERE
After a busy 2016, including the federal election and campaigning on a range of local issues, Port Stephens Greens are seeing out the year with a Xmas social at the Hunter Botanical Gardens, Heatherbrae, on Sunday 11 December from 12.30pm. BYOG + picnic or BBQ – or use the Gardens café.
In the New Year we will meet regularly to continue our work supporting concerned local communities on issues such as the Williamtown contamination scandal; proposed new sand mines; protection of public lands and koala habitat, and more sustainable housing and commercial development. We will spread our message through market stalls and other events, while also having fun with movie nights and other socials.
We are in limbo as regards Council mergers, but whatever the State government decides we face the prospect of at least 12 months of an unelected Administrator before the next local elections. We will continue to press our case with whoever is calling the local government shots, as well as with State and Federal governments where appropriate.
In the federal election in July, the Greens managed to hold our vote close to previous levels in the face of many more options for those disillusioned with the old main parties. Locally we held our own in Paterson with our excellent candidate John Brown gaining 5.7% of the primary vote, and our voters preferences helped Labor to take the seat from the Liberals with a major swing. Disappointingly, there was a big vote for the Pauline Hanson One Nation party and other conservatives, although voters may not necessarily agree with the more reactionary views of these parties, but just be wanting to send a message about the failure of political elites to address real concerns. Our challenge is to persuade many of these people, as well as progressive Labor and Liberal voters, that the Greens offer real practical solutions.
While we wait for the NSW government to announce its intentions about the future of Port Stephens Council (a merger with Newcastle seems the most likely), we will not have Council elections in September. But other Hunter Councils do, and Port Stephens Greens will be helping Cessnock/Kurri Greens with the Cessnock election on 10 September. Offers of help to hand out ‘How to vote’ information at pre-poll from 29 August and on election day will be gratefully received.
Continuing local issues include the Williamtown contamination, where Senator Lee Rhiannon and NSW MLC Mehreen Faruqi have been helping to hold the relevant authorities to account and achieve meaningful action to assist the hundreds of affected families.
Port Stephens Greens remain active on a wide range of other local, state and federal issues, and we meet regularly in various locations, including for social events.
Tomorrow (Saturday 2 July) we have the chance to boost the state wide Greens vote and hopefully get Newcastle local Michael Osborne elected to the Senate alongside Lee Rhiannon. A strong vote for John Brown in Paterson will also send a message and could determine whether we have a Labor or Liberal MP for the next term.
Its not too late to help – we need extra help to ensure we can get our message over to voters at all polling booths (between 8am and 6pm). Please contact us today if you can spare an hour or two to handout our ‘How to vote Greens’ flyers.
Port Stephens Greens have joined with members in Maitland and Cessnock to pre-select John Brown as our candidate for Paterson in the forthcoming federal election.
John kicked off the campaign at a meeting in Raymond Terrace on 8 April with Senator Lee Rhiannon, who is up for re-election, our number 2 Senate candidate (and Newcastle Councillor) Michael Osborne, and Cessnock Councillor James Ryan.
The Greens have been vocal on the Williamtown contamination crisis, in support of the hundreds of families whose lives have been disrupted. The government has refused to act on many of the recommendations of the Senate Inquiry initiated by Senator Rhiannon, and Labor is refusing to commit to do any better if elected.
Port Stephens Greens have made a comprehensive submission to the Inquiry into the Liberal State Government’s flawed proposal to amalgamate Port Stephens and Newcastle Councils. See the submission here: PS Greens submission on Council merger
Our rejection of the merger should not be taken as satisfaction with the way Port Stephens Council has been run. The Mayor and his voting bloc of Councillors have irresponsibly portrayed the Government’s ideologically driven proposal as a ‘grab’ by a badly run Newcastle City for assets of a well managed Port Stephens. Neither assertion is true. But to the extent that Port Stephens has problems that need to be fixed, the voters should be left to address them through the ballot box at the next Council elections.
A public meeting has been called for Monday evening, 8 February to help Port Stephens and Newcastle residents defend local democracy by opposing the State Government’s proposal to merge the two Councils
“The State Government have initiated a poorly-advertised, tick-a-box, sham consultation process,” said Newcastle Greens Cllr Michael Osborne.
“When they made their forced council amalgamation announcement just before Christmas last year, they should have also announced a referendum of all affected residents,” Cllr Osborne said.
“For a council amalgamation to have any legitimacy, it should only proceed where residents and ratepayers of each local government area have voted in favour of amalgamation in a valid referendum,” Cllr Osborne said.
“A forced amalgamation between Newcastle City and Port Stephens is not the answer,” Newcastle Greens Cllr Therese Doyle said.
“When amalgamations have been forced on locals in other states like Victoria and Queensland, rates have gone up, services have stagnated and residents end up less connected to their local councillors,” Cllr Doyle said.
“When the NSW Parliamentary Inquiry into local government handed down its final report last year, they recommended that the Baird government commit to a policy of no forced amalgamations after finding that much of the ‘Fit for the Future’ assessment process was flawed,” Cllr Doyle said.
“The Baird Government has failed to release the key financial modelling report being relied upon,” Cr Doyle said.
“We are encouraging all residents to come along and hear the facts about the proposed forced amalgamation,” said John Brown, on behalf of Port Stephens Greens.
A submission guide will be provided on the night.
Public Meeting: Keep our Councils Local!
When: Monday 8th February 6pm to 8pm
Where: Gallipoli Legion Club; upstairs, 3-5 Beaumont St, Hamilton (Newcastle)
David Shoebridge, Greens NSW Upper House MP, Spokesperson on Local Government
Kate Washington, Labor MP for Port Stephens, Shadow Minister for Hunter
Tim Crakanthorp, Labor MP for Newcastle, Councillor on Newcastle City Council
Therese Doyle, Greens Councillor on Newcastle City Council