Robbo in running for Newcastle City Council

ALLAN Robinson reckons he’s a good bet in the race for City Hall.

The former champion jockey and Footy Show larrikin confirmed yesterday that he would stand at the Newcastle City Council election in September.

He will head Cr Aaron Buman’s ticket in Ward 4.

Speaking exclusively to the Newcastle Herald, Mr Robinson said the council needed strong and visible characters.

‘‘Ask 95 per cent of people in Newcastle who you contact on council, they haven’t got a clue,’’ he said. ‘‘They’ll have someone [to contact] in Robbo.’’

Mr Robinson stands a strong chance of being elected. Cr Buman owns the Racecourse Hotel at Wallsend and has previously polled strongly in the city’s western suburbs.

Mr Robinson retired from racing in 2010 after a record-breaking and controversial 30-year track career.

He has racked up thousands of winners on the track, while often courting controversy and falling foul of racing officials.

Mr Robinson has not been in the saddle since a horror fall at Cessnock on Jungle Juice Cup day in July 2010.

Last month he went to his first race meeting in two years – not as a rider but a spectator - at Gosford’s Anzac Day meeting.

Mr Robinson said he wanted to be remembered ‘‘for doing something good’’ in Newcastle.

‘‘I could have gone to Sydney or Brisbane or Melbourne but I elected to stay in Newcastle.

‘‘I wanted my kids to grow up here and I want to retire here.’’

Mr Robinson said of the current crop of councillors: ‘‘No one knows them’’.

‘‘They’re great people to give their time, but have some of them run their race?’’

The 45-year-old said he wanted the council to reduce its development application approval times and to focus on basic services.

Cr Buman said he had no hesitation in supporting Mr Robinson, whom he compared to himself.

‘‘He’s a short bloke with a big mouth who might upset some people, but he’s a very strong person and a very decisive person and ... he’s going to work tirelessly,’’ Cr Buman said.

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