Group wants all Newcastle councillors out of office

A NEW group running an insurgent campaign for Newcastle City Council says it wants to see all existing councillors swept from civic office.

The ‘‘Clean Sweep’’ team will be headed by retired Macquarie Generation human resources manager Col Peebles, who is standing for lord mayor.

Mr Peebles said late last week a fresh approach

was needed after the ‘‘dysfunction and disharmony’’ of recent times.

‘‘One of the definitions of insanity is doing the same thing over again and expecting to get a different result,’’ Mr Peebles said.

‘‘What people are desperately looking for is someone who can ... do a job that hasn’t been done for some time.

‘‘We love the city and we’re hoping to be part of the resurgence.’’

The group of independents includes Tim Bohlsen and Justin Oliver in Ward 1, and Krysia Walker, who will run in Ward 2 with Mr Peebles.

Ms Walker said the group had community and business experience, and would present a vision for the future of the city.

‘‘We don’t think you can look at the past council and say ‘they’re the good guys, vote out the bad guys’,’’ Ms Walker said.

‘‘We know we can get on with the incumbents, but we’d like it to be as much of a clean sweep as possible.’’

Rumours about the ticket, which evolved from discussions among business leaders at the Newcastle Club, have been circulating for some time.

Mr Peebles unsuccessfully nominated against Tim Owen for Liberal preselection in 2010, and Ms Walker was the Liberal candidate for Newcastle at the 2007 Federal election.

Both stressed the campaign was not political or about self-interest.

Mr Peebles said the ticket had a significant number of supporters and election volunteers.

Existing independents and conservatives have said they believe the Clean Sweep ticket will dilute the city-wide vote and play into the hands of the Labor Party.

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