NEWCASTLE has a problem with politics.
It’s treated like a blood sport where victory counts above all else, and that attitude is crippling our ability to reach smart economic solutions for our city.
To truly revitalise Newcastle, we must first revitalise our city’s political culture, and we are fast running out of time to do this.
I’m a small business owner working in industrial project management with a long-term view as to how old and new industry can and must work together to bring new jobs to our region.
I want my young sons to have a variety of career options. I want Newcastle to diversify and prosper in a socially progressive and economically sound way. I’m not left and I’m not right, not Liberal nor Labor. I’m for Newcastle.
Running for election as an independent, mostly self-funded candidate with an open-book campaign in an atmosphere of great hostility towards politicians has many people asking: “Are you mad?”
Yes, I am mad. Mad at what dishonesty, poor economic diversity and a lack of innovation is doing to this wonderful city.
I was furious to learn what both Liberal and Labor corruption has cost Newcastle. Mike Baird’s apology was empty and cynical and Labor hasn’t said sorry at all for denying us a container terminal and for bullying their own elected representative right out of office.
A prime example of the political pursuit of victory above all else is the subject that has been dividing our city physically, emotionally and politically – the heavy rail line.
It’s beyond ironic that Labor is calling the rail truncation an “act of vandalism”, even though they developed and promoted the project for years.
And for the Liberal government to oppose an inquiry into urban renewal decisions despite the stench emanating from ICAC is astounding.
Political victory before Newcastle’s best interests yet again.
I’m for the truncation of the rail line and I want light rail to join the CBD to the university and the hospital, but I’m also in favour of a thorough investigation into all major decisions around the Newcastle Urban Renewal Strategy.
Let’s bring all sides together and clear the air, once and for all.
Since the ICAC revelations, debate has also raged about political campaign funding.
I believe honesty and integrity are in short supply right now and so I’ve chosen to run an open-book campaign. All my donations, transactions and meetings are online at jacquelinehaines.com.
I invited the other candidates to join me and turn the tide against dodgy deals, secret clubs and shady party politics but no one has taken up the challenge. As I see it, those actions speak louder than words.
Newcastle needs a representative who isn’t either beholden to a single party’s agenda or funded and instructed by business powerbrokers to the exclusion of all other points of view.
I feel so strongly about this that I’ve decided not to do preference deals with any other candidates. Iwill not barter with your trust and put victory over ethics.
I urge you to allocate your own preferences as you see fit.
There’s an immense opportunity waiting to be unlocked by driving collaboration between academia, enterprise and government, and I have the skill set to bring both the old and new industries together to make this happen.
With this campaign I’m literally putting my money where my mouth is and standing up for a world-class future for Newcastle.
Every day I’m inspired by the great civil rights leader Martin Luther King, who said: “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.’’