Doyle says Greens will keep rate rise

THE Newcastle Greens say they will continue to support the council’s 48.9 per cent special rate variation, saying they want to see the city’s services expanded.

The Greens launched their campaign on Monday, the party saying it would push for a “stronger, more sustainable, more caring and more diverse Newcastle”.

Mayoral candidate Therese Doyle, who along with fellow Green Michael Osborne helped Labor control the numbers in the council following Jeff McCloy’s resignation in 2014, said the Greens wanted a council that was “transparent, open and accountable to its residents”.

She said the party would retain its support for the rate increase, saying it only placed the city “around the median” in NSW and that calls for its removal were “part of a scare campaign”.

“The council has to be more than roads, rates and rubbish,” she said.

“We also think council has a role to play in social cohesion, so for that reason we think rates need to go into things like making sure we have thriving arts and cultural community, and programs for our young people.”