IT’S been five long years since Newcastle last voted in a full council election.
In that time there have been corruption inquiries, resignations, by-elections, insolvency fears, rate hikes and merger proposals.
There have also been controversial decisions like the council’s support for a Supercars race in the city’s east end and the decision to cut ties with lending institutions that support the fossil fuel industry.
More than anything, this election has been fought on finances. The pro-business Newcastle Independent ticket supports capping rate increases because, they say, the council is collecting too much money.
Labor and the Greens say that’s a dangerous policy that risks undoing the progress made since 2012.
In the lead up to Saturday’s vote, the Newcastle Herald’s politics reporter Michael McGowan sat down with three of the seven candidates on the ballot to discuss their plans for the next term.
The three candidates – incumbent lord mayor Nuatali Nelmes, independent Kath Elliott and Greens Therese Doyle – were selected because it’s expected that they will surpass 10 per cent of the total vote.
The Liberal Party’s candidate David Compton was disendorsed by the party before the interviews took place.