Arjay Martin -

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2015 / 2014 Charlestown By Election Coverage

N. B.  These are as they appeared in the articles - either Edited by Editors or otherwise.

What are your thoughts?  Use the Contact form on this website to let me know.


2015 / 2014 Charlestown Election in the Press.

I am supportive of the container terminal at Newcastle. It will diversify our economy, create local jobs in both the development of the terminal and support infrastructure, reduce transport costs, and create future jobs for the life of the terminal. This terminal will put Newcastle on the map internationally and will economically showcase the Hunter as more than just a place for coal and wine.

However, I believe that the money raised from this terminal should not disappear into the state coffers (for Sydney's use, as per usual), but should be kept local to fund key infrastructure such as roads, rail, public transport and our vital hospital system through the Hunter Infrastructure & Investment Fund (or equivalent).

 We create around 20% of State Revenue, have 10% of the State's Population, yet receive only around 5% of State Spending. This is unjust.

I will take this issue to the state government, and find out why they felt it was necessary to restrict the Hunter from developing local infrastructure, in favour of Botany and Port Kembla; and to find out why our local terminal provider has to pay substantive fees to competitors at other Ports in order to conduct business here. This is clearly adverse to our local economy, one in which we should diversify the economy to reduce financial risks through market collapse.

Newcastle was the preferred port for car imports/exports by the Automotive Industry, yet the then Labor Government 'gifted' the jobs & investment to Wollongong (Port Kembla), after courting both cities for two lots of votes.
 The government is just as accountable for trade/competition 'restrictions' as any private corporation.

These are local issues that require local solutions, local jobs and local infrastructure. The development of this terminal provides for an excellent opportunity to kick-start the local economy and provide the infrastructure that will support the future of the entire Hunter Valley.

It is my intention to stand as a candidate in the 2015 NSW State Election and continue to help in anyway that I can.

Arjay Martin.

 Arjay Martin. • a few seconds ago

Remember that Jodi took the job from Bryce... Also, these secret deals will continue when people vote for the same people (and same class of people). Secret deals and clauses are not in line with Transparency, nor representation of the People, by the People, for the People. Just like when they close down roads on purpose to funnel traffic into Macquarie Bank Private Toll Ways... Mvr - send me a message on my website and you might well get out of paying your fine...

Arjay Martin.
 mvr • a day ago

How scurrilous are these people - the Politicians - the Consortiums - and the Laywers - who all know exactly what they are doing - and yet they use their unlawful Power - to cripple any area they choose, by making secretive deals, with secretive clauses.
 Newcastle would benefit enormously from a container terminal - after BHP closed. There would have been many jobs and more business opening up and the City would have had far more activity.
 You can fine me for not voting - because I won't vote for any of the dishonest ratbags! And I'm damned if I'll pay the fine!
 Newcastle container terminal block may be 'unlawful', says ACCC

 Oct. 30, 2014, 12:34 p.m.

AUSTRALIA’S competition regulator says any restrictions on container trade through the Port of Newcastle may be ‘‘unlawful and . . . unenforceable’’.

In an annual report on stevedoring published on Thursday, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has investigated the way the state government leased Port Botany and Port Kembla to one consortium for $5.07billion and Newcastle to another group for $1.75billion.

The ACCC quoted a Newcastle Herald report of May 11 this year, which said: ‘‘The government has confirmed it leased Botany with a clause that prevented Newcastle from competing against it with a container terminal. And the Newcastle lease is believed to contain a similar undertaking.’’

The ACCC noted that the government had planned Port Kembla as the next container port after Botany, but said ‘‘any sale conditions designed to boost asset sale prices by reducing potential competitive pressures on the asset operator would be of concern to the ACCC’’.

‘‘The ACCC encourages early engagement from State governments on any competition issues that may arise in relation to the proposed sale structures or sale conditions for any monopoly or near monopoly assets, including any restrictions on competition proposed in the arrangements,’’ the report says.

‘‘Such restrictions may be unlawful and could be unenforceable.’’

The state government has repeatedly said there is no ‘‘legislated cap’’ on container trade through Newcastle but after months of investigation, the Herald believes that restrictions have been written in to various legal and commercial documents produced for the privatisations.

Port Botany did about 2.2million containers in 2013 and and the former BHP steelworks berths in Newcastle could handle 3million containers a year.

But the apparent restrictions on Newcastle mean its operator would have to pay Botany a substantial per-container fee if Newcastle’s container trade grew much beyond the 15,000 or so containers done at present.

 The fee is large enough to make a Newcastle expansion commercially prohibitive.

Answering a parliamentary question in October 17, 2013 Ports Minister Duncan Gay acknowledged ‘‘a cap on numbers’’ at Newcastle but said ‘‘we do not envisage that any compensation will need to be put in place’’.

Analyst Greg Cameron, who has spent years from his Canberra home promoting the benefits of a Newcastle container terminal, said the ACCC report showed the importance of the issue.

‘‘I will continue to push for answers on this because a Newcastle container terminal would be a massive economic boost for the Hunter and regional NSW, while easing a lot of the road congestion around southern Sydney from container-laden trucks,’’ Mr Cameron said.

Asked what it knew about the restrictions on Newcastle, an ACCC spokesperson said the commission had been given information by state government officials ‘‘on the basis that we would keep that information confidential’’.
But it was ‘‘concerned by any restrictions imposed by governments which have the purpose or effect of substantially lessening competition’’ and was talking with the ‘‘parties involved in the privatisation’’ of NSW ports.

The reporter left out the fact that I was not invited - that the Union (Newcastle Trades Hall Council), run by LABOR Councillor Daniel Wallace, did not invite me and it was falsely reported to the Newcastle Herald by the Union that all were.

Obviously this was a political ploy - I'm not sure if others were not invited, or if it is because I am putting WD40 and rust converter on 'Rusted On Labor Voters'...

I told the reporter this and that if I had notice (instead of reading... it in the Paper) then I could have done some research on the matter. Speak to various people, etc.

The 'Nurses Union' then sent me a childish Email calling me 'Ms Martin', later I was referred to as 'Mr Martin' after I sent 'Ms Holmes' a reply that I was not invited, etc.

Comments are not enabled on that page for me to correct the report.

I might've seemed a bit annoyed at the time of the reporter calling me - since just wasted nearly a full day and have more expense and inconvenience due to having just found out about my car windscreen.  I did say a couple of times to the reporter something like 'sorry if I sound abrupt... car vandalised again', so maybe that annoyed the journalist (shrugs).  I did ask that she report that I was not invited.

The Reporter didn't want to call Daniel to get his side of the story.

Dear Ms Martin

Please find attached correspondence from the NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association seeking your policy position and priorities for health prior to the Charlestown state by election on 25 October 2014.

Yours sincerely

Brett Holmes
General Secretary, NSWNMA
Branch Secretary, ANMF NSW Branch

Majority of byelection candidates back NSW nurses' 'ratio' campaign

By ASHLEIGH GLEESON Oct. 22, 2014, 5:05 p.m.

ALL but two of the Hunter’s by-election candidates have thrown their support behind mandated nurse-to-patient ratios at John Hunter Hospital’s emergency department.

ALL but two of the Hunter’s by-election candidates have thrown their support behind mandated nurse-to-patient ratios at John Hunter Hospital’s emergency department.

The nurse’s union recently sent out a letter to candidates asking if they would fight to introduce a 1:3 nurse-to-patient ratio at the busy emergency department.

It followed the release of internal NSW Health documents which showed an extra 500,000 people would choke state emergency departments each year if Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s GP co-payment got through.

NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association Member organiser Laura McKone said she was really pleased with how much support candidates had shown for their ‘ratios’ campaign.

She said that two candidates running for the Charlestown seat were yet to commit: Palmer United Party endorsed independent Suellen Wrightson and Independent candidate Arjay Martin.

“We are very happy with the overall positive response from the candidates from both electorates,” she said.

“We wanted to get to the candidates before the election and we will be holding them to this.”

Ms Wrightson said she was trying to get a hold of the Liberal Party for more information so she could make an “informed decision” before responding.

“I support wholeheartedly increasing our nursing numbers in order to balance out that ratio,” she added.

“In an emergency department setting we cannot compromise our level of care.

“But I have a responsibility to make an informed decision on what I’m supporting.”

Mr Martin was wanting to do more investigation into the issue.

“I was a community service worker and appreciate the hard work that nurses do,” he said.

“I haven’t had a chance to investigate this or find out the implications of the mandatory ratios.

“What happens if they don’t have enough nurses and an extra patient comes in?”

Independent candidate for Charlestown Arjay Martin's car attacked again

Oct. 22, 2014, 8:33 p.m.

INDEPENDENT candidate Arjay Martin has suffered another attack on his car in the lead up to the Charlestown by-election.

Independent candidate for Charlestown Arjay Martin.

INDEPENDENT candidate Arjay Martin has suffered another attack on his car in the lead up to the Charlestown by-election.

The words “Vote 1 idiot” were scratched across the windscreen on Monday night while his car was parked on the street near his Dudley home.

He said the scratches “appeared to be an inch thick” and followed incidents earlier this month where two wing-mirrors were broken, his car was egged, and someone dented it.

“Someone’s obviously got up on the bonnet to write it,” Mr Martin said.

“I’d rather people combat me with words, rather than damaging my private property.”  He has reported the incident to police.  Attacks on the same car during previous campaigns cost him about $1500.

Arjay Martin, Independent candidate for the seat of Charlestown - 15/10/14, Newcastle Herald

"I’m sick of lying, hypocritical politicians. I’ve lived in Adamstown Heights, Gateshead, Warners Bay, Charlestown, Cardiff and Dudley. With more than four years of council experience, I am well aware of the issues - many are decades old. I work for a research company and run Dream Bubble Media."

Byelection: Charlestown seat profile

A look at the seat of Charlestown for the October 25 byelection.


Margin: vacant, LIB 9.9 per cent v ALP


Luke Arms (Independent) Marc Sky (Independent)

Jane Oakley (Greens)

Suellen Wrightson (Palmer United-backed Independent)

Jodie Harrison (Labor)

Luke Cubis (Independent)

 Arjay Martin (Independent)

Reverend Brian Tucker (Christian Democrats)

Veronica Hope (Independent)

Electorate profile: Adamstown, Adamstown Heights, Belmont North, Bennetts Green, Cardiff, Cardiff South, Charlestown, Dudley, Eleebana, Floraville, Garden Suburb, Gateshead, Highfields, Hillsborough, Jewells, Kahibah, Kotara, Kotara South, Mount Hutton, Redhead, Tingira Heights, Warners Bay, Whitebridge, Windale

THE ALP had always held Charlestown until one of the biggest swings to the Liberal Party in the state occurred at the 2011 poll.

Although it has campaigned ever since to regain its other losses of Newcastle, Swansea and Maitland, Charlestown appeared long gone for Labor due to the changing demographics of many suburbs and the popularity of Andrew Cornwell, both of which had transformed the electorate into effectively safe Liberal territory.

But now it is a real prospect again, far sooner than Labor could have dreamed, following the Liberal MP’s dramatic fall from grace at the ICAC and his former party’s decision not to contest the byelection.  The seat was created in 1971. Labor’s Richard Face, the former gaming and racing minister in the Carr government, held it for three decades from 1972 until his retirement in 2003.

Matthew Morris, the son of former federal Labor MP Peter Morris, then took over, before he was spectacularly beaten by Cardiff vet Cornwell. It has since emerged Cornwell accepted money from developers Hilton Grugeon and Jeff McCloy that was spent on his campaign.  Once earmarked a future minister, the government whip moved to the cross bench, then resigned from parliament on the same day as Newcastle’s Time (sic)  Owen.

The seat covers those suburbs where Lake Macquarie and Newcastle meet.  Cornwell had major wins at booths in Eleebana Public, Garden Suburb Public and Kotara High.  With no major contentious issue similar to Newcastle’s rail line, the campaign is dominated by bread and butter issues such as health funding and jobs, although a mooted merger between Lake Macquarie and Newcastle councils and the quest to build the Glendale interchange project have arisen.

Labor’s candidate is the best known. Jodie Harrison was preselected prior to Cornwell’s resignation, and is the popularly-elected mayor of Lake Macquarie.  She has served on the council since 2008.

Small business owner and Greens candidate Jane Oakley contested the last federal election in the seat of Shortland for her party.  Suellen Wrightson is backed by billionaire Clive Palmer’s Palmer United Party, but will appear on the ballot as an independent because the party isn’t registered for NSW elections.  Brian Tucker is contesting Charlestown for the Christian Democrats Party.

Several independents are standing; Veronica Hope, Luke Arms, Marc Sky, Luke Cubis and Arjay Martin.

No one invited me... maybe since who runs the 'Trades Hall'? Anyway, don't believe everything you read, I guess.


Newcastle, Charlestown byelection 2014: Candidates asked to back nurses

By ASHLEIGH GLEESON         13/10/14

BYELECTION candidates will be asked to formally support the introduction of mandated nurse-to-patient ratios at John Hunter Hospital’s emergency department.      

BYELECTION candidates will be asked to formally support the introduction of mandated nurse-to-patient ratios at John Hunter Hospital’s emergency department.

The campaign by the Nurses and Midwives’ Association comes after NSW Health documents released this month stated an extra 500,000 people would choke NSW emergency departments each year if Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s GP co-payment was passed.  Union organiser Laura McKone said nurses at the John Hunter emergency department were  so “strapped” recently they had to bring in staff from other wards to help them cope. 

 Union members have endorsed a plan to find out which Newcastle and Charlestown candidates will pledge support to having mandated 1:3 nurse-to-patient ratios at John Hunter’s emergency department. A letter has been sent to candidates asking them to  write back with their position.  Their responses will be revealed at a Newcastle Trades Hall meeting that candidates have been invited to on Thursday.

Read more about the byelections and candidates here

My comment that the Newc. Herald site won't let me publish...

The Bike / Footpath comment was in direct relation to a 'cycling question' that I was asked. People should not be prosecuted for riding on a footpath in a safe manner. The footpaths here are generally not crowded with people, and are underutilised more so since people are fined for riding on them (unless a child, or teaching a child to ride). I was nearly killed myself by a Lake Macquarie City Council road pothole, when riding a bike, about 7 years ago. The footpath would be a heck of a lot safer, and of course widened footpaths are called 'shared paths' / 'shared cycle ways' & are useful indeed. When I lived in Adamstown Heights I used to utilise them extensively. I also stated, in the tiny amount of time to speak (not much time to get a point across or clarify things), that it is NOT a good thing to convert a full lane of traffic on roads, generally speaking, into 'bicycle only lanes'. About 1.6% of people regularly use bikes to travel to work, in the area.

Why should people be prosecuted for not harming other people? Whatever happened to 'No victim, no crime' - or 'Freedom of Movement' in Australia... or 'Freedom' at all?

50% of the road ways should not be converted into bicycle only lanes (used by all taxi/bus/car travellers... so 90% or more of the commuters in some areas - depending if the person lives near, and works near a train station). Bike lanes on widened roads is NOT the same as converting whole lanes of car traffic into bike only lanes. Bus only lanes is sort of similar in many ways. Impeding private transport in order to force people to use public transport, or to use bikes, to not use cars - is not intelligent / warranted.

The article doesn't state that it was me that talked about City Rd / Hillsborough Rd duplication. Funny comment at the end about Bernie not running; he might well have a lot to offer the area. There were lots of 'red shirts' there - some not even in red shirts - some pulling faces at me (and others?) as I spoke.

Arjay Martin - Independent for Charlestown

Charlestown byelection forum: Liberals a no show in lacklustre affair

 By JASON GORDON  15/10/14

IT seemed like everyone turned up for a fight but the opposition failed to show.

Nine candidates took to the stage of Charlestown Bowling Club, all ready to face the voters at the October 25 byelection. They spoke of the need for better health services, better transport systems and the need for more honest politicians.

But the real enemy wasn’t there. The Liberals who put them all into this mess, the ICAC bad guys everyone wanted to fight, weren’t there.

The closest things came to a stoush at Wednesday night’s candidates forum was when one punter yelled for independent Arjay Martin to stop telling everyone what Labor hadn’t done during previous terms and start telling the mildly engaged crowd about what he would do to fix things.

The theme was always going to be honesty, trust, accountability, or all the things apparently lacking in Hunter politics over the past six months.

Duplicating the horrendous City and Hillsborough roads got a brief mention, but less than they deserved. The ridiculous lack of public transport in eastern Lake Macquarie also rated, but only briefly.

Greens candidate Jane Oakley appeared via a pre-recorded video because she had to fly to New Zealand for a family funeral. She spoke of the need to reform political donations laws and planning processes, of youth unemployment and public transport.

Labor candidate and Lake Macquarie mayor Jodie Harrison also spoke about voters being disillusioned and angry. She spoke about the Liberals’ TAFE cuts, the offshoring of jobs, and asked to be judged on her track record.

Independent Luke Arms joked that he was ‘‘here because he’d run out of room to vent his frustrations on Facebook’’. He spoke about those rotten political donations in brown paper bags, the need to attract technology and major industry to Charlestown, and railed against the privatisation of public services.

Suellen Wrightson, the Clive Palmer-backed independent said the word ‘‘politician’’ left a bad taste in her mouth. Yes indeed, nodded the crowd. She spoke strongly about the need for a better health system and against TAFE cuts.

Reverend Brian Tucker, the Christian Democrat, delivered a forceful sermon on the need for more nurses, more accountability in the judicial system and a fairer education system.

Recovering from his interruption by the rude punter, Arjay Martin spoke about the need for an integrated transport system, against the offshoring of jobs, Labor’s lies and laws which would allow cyclists to ride on the footpath instead of the road.

Independent Marc Sky also spoke about an ailing health system, a broken education system and crumbling infrastructure – and the feeling of being held to ransom by politicians who didn’t keep promises.

Independent Veronica Hope shed tears when saying she was standing for her 12-year-old niece who she feared would ‘‘fall through the cracks’’ of this broken-down world. She also lamented having to work in Sydney because there was no work in Charlestown for well-educated people.

Luke Cubis, another independent, wanted the inquiry into political corruption to go deeper. Health, education, transport and emergency services needed more money and more attention.

Collectively the Charlestown candidates left the crowd a little underwhelmed. If only the Liberals were there we might have seen a real fight, maybe even real passion.

Still, in a closing address Newcastle academic Bernie Curran reminded us all that these forums and these elections ‘‘are the building blocks for our communities’’.

We’ve all been left disillusioned and disappointed by the events of the past few months, he said.

‘‘We’re desperate to see the political system working properly again, and get rid of this sense of hopelessness that has taken over,’’ he said. ‘‘We want the rhetoric to become a reality. We need to lift our game. We as people need to lift our game if the political process and the forum for ideas is going to change.’’

Unfortunately, Bernie’s not running in the byelection.

Thank you Peter:
peter • 6 days ago

Very disappointing that candidates have not taken advantage of this forum to state their case on issues raised, (with the exception of Mr Martin an independent in Charlestown) ...
What are they scared of or don't they know this forum has been here all this week?
Great stuff Herald.

Newcastle, Charlestown byelection October 25 2014. 4/10/14

WHAT do you think are the burning issues facing Newcastle and Charlestown right now?  Do you have a question you think must be answered by one – or all – of the candidates standing in the October 25 state byelections?  The Newcastle Herald, in conjunction with the Hunter Business Chamber and the Newcastle Institute, is giving you the opportunity to get involved and have your say.

Candidates’ forums will be held in Charlestown at the Charlestown Bowling Club on October 15 and in Newcastle at Souths Leagues Club on October 16.  The rooms will open at 5pm for a 5.30pm start.  And we want you to tell us what matters to you.  You can submit specific questions you would like asked on the night.

Alternatively, you can suggest the essential topics that you’d like our panel to raise.  Due to the large number of candidates, it will limit the ability to take questions from the floor, so here is a chance to contribute.  Obviously, there’s the rail issue in Newcastle. We expect – and welcome – questions on that hot topic.  But we want to look beyond that debate.  So think about the state of our hospitals and the state of our schools. What about the health of the Hunter’s economy? About jobs?  If elected, how would the candidates plan to represent their electorates from outside the government?  We’re sure there are many more ... so, it’s over to you.  Submit your questions and/or suggestions below.

Arjay Martin - Independent

Good that people are taking notice and starting to make a noise - I hope that my flyers mention of Council / Jodie Harrison's support of 'Buy Nothing New Month' harming local businesses and the local economy had some part in getting the message out.

Arjay Martin - Independent for Charlestown
JB • a day ago
It's time the council practiced what it preaches and buy no new office furniture, computers or staff cars. Set us an example and lead on.

Lake Macquarie businesses outraged over council support for 'Buy Nothing New' campaign


 LAKE Macquarie business chambers are flabbergasted at the city council’s support for a “Buy Nothing New Month” initiative.

In a press release, the council described the program as ‘‘a challenge for households to buy nothing new except essentials such as food, medicines and hygiene products’’.

Charlestown Business Chamber vice-president John Wheeler said businesses could lose a lot of money.  ‘‘What if we had a campaign that said ‘don’t pay any council rates for a month’,’’ Mr Wheeler said.

Council sustainability manager Alice Howe said Buy Nothing New Month was an opportunity for consumers to consider alternatives to buying new stuff.  She urged people to ‘‘head along to our Super Street Sale in Toronto, Cameron Park and Belmont this month to pick up a few bargains’’.  The street sales aimed to ‘‘reduce waste going to landfill by recycling unwanted household items’’.

Mr Wheeler said he was ‘‘all for supporting the environment’’. ‘‘But as far as not buying anything new goes, I can’t support that,’’ he said.  ‘‘It’s like saying we won’t buy anything from K-mart or Big W or anything like that – you might as well send all the staff home.’’

Toronto Chamber of Commerce president Gail Ryan said she was shocked when she read the council press release.  ‘‘It was like ‘holy-dooly, what are they doing to the businesses of the local town’,’’ Mrs Ryan said.  ‘‘We want to get people back to Toronto to shop locally.’’

A council statement said it was a ‘‘strong supporter of local business’’ but Buy Nothing New Month was a global movement to focus awareness on consumption habits.  ‘‘The campaign is striving to reduce unnecessary purchases for one month,’’ the council said.  The council said it was an ‘‘opportunity to explore the many fabulous retailers of pre-loved, second-hand, rented or borrowed goods’’ in the area.

My comments:
All 'Printed by' information on Electoral Material must publish a full physical address - not PO Box.  This includes for State, Council, and Federal Elections.  Further, all 'Authorised by' information for Council and Federal Elections (even outside of the Electoral Period for Federal Elections) must also contain the physical address of where the person may be regularly found.  I have been involved with the 2011 State Seat of Charlestown Election, the current Seat of Charlestown Election (2014 By Election), the 2013 Federal Election, and 2012 Council/Mayoral Election for Lake Macquarie.  My address has needed to be printed previously.

There is also indirect discrimination in that Independents, by definition being 'alone' without Party Machinery behind it, are generally forced into being their own Printer (costs are prohibitive for smaller production runs than the millions of bits of Paper from the Parties) and Authoriser.  Many people hold a real fear of being discriminated against for work/government contracts/etc for actively helping Independents - especially not wanting their address published as Authoriser after hearing stories of vehicular vandalism, full trash bins being stolen, etc.

Furthermore, some Printers refuse to print electoral material as their details are printed on the electoral material and they claim that people will perceive them as actively supporting, or sponsoring said Independent Candidates; or that people see what a terrible job they do (printing quality wise) as was the case of Officeworks (who were by far the cheapest non-off-set printing - for low quantities) 'banning' me (& supposedly everyone else) from ever printing electoral material there again.  Therefore I am forced to print my own electoral materials.  The Parties have their own Printeries, just as many large companies do, so do not get affected by such laws as 'Printed By' must be included or else there are five figured fines and other penalties (depending on 'level of government' that the election is for).

Hmmm ... Arjay wants to legalise pot. Know anything about that?

see more

Arjay Martin - Independent  to acrula 

Medical 'Pot' for Terminal and Chronic conditions... studies have shown anti-cancer fighting abilities, pain removal, etc.

Prohibition didn't work for alcohol either - but led to Bonny and Clyde, the Gangsters, etc. It'd be better if people could go to Court about 'being ripped off bro', rather than shooting people (innocents caught in the cross fire).


Future Thinker • 2 days ago

Obviously the major political parties are scared that an Independent candidate will represent the best interests of the electorate rather than the wishes of the unelected political hacks that control pre-selection in major parties for the benefit of political patrons.

Newcastle, Charlestown byelection 2014: Suspected political attack on candidate Arjay Martin             

By DAMON CRONSHAW 13/10/2014 Newcastle Herald

A CASE of suspected political sabotage has struck the Charlestown byelection, with an independent candidate suffering four attacks on his car.

Arjay Martin has been the victim of suspected political attacks on his car.

A CASE of suspected political sabotage has struck the Charlestown byelection, with an independent candidate suffering four attacks on his car.

Arjay Martin, of Dudley, said two wing-mirrors on his car had been broken in separate incidents, someone kicked and dented his car and it was egged.

‘‘I think they’re scumbags,’’ Mr Martin said of the perpetrators, adding he had reported the incidents to police.

‘‘Every election time these things happen.’’

This is the third time Mr Martin has run in an election.

During past campaigns, he suffered  two slashed car tyres, a scratched car, two nails in tyres, a full garbage bin and two number plates stolen, a cracked car windscreen and about a dozen car eggings.

He said the attacks had cost him about $1500.

Political operators know where he lives, he said.

‘‘It is a terrible thing that independent candidates are forced to publish their address on electoral material once the writs have been issued.’’

Mr Martin said he was told post-office box numbers could not be used.

A NSW Electoral Commission spokesman said post-office box numbers would be accepted to protect privacy.

My response to KMac's Question...

KMac - The Mayor is on around $85 000 per annum tax free income from Rate Payers 'Mayoral and Councillor "Allowance" '... she also gets a sports car that cost us each year 1.5 times the average Charlestown Electorate rent (Over $20,000 per annum), plus fuel card, telephone allowance, ipad, computer, $87 000 per annum secretary, conference allowance, catering, courses, etc. That $200 000+ in value, for a Part Time job - is in addition to her pay from the private Association Local Government NSW. How can she possibly empathise, relate, or help 'normal folk'... I could go into the wages, etc. but the 'do nothing' Mayor - who promised the people of Cameron Park, as her #1 Priority, a roundabout at Minmi Road and Northlakes Drive... a roundabout which sees (according to Police) 1 to 2 crashes every day... a roundabout that was paid for years ago via the Developer's S 94 Contribution... a roundabout - that like the Previous Labour Govt. 'purchased dredge' - does not exist!

She still votes for her own pay-rise each year too - my prediction if she 'gets in' to parliament - the attempted dismantling of Rate Pegging - and more Special Rates Variations until that gets through - as MP she isn't going to oppose her own decisions as Mayor, is she?

If you want to see, and promote, an alternative for the Charlestown By Election - who cares, who will represent, consult with, inform, and make a valuable contribution to the area / State / Country - then please go to my website where I have 52 comprehensive yet concise points.


KMac • 10 hours ago

I would love to know just how much it costs rate payers in wages and conferences etc. to run this council!! Cause not much money is spent on the "inner suburbs" !.


LAKE Macquarie Council’s infrastructure backlog is up to $108 million. By DAMON CRONSHAW Oct. 7, 2014, 10:30 p.m.

LAKE Macquarie City Council’s infrastructure backlog has blown out from $93 million to $108 million in the past year.

This massive bill – of which all councils have their own versions – is defined as the cost to bring infrastructure to a satisfactory standard.

Newcastle City Council’s backlog was $98million last year and across NSW the figure is estimated at more than $7billion.

A Lake Macquarie council report said it ‘‘continues to have difficulties in addressing the increasing infrastructure gap’’. The report said the figure ‘‘highlights the gap between required and annual maintenance expenditure’’.

‘‘Council continues to strive for full cash funding of its annual depreciation expense in order to fund the replacement of assets when required.’’

A NSW Local Government Review Panel 2013 report said council data on infrastructure backlogs was ‘‘widely considered to be unreliable and is likely to overstate the real cost of bringing assets to a satisfactory standard’’.

‘‘Where councils rigorously review cost estimates and consult their communities to determine realistic, affordable levels of service, the consequence is often very considerable reductions,’’ it said.

However, the report said extra spending on maintenance and renewal was needed to ensure assets would not deteriorate.

A Lake Macquarie council statement said its backlog increase was mainly due to the Office of Local Government changing guidelines for what was considered satisfactory.

It partly attributed the increase to construction-cost rises.

If the backlog was not tackled over the long term, ‘‘it may lead to an overall deterioration of asset condition’’, the council said.

It was ‘‘working to address this’’ through its asset management and long-term financial plans.

As previously reported, the panel recommended that Lake Macquarie and Newcastle councils merge.

Lake Macquarie residential ratepayers have already been hit with an average rate rise of 55 per cent over seven years.

And they could face more rate rises above inflation in future, regardless of any merger.

The panel recommended rate-pegging be reviewed ‘‘in the context of a wider effort to address infrastructure backlogs and ensure financial sustainability’’.

Councils often blame their financial problems on cost shifting and a lack of help from federal and state governments.

However, the panel said ‘‘cost-shifting has been overstated relative to other factors’’ and councils ‘‘need to face the reality that there are no pots of gold in Canberra or Macquarie Street’’.


Lake Macquarie City Council infrastructure backlog

Roads (includes footpaths and kerb and guttering) $93 million

Buildings $5.7 million

Open space and parks $3 million

Swimming pools $751,000

Libraries $181,000 

Newcastle and Charlestown state by-election candidates to speak at community forums
Oct. 6, 2014, 4:18 p.m.

NEWCASTLE and Charlestown residents will next week have the opportunity to meet their candidates for the October 25 state byelections.

The Newcastle Institute, in conjunction with the Hunter Business Chamber and the Newcastle Herald, has organised two community forums.

The Charlestown forum will be held on October 15, from 5.30pm to 7pm at Charlestown Bowling Club. South Leagues Club will host the Newcastle forum on October 16, 5.30pm to 7pm.

And again...  with the Greens being able to promise whatever since not electable at this stage + interesting comments:

  • smithy • 2 days ago

    The picture should show this pair standing in front of a cave wearing woven grass skirts as that's what their harebrained schemes would surely deliver us, it's easy to make these stupid broad statements when you know your level of electoral support will never require you to actually enact anything.

  • Get Real • 2 days ago
  • It's time the greens stopped their populist rhetoric and tell us just how many Kooragang type wind turbines would be needed to replace the Eraring dinosaur. (Hint: use kWh and GWh. Households is not a unit of electrical power.) Another interesting exercise would be to calculate the total area of solar panels needed to replace Eraring.


Jane Oakley, John Kaye, Michael Osborne fire burns on energy
By JASON GORDONOct. 3, 2014, 8 p.m.

GREENS: Jane Oakley, seen here with John Kaye, says coal-fired power stations are polluting dinosaurs.

THE Greens have turned up some climate change heat on Labor byelection candidates, accusing them of hypocrisy over their stance on the Hunter’s coal-fired power stations.

State Greens MP John Kaye joined the party’s Newcastle candidate, Michael Osborne, and Charlestown candidate Jane Oakley in Newcastle yesterday,  saying Labor candidates were ‘‘saying nice things about the environment while their party was doing the opposite’’.

The environmental storm formed in August when Labor refused to support a Greens’ bill aimed at replacing all coal and gas-fired power stations by 2030.

Mr Kaye said the ambitious target could be met, with the bill encouraging a 14-year transition from fossil-fuelled energy to wind and solar-generated power, the retraining of power station workers and the removal of state subsidies to the coal industry.

Labor’s shadow climate change minister Luke Foley ridiculed the bill, saying it would cripple the Hunter’s coal industry and was ‘‘not a serious policy proposal’’.

‘‘While every ALP candidate says something nice about renewable energy, Tim Crakanthorp’s party has failed the real test on slashing emissions and creating a new export industry for the Hunter,’’ Mr Osborne said.

Ms Oakley took aim at her Charlestown opponent, Lake Macquarie mayor Jodie Harrison, who has championed climate change planning guidelines in her council role.

‘‘If she is to be taken seriously on sea-level rise issues, she has to persuade her party to dump its opposition to taking serious steps towards cutting the state’s emissions with a plan for 100per cent renewable electricity supply,’’ she said.

‘‘Coal-fired power stations like Eraring are polluting dinosaurs that belong to a bygone era.’’

On a day when Yancoal appeared certain to be laying off a further 50 workers from its Abel mine at Black Hill, Mr Crakanthorp reiterated his support for mining-related jobs in the region.

‘‘I am a very strong advocate for renewable energy,’’ he said, ‘‘when it can be achieved through positive economic initiatives’’.

‘‘Labor has a good track record of investing in environmental and renewable projects. Federal Labor has put a huge amount of money into the CSIRO [at Mayfield] and into research in the renewable energy sector.’’

Byelection nominations open

NOMINATIONS for the Newcastle and Charlestown byelections formally opened yesterday, with one notable absence.

Newcastle resident Tony Brown announced yesterday that he would not contest the October 25 byelection, despite previously saying he would.

Mr Brown said his decision was ‘‘all about timing and the financial resources required to run both now and again in next year’s March general poll’’.

Nominations will remain open until noon on Thursday, with pre-poll voting opening on Monday, October 13.

A spokesperson for the NSW Electoral Commission said a list of nominations would be available from Tuesday. 

Among those who have signalled their intention to nominate for Newcastle are Michael Osborne (Greens), Tim Crakanthorp (Labor), Karen Howard (Ind), Milton Caine (Christian Democrats), Jennifer Stefanac (PUP-backed Independent), Brian Clare (Ind), Jacqueline Haines (Ind) and Steve O’Brien (Socialist Alliance).

Among those running in Charlestown are Luke Arms (Ind), Jodie Harrison (Labor), Jane Oakley (Greens), Suellen Wrightson (PUP-backed Independent), Reverend Brian Tucker (Christian Democrats), Marc Sky (Ind) and Arjay Martin (Ind).

Cool, I made it in the paper a few weeks ago and didn't know (the free paper is seldom delivered here)...

Note that Labor is not expected (even by themselves) to win the next State Election - so they can promise what they like and not be bound by it - not that they ever are bound by their lies.  

Newcastle and Charlestown Byelections, candidates: 2014
By GEORGIA OSLAND and MARK CONNORSSept. 22, 2014, 6:09 p.m.

THE Palmer United Party has backed independent candidates Jennifer Stefanac and Suellen Wrightson in the race for the state seats of Newcastle and Charlestown respectively.

The candidates' names have been added to the running list of byelection candidates, after disgraced Liberal MPs Tim Owen and Andrew Cornwell resigned from office after giving evidence at the Independent Commission Against Corruption hearings earlier this year.

The Palmer United Party is unable to officially enlist its own candidates after missing the cutoff deadline but has chosen to endorse independents.

Ms Stefanac, who stood in the 2013 federal election, joins Labor councillor Tim Crakanthorp, Greens councillor Michael Osborne, Christian Democratic Party's Milton Caine, Independents' Jacqueline Haines, and former Hunter Medicare Local chairwoman Karen Howard for the Newcastle seat.

Cessnock City councillor Ms Wrightson will run against Lake Macquarie mayor and Labor party member Jodie Harrison, The Greens' NSW deputy secretary Jane Oakley, Christian Democratic Party's Reverend Doctor Brian Tucker and Independents' Arjay Martin and Luke Arms for Charlestown.

Cr Harrison officially launched her campaign last week, joined by federal Opposition Leader and Sydney federal MP Tanya Plibersek.

Nominations for Newcastle and Charlestown officially open on Friday, October 3, and close Thursday, October 9.

■NSW Opposition Leader John Robertson committed that a Labor government would return $750 million to the people of the Hunter if it wins government next year.

Seminar for Newcastle and Charlestown state candidates
By MARK CONNORSSept. 8, 2014, 5:44 p.m.

THE Electoral Commission of NSW has announced a candidate information session for the upcoming byelections for Newcastle and Charlestown.

The byelection for the two seats will be held in late October after Liberal MPs Tim Owen and Andrew Cornwell admitted accepting alleged illegal donations from developers, and resigned.

Topics covered by the seminar include election advertising, funding and disclosure obligations and public scrutiny of candidates.

Although nominations for the seats do not officially open until Friday, October 3, there have been a number of public announcements by people intending to run.

Four people have already declared they will run for the seat of Newcastle - Labor councillor Tim Crakanthorp, Greens councillor Michael Osborne, Independent Jacqueline Haines, and former Hunter Medicare Local chairwoman Karen Howard.

Three have announced they will run in Charlestown - Lake Macquarie mayor and Labor party member Jodie Harrison, The Greens' NSW deputy secretary Jane Oakley and Independent Arjay Martin.

The byelection candidate seminar will be held at Cooks Hill on Tuesday, September 23.

■ A Newcastle council spokesperson said the council was yet to receive a date from the NSW Electoral Commission of when the byelection for a new lord mayor would be held.