INDEPENDENT Port Stephens Councillor and former state Liberal Party candidate Ken Jordan has criticised the Labor Party’s decision to run an endorsed ticket at the September council election, saying there was “ no place” for party politics in local government.
The role of the independent on Port Stephens Council has been a hot-button topic in the shire since the Newcastle Herald revealed in 2014 that a majority bloc of Liberal Party-leaning councillors had used their majority to control the numbers on council.
That’s prompted Labor to run an aligned ticket for September, but Cr Jordan said the lack of party politics that had made Port Stephens Council “successful”.
“Port Stephens Council has been free of the party political policies and infighting we have seen in Newcastle and Lake Macquarie, which is one of the reasons we have been successful in delivering new and improved infrastructure, keeping rates low and maintained a strong financial position,” he said.
“There will be no benefit for the people of Port Stephens by having party political candidates playing games in council.”
The current council has been riven by personality differences that have found their way to the court room.
The Newcastle Herald has previously reported that Port Stephens Mayor Bruce MacKenzie and one of his allies on council, Paul Le Mottee, had both filed defamation suits against another councillor, Geoff Dingle.
Cr MacKenzie and Cr Dingle have since settled their matter, but Cr Le Mottee’s issue remains outstanding.
Meanwhile the Herald reported on Monday that Cr MacKenzie has another outstanding defamation suit against newly endorsed Labor mayoral candidate Des Maslen.