NOVOCASTRIANS voted with change in mind at the September 8 local government election and will expect to see a transformation of the city after independent Jeff McCloy was officially announced as lord mayor on Monday.
Earlier in the week, the returning officer for Newcastle City Council announced Mr McCloy as the clear winner of the top job, after leading in the count for two weeks and securing more than 50 per cent of the primary vote.
Mr McCloy’s closest rival, Labor’s Nuatali Nelmes, bowed out of the leadership race early on, stating she could not overhaul his tally with preferences.
Throughout his campaign, Mr McCloy said he would endeavour to fix the city and turn around the image of Hunter Street, after describing it as a disgrace and stifling for the existing small businesses.
He also emphasised making a decision against heavy rail through the CBD.
It is expected Mr McCloy will need to co-operate with a left-leaning council.
With this outcome, Labor and the Greens could control the council chamber or vote together and block aspects of Mr McCloy’s agenda.
Overall, the new council will be made of up many fresh faces with Liberals making an appearance in every ward.
The lack of independent representatives in the new council chambers has been attributed to the mayor’s landslide victory and his endorsement of Liberal candidates throughout the wards.
Allan Robinson in ward four was the only independent to make the cut after his controversial backing of Mr McCloy on polling day, despite previous affiliations with mayoral hopeful Aaron Buman.
As The Star went to press, the counting of ballot papers for councillor positions was ongoing.
Allan Robinson looking statesmanlike in a suit outside city hall 5th July 2012
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