ICAC FALLOUT: Newcastle ratepayers to fork out in ICAC aftermath

NEWCASTLE ratepayers will pick up the bill to find a new lord mayor following the resignation of Jeff McCloy.

At last week's council meeting, Newcastle councillors agreed to allocate up to $440,000 in the budget for the byelection to be run on or before November 5.

The council will use the NSW Electoral Commission to run the byelection, not the privately owned Australian Election Company it used in 2012. Both The Greens and Labor councillors expressed concern over the way the last local government election was run.

Labor councillors have called for the byelection to be held on the same day as the byelections for the state seats of Charlestown and Newcastle, following the resignations of MPs Andrew Cornwell and Tim Owen.

They resigned after taking the stand at the Independent Commission Against Corruption, admitting they had accepted allegedly illegal donations from Mr McCloy.

Labor councillors said running both elections on the same day would reduce the overall cost.

Cr Nuatali Nelmes has declared she will run in the seat for Labor. She polled 28.4 per cent of the total vote in 2012, finishing second.

■ Stockton businesswoman Jacqueline Haines has declared she will stand for the state seat of Newcastle. Sophie Mill, a former employee of disgraced Newcastle MP Tim Owen, said she would also stand in Newcastle, as will Newcastle councillors Tim Crakanthorp (Labor) Michael Osborne (Greens).

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