Mayoral hopefuls pledge to be ethical

Mercury editor Stuart Howie (left) with lord mayoral hopeful Greg Petty and candidate Ray Robinson signing the Mercury’s pledge.  Picture: ADAM McLEAN
Mercury editor Stuart Howie (left) with lord mayoral hopeful Greg Petty and candidate Ray Robinson signing the Mercury’s pledge. Picture: ADAM McLEAN

You asked them to be honest, accountable, inclusive and dignified.Now, the 12 people hoping to secure your vote for Wollongong’s top job have given you that guarantee.All of the city’s lord mayoral candidates have either signed or committed to sign the Illawarra Mercury’s election Pledge, vowing to uphold their promise to serve the people of Wollongong ethically and transparently or relinquish office immediately.

READ THE PLEDGE HERE

In signing the Pledge at the Illawarra Business Chamber yesterday, candidates have agreed to uphold the five key points: to act with integrity, to be accountable, to put the community first, to consult and to be an ambassador.Mercury editor Stuart Howie labelled the Pledge as the councillors’ ‘‘covenant with the community’’.He said the attributes outlined in the charter were sourced from Mercury reader feedback on what they wanted in a lord mayor and councillors.‘‘Councillors and the mayor will be subject to the Local Government Act, codes of conduct, regulations and all sorts of scrutiny, but we thought there was a need for a covenant with the community,’’ he said.Independent candidate Gordon Bradbery said he agreed with the content of the Pledge.‘‘I signed the Pledge because it has been shaped by the city to reflect the character, ethics and morality voters expect from their council and more specifically their lord mayor,’’ he said.‘‘Personally I have no difficulty with upholding that promise.’’Helensburgh independent candidate Greg Petty took the Pledge one step further, adding its content into an already-affirmed statutory declaration and re-signing his name.‘‘I’m transparent, I’ve got nothing to hide,’’ he replied when asked how important the Pledge and the statutory declaration was to his campaign and the people of Wollongong.‘‘I’m not part of a political party. I will be open and transparent in making evidence-based decisions for the community.’’A copy of the Pledge will be sent to the lead candidates on each of the Wollongong wards and Shellharbour tickets, as well as ungrouped candidates.Signatories to the Pledge will be displayed on the Mercury’s website.