Tensions within Newcastle Liberal circles are being reflected in their council election candidates' divided views on Supercars and bin collections in the city.
The party's mayoral and ward two candidate, Jenny Barrie, told the Newcastle Herald this week that the Newcastle 500 "must be in question" and she would vote against it continuing unless the public saw the "factual cost of staging the event with ratepayers' funds".
Her comments drew a quick response from the Liberals' ward four candidate, Callum Pull, who fired off a media release saying he would "100 per cent be voting for the Supercars event to continue" if elected.
"Many people in the western part of the city love this event. Not everyone wants to attend art galleries," he said.
Ms Barrie identified the Newcastle Art Gallery development as one of her priorities in an online interview with NovoNews this week.
Mr Pull said the council should investigate compensating Newcastle East residents affected by the race.
The Liberals have not yet issued a party policy platform for the election, but Ms Barrie said this week that the city should move towards adopting Lake Macquarie's garbage bin regime, including collecting green waste more often and general, red-bin waste every fortnight instead of every week.
Ward one candidate Blake Keating and Mr Pull both said there was "no way I'll be supporting any stopping of weekly bin collections".
"This is a fundamental service that families rely on and expect," Mr Keating said.
Liberal ward three candidate Katrina Wark said many people in Lake Macquarie "hated" their fortnightly general-waste collection.
"If you had bins reeking with smells over a fortnight ... it would be disgusting," she said.
Mr Keating, whose ward includes the Newcastle East Supercars track, said the race came "with a great cost to residents" but on balance was "good for the entire city".
Ms Wark said she supported the race but wanted the council to be more transparent about its cost.
"They need to consult the community about where it would be best done, instead of making the decisions and taking that away from the community," she said.
The Liberals' sole incumbent councillor, Brad Luke in ward two, will not contest the December 4 election.
The Liberal preselection process was marred by internecine accusations of allegedly illegal solicitation of donations and sabotage.
The lack of unity among the Liberal candidates reflects a power struggle within the party's local branch which has delivered preselection wins for both sides.
Ms Barrie beat Mr Keating in branch votes in July to choose the party's lord mayoral challenger and top ward two candidate.
The Liberal state executive last month named Mr Keating to head the party's ticket in ward one against incumbent councillors John Church (Newcastle Independents), John Mackenzie (Greens) and deputy lord mayor Declan Clausen (Labor).
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