Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore MP plans to endorse Potts Point resident and Australian Marriage Equality convenor Alex Greenwich as her successor in the NSW electorate of Sydney.
City News understands the succession plan was hatched in April, shortly after the NSW Upper House passed laws introduced by the O’Farrell Government which prevent NSW MPs from sitting on local councils.
The laws have forced Ms Moore to choose between her dual roles as Lord Mayor and Member for Sydney. Ms Moore has chosen the former, meaning a by-election is now imminent in Sydney.
On July 18, Ms Moore announced that Mr Greenwich would run on her Independent Team in the NSW Local Government Elections to be held on September 8.
However, City News understands that this is a profile-raising exercise, designed to give Mr Greenwich wider name recognition and political experience ahead of the Sydney by-election.
Mr Greenwich has been placed second-last on Ms Moore’s ticket of eight new team members to ensure his apparent bid for local government bid does not succeed, ensuring his freedom to contest the imminent by-election.
Political pundits believe that a Clover Moore endorsement for Mr Greenwich would mean almost certain victory for Mr Greenwich.
A source close to Ms Moore told City News a Greenwich victory in the seat would represent a way for her to maintain influence by proxy in the electorate she has represented since 1988.
Mr Greenwich would neither confirm nor deny the plan when contacted today by City News.
“People are very angry with the O’Farrell Government’s actions which are forcing Clover Moore, who’s been their independent voice since 1988, out of the seat,” said Mr Greenwich.
“I think it’s vital that Sydney remains in the hands of a strong independent member.”
When pressed again, Mr Greenwich would not be drawn on whether he would stand as Independent Member for Sydney.
“My focus at the moment is on two things: the upcoming local government elections and my work as National Convenor for Australian Marriage Equality. They are my priorities.”
Mr Greenwich added that he was confident he could be elected to Council on September 8, even as the second-last person on Ms Moore’s ticket.
“I’ve been out there doorknocking for Clover and let me tell you, her support base out there is extremely strong.
“You have a better much better chance of getting elected running number eight on her ticket than you would running at number two on the ticket of a major political party.”
Ms Moore informed City News: “If I am re-elected as Lord Mayor of Sydney, I will be forced to stand down as the elected State representative because the O’Farrell Government supported by the Shooters and Fishers and Fred Nile’s party removed citizens’ right to elect the same person to represent them in State Parliament and local Council.
“While I’m really hoping there will be a strong Independent champion to continue working for Sydney electors, and not just one more cog in the party machine, I’m focused on the approaching Council election at this time.”