BY ISOBEL RUSHE
As the City of Sydney Councillors re-enter office after the holiday period, its time to look at their New Year’s Resolutions and plans for council in 2018.
With the Council predicting big things for this year, like always we are interested to see if these predictions are achievable and what each individual council will bring to the table themselves.
Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore said, “This is shaping up to be an enormous year. There is so much on the agenda – our focus is on continuing to stand against the NSW Government’s destructive WestConnex project and their wasteful plans to knock down and rebuild Allianz Stadium, both of which threaten trees, open space and our community.”
Ms Moore is Sydney’s longest serving Lord Mayor.
The Lord Mayor’s focus is primarily around construction and sustainability; her wish is to remain consistent in these areas to ensure that the best facilities are provided for initiating progressive solutions to complex city social problems.
“We will continue to deliver on Sustainable Sydney 2030, our overarching set of goals to transform the way we live, work and play, and make Sydney as green, global and connected as possible by 2030,” she said.
Labor Councillor for the City of Sydney, Linda Scott, is also committed to ensuring Council invests in community services and infrastructure to improve the lives of all the City’s communities.
“As a Labor Councillor, I am committed to working to create a City that is a fairer, safer and more fun place to live for all of our residents. I will continue fighting for the needs of all our communities, and continue to stand up for equality and fairness in our City.
“In 2018, my priorities are to ensure we take more City action on the three big issues facing out City for the future: climate change; affordable housing and the provision of infrastructure and green spaces for our growing population,” she said.
Second Term Independent Councillor at the City of Sydney, Angela Vithoulkas, is an active member in Sydney’s small business and start up community. Angela has voiced concern that councillors don’t have enough control over planning matters, and with the Government removing their ability to have decisions on such matters she will aim to work on this in 2018.
“As councillors we are about to have decisions on planning matters removed from us, and therefore limiting our residents and business owners on having input on development that could negatively impact the lives and how they make their living. Bring planning back to councillors!”
Councillor Professor Kerryn Phelps AM, an Australian medical practitioner and a public health and civil rights advocate, says her 2018 Council goal is to focus on a safer and healthier city.
“I would like to see our city safer for the pedestrians and cyclists who live in, work in and visit Sydney. I want people to feel confident moving around the city with well-designed public spaces and transport routes,” she said.
Christine Forster, City of Sydney Liberal Councillor, is passionate about Sydney and committed to helping make it the world’s best place to live, work and visit. Councillor Forster believes open communication is most important entering this New Year in order to achieve excellence in all council matters. Cr Forster has played an active role in the bike share scheme but believes this needs revisiting this year in order to make the most use of government resources.
‘Ensuring that the Lord Mayor is accountable and transparent will remain my highest priority. But I also think we need to focus on finding a much better balance in terms of the roll out of bike share schemes,” she said.
Councillor Jess Scully is the founding curator of Vivid Ideas, the creative industries stream of this festival of music, light and ideas, and is now entering her ninth year working on Vivid Sydney. However, Cr Scully’s council goal in 2018 is to create a more inclusive council to public relationship in which residents feel that they have a say in local government decisions.
She said; “My council goal for 2018 is to help more people understand how council works, how it impacts on their lives, and how they can have their say. I know a lot of long-term city residents are right across this, but I’d love to help younger people and new city residents participate in local government.”
On a more personal level, Councilor Linda Scott, like many of us out there, has also said she’d like to join a gym and actually go.
So, indeed this year is shaping to be a big one with many council goals to be achieved. City Hub look forward to seeing these goals put in place in order to make a better Sydney.