Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore has left the NSW Parliament in firebrand fashion, taking aim at the man who orchestrated her departure, NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell.
In her valedictory speech to Parliament last Thursday, Ms Moore – who has been Member for the state seat of Sydney (formerly Bligh) since 1988 – accused Mr O’Farrell of trashing more than one-and-a-half centuries of democratic tradition in NSW.
“I am being forced out of Parliament because of legislation enacted by the O’Farrell Government … which bans the holding of elected positions in both state and local governments,” said Ms Moore.
“I have held both positions since 2004 by majority popular vote … but my recent election as Lord Mayor of Sydney for a third term means I have to resign my state seat.
“This decision had previously and properly been the choice of the people since the beginning of representative government in this state in 1856.”
Ms Moore accused the O’Farrell Government of eroding democracy without any mandate from the public, adding that NSW Governor Marie Bashir had chosen not to intervene.
“There was no referendum, the government’s intention was not flagged prior to the 2011 state election, and the vice regal office shockingly has no role in defending our basic democratic rights against predatory political parties, but it would seem is merely a rubber stamp for majority governments.”
Several hundred people turned out to hear Ms Moore’s final speech to Parliament, some holding placards criticising the Premier, who was conspicuously absent from the chamber during Ms Moore’s speech.
As first predicted exclusively by Alt Media on August 9, Ms Moore backed Australian Marriage Equality convenor Alex Greenwich as her successor.
“The most effective thing I can do, given I have been forced to resign as Independent Member for Sydney, is to endorse someone I think I will be able to hand the Independent baton to,” Ms Moore told media afterwards outside Parliament House.
Pre-arranged campaign materials such as brochures and placards were produced by Mr Greenwich and his supporters shortly after Ms Moore’s speech, and a YouTube video and website immediately launched, despite the budding politician telling Alt Media only several days earlier that he was “still considering” whether he would contest the by-election.
A spokesperson for Premier O’Farrell, meanwhile, issued a short statement to Alt Media claiming Ms Moore had only herself to blame for the end of her parliamentary career.
“The legislation [she claims forced her out] brings NSW into line with the rest of Australia. It was Ms Moore’s decision to recontest the Lord Mayoralty knowing it would cause a by-election,” said the spokesperson.