Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore MP remains at the helm of Town Hall after a resounding win in the NSW local government elections.
At a triumphant function in Surry Hills on Saturday night, the veteran politician thanked the people of Sydney for the result, which she hailed as an endorsement of progressive and stable governance.
At time of writing, the Clover Moore Independent Team had won five of the ten City of Sydney Council seats, with a sixth seat also possible. While a sixth seat would mean an outright majority for Ms Moore and her team, her five confirmed seats means she once again holds the balance of power, with the Lord Mayor able to use her casting vote.
“We’re a team of five already, before the count is finished … the people of Sydney support our vision, they support progressive and stable government, and want action on climate change,” Ms Moore told a rapturous reception at the Dove and Olive Hotel.
“I don’t know what the outcome will be but I’ll have the majority in terms of the casting vote.”
Ms Moore said that despite sustained criticism from her opponents and some media commentators, the people’s continuing support was what really mattered.
“Notwithstanding some of the commentary in the media and … the unpleasantness that has occurred, I think the vote today shows the people of Sydney support our vision and support the work we’re doing, and would like to see that continue,” she said.
Ms Moore will be joined on Council by her Independent Team members Jenny Green, Robyn Kemmis, John Mant and Deputy Lord Mayor Robert Kok. The successful team members are drawn largely from academia, with Ms Green, Ms Kemmis and Mr Mant all holding current or past positions at the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS).
Liberal candidate Edward Mandla, Labor’s Linda Scott and Greens Councillor Irene Doutney have also won spots on Council.
Living Sydney’s Angela Vithoulkas, Liberal Christine Forster and Clover Moore Independent Team member Nell Schofield were all strong contenders for the remaining spots, with the final result dependent on pre-poll and postal votes.
While Ms Moore’s victory was cause for jubilation on Saturday night, the result was bittersweet, with the Lord Mayor now obliged to resign from State Parliament. NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell’s ‘Get Clover’ legislation – which prevents state MPs from sitting on local councils – means Ms Moore must resign as Member for Sydney before the next Council meeting on September 21, forcing a by-election in the seat.
“Even the amendment to allow me to see out this term was refused,” noted Ms Moore. “It’s undemocratic and it’s mean and miserable.”