It’s the end of an era for NSW politics, with Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore due to resign as Member for the State seat of Sydney today.
Ms Moore, who has been Member for Sydney (formerly known as Bligh) since 1988, was due to give her final speech to NSW Parliament as City News went to press. The veteran politician has been forced to resign due to legislation preventing dual membership of State Parliament and local councils.
Popularly known as the ‘Get Clover Bill’, the legislation – mooted by NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell – passed in April with the assent of Fred Nile and the Shooters & Fishers Party.
Speaking to Alt Media ahead of her valedictory speech to Parliament, Ms Moore left state politics the way she began – butting heads with the government of the day.
“Like many people I have spoken to about this, I’m angry that the Government has overridden the will of the electorate in order to remove a thorn in their side,” she said.
“Sydney electors voted less than 18 months ago for their MP, and now the Premier will make them go back and vote again.”
Ms Moore said she was leaving Parliament with grave concerns about the O’Farrell Government.
“The State Government is undermining services and facilities, and this will impact on people’s jobs and lives. I’m very worried about vital Government programs for homeless people, support for public housing and protection of the environment,” she said.
“The voters should ask who will stand up for them against a Government that is cutting health and education budgets, and winding back environmental protections.”
Asked about her legacy as MP, Ms Moore pinpointed environmental, heritage and human rights achievements.
“I’m especially proud of saving the finger wharf in Woolloomooloo, my law to make it illegal to incite hatred of gay men and lesbians, my law to allow same-sex couples to adopt, getting law reform to allow small bars, my Sydney Common law to protect the former showground site, and south-east forest protections,” she said.
A by-election will now ensue in the electorate, with the plebiscite expected before Christmas. The Greens and the Liberals will both field former City of Sydney councillors: Chris Harris and Shayne Mallard, respectively.
The ALP has yet to confirm its candidate, saying only that it will not be former Queensland Premier Anna Bligh, who recently moved to Sydney.
Australian Marriage Equality convenor Alex Greenwich, a political ally of Ms Moore, was “still considering” whether to run as an Independent.