Shayne Mallard, Liberal
City of Sydney councillor
Former South Sydney councillor
Lord mayoral candidate Shayne Mallard says he is running against ‘a gaggle of left wing candidates’.
‘I’m representing the middle and the right. We’re targeting three seats. We want Clover to have to deal with the Greens, us and Labor.’
Cr Mallard claims Clover Moore is running down the city’s cash reserves.
‘By the end of the next Council term, cash reserves will have been run down by a net $261.6 million or 64 per cent. That is a cash deficit of $180,000 every day over the next four years or equivalent to a brand new top of the range Mercedes every single day,’ he said.
‘She’ll retire and leave Sydney with hardly any reserves ‘ there’ll be no money left for George Street or Town Hall Square. They’ll have to borrow for those projects in 2011.
‘She’s spending the money because it’s there but that’s not responsible. While those projects ‘ including the Surry Hills library ($23 million) and the Town Hall ($60 million) ‘ are worthwhile, they should have been spread over two terms.’
He points out that in the past year alone Cr Moore has added an extra 203 staff, and staff costs are up 14 per cent from $105 million in 2005 to a projected $163.5 million in 2011.
‘That’s a 56% increase in staff costs in just six years.’
Cr Mallard has also spoken out against what he regards as the use of council resources for campaigning.
‘Clover’s newsletters are all electioneering. It’s a very uneven playing field,’ he said.
Number 2 on ticket: Edward Mandla
Chris Harris, Greens
City of Sydney councillor
Former deputy lord mayor
Councillor Chris Harris is hopeful of bringing at least one more Green into the City of Sydney Council.
He believes the Greens focus on the environment will help. Policies include joining ‘Green’ councils to drive a renewable energy project using solar thermal power; a zero waste to landfill target for 2050; a demo sustainable house; 500 small sites project for biodiversity and real action on cigarette butt littering and plastic bags.
Also, more cycling and youth facilities in the area, including three new skate parks, a BMX circuit and netball courts; ramping up the anti-homophobic violence campaign; helping cooperatives expand affordable housing and increasing hotel and club membership of the alcohol accord.
Cr Harris said Cr Moore’s party of independents made it difficult for genuine independents to be elected.
‘The only people on Clover’s team are those who will do as she tells them. They’re not genuine independents ‘ on substantive issues they vote together and they caucus all the time. They’re also hand picked by her, there’s no preselection process, no constitution and no publicly available party policies.’
And like Cr Mallard, he objects to what he describes as Cr Moore’s political self-promotion.
‘There’s been an increasing and ongoing use of council resources by Clover to promote herself, including her photo and a statement on every flyer that goes out from the City. ‘In the City News over the last two years there’s been almost a total absence of any councillor other than a member of her team. It’s blatant ongoing campaigning.’
Number 2 on the ticket: Irene Doutney
Clover Moore, Clover Moore Independent Team
Lord Mayor, City of Sydney
Clover Moore says the last four years have been the most fulfilling of her years in public life.
‘For me, representing and serving the community is the most satisfying work I could do. To be able to do this through driving and implementing positive change, as well as advocating for change, has been immensely challenging and rewarding.’
She says her dual role as Lord Mayor and MP has been useful. ‘I have found strong synergies between being Lord Mayor and State MP, with the two roles complementing each other even more effectively than I expected. There are a whole number of areas where I believe I have been more effective than if I only had one role.’
And Cr Moore says people should vote for her team to allow them to finish what they started.
‘This work includes stunning new facilities and open space, improved streetscapes and the development of better heritage and planning controls and adopting the City’s first ever Environmental Management Plan. Our Local Action Plan consultations have involved our communities in setting directions for local neighbourhoods and honouring our City of Villages commitments. Out of 900 priorities set by our local communities, 319 are complete with a further 571 underway, and we have enabled the community to develop their own local projects through the Local Action Plan Grants Program.
‘We’ve unified the amalgamated city, establishing a firm foundation for the future by creating a Council organisation that is well managed, financially prudent and engaged with our diverse residential, business, worker and visitor communities.
‘We have actively involved our communities, through expanded community consultation and involvement, improved customer service and overhauled access to information. We’ve held 280 meetings, 73 community forums and 89 consultations to develop Sustainable Sydney 2030.’
She says that contrary to Cr Mallard’s claims, the City’s forward cash reserve estimate for 2011/2012 will be $147.5 million ‘ achieved while undertaking major projects such as new facilities for Green Square and Southern Sydney, significant upgrades in the City East area, new street upgrades, including Harris Street, and major improvements to open space.
Number 2 on ticket: Cr John McInerney
Meredith Burgmann, Labor
Member of the NSW Legislative Council 1991 to 2007
President of the NSW Legislative Council 1999 to 2007
Meredith Burgmann has no problem with being described as part of the ‘gaggle of the left’.
‘I’ve always stood up for what I believe is the proper Labor tradition. I think my left Labor position is a very comfortable fit with the people of the inner city,’ she said.
But despite being a member of the Labor Party since 1971, she is keen to differentiate herself within Labor ranks.
‘I’ve always been seen as quite separate to Labor. I’ve never been part of a Labor Government and deliberately did not stand for the ministry. I disagreed openly with Bob [Carr] on civil liberties and development issues.’
Burgmann has made it clear she will accept no campaign donations from developers, pokies or from Labor head office because some of it may have come from developers.
Her main problem is that despite her many years in the State Parliament and having served as president of the Upper House, she is comparatively unknown. Among the politically active her profile is higher, due to a long history of activism in women’s issues and in the green ban movement of the 1970s.
‘I was involved in the campaign to save Victoria Street in the ’70s, and I marched in the very first Mardi Gras in 1978,’ she said.
Burgmann has also made her mark as an academic ‘ she was senior lecturer in politics at Macquarie University ‘ and holds a BA Sydney University 1969 (English and Government), an MA Sydney University 1973 (Foreign Policy), and a PhD Macquarie University 1981 (Industrial Relations).
She co-authored with Verity Burgmann the definitive book on the Green bans movement, Green Bans Red Unions (1998, 2000), which is still used as a university text on industrial relations and environmental causes. She has also contributed articles and chapters in books on equal pay, foreign policy, environmentalism, Aboriginal rights, and HV Evatt.
Now Burgmann believes Labor’s record as a party of social justice will help her get elected in the City.
‘We are obviously the underdog. We are up against an incumbent with a huge PR machine. And people are loath to throw out anyone after one term. People are still grumbling about the two jobs but won’t throw Clover Moore out because of that.’
She says Moore has not paid enough attention to day-to-day services, especially south of Cleveland Street and in parts of Glebe. Burgmann says footpaths, garbage collection and ‘filthy’ alleys have been neglected while the Lord Mayor has spent council funds pursuing ‘big vision’ items the City of Sydney cannot provide.
‘Her [Clover Moore’s] focus is not on the general provision of services. She’s more interested in getting overseas experts to tell her to pull down the Cahill expressway.
‘Sustainable Sydney 2030 is her re-election manifesto and it’s basically saying other people should do things. All the big vision items will not be provided by the council, and that puts her in the position of not having to say no to anyone because she can always say it’s not her fault if it’s not done,’ she said.
‘Yes, everyone needs a vision. Mine is of a more inclusive city. Our campaign is going to be about how the City should be for everyone. Clover has pandered to the elites, and the socially disadvantaged have missed out. People around the Housing Department areas and other pockets of real need feel ignored.
‘We need more services for seniors and youth, better lighting, and making public spaces more usable. And there’s not been one council-run childcare bed provided during her entire term, while the city is experiencing a baby boom.
‘A lot of this can be provided by cutting the budget of the Lord Mayor’s office. Her personal office budget is $1.93 million. I undertake to cut it by 25 per cent immediately, and probably by more once we’ve looked at it. It won’t mean getting rid of staff but reallocating them to other parts of council.’