New Inner West Mayor Rochelle Porteous and Deputy Mayor Pauline Lockie will look to bring back the community focus to Council over their three-month term.
Ms Porteous beat out the previous mayor Darcy Byrne and previous deputy mayor Victor Macri for the position at Council’s extraordinary meeting on the 7th of September. Upon her declaration as mayor, Ms Porteous signalled a culture change for her council.
“We’re here for the community, and it’s a privilege to represent the community,” Ms Porteous said at the meeting.
While Ms Porteous will only stand as mayor until December when she is expected to retire, there is hope within many Councillors that the new mayor, along with newly instated Deputy Mayor Pauline Lockie, will create an increased progressive focus for the Inner West. Ms Lockie was named new deputy mayor after outvoting Councillor Lucille McKenna to the post.
“I’m aiming to help bring a period of relative calm to the Council after a tumultuous four years,” Ms Lockie told the Independent.
“I’m committed to … continuing to work collaboratively with my Councillor colleagues and Council staff to support our community through this pandemic, and make sure residents can get the outcomes they need from Council.”
While Ms Porteous is set to retire after her three-month mayoral term, Ms Lockie will be standing for re-election as a Councillor for the Damun/Stanmore ward in December’s local government elections.
“Over the next few months, I’ll be focused on holding the government to account over the debacle that is the St Peters Interchange ‘park’, and its failure to deliver the traffic studies and public transport lanes promised for Parramatta Road,” Ms Lockie said.
“I’ll also be seeking to ensure that the long-overdue King Street Gateway project … actually delivers the traffic calming and public space improvements we were promised.”
Ms Lockie has been an Inner West Councillor since 2017, and prior to that was a founding member of the WestCONnex Action Group. It was in this role where she first met City of Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore, and is now her community engagement manager.
“Clover and I share a passion for serving our community, and providing independent, progressive leadership,” Ms Lockie said.
“We have a strong working relationship that started during the WestConnex campaign and continues today, collaborating as elected representatives on issues that affect inner-city communities.”
The previous mayor Darcy Byrne has already announced that he will stand for re-election at the December local elections. Voters will also be asked on December 4 to convey their thoughts on Council de-amalgamation, after Inner West Council was formed in 2016 with the amalgamation of Leichhardt, Marrickville and Ashfield Councils.