Candidates set their sights on Sydney Town Hall
SYDNEY: Openly-gay Liberal councillor Shayne Mallard has confirmed his intention to run in September’s local government elections against City of Sydney incumbent Clover Moore, who has held the position since 2004.
It comes as Moore, the Sydney’s first publicly elected female lord mayor and Sydney MP since 1988, made a last-ditch appeal to NSW Governor Marie Bashir to block a state bill introduced by Premier Barry O’Farrell’s government that will force her to choose between the mayoralty and her position as Sydney MP in NSW Parliament.
“While I hesitate to involve you, the principle is one of people’s rights,” Moore wrote. “I ask that you defend democracy and refuse to give the bill assent.”
It was reported over the weekend that Bashir has refused Moore's request.
There are 29 NSW MPs who will be affected by the changes, however as Sydney Lord Mayor, Moore is regarded as the most high-profile of all state MPs holding dual roles.
Speaking to SX this week, Mallard blasted Moore’s decision to send a letter to Bashir as “just outrageous”.
“She has put her ego ahead of a decision made by the parliament,” Mallard said. “No one is being forced out of a job. Clover is making a decision to resign from parliament and she is dressing it up as victimisation.
“The fact is Clover could stay in state Parliament and she could have one of the members of her independent team of councillors to run for mayor.
They are more than capable but her ego is too big for her to share the limelight.
“It’s always only about Clover.”
Mallard said that the local Liberal Party was focused on the next City elections and would not be distracted by the goings-on at NSW Parliament despite electoral experts tipping the Liberals to win the seat of Sydney in a by-election, and Potts Point Partnership president Adrian Bartels, who narrowly missed out on defeating Moore at last year’s state election, indicating he would run again.
“At the moment I’m nominated unopposed and I’m putting together an enthusiastic team as the members of the Liberal Party can sense an opportunity for change and that we will be running a serious campaign to win,” Mallard said.
“We will be putting in a serious effort and I’d be delighted to be the next Lord Mayor of Sydney”.
Mallard’s potential rival for the City’s top job is Cameron Murphy, president of the NSW Council for Civil Liberties and son of former Labor federal Attorney-General Lionel Murphy.
Murphy is among a number of candidates being fielded by the Labor Party. As part of a trial preselection process, City of Sydney residents will be invited to choose their preferred Labor candidate.
Murphy told SX he was running for pre-selection as a Labor candidate as the party had become mired in a “parlous state” in recent years and lacked people of principle and conviction.
“The community consultation process was a major factor for me putting my hand up. Someone like me previously would have close to zero chance becoming an ALP-endorsed candidate,” he said.
“I have a strong record on issues of diversity, anti-discrimination, minority issues and civil liberties. I have argued against the use of drug sniffing dogs and tasers while I have supported issues such as same-sex marriage and have previously strongly argued for increasing the rights and safety of transgender people.”