Clover Moore to seek record sixth term as lord mayor of Sydney

<span>The Sydney lord mayor, Clover Moore, will seek a record sixth term in the role.</span><span>Photograph: Tamsin Rose/The Guardian</span>
The Sydney lord mayor, Clover Moore, will seek a record sixth term in the role.Photograph: Tamsin Rose/The Guardian

Sydney’s lord mayor, Clover Moore, will seek a record sixth term later this year, promising voters she would continue to focus on climate change, affordable homes, green spaces and revitalising city precincts.

The longstanding independent politician said she was “energised” about the work still ahead when she announced her re-election run on Tuesday on the steps of Town Hall.

She said her successes included the pedestrianised George Street in the CBD and “award-winning parks and community facilities”, warning voters against the risk of a Labor or Liberal-majority local government.

“I fear our policies and projects would be put at risk if Town Hall falls into the hands of the major parties, or people who don’t share our values, experience or commitment,” she said.

“Independent teams that I have led have provided progressive, corruption-free governance since 2004 and can be trusted to continue this work.”

Moore, 78, has been in the job for 20 years already, with many saying she had been in the office too long and calling for renewal.

“They are criticisms that people can make but I think we should judge people on their performance and in terms of my performance, I’ve shown I honour commitments, I’m competent, I carry through,” she said.

“Even when the going gets hard, and there are a lot of naysayers and, and criticism from certain media, I haven’t given up on the light rail, I haven’t given up on the bike lanes, I haven’t given up on taking action on climate change.”

She refused to rule out a seventh term if she was successful again in September.

“I only ever work in four-year periods,” she said.

Asked about a comment she gave to the Sydney Morning Herald about never personally making mistakes, she said she was the “elected leader of the city, so when things go wrong, we have to address that”.

City councillors Lyndon Gannon and Yvonne Weldon have expressed disappointment at the lord mayor’s decision to run again.

Independent Weldon said the city needed a “refresh”.

“If it hasn’t been able to be achieved in 20 years, we’re not going to get it now,” she said.

“If you are a leader, you need to be reflective. Sydney deserves to be served by a lord mayor for the city, for the people, rather than presiding over them.”

Liberal Gannon has argued for a three-term limit for the city “so we have a diversity of perspectives”.

He said he expected the issue to feature heavily in the upcoming election.

“There’s a real mood out there for change, he said. “The city is stagnating.”

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Moore said the job was about vision, tenacity and courage, “regardless of the shortsighted criticism from vested interests or tabloid media”, acknowledging her strained relationship with parts of the media.

“Some people like to work in a job for two years, that seems to be very common practice these days, and other people have tremendous energy to carry through on work because they’re really committed to it. I’m one of the latter categories.”

The Business Sydney executive director, Paul Nicolaou, said that while the business community did not always agree with the lord mayor, her willingness to engage was appreciated.

“Clover Moore’s passion for Sydney is beyond doubt,” he said.

“If she is re-elected, the business community would seek to maintain that dialogue to influence the positive development of our great city as a shared responsibility.”