Lord Mayor Clover Moore has continued her obfuscation over Barangaroo despite finally resigning from the board of the Barangaroo Delivery Authority (BDA) after sustained pressure from the community and the Greens. At an extroadinary Council meeting on the 24th of September she blocked my attempt to reintroduce a motion for the City to fund legal action against the BDA (for information on my first attempt to introduce this motion see this previous post).
I had hoped that being freed from the conflicted position, in which being a Board member placed her, may have made her more interested in standing up for the community. But alas it seems her first priority is still to the BDA, unless of course she is just refusing to change her vote in order to save face.
Sadly, it is not just Clover and the more compliant members of her ‘independent’ team that are hell bent on protecting Barangaroo from proper legal scrutinty. Labor Councillor Meredith Burgmann also voted to support the Lord Mayor on this issue and seems to be siding with Clover more and more frequently these days. Her support has not gone unrewarded however. Below is a media release I recently put out on this issue.
City of Sydney Greens Councillor Chris Harris says that Lord Mayor Clover Moore is in bed with the NSW Labor party and is seeking to expand upon that alliance here at the City of Sydney to make up for her inability to dictate the actions of her own team. The situation came to a head at a recent Council meeting when elections for a new Deputy Lord Mayor were held.
Cr Harris “Since the last Council election, when six out of ten Councillors were elected from the Clover Moore ‘Independent’ team, Clover has become increasingly used to getting everything her own way. This extends to who gets elected as Deputy Lord Mayor each year. Up until now it’s always been the person ordained by Clover to fill the role. However the team is split over Moore’s cooperation with state Labor in the gross overdevelopment at Barangaroo”
At the meeting Moore’s chosen Deputy candidate Cr Tornai was rolled by a member of her own team, Marcelle Hoff, who was supported by Greens Councillors Chris Harris & Irene Doutney, the Liberal Councillor and Clover Moore Party Councillor John McInerney. Labor Councillor Meredith Burgmann sided with Moore and the rump of her team, leaving the vote tied. A draw from the hat secured the Deputy Lord Mayor position for Cr Hoff.
Clr Harris: “The Lord Mayor was relying on the vote of the Labor Cr Burgmann to shore up support for her candidate and I wondered what the pay-off would be. We didn’t have to wait long to find out – the day after the meeting Cr Hoff was sacked from the Board of the Sydney Festival and she was replaced by Cr Burgmann. I am tingling with anticipation about what further goodies will be offered to the Labor councillor to secure her ongoing support.
“The new Clover Moore/Labor alliance previously saw the Lord Mayor appointed to the board of the Barangaroo Delivery Authority by Premier Kristina Kennealy and now she has gained the support of the Labor Councillor to give her the majority in crucial votes at the City of Sydney Council.
“In the past few months, Clr Burgmann has sided with The Lord Mayor and the more faithful members of her team to support the interests of state Labor and Lend Lease over those of the public in relation to Barangaroo, including in a recent decision to block funding to the Environmental Defenders Office for legal action over the project. Presumably Cr Burgmann is just following instructions but it’s less clear what Clover’s motivation is in supporting a terminal Labor government” said Cr Harris.
Post Script - following the media coverage surrounding this issue, Cr Burgmann has declined to accept the position on the Sydney Festival board, perhaps not keen to draw attention to her alliance with Clover.