Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Changing Politics at Council meeting

Last night's Council meeting was the first opportunity Councillors have had to pass judgment on the Clover Moore style of local government. The five non-Moore Councillors made the decision to work together to achieve a more reasonably spread, representative and balanced Council. Labor Councillor Verity Firth was elected Deputy Lord Mayor and I was elected to the CSPC - both a result of five vote all ties and subsequent drawn from the hat. (Read link to COS web site for role of Central Sydney Planning Committee). This committee comprises three Council appointments and four state government appointments. The CSPC was created through the City of Sydney Act by the Greiner Government. CSPC deals with all developments valued at more than $50 million as well as all land use proposals (eg rezoning) the later in concurrence with Council itself. It has no staff of its own and is respourced by Council's own planning department. The CSPC will have an important impact on the ambitious City Plan - a new super DCP LEP that is promised by Clover Moore for completion late 2006.

The Sydney Morning Herald covered the election in more detail below:

Moore's grip a little looser as chance intervenes to topple her deputy
By Tim Dick Urban Affairs Reporte

The control of the City of Sydney by the Lord Mayor, Clover Moore, slipped last night when her deputy, the planning expert John McInerney, lost office in a game of regulated chance.
Councillors must elect a deputy lord mayor every year, and Cr McInerney came unstuck after a Greens councillor, Chris Harris, withdrew his support, forcing a tie and a resolution by lot.
He was replaced by Labor's Verity Firth, 32, a lawyer from Glebe, who was supported by two party colleagues, a Liberal and Cr Harris.
The council's chief executive, Peter Seamer, drew the slip of white paper bearing Cr Firth's name from a wooden box.
The loss is significant as it removes the platform from which Cr McInerney performed as the Lord Mayor's representative on planning issues.
Cr Moore responded to the draw by seizing control of all the council's committees, risking delays in decisions and stripping Cr McInerney of two chairmanships.
She now chairs all seven committees - finance, environment, cultural, traffic and three planning subcommittees - which she will do while continuing as both Lord Mayor and state MP for Bligh.
Fate was kinder to her in the deputy chairmanships. Her team won all four contested votes, and returned Cr McInerney to his seat on the Central Sydney Planning Committee - a joint council-State Government body that approves major projects.
Later she released a statement congratulating the winners. "I look forward to a continuation of the productive and co-operative working relationship council has enjoyed over the past 18 months, with more than 95 per cent of council decisions passed unanimously," she said.
Cr Harris resigned from the Central Sydney Planning Committee last week over "generous extra parking allowances" given to the owner of the Carlton & United Breweries site on Broadway.
"I had high hopes for a progressive agenda from a group of community independents led by Clover Moore," he said.
"What I have seen over the past year is a lack of consultation with other councillors and an election-driven capitulation to the big end of town and a slavish acceptance of bureaucratic directives and recommendations."
He criticised her dual role as MP and Lord Mayor, calling her performance patchy and conflicted. "People who once could count on her standing up for their rights are now ignored," he said.
Cr Harris's decision makes it easier for Labor and Liberal councillors to pursue their agendas, with Cr Moore now dependent on both her team's loyalty and her casting vote.
Cr Firth said the council's first 18 months were frustrating.
"Although the Lord Mayor was elected on a platform of openness and transparency, we have quickly learned this only applies if you are within the ruling clique."

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Kim said...

Now that you're on CSPC, and its only for a year, do you intend to vote to give your developer mates more revenue, as stated in your Carlotn & united Breweries site article?

Shayne Mallard said...

Well it is not compulsory to read my blog and I do have the editorial last say. Shayne

PS Why don't you use your real name - this is your 8th alias?

Shayne Mallard said...

Kim or James(is that your real name?), thanks for your virtual anonymous flaming of my blog site - not. let us know your one.

All donations to my campaigns are disclosed per the laws of Australia and policies of Council. SM

Phil said...

Instead of giving stock, cliched answers to valid points of view Mr Mallard why dont you answer the questions as put?
You dont gather credibility by insulting people with your comments.
After all, we have logged onto this site at your invitation.
Its no point then telling people to log off.