I was going to spend a lot of time convincing you to vote for Clover Moore this Saturday but then Friendlyjordies and his impeccable skin and genetically blessed face did a much better job of it in video form, so please do watch it right this second.
And now here is a story I prepared earlier (but never got around to publishing, sorry, my drafts folder is where stories go to die) around just a FEW of the many examples for how Clover Moore has transformed Sydney into one of the greatest cities in the world. Take it or leave it Sydney, but the truth is undeniable. Clover Moore is the best mayor Sydney has ever had and should continue to have.
Clover Moore built this city on rock and roll
For as long as I have been alive Lord Mayor Clover Moore has been our elected representative (so, since 1988, what up my bicentenary babies!) That’s almost three decades, so Clover Moore has been in office for a long time. This is arguably a great thing. She is experienced. She gets shit done. Sydney has been on the top most livable cities in the world for years running as a result of her work.
She also captures one of the harder to reach demographics, as you’ll know if you’ve sat in any boardrooms lately – the elusive youth – and has done so successfully for years. That’s because she understands what young people want in a city, namely thriving cultural activities, diverse night life, appreciation of the arts, a good and solid transport system, and most of all, to have ammunition in an argument for Sydney vs Melbourne, the great battle of our times. So while it may be unusual to have been an early 20-something fan over your city’s mayor, I say embrace it! No shame! Live your best life!
The Small Bar Revolution – “Let them eat whiskey sours!”
And on the 7th day they said “let there be small bars!” and Sydney finally had something they could wave threateningly at Melbourne. We could finally say “you may have your laneways, but you can never take away, our small to medium bar licenses!” She reminds us of this movement in a recent Facebook post:
Before 2008, going out in the city at night meant characterless, loud and often aggressive beer barns. It was a mono-culture, dictated by the high cost of a liquor licence. But a groundswell of people wanted more for our night time economy.
As an Independent MP in the Parliament, I put forward a bill that resulted in the liquor laws being changed to allow for a $500 general bar licence. The idea was small-scale owner-operators turning neglected spaces into quirky places where people could meet, have a drink, even read a book if they wanted.
I’m so proud of the small bar scene that’s grown since – the City now has over 120 small bars.
Not only did she achieve this, but throughout all of the furore over Sydney’s controversial lockout laws, Clover Moore has been a voice of reason, constantly bringing it back to the issues that matter – finding actual solutions to a recognised problem without sacrificing our nightlife, our culture and our arts and without punishing the people it’s bound to affect the most – young people. Clover outlines her vision in this article published in The Sydney Morning Herald “It’s time we grew up and ditched the one-size-fits-all-lockout”. Sing it, Cloves!
And on the 8th Day she said “Let there be cycle paths”
I have always been a nervous person. I confidently bought my fancy bicycle in 2012. I had some reservations. I knew that Sydney was not famous for its cycle-friendly ways. It had hills and my bike was big and heavy and cumbersome, and I was small, short-sighted and have no driver’s license or car manoeuvring abilities. I was pretty terrified.
It took a stint in Europe and Europeans friend to force me out of my fear, telling me to follow them even though they refused to wear a helmet and didn’t understand that I come from a land of stringent road rules. I ended up high tailing it to the side of the road once, crying because I got stuck in the middle of a highway, unawares of what to do and feeling the force of a thousand cars closing in on me.
I eventually gained confidence and became an avid cycler, and by avid I mean I take the quiet car-free roads, specifically marked bike lanes and occasionally super wide foot paths with joint bicycle and tiny pedestrian signs on them.
But it was thanks to Clover Moore’s Sydney cycling revolution that I was able to do ANY of this. And so I called my baby blue bike “Clomo” in honour of her. Cycling in Sydney has been one of Clover’s most famous developments. As a result, more Sydneysiders than ever are embracing the cycling way of life, with one in three bike owners now leaving cars at home and riding to work, school, university, TAFE or to the park to sit and ponder the meaning of life. She did all of that despite shock jocks and tabloid media attacking her and the city’s cycleways at every turn. But as always Clover always has the upper hand, reminding us that encouraging cyclists was one way the city was tackling congestion, which costs Sydney around $5 billion annually and will double by 2021. (GUYS, 2021, THAT’S SOON).
“Sydney does well in global rankings, but is constantly marked down for transport,” she said.
She does fun cycling installations to encourage cyclists and motorists to better share the roads with safety and courtesy, like this ‘Cool It, Share It!’ campaign:
A West Side Story-inspired tune to remind bike riders and pedestrians to “cool it”, “bell it”, “share it” and “slow it” as they ride or walk over a colourful keyboard laid out on the shared path. Separated cycleways and shared paths provide safe and practical links and are helping to reduce congestion. They’re new to Sydney and we need to make sure people understand how to behave on them in a safe and respectful way.
A WEST SIDE STORY-INSPIRED TUNE! What more do you people need here?
Call to arms: keep Sydney OPEN
But the people of Sydney want change. They’re tired.
You can have your Melbournes and your New York Citys. Even despite the fact that Sydney has taken a nose hill dive into the gutter as of late, with hordes of venues closing down, it is still the most illustrious city on the planet, and that’s why people are fighting so hard to keep it that way. Clover Moore is part of that movement of pride in our city and we should defend it.
She cares about the growth of cities
In 2014, our Lord Mayor Clover Moore addressed the National Press Club in Canberra and straight out said that State and federal governments have their heads in the sand around the evolution and growth of cities.
I told you. Total bad arse.
She emphasised the need for city strategies to become national issues because somebody’s gotta do it and because she knows that half the world’s population lives in cities. That will reach about 70 per cent by 2050. But you would not know of this growing importance, just by looking at state and federal government policy. She argued that the federal government has failed in articulating a city’s’ policy to manage growth. The government instead chooses to fund roads over public transport and Clover was not having a bar of it.
“We can’t keep developing our food basin and we shouldn’t sentence young people to a life in the outskirts of suburbia, cut off from effective transport and services,” she said.
“But how to persuade a nation that has historically embraced suburbia, that life can work and thrive in cities?”
The most apt example of this is Sydney’s Green Square urban renewal project. Aiming to accommodate up to 54,000 residents and jobs for 22,000 workers, it’s the most ambitious project Sydney has seen in terms of city development.
She tried to get the government to support trigeneration
Clover Moore is already five steps ahead of you in calling out the haters who love coal. She’s been trying to get support for trigeneration, arguing that it’s twice as efficient as coal-fired power. Not to mention it can reduce a building’s emissions by more than half. Trigeneration for those of you wondering what the hell it is (me included) is where The City of Sydney produces its own low-carbon energy for power, heating and cooling at Sydney Town Hall and its staff offices.
“It is depressing that, while our governments have not supported trigen, many European cities have been retrofitted with decentralised energy networks, including Berlin, Hamburg, Paris,” she said.
This is Clover’s vision, to contribute to Sustainable Sydney 2030 by reducing the City’s annual carbon emissions by 3 per cent and reducing energy bills for Town Hall and Town Hall House by an average of $320,000 per year over the life of the project. It seems like a small initiative, but it shows that Clover Moore has the kind of vision for a sustainable future that is so lacking in our government right now. She puts our federal leaders to shame.
She can DJ like a mad…
Forget old-retired-mate-once-defeated-by-a-woman-after-claiming-women-can’t-get-ahead-in-politics-because-who-will-care-for-everyone John Howard. Clomo can literally DJ with the best of them.
And finally, and perhaps most importantly, she throws a kick arse party
Thank you for having us, Clover.
Take some action
Follow and vote for Team Clover this SaturdayThanks for everything Clomo