Statement from Lord Mayor Clover Moore MP13 March 2012
This proposed change is an attempt to reduce peoples’ voting options in NSW State and Local Government elections. Peoples’ democratic rights should be defended and not manipulated by partisan party politics.
Barry O’Farrell’s fondness for revealing important policy in the media raises questions about his ability to transition from Opposition Leader to Premier. Politics over policy is not what we want to see from our Premier when he has much more important things to focus on and get on with. This government keeps setting up committees, asking for reports and toying with the laws – but in real terms it faces the prospect of not having built or finished anything significant in its first term.
At a time when voters want to see action, my combined roles reduce duplication and allow me to efficiently and effectively represent our community.
Any judgements about the one person’s ability to successfully carry out both responsibilities should remain with voters and put in the context that a person undertaking dual roles has to face an election approximately every two years.
This issue has significant impacts that go further than the City of Sydney. For MPs from rural and country areas holding the two positions provides a vital link between their community and the City parliament. As well as the face to face contact with relevant ministers, it allows them the ability to promote important local issues that are not necessarily favoured by the Government or the government’s agenda.
The Premier’s failure to commit to current MPs to also finish their term if elected to Council confirms this is a politically targeted, despite previous claims this is not about payback or securing a position the Liberal Party couldn’t win democratically.
The Premier needs to explain why he is turning a blind eye to the more potentially significant issue of MPs with private business or professional interests if he is genuinely concerned about conflicts of interest and time management.
The 2011 Pecuniary Interest Register shows approximately double the number of MPs with private interests than those also serving as councillors. Around 60 MPs have private interests which include ongoing involvement or ownership of businesses, investment properties, legal and medical practices and share portfolios. Several MPs are also company directors.
Lord Mayor Clover Moore MP