Christmas is a wonderful time to be in Sydney. This week I officially launched the 2014 Sydney Christmas program and this year will be our biggest yet, with more lights, trees and interactive projections than ever before. Read more

Premier Mike Baird is going to the March election with an enormous, albeit hypothetical, treasure chest. Electricity asset sales are in his sights and a one-off $20 billion cheque almost in his grasp.

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This week people all round Australia took part in White Ribbon Day to send a strong message that violence against women and children is never OK.

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This week I spoke at UrbanGrowth NSW’s Bays Precinct Summit, a gathering of selected planning and design experts from around the world to discuss the future of this unique location. Read more

Sydney’s ongoing engagement in Asia, particularly with China, is a key to maintaining our global standing. This encompasses more than our economic ties. It also extends to civic, social, educational, environmental and cultural links.

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At our most recent Council meeting, we resolved to support an interest-free art purchasing scheme called Art Money.

The scheme will help remove barriers to buying art by providing a 10-month interest-free loan to buy a work priced between $750 and $20,000 from a participating gallery. Read more

Until now, indigenous contributions to Australia’s service history have been woefully under-recognised. But we’re starting to remedy that.

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This week the US and China agreed to take significant steps to address climate change.

Their announcement, a wake-up call to other world leaders, comes in a week when the City’s work to cut carbon emissions and tackle climate change was twice rewarded. Read more

Despite action this week from the US and China – the world’s top carbon emitters – the Australian Government refuses to take serious action on climate change. But leading businesses that understand the risks we face are getting on with the job and the City is helping them do it.

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On Monday the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released the final part of its 5th Assessment Report. This enormous review of climate change science, the first since 2007, involved nearly 4,000 experts reviewing 30,000 scientific papers.

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This morning I was delighted to announce the winner of our design competition for a new aquatic centre and park at Green Square.

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Just to our east, Waverley Council is planning a separated path to connect Bondi Junction with existing cycleways. This will improve safety and ease of travel for bike commuters coming into and out of the City. Read more

This week I was joined by Age & Disability Discrimination Commissioner Susan Ryan and representatives from Guide Dogs NSW and Vision Australia to launch the trial of our new wayfinding and tactile signage. Read more

At this week’s Finance, Properties and Tenders Committee meeting the City’s independent financial auditor, PricewaterhouseCoopers, confirmed our position as the number one Council in NSW for financial management.

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A new study on global mobility and employment preferences ranks Sydney as the fourth most desirable city in the world for foreign workers.

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After more than 20 years, the long-awaited upgrade to Redfern Station’s accessibility will finally begin in early 2015. This work will include a new lift on platforms 6 and 7 and improved access from Lawson Street.

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Today I had the great pleasure of hosting citizenship ceremonies for 334 new Australians from 49 countries of birth.

This is the tenth year, as Lord Mayor, that I have been hosting Citizenship ceremonies and in that time I have welcomed over 18,300 new Australians in 237 ceremonies.

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This week I hosted the second in our series of City Conversations examining social sustainability. A packed house at City Recital Hall braved storms to hear a panel of experts discuss how government, foundations, business and individuals can work together to deliver social good.

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Last weekend locals and visitors to Kings Cross got a taste of the arts, culture, food and shopping this village has to offer at the Kings Cross Festival.

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This week the City of Sydney raised a rainbow flag flying six storeys above the area known as “Gilligan’s Island” at Taylor Square. The flag joins the 200 rainbow banners that the City has flown along Oxford and Flinders Street since 2005.

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A project described as a “mental health neighbourhood watch” was among those receiving funding from my Lord Mayor’s Trust today.

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The Kings Cross Festival is up and running, and this weekend there are some great events showing off the best of Kings Cross and Potts Point. I launched this year’s Kings Cross Festival on Wednesday night with Tim Petersen from the Potts Point Partnership and local artist Tim Denoon, whose photos of our vibrant community form part of the festival’s art program.

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Today the Daily Telegraph dedicated an entire page to undermine our efforts to make Sydney’s roads safer for everyone – whether they are walking, riding a bike, taking public transport or driving.

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I joined some of Sydney’s most exciting up and coming young designers at The Makery on Oxford Street to help launch this weekend’s Fashion in the Villages program.

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I was very sad to hear that Randall ‘Animal’ Nelson passed away this week. Our community has lost one of its warmest and most respected members. Read more

Last night, in spite of overwhelming community and business opposition, the Liberal National Government joined the Elephant Shooters Party and the Christian Democrats to halve your say in City of Sydney local elections.

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I was delighted to read today that the growing number of small bars in our city is helping boost Sydney’s live music scene – Size doesn’t matter for Sydney’s top small music venues

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Oxford Street has plenty going for it – creative businesses, art schools and universities, cafes, cinemas, bookstores, secret gardens in the Reservoir, Saturday markets and glamorous day spas.

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This week I was delighted to join John Kaldor at the Royal Botanic Gardens for the announcement of Kaldor Public Art Projects’ 45th anniversary project.

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It was terrific to help launch one of my favourite events last night, Vogue Fashion Night Out.

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Recent planning and development processes for foreshore land have created significant community distrust about how the State Government will plan and redevelop the Bays Precinct.

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It’s easier for businesses in the City of Sydney to vote in local government elections than anywhere else in NSW. Businesses only need to operate for three months before they can enrol to vote (as opposed to three years in other local government areas).

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Sydney City is one of the fastest growing areas in terms of jobs and residents. And the City of Sydney has played a large part in that. For the last ten years, we’ve made the area one of the most desirable places in Australia to live and work.  Read more

Visualising the devastating effects of climate change can be challenging, but a new exhibition at Customs House is full of stunning reminders of the challenge we face.

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More entertainment options in the city that aren’t focussed on drinking is something I’m very keen to see more of.

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Last night Council supported my Lord Mayoral Minute to request that the NSW Government remove the Oxford Street clearway and reduce the speed limit to 40km/h.

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The City of Sydney is very concerned that the NSW Department of Education and Communities (DEC) has withdrawn the offer to purchase land from the City of Sydney for a new inner city school.

The land is at the corner of Fig and Wattle Streets, Ultimo. DEC informed the City at a meeting on 25 November that the department no longer considers the purchase of the land a value proposition. This follows a meeting between the DEC and NSW Treasury.

For many months, the City negotiated in good faith over the sale of the land so that the community would provided with a new school. The City and state government agreed on the value for the land, an in-kind contribution for an 80-place childcare facility and were finalising negotiations on the outstanding issue of remediation costs.

On 3 November, Council approved the immediate sale of the Fig and Wattle street site subject to agreement on remediation costs.

On 13 November, I met with the Minister for Education, the Hon Adrian Piccoli MP, to progress negotiations. I made it clear that the City is committed to working with DEC until this matter is resolved and the Minister seemed committed to concluding an agreement. The City expected that the meeting of 25 November would succeed in finalising such an agreement.

The Minister for Education made a clear commitment to the local community that a new school would be provided. DEC’s decision at this late stage to withdraw its offer for the Fig and Wattle St land will be extremely disappointing to them. Education is a NSW Government responsibility.

The Minister for Education must now explain to the local community what plans he has to provide a new school in the area given the Fig and Wattle St site has been abandoned by the NSW government.

On 25 November I wrote to the Minister for Education expressing my concern at the actions of his department and asked him to explain what he will do now to honour his commitment to the local community and provide them with the school they need.

Click here to read our press release on the issue.

The new school promised to the inner city community has been thrown into doubt after the NSW Department of Education and Communities (DEC) withdrew the offer to purchase land from the City of Sydney for the school.

DEC advised City staff on 25 November that the department had come to the position that they won’t be proceeding with the purchase of the Fig and Wattle Street site in Ultimo for a primary school. DEC informed the City that they had meetings with NSW Treasury the day before and decided the site did not represent a value property for the DEC.

The Lord Mayor, Clover Moore said: “For many months, the City negotiated in good faith over the sale of the land so that the community would be provided with a new school. The City and State Government agreed on the value for the land, an in-kind contribution for an 80-place childcare facility and were finalising negotiations on the outstanding issue of remediation costs.

“On 13 November, I met with the Minister for Education to progress negotiations. I made it clear that the City is committed to working with DEC until this matter is resolved and the Minister seemed committed to concluding an agreement. My letter of 17 November to the Minister restated this and urged a swift conclusion of negotiations. The City expected that the meeting of 25 November would succeed in finalising such an agreement.

“The Minister for Education must now explain to the local community what plans he has to provide a new school in the area given the NSW Government has abandoned the Fig and Wattle St site.

“On 25 November I wrote to the Minister for Education expressing my concern at the actions of his department and asked him to explain what he will do now to honour his commitment to the local community and provide them with the school they need”.

The Lord Mayor’s letters of 17 November and 25 November are available on request.

MEDIA CONTACT

Ben Pearson | 0424 575 111 | bpearson@cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au

(6.30pm, Monday 24 November 2014, Sydney Town Hall)

Good evening, everyone, welcome to Town Hall.

I would also like to acknowledge:

  • The Hon Pru Goward MP – Minister for Women, Minister for Planning
  • The Hon Brad Hazzard MP – Attorney General
  • Ron Hoenig, Shadow Minister for Ports and Member for Heffron
  • Alex Greenwich, Member for Sydney
  • Greg Piper, Member for Lake Macquarie
  • Penny Sharp, Opposition Spokesperson Transport
  • Jamie Parker MP – Member for Balmain
  • Rear Admiral Stuart Mayer CSC RAN – Commander, Australian Fleet
  • Mr Michael Gold, President of the Great Synagogue
  • Dr Tim Soutphommasane, Race Discrimination Commissioner
  • The Mayors from Marrickville, North Sydney, Pittwater, Ryde and Canada Bay
  • Deputy Lord Mayor Cr Kemmis and City of Sydney Councillors, including Clr Forster who is also representing the Prime Minister.

I also want especially to welcome the Consuls-General representing 30 nations, who help us maintain our world-wide connections and foster city-to-city relationships.

And I welcome you, our partners – from all levels of government, from business, architecture and planning and cultural industries – who are working with us to make Sydney a place people are eager to live, work, do business and study in and visit. Read more

The City is working with artist Tony Albert to creating a new public artwork that will honour the sacrifices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander service men and women.

The artwork will be the first of its kind in Australia, and recognises the contribution these men and women made, many of whom were not considered as Australian citizens at the time they served.

Read more

(5.30pm, Saturday 22 November 2014, 151 Castlereagh Street)

Thank you Li, [Zhao Li, MC] and good evening, everyone.

I am also honoured to welcome Mr Dong Wei, Vice Minister of Culture of China, to our City. We are very happy you could be here for this official inauguration.

This may be the launching ceremony of China Cultural Centre in Sydney but I know it has been running a terrific series of exhibitions, performances, talks and workshops since May. Read more

(11am, Saturday 22 November 2014, Mary O’Brien Reserve, Zetland)

Thank you, Stephen [Gilby], good morning, everyone. Welcome to our newest Sydney park.

The original park, Mary O’Brien Reserve, has been in Zetland since the 1960s, when it was named for a former member of Waterloo Council and a champion of charitable, aged and youth organisations for 50 years.

As some of you know, the renewal and expansion of this park has been in the works for over a decade! Read more

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@clovermoore
Redfern looking fabulous this morning #snapsydney

@clovermoore
Great to get into the spirit of #SydXmas with @melissadoyle7 and @marlisamusic this morning. We’ll be lighting the Martin Place tree on Thursday night – join us! Find all the info at: www.sydneychristmas.com.au