There is nothing more important than getting a strong agreement on climate in Paris at the end of the month – and that’s why I’m going to be there. Read more

The NSW Government today released IPART’s ‘Fit for the Future’ Local Government report.

IPART found that the City of Sydney ‘meets the scale and capacity criterion as a stand-alone council and would be fit as a stand-alone council’ Read more

I met with Mayors in the 100 Resilient Cities network on 1-4 October in Bellagio Italy to explore ways our cities can better respond to acute shocks like earthquakes and severe storms, as well as chronic stresses, such as ageing transport infrastructure and declining housing affordability. Read more

Australia’s capital cities account for 64 per cent of the nation’s GDP, house over two-thirds of Australia’s workforce, have supplied 1.5 million people with new jobs in the past decade, educate 80 per cent of all tertiary students in the country and are forecast to house another 10 million Australians by 2056 – 72 per cent of all future population growth. Read more

Residents have contacted me raising serious concerns about work at the Alexandria landfill site where the WestConnex spaghetti junction is proposed to be constructed. Read more

Last week I was pleased to launch the Sydney Medically Supervised Injecting Centre’s Art from the Heart of the Cross exhibition. The project aims to provide a safe and positive avenue for self-expression to those who use the Centre’s services. Read more

Tonight helped launch Vogue Fashion’s Night Out – one of my favourite nights on the Sydney fashion calendar and an event the City has committed to sponsor for the next three years.

Read more

We’re giving the four recently-upgraded Sydney Park wetlands new names that commemorate the area’s Aboriginal history.

Read more

Last night I spoke at the launch of the Festival of Urbanism at the University of Sydney. The Festival will host a series of talks and conversations on planning and making our cities.

Read more

Yesterday the Minister for Planning Rob Stokes and I walked the City’s first new high street in over a century.

Ebsworth Street is now ready for the cafes and homes being built in the heart of the Green Square Town Centre. Read more

If you’re concerned about a mega amalgamation make sure the Premier and his Local Government Minister know.
Read more

Last night’s City Talk, “The Politics of Climate Change”, gave us much to think about as momentum builds toward a new global climate agreement in Paris. Read more

Yesterday I appeared at the final hearing of the Legislative Council Inquiry into Local Government.

The Inquiry may be our last opportunity to get the process of worthwhile local government reform back on track Read more

For over a century, successive state governments have sought to ensure the City of Sydney Council has had a complementary political makeup. To make the City winnable they have changed its boundaries, sacked the Council and altered electoral franchise. Read more

This weekend the City is running a Crescent Skate Space information session to continue working with the community on a skate park in Glebe. Read more

No one knows a neighbourhood better than the people who live there, so I’m asking for your invaluable advice to help us create a City that’s easier for visitors to get around. Read more

This week I spoke to the Alexandria Residents Action Group (ARAG) and Friends of Erskineville (FOE) at a public meeting about the Development Application that has been lodged to build up to 1,600 apartments in the Ashmore Estate. Read more

Yesterday I was happy to launch the new Art & About Sydney program for this year. The new program is particularly exciting because we have refocused Art & About from an annual three week festival to an ongoing series of projects year round. Read more

On Tuesday night I helped launch the Surry Hills Creative Precinct. Surry Hills has some of the best “cool” in Sydney, with a lively mix of restaurants, cafes, bars and businesses. It’s great to see local businesses form a group to work together and continue this area’s growth. Read more

Today’s announcement by Tony Abbott that Australia will only aim to reduce carbon emissions by 26-28 per cent by 2030 is disastrously inadequate.

Read more

As Lord Mayor, part of my role is to promote Sydney and learn from other cities. I take this very seriously and only travel when it is essential.

Read more

Everyone should be able to enjoy a good night out in Sydney and come home safely at the end of it. Sadly that has not always been the case, but the fantastic Safe Space and Take Kare Ambassador program is helping change that.

Read more

This morning I joined Brad Hazzard MP, NSW Minister for Family and Community Services, to announce a new joint protocol to help homeless people during severe weather emergencies. Read more

At Council on Monday night we will vote to adopt three pieces of important work that will help the City address climate change: the Energy Efficiency Master Plan; the Climate Adaptation Strategy; and the  Residential Apartments Sustainability Plan. Read more

Sydney has an amazing group of innovators, designers, coders, entrepreneurs and engineers who are building a global reputation and shaping the future of our economy.

Read more

On Monday, Council’s Finance Committee will be discussing a staff report on the implementation of the Shooters Business Voting Bill, which became law on 6 February. Read more

I was very encouraged this week by NSW Transport Minister Andrew Constance’s comments about the need for light rail connecting Green Square with the city centre.

Read more

OzHarvest, the UN Environment Program and the UN Food & Agriculture Association are working together to tackle the increasingly important issues around food, food security and food waste.

Read more

Last night we unveiled the program for next year’s Sydney Chinese New Year Festival, celebrating the Year of the Monkey. Read more

For years the City has been pushing for a system that makes it easier for residents and businesses to access clean power that is generated and used locally. Read more

This weekend we’re opening two new City projects – our Sydney Park Water Re-use project and the Bamal Way pedestrian and cycle connection between Coulson Street in Erskenville and Sydney Park Road. Read more

The City has been working on two action plans that will support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander businesses and increase employment opportunities. The first, our inaugural Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP), has just been endorsed by Council. Read more

I was delighted to announce Guy and Jules Sebastian as our 2015 Christmas ambassadors this week. The City will work closely with Guy and Jules as well as our corporate partners, retailers and the media to make Sydney a must-visit destination this Christmas. Read more

We have installed two new reverse vending machines in Redfern and Wynyard. By placing your old bottles in the machine, you have a chance to win prizes or charity donations. Read more

In its latest edition, global affairs magazine Monocle has ranked Sydney as the fifth best city in the world in its annual quality of life survey.

Read more

Today’s Daily Telegraph misrepresents the nature of a development approval endorsed at Council over a week ago. The DA requirement to prepare a Travel Plan for customers and staff does not set a precedent for other businesses, does not add onerous red tape and has the full support of the owner. Read more

I was delighted to once again present the Lord Mayor’s Prize at the Australian Institute of Architects’ annual NSW Architecture Awards at Sydney Town Hall on Friday night. Read more

NAIDOC Week is an important annual event in Sydney. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are intrinsic to our shared story of Sydney, their culture and history permeate our modern city and give it a depth and resonance beyond the everyday.

Read more

Yesterday we submitted our “Fit for the Future” proposal to the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART). IPART will now assess whether the City has the capacity to deliver services to the community in a sustainable and efficient way. Read more

Recently the Daily Telegraph has reported allegations of bullying and harassment in the City of Sydney’s rangers unit. These reports are misleading and are shamefully being used by some for self-centred political point-scoring.

Read more

Today I announced that work has commenced on a 2.4km underground stormwater drain to reduce flooding in Green Square during torrential rain events.

Read more

Today, in a Sydney first, experts and representatives from almost all of Sydney’s 41 councils have come together to develop a long-term plan to help build a resilience plan for our city. Read more

InviteThe City is hosting the Green Square is here community event this Saturday (27 June) and you’re invited. Read more

On the weekend I was very pleased to open the newly refurbished Reconciliation Park in Redfern. Read more

Last night we held an Extraordinary Council Meeting to consider the City’s submission to “Fit for the Future”, the NSW Government’s scheme to slash the number of local councils.

Read more

Today we announced the formation of a City investigation squad to bolster efforts to shut down illegal accommodation providersRead more

On Sunday I joined Housing Minister Brad Hazzard and CEO of Bridge Housing John Nicolades at Cowper Street in Glebe.

Read more

The Department of Education has given the City of Sydney and the community last-minute notice that it will not proceed with purchasing land in Ultimo for a new primary school.

Read more

Today at the University of Sydney I spoke at the City’s forum on Creative Spaces and the Built Environment. Read more

Today’s Daily Telegraph dedicated two full stories and its editorial to criticism of the City’s Grants and Sponsorship Program. The program provides funding and support for initiatives that contribute to cultural, social, environmental and economic life in the City. Read more

This week started with two pieces of positive international climate action news: The G7 announced an agreement to phase out the use of fossil fuels by the end of the century; and new figures show China’s emissions will peak five years earlier than expected. Read more

In a self-interested attempt to gerrymander the City’s boundaries, Liberal Councillor Christine Forster is advocating for the separation of the CBD and the City’s residential areas. Read more

It was great to see that so many people turned out in Martin Place on Thursday morning to rally against the NSW Government’s removal of the College Street cycleway.

Read more

It’s great that people are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of keeping e-waste out of landfill. Computer screens and TVs contain toxic chemicals such as lead, mercury and arsenic, which can leach out from landfills and into waterways. Read more

Congratulations to Wesley Enoch, who was today announced as the incoming Sydney Festival Director for a three-year tenure from 2017-2019. Read more

The Bays Community Coalition is hosting a community workshop on 7 June to discuss the current plan for the future development of the Bays Precinct. This is your opportunity to learn more about the project and respond to UrbanGrowth NSW’s call for great ideas to shape the future redevelopment of the Bays Precinct. Read more

The City is strongly opposed to the closure of the Powerhouse Museum at Ultimo and we have passed a resolution to that effect, while saying we also strongly support the expansion of much-needed cultural facilities in western and south-western Sydney. Read more

The NSW Government’s plans to remove the College Street cycleway without providing a replacement will put people’s safety at risk.

Read more


The Cross being created at the foundry.

This week the City completed the restoration and installation of a Victoria Cross long missing from the Foley Park World War I Memorial in Glebe. Read more

Our William Street Creative Hub now has a new tenant, with the Australian Design Centre and Object Gallery opening this week.

Read more

The NSW Government has now appointed the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) to review Council proposals on “Fit for the Future”. Read more

Sydney Writers’ Festival officially kicks off tonight with an opening address by author Mohsin Hamid titled, “Life in the Time of Permawar”. SWF may be held over just one week, but this annual festival gives us food for thought and matters to debate for months to come. Read more

On the weekend I opened the upgraded St James Park in Glebe. St James Park is the latest example of the City’s work to build high-quality community spaces and attractive places to relax. Read more

During debate in state Parliament today, Alex Greenwich proposed a motion calling on the Government to rule out forcing local councils to amalgamate. Read more

Our economy continues to go through big changes. One thing is clear: Australia’s future lies in innovation, not digging up and exporting minerals.

Read more

At Council’s Environment Committee meeting yesterday, we unanimously approved the City’s plan to build a community farm at Sydney Park. We will now start work on the farm’s produce areas, orchard, composting and waste management facilities.

Read more

Construction of light rail will be the biggest change to the Sydney CBD for decades. It is an enormous, complex job and everyone involved will have to work together to keep Sydney moving.

Read more

This morning I was delighted to speak at the launch the 2015 Sydney Film Festival. In all its richness and diversity, Sydney Film Festival reflects our city and our world — and the City is a proud supporter of it. Read more

This morning I received a letter from the federal Assistant Minister for Infrastructure, Jamie Briggs, encouraging me to support the NSW Government’s WestConnex project.

Read more

The latest revelation of plans to develop a new stadium in public parkland at Moore Park is nothing more than a greedy land grab.

Read more

Last night I was pleased to launch “Top5Feet” as the first of this year’s Art & About artworks, in one of the city’s much-loved spaces.

At dusk, from now until 20 May, a giant light box and projection artwork will run the entire breadth of the eastern chamber of Paddington Reservoir Gardens. Read more

Last night I congratulated the winners of this year’s Sydney Rides Business Challenge.

A record 4,804 people rode over 313,000km as part of this year’s Challenge, which is now the largest of its kind in the world. Read more

The $15 billion WestConnex toll road project is the largest transport project in Australia’s history. Despite this, the NSW Government has still not released traffic modelling, Environmental Impact Statements or a business case for the road project. Read more

On Anzac Day we pay tribute to all who have fought and died for our country in war and this year is particularly important as it is the Centenary of the Anzac landings. Read more

This Friday at Town Hall we will be thanking our departing International Student Leadership and Ambassador (ISLA) participants and welcoming a new intake. Read more

Leading scientists advise that climate change will cause increases to the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events. The storms of the past week show how important it is for cities to be ready for such events.
Read more

I’m very concerned about the number of people who have been killed or injured on our roads. That’s why the City has launched a new road safety campaign to highlight the number of accidents occurring in the city’s most dangerous areas.
Read more

If you are thinking about hosting live music in your pub, bar or restaurant, or even opening your own venue, the City can help. Read more

The Sydney Rides Business Challenge has been a huge success. There are still a few days to go, so it’s not too late for you to sign up, take part and log your rides.

Read more

The City has been criticised in the Daily Telegraph this morning for our investment in public art and energy efficient infrastructure. Read more

After years of deals being done behind closed doors, the public has now been allowed to see what the future of Barangaroo South will look like.

Read more

The NSW Government’s redevelopment of the 80-hectare Bays Precinct, stretching from Blackwattle Bay to the White Bay Power Station, will be one of the most significant urban renewal projects in Sydney.

Read more

It’s a sad fact that many politicians in Australia ignore evidence-based research, so I’m not surprised Penrith MP Fiona Scott has made claims before looking at the data. Read more

Youth Week in the City starts this Friday, 10 April. Young people are bursting with new ideas and energy, and it’s important that older generations listen to and support them. Read more

Like most arguments for WestConnex, the claim that nearly half of Western Sydney commutes to inner Sydney for work each day (published in today’s Daily Telegraph) is just wrong. Read more

Today I unveiled Yininmadyemi, an artwork which celebrates and commemorates our Indigenous service men and women. Aboriginal artist Tony Albert’s work features four seven-metre tall, 1.5 tonne bullets and three fallen shells to represent the diggers who returned to Australia and the ones who lost their lives. Read more

Sydney is a city of villages offering a rich variety of tastes, cultures and experiences. Each community offers something unique, with iconic destinations and a distinctive style, from the historic to the hip. Read more

On 16 March 2015, the City of Sydney hosted a public meeting at Sydney Town Hall about WestConnex attended by around 500 people.

The meeting strongly endorsed concerns that the project would not achieve the NSW Government’s stated objectives. Read more

In the lead up to this Saturday’s state election I again called on NSW Premier Mike Baird to rule out, if elected, the forced amalgamation of local councils.

Read more

You might have seen a story in the Sydney Morning Herald at the end of last week about the City’s new street furniture. Read more

I am saddened by the passing of Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser.

Read more

The Sydney Rides Business Challenge is almost here, and I joined hundreds of riders for breakfast in Hyde Park on Tuesday morning to celebrate.

Read more

Reports this week of another attempt by the SCG Trust to take over Moore Park would destroy precious parkland. It’s now clear why the O’Farrell and Baird Governments wasted $38 million on a bridge over Anzac Parade – to enable the commercialisation of even more public land in Moore Park East and Moore Park West.

Read more

This Monday at Town Hall, hundreds of Sydneysiders gathered to hear from experts and express their concern about the State Government’s WestConnex project. Read more

Tomorrow the City is hosting two important events to tackle the housing crisis in Sydney. The problem has been growing for some years, but it’s reached a point where it can no longer be ignored and it stretches across the whole metro region. Read more

This Friday is National Ride2School Day, a great opportunity to improve the health and fitness of young people. Read more

The facts:

WestConnex claims to link people with jobs, improve freight transport and allow urban renewal. But here are the facts:

  • It won’t improve access to CBD jobs as 90% of Western Sydney workers commute to the city on overcrowded public transport.
  • It doesn’t align with the State Metropolitan Strategy to create job opportunities in Western Sydney and transport links to them.
  • It won’t help transfer freight from Port Botany and Sydney Airport to Western Sydney. Critical linking roads are unfunded.
  • It doesn’t take into account Badgerys Creek Airport.
  • It won’t help the renewal of Parramatta Road.
  • It will funnel thousands more cars into Newtown, St Peters, Erskineville, Alexandria, Waterloo, Redfern and Green Square.
  • It will isolate Sydney Park with fast moving traffic. Tunnel portals, ramps and ventilation stacks will blight the park’s surroundings.

WestConnex is a return to last century’s discredited thinking that motorways are the solution to our city’s transport needs.

WestConnex is supposed to help Western Sydney residents get to jobs in Sydney’s centre. It will do the opposite – worsen traffic congestion and divert funds from already crowded public transport used by most Western Sydney commuters to get to the CBD. The freight movement objectives of WestConnex are already redundant and it will do nothing to revitalise Parramatta Road.

What is WestConnex?

MapWestConnex is a tunnel to a traffic jam. An $11.5 billion network of toll roads that will bring thousands more cars into Sydney’s already congested centre. It is the largest road project in Australia’s history.

It’s planned in three parts:

  1. M4 widening and extension
  2. M5 extension
  3. M4-M5 link

WestConnex is funded by the State and Federal Governments, and by tolls on motorists. Commuters will pay more, including tolls on previously toll-free roads.

The 3rd stage and a planned connection to Sydney Airport and Port Botany are not currently funded despite their critical role in delivering the project’s stated objectives.

Take action now:

Tell the NSW Government and Opposition to look to the future, not the past. Tell Premier Mike Baird and Roads Minister Duncan Gay you don’t want WestConnex.

Hashtag your messages #WestConnex.

You may have noticed the bright red, blue and purple floral displays around the City this summer. These stunning displays have filled over 450 hanging baskets around the city alongside 900 planter boxes and floral towers. Read more

Our City Rangers face a shocking amount of verbal and physical abuse in the course of their work. 200 verbal and 67 physical assaults have occurred over the past five years. Read more

This morning had the great pleasure of thanking the volunteers and staff organisers responsible for the Safe Space program. Read more

A new book from the Grattan Institute reaffirms what we’ve known for some time – that poor planning and investment by state and federal governments has had detrimental effects on our cities.

By concentrating jobs in our inner cities, but neglecting the affordable housing or public transport that many workers need, governments have locked people into a lifestyle of long commutes to work that is dependent on cars.

Read more

On Monday the City of Sydney received the independent report into WestConnex which I called for in December.

The report by SGS Economics shows that the $11.5 billion WestConnex project will not deliver for Western Sydney, taxpayers or the travelling public.  Instead of 1950′s projects like WestConnex, the Government should be investing in public transport. Read more

Energy Efficiency Master Plan

Click to read the Master Plan

Last night, Council endorsed the City’s Energy Efficiency Master Plan to go on public exhibition. Read more

Last night we watched in awe as 3,000 participants marched down George Street for the City’s Chinese New Year Twilight Parade. The dancing and music, colourful building projections and pyrotechnics make this one of Sydney’s great events. Read more

On Friday night we proudly raised the Rainbow Flag above Town Hall for the sixth time as part of the Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Festival. Read more

Last week I met with our staff who have completed the extensive cleaning and restoration of the Grand Organ at Town Hall. Read more

It’s 50 years since the ‘Freedom Ride’ led by Charles Perkins set off to visit north-western NSW and in doing so helped change race relations in Australia.

Read more

This 19th Chinese New Year Festival celebrates the Year of the Sheep. People born in the Year of the Sheep are said to be clever, tender, polite, creative and compassionate. Read more

For generations, Kings Cross has been a lively and cosmopolitan place. In recent years, its reputation as a great place to go at night, coupled with the growth of beer barns and strip joints, gave rise to street violence and a deteriorating quality for residents and those who wanted to enjoy all else it offers. Read more

This week I was delighted to attend the official opening of the Dr Chau Chak Wing Building, the new home for the UTS Business Faculty which was designed by renowned architect Frank Gehry.

Read more

Libraries are a wonderful community resource and, with their ever-broadening scope of activities, they can also be a wonderful way of building and strengthening a sense of community. Read more

Around the world, governments are embracing the need to invest in 21st century transport solutions. Read more

I’m really pleased to be extending our Oxford Street Creative Spaces program this year. Read more

This week I was saddened to hear of the passing of Tom Uren AC. Tom Uren was a Parliamentarian for 31 years, Minister in the Whitlam and Hawke Governments, former prisoner of war and lifelong advocate for peace, human rights and the urban and natural environment. Read more

Sydney Harbour is one of the world’s greatest harbours and we need to protect its diverse marine life for future generations. Read more

Part of making our city more and more liveable is making sure new parents have the option of returning to work if that’s what they’d like to do. Read more

This week the City launched the 360 card – a new membership which allows access to all the City’s award-winning pools and gyms. Read more

Every summer Sydney Festival transforms our city with a bold cultural celebration bringing together high quality art and big ideas. Read more

Sydney has just been through a record year for approving new buildings and developments — and our skyline will keep soaring in 2015. Read more

2014 marked ten years since I became Lord Mayor of the City of Sydney.

That’s a decade of strong, stable, corruption-free Independent leadership, from a progressive, efficient and outcome-focused organisation, with a long-term vision for our city’s future and $1.9 billion budgeted for infrastructure over the next decade. Read more

Together with the Sydney community, I want to express shock and horror at the tragic events that occurred this morning at Martin Place.

Read more

For the past two weeks, the United Nations annual climate summit has been meeting in Lima, Peru. This summit is particularly important, as it is the last meeting before the critical Paris climate summit in 2015, where nations will agree on a successor to the Kyoto Protocol. Read more

Today’s Australian newspaper reports that Great Fortune Investment is marketing DeiCorp’s Dei Cota apartments in Redfern to Chinese and Asia buyers with the claim that “the Aboriginals have already moved out”. The reference was on their website but has now been removed. Read more

I strongly support the development of a new primary school in Ultimo. The City has worked for the past year to finalise the sale of the former deport on Fig and Wattle streets to the State Government for that purpose.

Read more

As of this weekend, ambassadors will be on standby at a “Safe Space” vehicle as part of a new pilot program to make our City’s entertainment precincts safer. They will offer first aid, water, phone and internet access and transport information to vulnerable young people who may be intoxicated or affected by drugs. Read more

This week, Sydney was recognised as one of the world’s most forward-thinking cities with an invitation to join the 100 Resilient Cities network. Read more

This afternoon down at Dawes Point I briefed media on our plans for our New Year’s Eve celebrations. I can hardly believe it’s that time of year already. Read more

On Friday night I had the pleasure of opening the NSW Business Chamber’s 2014 State Business Awards in Darling Harbour.

Eleven businesses operating in the City – seven companies, two local chambers, one training college and a museum – were in the running for top honours having won their respective categories at the South East Regional awards in July.

Read more

Today, 1 December, is World AIDS Day. We mark World AIDS Day to raise awareness about the issues surrounding HIV and AIDS. It is a day for people to show their support for people living with HIV and to commemorate people who have died. Read more

Last Monday in Rome, the City of Sydney’s renewable energy master plan was awarded the EUROSOLAR European Solar Prize 2014 award for excellence and innovation. Read more

Christmas is a wonderful time to be in Sydney. Last 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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

IPART found the City of Sydney ‘meets the scale and capacity criterion as a stand-alone council and would be fit as a stand-alone council’ but declared us unfit when compared to the idea of a Mega City Council – combining Woollahra, Waverley, Randwick, Botany and the City. An idea that has no support from the communities involved.

The City of Sydney was ranked against a global city criterion that has no community support or evidence and does not consider the significant transfer of assets and responsibility that would be required from the State Government.

The impact of a forced amalgamation now would risk our 10-year, $1.94 billion infrastructure program as well as $30-40 billion worth of private development over the next decade.

IPART’s report backs up what we’ve always said – the City of Sydney is ‘Fit for the Future’ as a stand-alone council. The report said:

The council satisfies the financial criteria overall. It satisfies the sustainability, infrastructure and service management, and efficiency criteria.

Other data also suggests City of Sydney is a well-run council with significant scale and capacity. It has pro-actively partnered with governments, undertaken significant CBD-based urban renewal, and approved a large range of development projects to grow the CBD.

Our independent auditors Pricewaterhouse Coopers reported to Council last night:

Council is considered to be in a strong and stable financial position. All financial indicators are better than accepted industry benchmarks.

The NSW Government’s own Treasury Corporation (TCorp) rates the City’s financial sustainability as ‘Strong’ with a positive outlook – the only one of 152 NSW Councils to receive this rating.

Over the past 10 years, the City has consistently delivered debt-free budgets, kept residential rates among the lowest in Sydney, and delivered high-quality infrastructure needed by our community and the one million visitors to the city each day.

To say the City of Sydney is somehow unfit in the face of this strong evidence to the contrary makes a mockery of the entire review process, and throws into question all decisions made as a result.

Our community’s made it clear they don’t want to succumb to forced amalgamations, with 80% of residents and 70% of businesses saying they like the boundaries the way they are.

A third of the submissions received by IPART related to the City of Sydney. Just eight of the 520 submissions supported an amalgamation.

Today, it’s been reported the Shooters Party wants the City of Sydney carved up to create a tiny CBD Council.

It’s hard to see why a couple of elephant shooting cranks who attracted less than half a per cent of the city vote would have any say in what happens with the global city. Until you see their Facebook page (now deleted), where they called me,  “one of the most gun-hating politicians anywhere in Australia.”

But the Shooters have forced through shooting in national parks and the legislation that gave business two votes and residents just one - so this latest harebrained scheme has to be taken seriously.

The plan to divide the City of Sydney shows how out of touch the Shooters and Fishers are – while they want to take the city back to the ’70s and ’80s we’re planning for the future. The city is currently undergoing a huge period of accelerated growth and investment. Based on current trends, $30 to $40 billion will be invested in development in our local government area over the next decade.

Contact the Premier, and the Local Government Minister, and let them know that you want the boundaries of the City of Sydney to remain as is.

NSW Premier Mike Baird MP
Email:  or via this form:
Phone: 02 9976 2773
Twitter: @mikebairdMP
Minister for Local Government Paul Toole MP
Phone: 02 8574 7000
Twitter: @PaulTooleMP

The Sydney Chamber of Commerce has come out strongly against this proposal, describing it as “politics at its worst.”

It’s worth reading the comments from Executive Director of the Sydney Business Chamber, Patricia Forsythe, in full because they really cut to the heart of the issue:

The proposed legislation should be rejected by the NSW Government as it has nothing to do with improving the City of Sydney and everything to do with the agenda the Shooters first revealed with their dodgy two votes for business legislation last year.

The argument the Shooters are running, that reduced boundaries would encourage investment by business in the development of the CBD, ignores the fact that the private sector is showing confidence in the future of the city with billions of dollars’ worth of investment including new hotels, commercial and residential buildings already approved or at application stage for the CBD.

The Sydney Business Chamber, and other business groups, advocate for fewer local councils across the Greater Sydney Region, so it would be illogical to propose or support, at the same time, shrinking the boundaries of the CBD.

The City of Sydney’s submission to the NSW Government’s Fit for the Future Inquiry, revealed a council that is providing services for business, big and small, and demonstrated its ability to manage major developments such as Green Square.

If it was broken we would argue for change, but the City of Sydney staff work closely with key business groups on projects that are in the interest of business.

It was regrettable that the NSW Government backed the specific changes to the business vote for the city, introduced by the Shooters, instead of putting up their own proposal and we would urge the Government to consult with business on this proposal.

Excising parts of the city and merging them with adjoining councils ignores the reality that in future years parts of the city that are predominantly residential will represent new commercial centres to support the CBD.

PricewaterhouseCoopers said the City of Sydney is a ‘benchmark against which other councils could be compared.’ The NSW Government’s own Treasury Corporation (T-Corp) rates the City’s finances as ‘strong’ with a ‘positive outlook’ – the only NSW council to receive this rating. There’s just no sensible economic reasoning or business case for these massively disruptive proposals.

In 2013-2014, the City oversaw $3.95 billion of development, over four times more than the nearest council. Last year we determined 2,677 development applications and their modifications and have consistently been in the top 10 for development application assessment times while processing the highest value and some of the highest numbers of complex applications.

The last time the Liberals shrunk the city council boundaries, the council almost ended up bankrupt. Why risk that happening again when the City’s booming? There’s just no sensible economic reasoning or business case for these massively disruptive proposals.

If the Premier wants to work out what’s best for the city, he should ask the people who live and work here – unlike the Shooters’ Borsak, we did, and 80% of the City’s residents and 70% of businesses said they like the City of Sydney the way it is. 

“This project was a disaster all along. The community was outraged, and the Auditor General’s report shows they were right,” the Lord Mayor said.

Read more

(7pm, Cockle Bay Room, Dockside Darling Harbour)

Thank you, Maurene, [Horder, PIA] and good evening, everyone.

It’s a great pleasure to welcome you all to Sydney, Australia’s leading city!

Our city generates around $108 billion worth of economic activity. It contributes seven per cent of Australia’s GDP and almost one quarter of the NSW economy.

We are one of the fastest growing residential areas in NSW and in the five years to 2012, we secured 40 per cent of all jobs growth in metropolitan Sydney.

We are responsible for a daily influx of about one million workers and tourists as well as our increasing population densities and we continue to rank highly in international surveys of great cities to live and work. We are the world’s most popular city to study in.

After an investigation into the size of international student populations for its 2014 Global Cities Index, consulting firm AT Kearney put Sydney ahead of 83 other cities, including London and New York.

Sydney is also beginning to be recognised as an innovative city. In a recent ranking of over 200 international cities by the consultancy 2ThinkNow, Sydney jumped several places, out-ranking Melbourne for the first time to be placed 17th in the top 20 innovative cities.

Sydney’s current prosperity is no accident. Sydney today is the outcome of a decade of strong, stable, independent, corruption-free leadership with a long-term vision

When I became Lord Mayor in 2004, I wanted a plan that could continue no matter who was in Town Hall, Macquarie St or Canberra. So we undertook the largest ever community consultation in the City’s history with residents and businesses, government and statutory authorities, visitors, and educational and cultural institutions.

97 per cent of people told us they wanted us to take action on climate change. They also said they want a city with a strong economy, one that supports the arts and connects its people to each other and the world.

Sustainable Sydney 2030 was the result of our consultation and research and it is the cornerstone of everything we do and has won wide support and worldwide acclaim.

At the City we consult and research, we commit and then we do.

We understand that in the 21st century, with mobile global capital and mobile international workforces, exceptional liveability is the key driver for a city’s prosperity and growth.

Our work over the last 11 years has been based on that premise – that a city that works for its residents will also attract investors, entrepreneurs, students, visitors and a skilled, international workforce.

Since 2004, we’ve completed over 250 major projects including parks, playgrounds, childcare, pools, libraries, theatres, community and cultural spaces. We’re now working on 370 projects as part of our ten-year plan.

We’ve approved around $25 billion worth of high-quality development and significant urban renewal is underway.

Importantly, we put a premium on planning and design excellence for private development as well as for our own projects, and have sought the best professional advice – whether through our Design Advisory Panel, or from internationally recognised experts like Jan Gehl, in shaping Sydney’s future.

We have an innovative design excellence program that requires a competitive design process for all major buildings—a world first.

Through this program, over 100 projects have been awarded bonus floor space for design excellence, and a number have been recognised internationally. In the last ten years, our public infrastructure projects have won over 80 national and international awards.

This remarkable track record has led to our growing reputation and international profile for city design and liveability.

We have protected and improved our residential villages, making them local hubs which offer shops, cafes and recreational areas within walking distance of residents.

We stage events, support festival, instigate strategic planning and we advocate – as we did for light rail.

We’ve developed action plans for retail, tourism, visitor accommodation and tech start-ups. We established a Retail Advisory Panel and we work closely with the NSW Government and Business Events Sydney on tourism and business events.

All these diverse activities are part of our planning for Sydney’s future.

Of course the biggest challenge is climate change but unfortunately, in Australia, we have not had the political leadership we need on this issue from the Federal and State Governments.

The Federal Government’s target of 26 to 28 per cent by 2030 on 2005 levels places us at the back of the pack internationally. We can and must do more.

Australia emits more greenhouse gases per capita than any other developed nation and stronger targets are a key part of encouraging other nations to do more.

The community wants us to do more. Recent polling by the Climate Institute found two-thirds of Australians want the Federal Government to do more on climate change, and just under sixty per cent to be a world leader in climate change solutions.

Even though our State and Federal Governments have their heads in the sand on this issue, we are taking action.

At the City we’ve set a goal of a 70 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions based on 2006 levels for both our own operations and the Local Government Area.

The target is backed by a suite of innovative Master Plans and we are making good progress.

In 2007 we became the first carbon neutral local government in Australia and since that time we’ve reduced our own greenhouse emissions by 21 per cent – next year, it will reach 26 per cent.

Greenhouse emissions across our Local Government Area have fallen by 12 per cent at the same time as we have enjoyed a period of strong economic growth.

Our carbon intensity – the amount of greenhouse emissions for each dollar of economic output – has fallen by almost 30 per cent.

As planners, you have an important role to play in designing our future cities and finding ways to reduce impacts on our environment.

One of those ways is through increased urban development – urbanisation is critical because we can’t keep developing our food basin and we shouldn’t sentence people to a life in the outskirts of suburbia, cut off from effective transport and services.

But it needs to be done right!

I believe the key to a successful global city is one that is environmentally sustainable, provides access to a wider job market, education and other essential services especially transport, is actively serviced with community infrastructure and parks and green spaces with a rich variety of choices and activities; a lively social and cultural life and a safe and diverse night-time culture. A city guided by the principles of design excellence.

Places that are good for people to live are also good places to work and do business.

I hope this conference will inform, inspire and energise you to think about your role in the future of our cities.

Thank you.


[1109 words]


Sign up for Clover's eNews
* = required field

Warning: Illegal string offset 'data' in /home/clovermo/public_html/content/mu-plugins/clover-moore-functionality.php on line 378