She has got four decades of public service under her belt, 17 of them as Sydney’s Lord Mayor, but Clover Moore says her work is far from done.
That is why the independent is vying to extend her record tenure as Lord Mayor of Sydney as NSW residents head to the polls today to vote in what have been twice-delayed local council elections.
“We have been able to achieve so much but we have a lot more to do,” she told AAP.
She rattles off a list including achieving the council’s goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2035, growing green spaces across the city, improving access to social and affordable housing, and repairing the CBD’s economy and council’s own coffers post COVID.
“That’s just for starters,” she said.
She is up against some familiar faces in an all-female field, with many of her opponents arguing it is time for a changing of the guard at Town Hall.
16 years at the helm
Ms Moore was first elected as Lord Mayor in 2004, 16 years after she joined the state parliament in 1988.
She managed both responsibilities until 2012, when new legislation forced her to choose between the roles.
“We need a Lord Mayor for Sydney’s future, not our past,” Labor’s mayoral candidate Linda Scott says.
Ms Scott has served as president of the Australian Local Government Association and as deputy mayor, but has twice been defeated by Ms Moore in the mayoral race.
Liberal candidate Shauna Jarrett is also campaigning on a pledge to “refresh Sydney”.
But Ms Moore is not convinced her rivals really believe there is a need for a change of leadership.
“Given that they agree with the work we’re doing, they have to think of something to say about me, and that’s what they’re doing,” she said.
Ms Moore claimed victory in a landslide in 2016, with almost 58 per cent of the vote, and is encouraged she might achieve a similar feat on Saturday.
“I never like to say I’m confident, I like to say I’m optimistic,” she said.
“I’m really pleased to be getting such good feedback from people as I go around the polling booths.”
While the pandemic forced the elections to be postponed twice, it has also seen the NSW Electoral Commission utilise online voting at a local government level for the first time.
But even that has not been without disruption, with the website crashing as a result of heavy traffic, and in turn seeing lines at polling centres swell.
“But generally people are really happy that the election is actually happening and that they can get out and vote,” Ms Moore says.
The race for the mayoralty of Sydney is one of more than 120 elections taking place across the state on Saturday, with polls closing at 6pm.