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Monday, November 28, 2005

The Race for Sydney Begins

Though they will not officially take effect until the 2007 State Election, the cabs are already jostling in the ranks in preparation for the redistribution that will create an extra seat in inner Sydney (details at the State Electoral Office website). Currently, most attention is focused on Clover Moore's seat of Bligh (which is to be renamed Sydney. Even though the redistribution would seem to be pretty favourable to Moore, a formidable cast of characters is already lining up, confident that they can oust La Moore from the seat she has so confidently held since 1988.

City of Sydney Council's only Greens councillor Chris Harris is the first to officially throw his hat into the ring for Bligh/Sydney. Notably, it was Harris' decision to withdraw his support from the bloc of Sydney Council independents he now refers to as `The Clover Moore Party' over a number of concerns, (but ultimately, over Moore's backflip on the redevelopment of the Carlton United Brewery site on Broadway) that delivered Labor councillor Verity Firth the coveted role of Deputy Lord Mayor at the expense of Moore supporter John McInerney. In response to this, Moore snapped up chairperson positions on all committees, thus pushing an already crowded schedule to the limit.

Meanwhile, the recent appointment of Meredith Burgmann MLC as Labor's Duty Senator for Bligh has led to speculation that she is being positioned as Labor's candidate for the seat in the election. There could certainly be worse choices - Burgmann is well known in the area, has been a prominent Left activist since the early 1970s (when she was a friend of the murdered heritage activist Juanita Nielsen).

The fact that both Labor and the Greens are apparently launching their campaigns so far out from the election indicates that both consider there is a real chance of winning the seat. Could Moore be considering giving up her State seat to take on the Mayoralty full time? Could be, could be. If it is the case, expect the fight to be long and bloodthirsty, as the abovementioned parties have been licking their chops over Bligh for years ...

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