Recording date:

Join The Saturday Paper’s chief political correspondent, Karen Middleton, for ‘A Month of Saturdays’, one of a series of conversations about Canberra’s big policy debates.

*Speakers: Aileen Weir (AW), Karen Middleton (K), Clover Moore (C)

*Audience: (A)

*Location: National Library of Australia

*Date: 16/9/17



AW:    Good afternoon, everyone. Thank you for coming to the National Library on this lovely Canberra brisk spring afternoon. My name is Aileen Weir, I’m the Director of Digital Business here at the National Library and as we begin this afternoon I would like to acknowledge the traditional custodians of this land, I thank their elders past and present for caring for this land that we are now privileged to call home.

Well we’re in for an exciting afternoon tonight – today. Since its launch in 2014 The Saturday Paper has been a fresh voice in the coverage of culture, current affairs and Australian politics, featuring some of Australia’s best writers. Both The Saturday Paper and its sister publication, The Monthly, have been great friends to the National Library over the last few years, providing valuable support in promoting our exhibitions, events and fundraising appeals. We are delighted that they are our media partner for our forthcoming exhibition, Don Dombrovskis, Journeys into The Wild which opens to the public next Thursday and I hope many of you will be able to come and have a look at that.

Today’s event is our first event partnership with The Saturday Paper and we hope it’s not the last. Our host this afternoon I think will probably need little introduction to most of you in the audience, is Karen Middleton, Chief Political Correspondent for The Saturday Paper since 2016. Karen was formerly the Chief Political Correspondent and Canberra Bureau Chief for SBS Television and is a regular radio and TV commentator. In conversation with Karen today is Clover Moore, Lord Mayor of Sydney to discuss On Cities and responsibility. Clover has led the development and implementation of the city’s internationally renowned long-term plan, Sustainable Sydney 2030. This plan has three major objectives, to be green, global and connected, and includes ambitious targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Please join me in welcoming Karen Middleton and Clover Moore to the stage.


K:        Thank you very much and welcome, thanks for coming on another Saturday afternoon. There’s a lot of competition, Floriade’s started so it’s very nice to see you all here, thank you again.

We’ve got about an hour to chat today, many of you will have been to our conversations before so what I’ll aim to do is talk with Clover for about 40 minutes and save some time for questions before we wrap up so if you have a burning question my request is to hang onto it and we’ll have the opportunity for further conversation afterwards. And then we will run an edited transcript, edited for space in next Saturday’s Saturday Paper so you’ll have a prompt on the first part of the conversation at least next weekend.

I’d like to welcome again, Clover, thank you so much for coming –

C:        Thanks Karen, pleasure.

K:        - look, you’ve pulled a huge crowd, it’s great.

C:        Thank you for coming.

K:        I wanted to ask you first we you know we here in Canberra where we’re having this conversation have – we don’t have local government, we’ve only got the territory-level government and then of course the federal government so what’s the role of a Lord Mayor as you see it? What’s your main mission in your job in Sydney?

C:        Well I’ve got to say I’m really envious of Andrew Barr being both the state and local government together as it enables him to get on and do much more so you know I think we’re over-governed in Australia, three tiers of government for our small population and that’s a bit of a frustration for a city leader because a lot of what I want to do is really state responsibility and the people think I have to do it anyway and then when it’s not done they blame me when it should be - in fact be the state. So the role of a city leader, the role of Lord Mayor, I see it as someone who sets the long-term plan, has the long-term vision, consults with the community about that, does the research to achieve what is needed and then makes the commitments and then does the work. And I think the thing about city leaders, about local government leaders is they’re at the coalface and they get on and do stuff.

K:        And you’re Lord Mayor like not Lady Mayoress, why the Lord?

C:        Oh it’s an interesting title, isn’t it, for a woman in the 21st century. It’s historic, it’s just the title that’s given to capital cities. And I can be a Right Honourable too like the Prime Minister but I don’t use that.

K:        What sort of city do you want Sydney to be? I mean you’re dealing not only with the iconic inner-city and the harbour but you’re dealing with the outer suburbs and issues of growth which I want to come to.

C:        Well I’m – as the city Lord Mayor I’m responsible for the inner area, it’s only an area of 25 square kilometres and it has a residential population of about 200,000 but we look after a million people every day because we’re the global city of Australia and we have workers and visitors in our city every day and so we have these two really important roles. And we have a leadership role in local government too for the rest of the metropolitan area and we do things for the metropolitan area too you know our events and the research we do and the actions we take we share with those other local governments too so it is an important leadership role.

K:        And how do you intersect with the cities jurisdictionally around – Parramatta, for example, around that inner-city? Do you find you have conflicting priorities or are you trying to have an overview for the greater Sydney?

C:        Well the mayors did try to have an overview for the metropolitan area and we had a mayors’ forum and then we had a state government that stepped in and said they were going to amalgamate local government and there was a lot of opposition to this because there was never any defensible justification given for wanting to do this and it can be a very destructive thing. And so the last two premiers have gone ahead with this proposal to amalgamate and in the end this premier said some months ago well those councils that have successfully taken us to court and won, we’ll leave there and the others have been amalgamated so it’s a real mess now, you’ve got tiny councils and much bigger ones. So what my role is as the City of Sydney leader is to bring all those newly elected mayors, and they haven’t been finalised yet, in to talk about working together cooperatively on the urban issues of our city for the future and setting up ways we can work together.

We’ve already been doing this nominally because the City of Sydney is a member of the Rockefeller’s 100 Resilient Cities and that’s about cities working to address – that’s about cities working to become more resilient so that’s resilient in terms of acute crisis, the sorts of things that happen with climate change and cities also being resilient in terms of dealing with chronic problems like housing affordability, congestion, population increases. So with that work we’ve committed as a city leader to work with all those other metropolitan areas so our CEO has been working with their general managers and so we will now all come together and talk about that work that we’ve been doing while they’ve all been dealing with their amalgamation so we do work for the whole metropolitan area but I am responsible for the inner area.

K:        And you mentioned that intersection between the levels of government which presumably is a frustration at times, probably frequently –

C:        Yes.

K:        - how do you manage that? I mean I think of a project for example like the West Connex roadway project which is a state government project which doesn’t necessarily have the universal support of local governments between western Sydney and the inner city. How do you as Lord Mayor manage that intersection with the state government if you don’t see eye to eye on such a major project with such an impact on your city?

C:        Well it’d be very beneficial for the city if federal, state and local government could work together confidently on outcomes but that doesn’t happen a lot and I think that’s a real pity. And in terms – I don’t know if you’ve heard of West Connex but it’s the biggest road project in the world currently and it was a Tony Abbott project. He had two other projects, in Perth and in Melbourne and they’ve been abandoned fortunately for those cities but West Connex hasn’t been abandoned in Sydney and it started off as a project that was going to cost 10 million. It’s now up to 17 million and when you assess what is going to be needed for the other extensions that have been announced and for all the exits and entrances to this motor – toll road project, it’s going to be - cost 50 billion. And it’s something that is really misleading the west – it’s promoted as something that will help people of the - western Sydney get into the city and yet they’re going to be forced onto private tollways and those tolls are going to go up by 4% for the next 43 years and the people of that area are not high-income people and they’re the roads they’re going to be forced onto.

And then all that traffic is going to be forced into the city of Sydney, the global city which is very constrained as you’d appreciate because we’ve got the harbour on three sides and one of our biggest problems in the city is congestion and that’s currently costing us 6 billion a year and that’s why we’re constructing light rail in the city centre now, to reduce the number of cars that are coming into the city and that has in fact been very successful. But what West Connex is going to do is direct another 120,000 vehicles into our city every day and it’s going to be devastating you know our wonderful villages that we’ve established in recent years. Sydney has become a very liveable city, the population has dramatically increased because of that. No longer do families move out – that is if they can afford to stay, they do because it has become a very liveable city and we pride ourselves on our walkable streets and our streets that have cycleways and on our - the good design in our residential development and in our wonderful parks and the cities we’ve provided and that’s going to be trashed by seven-lane highways going through the centre of all of this and that’s in the 21st century and that’s when we’re meant to be addressing accelerating climate change. So for all of those reasons it’s a terrible project and we’re fighting it.

K:        Do you have prospect of it not going ahead, though?

C:        Well we’re up to stage 3. Stage 1 has been just about completed, stage 2 is only 30% completed, stage 3 is a stage called the St Peter’s Interchange and that’s located next to our beautiful Sydney park where we’ve spent about 23 million in the last 10 years and it’s a major regional park for the surrounding area which has dramatically increased in population with a great deal of urban development. And that interchange is going to take up 27 hectares, it’s going to be interchanged – it’ll be 38m high, it’ll have trucks coming off it at 100km an hour right into our beautiful suburbs and into Green Square and Green Square is a project that we’ve been working on since 2004, it’s been on the planning agenda of the state since 1995, it is coming to completion now. We’re spending 1.3 billion on infrastructure, we’re spending 450 million on infrastructure in the town centre –

K:        That’s – for people who don’t know that’s that area between the airport and Redfern, along Southern Cross Drive and down South Dowling Street –

C:        It is, you’ll have already seen – when you come to Sydney those towers along South Dowling Street are part of it. It’s a project I inherited and it’s very dense and it’s turning the former industrial area into this major urban renewal area and so how do you cope with that? Well we’ve coped with it by saying all the development has to have design excellence, we’ve got to have very good facilities, we’re providing 40 parks and really beautiful community facilities, we’ve preserved the corridor for light rail so it all should be coming together really well and already 30,000 people have moved in, there’ll be 60,000 by 2030. Do you think we want West Connex with seven-lane highways travelling at 70Ks an hour going past? The answer’s no so – so if we can stop stage 3 it will mean that the interchange that will pour traffic into the global city, into the CBD won’t go ahead – won’t need to go ahead because we’ve seen that there’s an alternative much better route to connect.

They want to connect the M4 and the M5 and you can do that through a road that only needs intersection changes which actually lead traffic to the port and the airport which was the original purpose of West Connex. Currently they’re dumping it all at St Peter’s and they haven’t even planned for that final stage to the airport so it’s bad in every possible way and it you know it’s – they set up a private consortium to run it and the Independent Commission of Corruption can’t get information about it, the parliament can’t get information about it, two auditor-generals, federal and state, have been critical of it and that’s what we’re dealing with, it’s really bad.

K:        So at what point do you have to say well there’s a likelihood this is going to go ahead, we’ve got to start planning around this to mitigate the problems? I mean you’re obviously fighting it and you’re hoping you can –

C:        We’re doing both.

K:        So what sort of planning are you doing? How can you mitigate the problem of that influx of traffic?

C:        Well you know you do – you look at what traffic management you can introduce into the surrounding areas to stop cars coming in but what I'm doing mainly at the moment is talking to a whole range of people including particularly developers and business community who are really – they’ve invested a lot of money in the CBD and they’ve invested a lot of money into Green Square and they can see how bad this is and so I’m hoping that there will be some opportunity of perhaps stopping stage 3. That's where we’re at. You’ll have to just watch this space.

K:        In a city –

C:        But I think it’ll be very bad for Sydney if it goes ahead.

K:        You talked about being hemmed in by the harbour but it’s also as Australia is concerned in terms of development –

C:        Well it’s constraining us, it’s not hemming us in, it’s a very beautiful harbour.

K:        Sure, indeed. Sorry, I don’t mean that to be in any way derogatory, we love a harbour like that. What role does heritage play trying to plan a modern city of Sydney inner-city looking into the future when you’ve got heritage considerations, you’ve got old – relative to other cities in Australia – you’ve got old infrastructure that you obviously want to preserve and maintain, you’ve got green space, how do you go about planning for the future and future congestion issues, that kind of thing, urban design with that being preserved?

C:        I think this was first addressed in the 1970s when George Clarke did Sydney’s first strategic plan and I knew George very well and really on his deathbed he said to me you will do the next strategic plan for Sydney and you know I’d just been elected Lord Mayor at that time and of course that’s what we had planned to do. And I think our long-term visionary work, Sustainable City 2030, has addressed that. And you know what – our most recent planning piece of work has been a new central Sydney plan for the CBD area which is where the heritage concerns principally are and our planners did that work and they – because the city needs to grow as well in terms of providing another 145,000 over the coming decade and given the constraints we have you know it was originally a Victorian city, we did this new plan and our planners worked very secretly really because they didn’t want developers to know which sites would be able to increase in floor space because they’d be all buying them up.

So we had to do this work very carefully and the work was done looking at what was really important about Sydney and of course it is the harbour and it – of course it’s our green spaces and that new plan had to ensure that any future increased development would not impact on Hyde Park, on Martin Place and our major public spaces which are so important in a city like Sydney with you know we’ve got a great climate and those public spaces are really very important. So – and the other constraint we have as well as the harbour is that we’re close to the airport which is unfortunate but we are and so we have aviation constraints so there are only certain sites where we could look at increasing the height to enable that growth to occur and we did that work very carefully and we’ve done it now and that work is about protecting those important public spaces, identifying and keeping the important heritage work and allowing for that increase on certain sites where there won’t be serious impacts.

K:        How much difference will a future second airport for Sydney make to the inner-city and the existing airport? Is it only going to absorb future growth and not take pressure off your existing airport or are you hoping it will take some –

C:        It should be complementary. The great thing about that airport is that it’s going to provide a lot of jobs for people in the western suburbs and if it can be connected with a very fast train it will mean that people can use that airport and it – we have really serious congestion ‘round the existing airport, not only air traffic but vehicular traffic and so the second airport could work in a very complementary way but the most important thing about it, I think it is for western suburbs getting that increased economic activity happening.

K:        There are a few people in Canberra who are quite keen on very fast trains too but we –

C:        I think it’d be a great idea.

K:        We heard about it for a long time.

C:        We thought about it this morning when we had to go out to Sydney Airport and wait for an hour and then you know sit around and wait when we got here but it would be terrific to have and I’ve travelled on very fast trains in China and I’ve got to tell you, you don’t really real – we travelled at 299km an hour and you didn’t actually feel as though you were going very fast but you went right across the countryside, it was fantastic.

K:        But we seem to always get stuck in these jurisdictional questions about well what kind of technology and then the fact that it’s a long-term investment that requires so much money and it goes through several election cycles and we just go round and round. How do we overcome that?

C:        Well I think having longer terms for governments is one way of doing that and one of the reforms – I was in the fortunate position of holding the balance of power in the ‘90s with John Hatton and Peter MacDonald in the New South Wales Parliament and in order for the party that got the greatest number of votes to be able to get supply through and not have a no confidence motion voted against them we negotiated this charter of reform and this charter of reform was about improving the way government was run. So out of that charter we’ve got estimates committees which we didn’t have in New South Wales before that, we got a 10-question question time which we didn’t have before that you know government used to talk out question time in one or two questions, we got whistle-blower legislation, we got increased powers for the Ombudsman and the Auditor General and one of the reforms I argued very hard for was a four-year fixed term so you could give governments two lots of four years, eight years and deal with the very thing you’re talking about, how do you make those long-term decisions and how do you ensure that they happen?

And you know when you think about our federal parliament they have three-year terms, they talk about what they’re going to do for the first year and then probably for the second and third years they work on getting re-elected you know and we don’t see a lot being done and we don’t see important things being done that should be happening. So I think governments that are any good should be able to get at least two terms and that gives them eight years and that means they can do some long-term planning and get things done.

K:        You also though sometimes find opposition from the community to long-term planning, that sometimes in a community –

C:        And you’ve got an absolutely terrible government and you don’t want them to be there for too long.

K:        Well they can’t see – people sometimes can’t see value in investing huge amounts of money, particularly if the budget is tight which it so frequently is, in a project that’s really got a long-term vision and we’ve seen some examples of that one in particular in the ACT with the light rail project which has been extremely controversial here with one small you know some people see it as a very narrow point A to point B project and the government says well we’ve got a longer-term vision but we haven’t seen the whole of that vision yet and there are a lot of people who say well that’s not going to affect me, why am I paying for it? How do we respond to those sorts of sentiments within the city of Sydney but generally ‘cause it’s not just governments having trouble getting their act together, sometimes people are saying we don’t really want this?

C:        Again it’s looking at the long-term plan and I had a similar experience in Sydney. We’re not responsible for the trains and the buses but we are responsible for the streets and we are responsible for helping people get around and so one of the things that I was lobbied very hard about actually, mainly from the business community and executives was bike lanes because they didn’t want to cycle to work on dangerous roads, spend a full day in the office and then have to cycle home on a dangerous road or sit in a car. So I consulted with residents, I consulted with all of the community and we designed a 200km bike network and we proposed as much separated cycleways as we could get in to our confined streets and once we’d done all our research and our consultation and I went to some very, very fiery meetings. People like to park directly outside their terrace house window in the street and they didn’t want a cyclist going by –

K:        We don’t know anything about that here, do we?

C:        And you know I argued and I argued and really at the end of the day I said look, we’ve all got responsibilities here and there are three elements to how cities are contributing to climate change. One is in our commercial buildings where we burn a lot of energy, another is in our transport and a third is in the lighting in our cities and we as a community – we have to address this and one of the areas where we can address it is with transport and it’s much more sustainable to have people on bikes than it is in cars and you know the number of cars you’ll be able to take off the road and then there are all those other improvements with bikes too in terms of having a healthier community. And so I got to say it was very fiery and my CEO kept saying to me are you sure about this? You know because I was being really lobbied very hard and of course the Daily Telegraph, the Murdoch press, they do not like cycleways and I said no, it’s the right thing to be done and I held you know I was - held the line and I was also in state parliament at the time too so that meant I had elections every two years for the state and then for – and I was going for a state election and where we’re doing our first separated cycleway was in Bourke Street and one of the biggest polling booths was Bourke Street Public School and we held the election and guess what? I got my top vote in Bourke Street Public School and I was really pleased about that.

And you know as soon as we got those separated cycle lanes in people used them and people loved them and they’ve been so successful and to see all these people using them and to see parents cycling to school – I mean I know you – all people have wonderful cycling facilities here in Canberra and that’s the envy of the world but that’s not the story in Sydney but to see people cycling in Sydney with their children to their school is just really magic and that’s been very successful but it’s been really, really controversial and people really, really haven’t wanted it but they’ve in the end accepted the greatest good for the greatest number and it is about that. And I think with your light – just as an onlooker of Canberra your – I would consider it as the first section of your light rail network and I think you're such a dependent – my husband grew up in Canberra so I know a lot about Canberra and you know you’re so dependent on cars here –

K:        We are fond of cars, are we not?

C:        And I know you have great cycleways but you know perhaps for older people who can no longer drive it would be really liberating to have public transport and I think it’d be liberating for young people and I think it’s the future you know we’re living in the era of having to reduce our ecological footprint. Australia has the largest ecological footprint of any country in the OECD. We also have the highest rate of obesity, they are shameful facts and you know it’s incumbent upon us all to be doing something about it and transport is one of those areas.

K:        But public transport’s never going to give us the flexibility that having our own car does, does it? How do we come to terms with that then in the future?

C:        Well I think we’ll have to come to terms with it ourselves, won’t we? I think Canberra’s a different situation perhaps from a city like Sydney with our you know in our inner area, our dense population but you know we will all perhaps have to do inconvenient things because we’re concerned about the future of the planet. If we don’t sort out the future of the planet I think everything else becomes academic and we have to sort out the future of the planet because we only have three years really otherwise we’re going to be looking at four rather than 1.5 degrees in terms of climate change and the sorts of weather patterns we’re – being seeing around the world just very recently will be the common factor if we don’t take the action we all need to take.

K:        What sort of a role can a city play in mitigating against climate change seeing as you’ve brought that up? You know you’re a city, you may not necessarily have similar views on mitigation against climate change that the federal government has or even the state government has. Can a city do anything much? I know you’ve had a recent visit from Christiana Figueres who’s the former head of the UN body on climate change and Gregor Robertson, the Mayor of Vancouver, who I gather you’re in rivalry with for the greenest city in the world but what can a city, city by city do if federal governments are not in lockstep?

C:        What cities can do is probably one of the most important things because 70 to 80% of emissions are in our cities and as I said they’re our commercial buildings there, it’s our transport, it’s our lighting and so if we can address reducing emissions in our cities and if we can do it ‘round the world we can make a huge contribution to addressing climate change. And in fact the Paris conference showed that cities could contribute a 40% reduction and the city of Sydney is a member of the C40 climate group and that’s world cities coming together to address climate change and we meet every two years and we share our knowledge and our experience and that’s a very, very powerful group and it’s absolutely incumbent on federal and state governments to work with us because we can help them so much in this reduction, it’s not just about the coalfired power stations, it’s also about what we’re doing in the cities.

And so when we developed Sustainable Sydney 2030, when we first had that consultation back in 2007 97% of people in the city of Sydney told us they wanted us to address climate change. That was in 2007. And so when we developed Sustainable Sydney 2030 we made the commitment of reducing our emissions in the city by 70% by 2030 and we take that commitment very, very seriously and we are working very hard – already I can say we’ve reduced our emissions in our own operations by 26% and right across the city we’ve reduced emissions by 17% despite the fact that we have had unprecedented growth in – economically in terms of resident numbers increasing, in terms of visitors increasing, in terms of workers increasing and so that is - and we – what we do, we don’t have a very cooperative federal government, it doesn’t seem to have a policy.

The state is now committed to a 50% reduction in emissions by – zero emissions by 2050 which is fantastic, they’ve only recently committed to that but what we’ve done in the absence of the federal government commitment is work very closely with business and of course they own the commercial properties in the city of Sydney and we have a partnership called Better Buildings partnership. It’s with the owners of over 50% of the commercial property in our global city and they’re the really big ones, they’re the investors and the GPTs, the AMPs and they are partnering with us. They’ve agreed to our 2030 goals and because of the buildings they own they can take action and they have already reduced their emissions by 47% and they’re saving themselves 30 million every year. So that is very powerful and we’re working with the tenancies in all our commercial buildings, we’re working with small business, we have a group called Better Building Partnership and we’re working with our starts too in the residential apartments so these are all things that are happening in cities. And you know if the federal government wanted to link up with us it would be very powerful for them in terms of achieving what they’ve committed to achieve in Paris but are taking no action to achieve it which is I think fairly shocking.

K:        I want to ask you about housing. You’ve talked about Green Square and that’s an urban sort of infill project. We’ve seen the controversy around Martin Place and the homeless people in Sydney and what can be done to assist them to find permanent housing solutions, we’ve had a national debate about the cost of housing, it’s almost impossible for young people to buy into the housing market in your city but right across Australia. How do you tackle that given so much of the policy levers so many of the policy levers are at a different level of government from you? What are you doing about homelessness and about housing costs in general?

C:        Well I mean one of our important roles is advocacy and of course we support what Bill Shorten has committed to do in terms of capital gains tax and negative gearing, I mean that goes without question but we’re not going to get any improvement in provision of affordable housing for particularly millennials, for younger people until there’s a policy commitment from federal and state governments and there isn’t. The commitment so far has been keep providing supply and price will come down. Well I got to tell you in the city of Sydney we’ve approved $26b worth of development over the last decade and we only have 1% of affordable housing so there’s an awful lot of housing there but because there isn’t policy from those other tiers of government we don’t have the affordable rental housing that we need, not only the social housing that we need for low-income people, the public housing but also we need worker housing, the people who work in emergencies in our hospitals, work in our police stations, teach in our schools. They can’t afford to live in Sydney now because it has become so expensive.

What the city of Sydney has done is everything we’re able to do as well as advocacy we have been – the state has allowed us to apply a – affordable development levy in two areas, in Green Square and Piermont Ultimo and that’s generated about a thousand housing units that’s now affordable rental housing and we’ve got about the same number probably in the pipeline but it’s a drop in the ocean when you think of the $25b worth of development that’s occurred. What we’ve lobbied for and what we would like is to be able to extend that levy right across the city. That is one way of generating affordable housing, rental housing and we’d like to see that being applied right across the metropolitan areas to other councils you know we have a lot of sessions like this, city talks we call them, we have a lot of young people that come along and the millenials tell us they’re not absolutely committed to owning a house but they would like to be able to rent something that’s affordable and they’d like to have security of tenure. So if you had affordable housing reform from state and federal governments and you had security reform in terms of tenure that would be – that would really contribute to changing the mix and that’s what we really want, we want that reform coming through.

We use our development controls, we use our own land to make it available at discounted prices, we have a fund where we support – we’ve supported an older homeless women’s project, we’ve supported a youth housing crisis project so we do that but again it’s not the comprehensive policy change that you need to get to start getting that volume of affordable rental housing that we need. And we need to acknowledge that you know not everyone’s going to be a homeowner. Not everyone wants to be but everyone wants to be able to live in the place they’d like to live and to be able to afford to pay the rent and live a good life you know as they can do in other cities.

K:        Well it feels like the inner cities of our big cities are becoming the preserve of –

C:        Of the rich.

K:        Of the rich and the homeless and –

C:        Well it’s the rich and I think that’s really shocking and I think what else is really shocking is that our state government has evicted people, social housing people in Miller’s Point. It was the oldest living community in Australia. It was originally established as a low-income community, it was where the families of the maritime workers who were working down on the wharves lived and that - a lot of that housing was purpose-built for them and they’ve been evicted and they’ve been evicted by our state government. And there are other sites that the state government has sold you know our state government has been on a real sale binge and I think the view is unless you’ve got a high income you have no right to live in the city and I think that is truly shocking. It’s – in terms of equity it’s shocking but it’s also in terms of having a city that’s for everyone and a city that has that vitality of different groups of people and people with different levels of income. That’s what all our cities should be about and low-income people shouldn’t be sentenced in the case of Sydney to the outskirts where there’s no facilities and very little transport and an impoverished lifestyle.

K:        What’s your view of having public housing all in one area you know this area here and this area here? And I know in the inner-west in Sydney for example you’ve got Housing Commission, we used to call them, blocks and Miller’s Point was one and in the ACT there’ve been blocks of public housing that have been bulldozed and there’s a change in policy now so there’ll be a distribution of public housing availability across the city. What’s your view about having people altogether in one area versus distributing them across the suburbs, the salt and pepper idea?

C:        Well I’ve been a city representative now for over 30 years and so I’ve represented areas in Waterloo and Redfern and Surrey Hills where there’s high you know densely populated social housing estates and I know those tenants and I know them very well and I meet regularly with them and I always have. And you know we have quarterly meetings and I take all the state representatives out there so they can talk to them face-to-face. And I know that on the one hand there are some really serious social problems in those estates because again there’s a concentration of people who are having their – perhaps a mental health illness, certainly a low-income situation so there are a range of problems. On the other hand some of those communities are really tightknit and really supportive –

K:        They’re quite vibrant, yeah.

C:        - and so it’s a policy now particularly with conservative governments – they call it salt and pepper. They think it’s better if they mix low-income people with higher income people, they think that’ll be good for low-income people and you know one of the public housing tenants said at one of these meetings you know if I live next door to a banker who got up in the morning and put on his pinstripe suit and went off to the bank would I then be in a position where I could get up in the morning and put on a pinstripe suit and go off to the bank. You know it’s – if you take that whole thing through to its logical conclusion I mean I think what we need to do is make cities fair for everyone and I think the mix isn’t bad but I think where people want to live together in communities and show mutual support I think it’s really good and you know that’s what happened in tent city in Martin Place.

If you’re a homeless person you’re distributed ‘round the city of Sydney in a doorway, on a park bench, under a flyover. Particularly if you’re a woman you’re vulnerable and it’s quite dangerous. If you’re together with a group of people who are mutually supportive you’re safer and they felt very safe in Martin Place and the thing about Martin Place was that it was a real front and it was a front to the parliament and it was a front to the Reserve Bank and it was a confrontation to society about you know one of the wealthiest countries in the world and this is you know this is where we’re at. And so a lot of pressure was – I don’t know – you don’t get Alan Jones in Canberra but you’ve probably heard of him, have you? Well, he didn’t like it ‘cause he had to drive up there past it to go from – he lives down at Circular Quay and he had to drive past to go to his radio station and he lobbied the government so it was a real affront to Alan Jones.

So the Minister was going to get those people out of tent city if it was the last thing she did and I was really threatened by that and I sought to negotiate with the spokesman for the tent city and they’d agreed that if Family and Community services would actually offer them accommodation but it wouldn’t be together, it’d be dispersed where it was available and the city and the state could put – could support - what they asked for was they called it a safe place where they could meet and give each other mutual support, well then they would leave. And I’d put this to the Premier because they wanted me to use what they called – well it’s a section 125 in the Act that says that the Council move people on they call a public nuisance. We’d had to do that once because a building site was going ahead and it was going to be dangerous underneath but I wasn’t going to move them on in that way, I refused to do that and so they passed special legislation to give police the powers to do that.

And in the end the tent city abandoned – they thought that that would be a very frightening experience for the homeless people to be – to move – be moved on by police like that so they’ve been dispersed, they’re now dispersed back in the city in doorways and park benches. Some have been offered accommodation but the state hasn’t really been talking to me about that since then ‘cause I wouldn’t do what they wanted. They wanted the people out but they didn’t want to do it and I wouldn’t do it and I think you know much better that we confront this. For me it was just the tip of the iceberg. We’ve got a really serious housing crisis in Sydney and I put to the Premier a whole number of things that we would like to see happen that would give us more long-term housing for low-income people and I’m still waiting for a response on that. So it’s about policy and it’s about values and if they think that poor people shouldn’t be in the city it’s very hard to get them to support initiatives that will enable poorer people to be in the city where I think they should be, have an opportunity to be.

K:        Well I wanted to ask you about that question of values, I wonder what role the Lord Mayor has shaping social attitudes and in being a social and cultural steward of the city so we think of you as being a planner and a designer and dealing with logistics like transport and housing but you’re also dealing with a community that you want presumably to be comfortable and happy and love each other and all of that so how do you – what role do you play or what do you think you have in shaping social attitudes? I mean you’re also custodians of the biggest, most high profile gay community in Australia and obviously there’s an issue around all of that at the moment so do you see yourself as having some kind of stewardship role and social attitudes and leading – being outspoken on social attitudes as a kind of cultural custodian?

C:        I think that is an important role and that’s – and it’s a leadership role and it is speaking up for people and we do have a – that voluntary non-binding survey occurring about marriage equality at the moment and our community is really delighted that we’ve got wonderful banners in our streets, rainbow banners and another big banner with a heart and a yes so you know what our position is on all of that. And that’s got very strong support across the city, I have to say, whether it’s from the business community or the residential community or our homeless community. And you know people know that we have a policy of inclusion and I’ve supported for all of my political life the GLBTI community and I’ve – that legislation that the federal parliament’s rushing through now about stopping vilification of GLBTI people during the course of this voluntary survey is based on legislation that I got through the New South Wales Parliament in ’93. And once the survey’s over in – across Australia they’re going to abandon that legislation whereas we have kept that legislation in New South Wales which means it’s a crime to incite hatred against gay and lesbian people and you know if someone does it they can be taken to court and fined. So that’s – and you know that legislation hasn’t had to be enacted but because it’s been there it’s stopped really ugly [and spiteful] 43:57 things being said by radio shock jocks for example which is what was happening in New South Wales before that.

K:        Sydney’s also the site obviously of another part of our history where Captain Cook landed and the beginning of our federated nation and we’re seeing some councils in other states, particularly in Victoria and Western Australia, start talking about Australia Day and wanting to change the date. How do you as the Lord Mayer of Sydney manage that issue? Have you got a view that you put forward? Are you mindful of competing histories almost or competing versions of history? How do you negotiate that?

C:        Well I think we have one history, we Europeans arrived 200 years ago, the original custodians particularly in the city of Sydney, they were there for 60,000 years beforehand, Gadigal people of the Eora nation and I think many would conclude that they perhaps looked after the land a little bit better than we have in the last couple of hundred years where we’ve cut down two-thirds of our forest but – and polluted our rivers but you know we – when we did Sustainable City 2030 we talked to our business community, our residential community and we very much talked to our original community too, the descendants of the Gadigal people, and as a result of that work we didn’t change plaques on statues, what we did was we set up an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Committee which has been in place now for a decade. And they talked to us about wanting to tell the story of the Gadigal people’s journey from where Phillip landed through to Redfern and to do it through a series of public artworks and so that’s what we’ve been doing.

We have done three public artworks now. You might have seen Tony Albert’s very confronting but very moving artwork in Hyde Park near the war memorial which is called Yininmadyemi – Thou didst let die. It’s about – it’s a tribute to black diggers who hadn’t been recognised when they came back from war at the time. In fact they didn’t get the pay and they couldn’t even go to the local swimming pool, many of those black diggers. So – and we’re currently just looking for the appropriate location for the project that we’ve just been working on and this is with Aboriginal artists and that’s going to be called the Monument to Eora.

Another of those beautiful artworks is in the Block in Redfern. It’s a [Recorini] 46:26 artwork on a terrace house which is a tribute to Pemulwuy so that’s what we’ve done. We’re telling the story their way as they want us to and we’re acknowledging the importance of the history but also the significance of their cultural contribution to present day Australian life because there are some really wonderful Aboriginal artists and I’m going to go along and see your exhibition at the National Gallery when I finish here. And [Recorini] has a wonderful work there apparently – no, Tony Albert has a wonderful work there.

K:        That’s right and there’s a new exhibition at the museum as well, it’s an online exhibition. So you’re not changing plaques and taking down old monuments, you’re adding more?

C:        And again I think it’s Australian conversation, I think the date of Australia Day should be an Australian conversation because that’s about celebrating who we are in the 21st century and I know for Aboriginal people that the current date is really not good for them because for them it’s the Invasion Day and there were demonstrations in Sydney quite some years ago and the result of that was – they called it Survival Day and that then led to something that we called Yarbun which the City of Sydney’s been supporting for the last 10 years. And people from around New South Wales come to Victoria Park for Yarbun and again it’s a celebration of Aboriginal culture and music. And after I’ve done my citizenship ceremony I go and spend time at Yarbun.

But I think again we need federal leadership to talk about you know where there’s multicultural community in the 21st century now and we have the oldest living culture – we’ve inherited this here and we should be able to work out as Australians today what’s the most important date to celebrate who we are. And I would think many of us would agree that it probably isn’t the 26th of January when Phillip arrived. And I have to tell you at the last citizenship ceremony I did down at Circular Quay, after I did the ceremony we went to look at the exhibition that had been organised by the Australia Day Committee and there was a very large warship in the harbour, there were guns going off, there were fly pasts from warplanes and I thought goodness me, is this really appropriate? Celebrating an invasion on Invasion Day for the Aboriginal community and I think – I hope they’re not going to be doing that again.

K:        I want to leave some time for questions, I’ll come to them but I just want to quickly ask you when you look around Australia and overseas where do you see cities that are a good example for your city and for us do you see ideas in other cities in Australia that you want to draw on either in planning and design or other aspects of your job and do you look further afield and see cities like Vancouver or somewhere else? What ideas are you taking from other places?

C:        Well you do and I think this is a really good thing, I think cities are working together now and we share you know we don’t think that you need to reinvent the wheel, we’re all confronted with the same issues, climate change, population increase, lack of affordable housing, congestion – these are common problems ‘round the world so that you know when I’ve gone to Chinese cities – first of all when I went to Chinese cities when I was elected in 2004 and we were starting to do our work on Sustainable City 2030 I’d take out documents and I’d proudly show them and I thought if we can influence Chinese cities that’s a terrific ripple effect because they’re great contributors to climate change. And I have to say after a few years I’d be going to those Chinese cities and I would be shown their whole new cycle network that they’d put in in just the last year.

K:        And they’re influencing you.

C:        And their last six metros that they’d just installed and their wonderful pedestrian walkways and what was really nice for me was I went to Wuhan which is a city of about 11 million people in a province of 60 million people and the Mayor of Wuhan said to me we were very inspired by your Sustainable City 2030 and we want to present to you Wuhan ’49 which is based on your Sustainable City 2030 and I thought wow, that’s a real ripple effect. And I was really pleased with that so the Chinese – I mean they’ve got amazing challenges, a huge population and they want to bring everyone up to a middle-class standard and I keep saying to them leave them on their bikes, that’s what we’re trying to do now in western countries and they all want to have a car, you know? And of course they’re getting bad congestion too but they do make decisions and then they get on and do it, you know? And we seem to dither here and talk about it as you were saying, you’re very – in China the very fast train would have been in you know and I was very impressed by a city like Portland, very liveable city –

K:        In Oregon in the United States?

C:        - you know with - very civilised place with light rail and good cycleways and great university centre. It was really interesting, I started the work on our cycle network the same time Mayor Bloomberg started in New York but because he has increased powers and is responsible for transport there he could get it in much faster than me and I was really very jealous of that but it was this – we had the same goals to make and you know he turned Times Square into a walkable area. We were both advised by Jan Gehl, the Danish urbanist, and that’s really about humanising cities and making them cities for people and cities that are walkable and cities that you can cycle around and cities, that human scale development.

And cities that people want to be in and you know Jan Gehl used to always talk about you want to make public places where people want to dwell and not hurry through and so that’s what we’ve been working really hard on in the City of Sydney and that’s what Mayor Bloomberg was working hard on in New York but we just share the ideas and I think that’s – and I think I was really, really very impressed when I first became Mayor with Melbourne’s small bars and Melbourne’s laneways and of course I’ve now introduced 57 laneways into Sydney and I did a private members’ bill in the New South Wales Parliament to allow – to get the liquor laws changed to allow small bars and that’s – that was about not only providing a more vital night life but it was about providing opportunities for our live music sector. So you know again you – I’ve been very impressed in Adelaide, the Mayor and the Premier meet regularly and work together for Adelaide and I think wow, that’s fantastic. You know so you look at what’s working and you –

K:        Subtle.

C:        You like to have – but meanwhile this is where you are at the moment, these are the challenges you had and you get on and do it. And Bill Clinton once said to a group of mayors I really like mayors ‘cause they get up in the morning and do stuff and I think that’s what mayors do and that’s what makes it a very exciting job.

K:        Well that’s a good note on which to finish our conversation, I'm sure there are questions. I’ve overshot a little bit but I'm sure we’ve probably got about 20, 25 minutes if you want to stay. Do we have a question? Yeah. Down here at the front – I think we’ve got a microphone, yeah, we do, coming. Thanks.

A:        Thank you, Clover. It’s really refreshing to hear hope if I may steal a Clintonesque remark. My question is how much of the New South Wales situation you’re battling is because the rum corps is in the DNA of the –

C:        It does seem to be, doesn’t it? It’s a tough city, it’s a very exciting city, it’s got wonderful people but it is a challenge and –

K:        What is it with carpet baggers in New South Wales? All governments of all stripes seems to associate –

C:        Developers seem to have huge influence and you know it doesn’t have to be like that. When I first became Mayor I started getting those phone calls and I said well if you want to talk to me you’ve got to talk to the Central Sydney Planning Committee ‘cause we make the decisions for development over $50m and soon the phone calls dried up. And the thing about developers in my experience is they want to know what’s expected of them and what the standards are so they know that I’m about sustainability and end of trip facilities for cyclists and I’m about excellent design and public art and guess what they do? They put all of that in their developments and we’ve really raised the bar and I don’t know if you’ve noticed when you’ve been in Sydney but we’ve got some really beautiful new development coming through and that’s because we have a design excellence process and we also appointed a design excellence panel made up of eminent practitioners and all of our own projects. And our key private developments all go through our Design Advisory Panel too and so at the end of the day developers get a much better outcome in terms of their development and I can tell you a story about Harry Triguboff.

I don’t know if you’ve heard of Harry Triguboff but you’ve probably heard or seen signs of Meriton when you’ve come to Sydney, he’s a you know one of our big developers and I had a few run-ins with him when I first became Mayor. In fact he sort of even rustled a chair at me at one stage there and we had three court cases. Then I won Harry Triguboff over to design excellence and I have now even opened his buildings and he is so proud of them and I thought that’s probably one of the most important contributions I’ve made to the urban environment in Sydney, that Harry Triguboff now does design excellence because he does a lot of development. You’ll see the Meriton signs all ‘round the place but he gets good architects now because it’s demanded of him and he’s very proud of it now.

K:        Well congratulations.

C:        I'm very proud of that, actually.

K:        Rapprochement. Do we have another question? Just up the back.

A:        The inner-city of Sydney used to be a big driver of culture as far as the nation was concerned, film, music, literature, visual arts all through the ‘80s, into the ‘90s but now with the changing economic dynamics that’s all been pushed out. Do you think that the inner-city, and this is not just Sydney but seems to be happening globally, that there’ll ever be a revival of that urbane, particularly individualist sort of culture that’s sort of associated with the inner cities again?

C:        Well we held a city talk in 2007 and we got some of our cultural leaders – and it was about cultural life of our city and we had Fergus Linehan who was the Director – Artistic Director of the Festival of Sydney at that time, Liz Ann Macgregor who is the Director of the Museum of the Modern –

K:        Contemporary Art?

C:        Museum of Contemporary Art and we had – oh Neil Armfield, we had Neil Armfield who is currently directing the Festival in Adelaide and was the Director of Belvoir at the time. And it was really interesting, what came out of that city talk was our big institutions are fine, they get lots of funding from the federal government but what’s really – what was really concerning them and Neil Armfield gave a name to it was the seedbeds of culture. What were we doing in terms of supporting you know emerging artists or ensuring we do have that cultural life in our city? And Neil Armfield gave a very good example, he said he took a trip to Melbourne and they stayed because of the opportunities there for live music in the small bars. And I left that city talk and I said to my research assistant ‘cause I was in parliament at the time, I’m going to do a private members’ bill on small bars. We’d been waiting for Bob Carr, he’d promised it for the Olympics, we’d been waiting for reform –

K:        It was a licensing issue, was it?

C:        It was a licensing issue and the Hotels Association had such a you know such a strong influence on the Labor Party at the time, we just weren’t getting licensing reform. They thought that you know small bars would be a real threat to their hotel operation. And so I put the small bars legis – bill up and you know I mean I was an independent and both the government and the opposition said they wouldn’t support it, strongly support the hotels and the community came out in droves and said we want this reform and so they both backed off, we got the reform. And in fact our biggest assistant of getting that reform was the President of the Australian Hotels Association who said no-one in Sydney wants to sit in a bar and drink a chardonnay and read a history book and all these people wrote in and said guess what? I do want to sit in a bar and read – have a chardonnay and read a history book.

Anyway we got the legislation and there has been you know a revolution in terms of small bars and – but then the government subsequently came in with lockout laws so it’s a little bit complicated. But the aim of that was to also support opportunities for live music so we did that. And the city was very strongly supportive of that reform and really promoted it. And we introduced a cultural policy in 2014 for the city and it was the first cultural policy as such that the city had had and it wasn’t that long after the federal government had cut funding to the Australia Council and all the groups were just up in arms about losing funding. And – but our policy, the base of our policy was about the seedbeds of culture so one of the things we’ve done is give seed funding to art galleries to enable interest-free 11-month loans buying artworks and that’s been really successful not only in terms of people buying artworks but also in terms of galleries.

We’ve created Eternity Playhouse which is a 200-seat theatre where mainly they’re doing Australian premieres. We have a – we’ve built a cultural centre just opposite where you can do performance, we’ve also – have the Hays Theatre which is mainly small for cabaret musicals but – and they’re doing mainly Australian works but also taking things overseas and doing quite well. We have – put a lot into making city properties in Oxford Street, William Street, The Cross available for young creatives at a subsidised rent so that they can move off the kitchen table and off their bed into a collaborative space to do art and design and media and then when they get on their commercial feet they can move out and someone else can move in so – and we’ve also funded live work studio space for artists. And we make Council accommodation available, community facilities available for rehearsal and practice because if you live in a terrace house or apartment you don’t really want to be having to practise a drum or a violin because your neighbours won’t like it.

And we’ve also been providing a venue manager to help venues that might want to put on a live performance but don’t know how to go about it and we’ve also been working on removing regulation like if a band wants to park in the street and <inaudible> 1:02:26 not going to get a parking fine so all of that work is really about – and on an annual basis we’d contribute about 35 million to all of those various things and funding festivals. We’re funding the fringe festival which is happening in Sydney at the moment which has really taken off and that again is about young emerging artists. So I hope what you're saying we’re turning around, we’re working on it so – to ensure that we do have opportunity for emerging young talent in our global city.

K:        And you mentioned the lockout laws, they’ve been in place for some time now. How are they going?

C:        Well it’s totally changed the face of a place like King’s Cross and a lot of that activity has moved out into surrounding areas. We’ve got some fabulous little bars now in Redfern. The favourite one is the one you took Gregor Robinson to which is called The Bearded Tit, it’s a really wonderful little bar if you’re in Sydney and you want an interesting night out, it’s just near the station there.

K:        Thank you. Do we have another couple of final questions? Yeah, just here, hello. Was the gentleman behind you I was pointing to but that’s okay, that’s alright.

C:        Someone in the back row too.

A:        I was just wondering about building regulations for apartments and residential places and cladding which has been a problem in London. Has – does that affect the Sydney Council?

C:        I think all jurisdictions are concerned about building materials. One of our problems is there was legislation introduced into the New South Wales Parliament in the ‘90s to set up private certification. I opposed it at the time because of the problems it would cause and because private certifiers can sign off on the construction of a building and they don’t have to make their information available. It is very hard to know what the answer to that is but we’re working hard at trying to be able to give a reasonable assessment of it. But the private certification which has had strong support of conservative governments is the problem there. And the unaccountability of private certification.

A:        <inaudible> 1:04:39.

C:        Well it doesn’t – you would think that a situation like the fires in Melbourne and in London would lead to an examination of why would something like this occur? Well that’s the reason. Total lack of accountability. Right up the back.

K:        Sorry, yeah, no, just here first and then up the back –

A:        Good afternoon. This is a mischievous question but it’s also a serious question, what comes after the Clover Moore independence? Assuming you emulate Reagan and go ‘til you’re say 80 you may get another couple of terms but is there a succession plan? How do we keep the momentum going and the vision moving forward into the future?

C:        When the New South Wales Parliament passed legislation to say I couldn’t be the member in – local member and Mayor interestingly Alex Greenwich appeared – my husband thinks Alex is my miracle. Alex had been a supporter and had handed out but – you know lots and lots of people help at elections and I don’t individually know every single person and I hadn’t – I didn’t know Alex when he first approached the electorate office but my staff who’d been with me quite a long time said you must meet him you know I think you’ll think he’s very good and I did meet him and I did think he was very good. But what Alex did was he then came to the electorate office every Friday and he was given material by my staff about all our major issues and they didn’t tell him what the issues were, he took the material away and he studied it and then he came back and they asked him questions about it and he – by the time he – and then he ran on my ticket for a local government election.

By the time he was elect – I endorsed him – no-one knew him at this stage – I endorsed him and everyone was very angry about what the state had done, it seemed really unfair and it was because I’d been re-elected four times to do both jobs together ‘cause they really worked well together but he was elected, he kept my staff, he’s doing a brilliant job. You would probably know him because he’s one of the leaders of the marriage equality campaign – very handsome too, I’ve got to say. That’s probably going to help in a city like Sydney. But he’s my succession plan there and I work very closely with him. That made the parliament very angry, that I got someone really good in there to replace me as an independent. They wanted the Liberal Party to win the seat.

I’m already working on a succession plan for Sydney and three or four of the councillors that are working on my team now could be really good contenders for Mayor and what I looked for for the most recent team that I took to election – and even though the government had passed legislation to give two votes to business and one to residents which was another way of trying to get rid of me, I’m the only person who’s probably had two pieces of legislation passed to try and get them out of public life but I got a 10% swing for that election. But I had a new team and I’d really focused on looking for people who were really, really good and really had a passion for the city and really had a knowledge about the city and would want to be involved hopefully long-term and that’s the team I’m working with now so if I get run over by a bus – my husband hopes I won’t be doing it ‘til I’m 80 but I don’t know if he wants me to be at home either, I think it would be too exhausting for him.

K:        Challenges of retirement. I think we’ve got time for one last question which is up the back.

A:        Yes, I arrived a little late so I’m not sure if you’ve touched on this already but as national security issues come to the fore after events in Paris, London, Barcelona, do you see Sydney having to change its thinking maybe in terms of planning or even its ethos in terms of maybe more bollards or cameras or random bag searches? Hopefully not like in The Handmaid’s Tale where men wore – in black walk around with machine guns but do you see things changing in the future?

C:        I think it’s inevitable that they’ll change in most cities and think it’s really you know it’s you know often when I’m at events that have thousands and thousands of people I think you know it would be terrible if something – I just think we’re all aware of it now but we’ve absolutely just got to get on and do what we need to do you know I think that’s really important. I was – the mayors were invited to a mayors’ conference at the same time the national leaders were meeting in Paris and we all went and the Mayor of Paris was really pleased we all went and we all gave her very strong support and we all went to those memorial sites where there’d been those terrible attacks. And the whole thing was about we’ve got to get on and do what we need to do and yes, security’s increased and we’ll change the way we do things in Sydney. I think it’s inevitable but the good thing is that we’ve spent a lot of time on creating a really elegant suite of street furniture and with really nice bollards so you know –

K:        Aesthetically pleasing bollards.

C:        Aesthetically, yes, Alex Zahn’s designed them, a leading architect. So we will – I mean we have worked very hard – I’ve worked very hard from 14 years as Mayor to make Sydney a liveable place and to make it a place where people want to meet on the street and where we want street life and we’re going to continue to do that but we’ll be thinking in terms of safety too as I think we all need to. But we don’t want to change Sydney being a people’s place.

K:        Would you please join me in thanking the Lord Mayor of Sydney –


AW:    Yes, I can only echo that, Karen, I think this has been a very wide-ranging discussion, we’ve touched on affordable housing, we’ve touched on homelessness, security, arts and culture, all kinds of things that just show the complexity of running a city the size of Sydney and I think thanks to your insightful questions, Karen, we’ve really covered the gamut today.

K:        And a few from out there.

AW:    And a few from out there as well. And it just strikes me that, Clover, if you admire the get on with it attitude in other jurisdictions I think Sydney’s in very good hands with your own get on with it attitude so yes, please join me in thanking both Karen and Clover.


AW:    And thank you all for coming.

K:        And I should just say that we have two more in our Saturday paper Month of Saturdays sessions, the details up here. Next week I’ll be at the National Gallery talking to Eamon Flack about the arts and the week after that I’ll be at the National Museum talking to Mick Dodson about indigenous affairs and recognition post-Uluru so please join us at both of those and have a nice week in between. Thank you.

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