Clover Moore

Clover Margaret Moore (née Collins, born 22 October 1945) is an Australian politician. She has been the Lord Mayor of the City of Sydney since 2004 and is currently the longest serving Lord Mayor of Sydney since the creation of the City of Sydney in 1842. She was an independent member of the New South Wales Legislative Assembly from 1988 to 2012, representing the electorates of Bligh (1988–2007) and Sydney (2007–2012).[1] Moore is the first popularly elected female Lord Mayor of Sydney.[2]

Clover Moore
Clover Moore speaks at the media.jpg
82nd Lord Mayor of Sydney
Assumed office
27 March 2004
Preceded byLucy Turnbull
Member of the New South Wales Parliament
for Sydney
In office
24 March 2007 – 20 September 2012
Preceded byNew district
Succeeded byAlex Greenwich
Member of the New South Wales Parliament
for Bligh
In office
19 March 1988 – 24 March 2007
Preceded byMichael Yabsley
Succeeded byDistrict abolished
Alderman of the South Sydney Municipal Council
In office
September 1980 – 31 December 1981
Alderman of the City of Sydney
In office
1 January 1982 – 26 March 1987
Personal details
Clover Margaret Collins

(1945-10-22) 22 October 1945 (age 74)
Gordon, New South Wales, Australia
Political partyIndependent
Other political
Clover Moore Independents
Spouse(s)Peter Moore
EducationLoreto Kirribilli
Alma materUniversity of Sydney
Sydney Teachers' College

Early life and backgroundEdit

Clover Margaret Collins was born in 1945 and grew up in the suburb of Gordon, on Sydney's North Shore, one of three daughters of Kathleen and Francis Collins. She attended Loreto Kirribilli at Kirribilli and Elm Court Dominican Convent, Moss Vale. Moore matriculated to the University of Sydney, and obtained a Bachelor of Arts in 1969 and a Diploma of Education from the Sydney Teachers' College, and resided at Sancta Sophia College. After graduation she began work as an English and History teacher at Fort Street High School, before moving to London to teach for several years. Moore married Peter Moore, an architect, in 1972 and they had two children, Sophie and Tom. They returned to Australia five years later and settled in the inner-city suburb of Redfern.

Moore was elected to the South Sydney Municipal Council in 1980.[3][4] However, in 1981, the New South Wales Government amalgamated the South Sydney Council with the City of Sydney, and Moore was subsequently elected to the newly formed Sydney City Council from 1981. Moore developed a visible profile in the community, campaigning on a variety of issues both in her position as councillor and in the broader community. Moore was interested in heritage preservation, being involved in the unsuccessful campaign to save the 1936 Rural Bank Building in Martin Place and describing the ALP Lord Mayor, Doug Sutherland, as the "Judas of Martin Place" for his role in approving its demolition in 1982.[5] In late 1987, Moore was the favourite to become the city's first female Lord Mayor and defeat incumbent Doug Sutherland. In 1987 the state government abruptly sacked the Sydney City Council and appointed a board of commissioners to run it until new elections could be held.

Member of ParliamentEdit

Clover Moore's state electorate office on Oxford Street, Paddington, in 2010.

Instead of standing again for council, Moore decided to run for the New South Wales Legislative Assembly as an independent at the 1988 election. Despite not having the backing of a party, she won the seat of Bligh, narrowly defeating Liberal member Michael Yabsley.[6][4]

In 1991 she co-authored the New South Wales Charter of Reform of Government. In the same year, she was re-elected for a second term with a massive swing in her favour, increasing her share from 26.7 per cent to 43 per cent. Her power also increased dramatically when, along with fellow independents Peter Macdonald and Tony Windsor, she gained the balance of power in the Legislative Assembly. Moore was to again take the spotlight when the Independent Commission Against Corruption handed down a finding that was sharply critical of Liberal Premier Nick Greiner on 1 June 1992. While the findings were still pending a ruling in the NSW Court of Appeals, Moore and two other Independent MPs made a symbolic march to the NSW Parliament with a threat to withdraw their support of the coalition's minority-government. Hence before the Court ruling was handed down, Greiner's hand was forced, and he resigned on 24 June 1992.[4]

She went on to hold her seat with a largely safe margin at the 1995 and 1999 elections. The LGBT community thanked her for her support by featuring likenesses of her in the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras parade that year. She was re-elected again in 2003.

Prior to the 2007 election, the Electoral Commission redistributed electoral boundaries, renaming Bligh to "Sydney", and moving the seat north and west to encompass the Sydney CBD. Moore was elected to the new seat of Sydney with an increased margin.[citation needed]

Although she sat as an independent in parliament, Moore often worked with other minor parties and independents, particularly with the Australian Democrats, who sponsored some of her bills in the upper house and Moore encouraged voters at the 2011 state election to vote for the Democrats in the upper house, along with South Coast Independent MP, John Hatton.[7]

Moore resigned as a state MP as a result of new state laws (labelled in the media as the "Get Clover" laws) preventing dual membership of state parliament and local councils. Following her re-election as mayor in the 2012 elections, she was forced to resign the state seat she held for 24 years before the first meeting of the new council. This resulted in a 2012 Sydney by-election on 27 October in which she endorsed independent candidate Alex Greenwich of the Australian Marriage Equality advocacy group who won in a landslide victory.[8][9]

Lord Mayor of SydneyEdit

Clover Moore Independent Team Sydney City Council seats
2004 Election
5 / 10
2008 Election
6 / 10
2012 Election
5 / 10
2016 Election
6 / 10

In early 2004, the Labor Party government under Bob Carr sacked and re-amalgamated the City of Sydney and South Sydney Councils. The move came largely as a surprise, with then-Lord Mayor Lucy Turnbull being notified by a fax posted under her door. The decision to amalgamate the two councils was widely interpreted by the media as an attempt to get the Labor candidate, former federal minister Michael Lee, elected as Lord Mayor, as it would bring a large area of largely Labor-voting suburbs into the City of Sydney. However, several of these suburbs also made up Moore's state electorate of Bligh.

When Turnbull announced soon after that she would not seek re-election, Lee appeared to have the position won. Then, on 24 February, Moore entered the race, labelling the council's sacking a "cynical grab for power." Despite her ideological differences with Turnbull, she also sharply denounced the sacking of a democratically elected mayor. By the following day, The Sydney Morning Herald was already predicting that she would present a serious challenge to Lee.[10]

Despite a spirited challenge from Lee, who was supported by much of the business community which had concerns about Moore's anti-development stance, Moore won. She finished with more than double the vote of her nearest rival, Lee, and ABC election analyst Antony Green announced that she would "romp through" to win, only 90 minutes after counting began.[11]

Though she had made a point of not directing voting preferences in her four election campaigns in the Legislative Assembly, Moore decided to support a team of independents for the council race. This turned out to be quite successful, with four of her team of six – John McInerney, Robyn Kemmis, Marcelle Hoff and Phillip Black – being elected to council.

In 2008 NSW local government elections Moore was re-elected as Lord Mayor of Sydney.[12] She was returned on a reduced majority in 2012, winning 51.1% of the Mayoral vote.[13] In the 2016 NSW local government elections she was comfortably returned to office, improving her vote 8.0% to win 59.1% of the popular vote.[14]

After introducing bike lanes through many parts of inner Sydney, Moore broke an ankle on Ride to Work Day in October 2010, while dismounting from her bike, necessitating that she attend some events in a wheelchair.[15]

Energy efficiencyEdit

Under Moore's leadership, the city of Sydney is aiming to reduce carbon emissions 70 per cent by 2030. It has installed bicycle lanes; upgraded its car fleet to hybrids; planted 10,000 trees; provided 600 on-street car-share spaces; installed Sydney's largest building-based solar photovoltaic system; installed water harvesting in 11 major parks and voted to install two new trigeneration plants.[16]

Moore stated in an article on in September 2018 that emissions in Sydney have been reduced by 52% and the use of water by 36% since the year 2006 and that the city aims to become carbon neutral.[17]

Building and infrastructureEdit

Since becoming Mayor, Moore has been able to bring to completion the construction of several buildings and pieces of infrastructure.[18]

There are also:


On 27 October 2007 Moore proposed a Private Members Bill that would ban the sale of dogs, cats and other mammals in NSW pet stores, and effectively ban the breeding of crossbred dogs. The Pet Industry Association responded with a petition opposing the legislation.[22] The RSPCA Australia has given its support to the measure, although it was rejected by NSW purebred dog breeders.[23]

Bike lanes constructed through Sydney angered many local residents for reducing parking and critics attacked the cost while other groups, including local headmasters and school groups, applauded them. The Bourke Street Cycleway won a Sydney Design Award in 2012.[24][25]

The "City of Sydney Amendment (Elections) Amendment Bill", became law in September 2014, replacing one optional vote per business with two compulsory votes and it has been alleged that this is one of "two statutes designed to bar her from public life".[16]

Between 2014 and 2017 'Cloud Arch', a steel sculpture intended to be installed over George Street in Sydney, had its budget rise from A$3.5 million to 11.3 million dollars.[26] It has been criticised for both the rise in cost, after a re-design, and for not being suited to the city's aesthetic.[27]


  1. ^ "State Electoral District – Sydney Results 2007". New South Wales Electoral Commission. Archived from the original on 30 August 2007. Retrieved 11 September 2007.
  2. ^ "Clover, the maverick mayor". The Sydney Morning Herald. 28 March 2004. Retrieved 8 July 2016.
  3. ^ Moore, Clover (1988). Electioneering leaflets, hand-outs, etc. for the New South Wales state election, 19 March, 1988. Retrieved 1 January 2016 – via Trove.
  4. ^ a b c "A very public life". The Sydney Morning Herald. 6 March 2004. Retrieved 11 September 2007.
  5. ^ "Sydney City Council under fire over redevelopment plans". The Canberra Times. 56 (17, 081). Australian Capital Territory, Australia. 4 July 1982. p. 2. Retrieved 17 September 2019 – via National Library of Australia.
  6. ^ "Ms Clover Moore (1945- )". Former Members of the Parliament of New South Wales. Retrieved 5 May 2019.
  7. ^ Moore, Clover (18 March 2011). "Voting for the Legislative Council". Archived from the original on 15 March 2012. Retrieved 1 January 2016.
  8. ^ McNeilage, Amy (9 September 2012). "Sydney still progressive despite Greens' poor showing, Clover Moore says". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 9 September 2012.
  9. ^ "Results: 2012 Sydney by-election". ABC News. Australia. 27 November 2012. Retrieved 25 May 2016.
  10. ^ "Clover Moore tips the odds". The Sydney Morning Herald. 25 February 2004. Retrieved 11 September 2007.
  11. ^ Webber, Graeme; Emma, Ambler (28 February 2004). "Independent MP is Sydney mayor". The Age. Retrieved 11 September 2007.
  12. ^ Gilmore, Heath; Carty, Lisa (14 September 2008). "Moore returned with 2030 vision". The Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 14 September 2008.
  13. ^ "Council of the City of Sydney – Mayoral Election".
  14. ^ "Summary of Candidate First Preference Votes".
  15. ^ Jones, Gemma (22 October 2010). "Clover Moore is a cycling statistic". Daily Telegraph. News Ltd. Retrieved 1 January 2016.
  16. ^ a b Elizabeth Farrelly (16 October 2014). "Ill-judged politics underlies Clover attacks". The Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 16 October 2014.
  17. ^ "Championing The Future: The City of Sydney". Impakter. 24 September 2018. Retrieved 3 April 2019.
  18. ^ Farrelly, Elizabeth (3 November 2011). "One Moore job to seal the legacy". The Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 3 November 2011.
  19. ^ "Francis-Jones Morehen Thorpe – Featured Library Projects: Surry Hills Centre". Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp. Archived from the original on 10 March 2015. Retrieved 1 January 2016.
  20. ^ Lacoste, Thierry (23 February 2011). "Lacoste+Stevenson News – Flower Power". Lacoste+Stevenson. Archived from the original on 7 January 2016. Retrieved 1 January 2016.
  21. ^ Landscape Architects' website Archived 29 August 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  22. ^ "Thousands protest pet sale ban". ABC News. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 29 November 2007.
  23. ^ "Dogs NSW – News". Archived from the original on 17 June 2008.
  24. ^ "Bourke Street Cycleway 2012 Sydney Design Awards". driven x design. Retrieved 26 August 2018.
  25. ^ McDougall, Bruce (19 August 2011). "Sydney's cyclists ignore their $76 million cycleway network". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 15 September 2016.
  26. ^ "Clover Moore's new Cloud Arch blows out by $8 million". SBS News. Australia: SBS (Special Broadcasting Service). AAP-SBS Wires. 26 August 2017. Retrieved 7 September 2017.
  27. ^ Hall, Louise (25 August 2017). "More Cloud Arch: Remodelled design is wider, heavier and more than three times the price". ABC News. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 7 September 2017.

External linksEdit


New South Wales Legislative Assembly
Preceded by
Michael Yabsley
Member for Bligh
District abolished
New district Member for Sydney
Succeeded by
Alex Greenwich
Civic offices
Preceded by
Lucy Turnbull
Lord Mayor of Sydney