More than half of the councillors elected in the Covid-delayed poll on December 4, 2021, are new to the City of Sydney Council.
Four of the 10 councillors have been re-elected including:
- Sydney’s longest serving Lord Mayor, Clover Moore, who has held the office since the March 2004 re-amalgamation of the City of Sydney and South Sydney councils, where she represented the Redfern Ward since 1980.
- Robert Kok (Clover Moore Independents) first elected in 2008, Deputy Lord Mayor 2011-12.
- Linda Scott (Labor) first elected in 2012, Deputy Lord Mayor 2018-19.
- Jess Scully (Clover Moore Independents) first elected in 2016, Deputy Lord Mayor from September 2019.
The six first-term councillors are Yvonne Weldon (Unite for Sydney), Shauna Jarrett and Lyndon Gannon (Liberal), Sylvie Ellsmore (Greens), Emelda Davis and HYWilliam Chan (Clover Moore Independents).
Amid lots of Council inductions, getting access to their Council emails and trying to recruit staff, two of the new City of Sydney councillors found time to introduce themselves this month.
Sylvie Ellsmore (Greens) – I grew up in Glebe and live in Darlington with my partner and dogs. I’ve worked for environmental organisations, government, and as a native title lawyer, and managed community organisations. I currently work at the University of Sydney, connecting academics and researchers with community projects.
As a councillor representing Newtown on Marrickville Council, I worked with local community groups and residents to build new community spaces and affordable housing, and to increase local green spaces. I am a volunteer karate teacher at Jin Sei-Ryu Karate-Do and a founding member of the Redfern, Eveleigh, Darlington, Waterloo Watch (REDWatch) residents’ action group.
Sydney is a beautiful, but contested place. A very wealthy city, but one of the least affordable. My priority for Council is to work with our diverse communities to build on the city’s strengths, pushing Council to take bolder actions – particularly around the climate crisis, and the loss of public and affordable housing.
Communities know what they need – my role is to support their voices. This is particularly important when our city is being hit with massive state developments that will grow the local population by 50 per cent over the next 20 years, without plans for the new parks, schools and other supports our growing communities need.
HY William Chan (Clover Moore Independents) – As a registered architect, I have over 10 years of experience designing for social inclusion and climate action across our city. I’m dedicated to co-designing with our community to ensure that no one is left behind by Covid-19.
I’ve seen first-hand how Sydney’s nightlife has been decimated by the state government’s lockout laws and now lockdowns. Local businesses from Chinatown to Kings Cross want greater certainty around late-night trading. I’m working with local small businesses to continue implementing our Nightlife Development Control Plan of reinvigorating our city.
I believe housing is a right and will bring my urban planning practice to the Council table. Essential workers in our city deserve to live and work locally. I’m prioritising affordable housing, mixed tenancy and a diversity of housing stock. Through innovative planning controls and community land trusts, we can deliver more equitable and inclusive environments. I’ll continue to fight for social and First Nations’ housing at Waterloo, and in securing public amenity improvements at Blackwattle Bay.
Having facilitated the City of Sydney’s 2050 Citizens Jury, I know our community is demanding a regenerative future. We will continue to green our city by increasing parklands by another 14 hectares, growing tree canopy cover by 50 per cent by 2030, and investing into local solutions by incubating sustainable and circular start-ups.
The SSH hopes the other new councillors will also take up the offer in future months to introduce themselves and what personal expertise and experience they bring to their role.