Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Clover Moore

Clover Moore is the Mayor of Sydney.

I actually remembered that.

I'll be very embarrassed if I'm wrong again.

I'm not wrong.

Clover Moore is the Lord Mayor of Sydney. Is there a difference between a Lord Mayor and a regular mayor?

Well, Lord Wiki says that in 1902, they changed the name of the title from Mayor to Lord Mayor.

Why? I don't know.Link


Lord Wiki has a photo of Moore. She looks like one of my mom's friends.

Clover Moore was born on 22 October 1945.

Birthday Website Time!

She's a 6 and a Libra. I'd picture this person as being a romantic family person. They would spend their youth daydreaming about their future husband and the babies they'd make together.

Moore grew up in the suburb of Gordon. I'm going to now look at Google Maps.

Gordon is north of the CBD; slightly to the west.

Lord Wiki says she went to a Roman Catholic Girl's school called Loreto Kirribilli. This is located about twenty minutes south of Gordon. I know you can't make complete judgments based on photos, but I will make the observation that the school seems to cater primarily to Caucasians.

Oh, wait! Here's an Asian-looking child.

Moore went on to study teaching at the University of Sydney. She met and married an architect (Peter Moore) while still in school. That's interesting. It goes along with the whole Libra/6 thing...that whole rush to find your soulmate and glue yourself to him.

After they finished their university studies, they went to London. They lived there for five years. I wonder how that decision came about? Was it related to one of their jobs? Did they just decide it would be an exciting experience?

When they came back to Australia, they moved to Redfern. Moore was disturbed by the area; it's lack of services. This propelled her into politics. She joined the South Sydney Council. Then it seems they did away with the South Sydney Council and just combined it with the regular Sydney City Council.

This is beginning to get confusing to me, but I'll read it and try to understand.

In 1987, it seemed likely that Moore would become Mayor. Lord Wiki says she was the popular choice. But then the state government came in and intervened. They put in commissioners instead. Lord Wiki has a list of Lord Mayors and Commissioners. It seems every so often, instead of Mayors, they have Commissioners. This happened from:

A) 1854-1856
B) 1928-1930
C) 1967-1969
D) 1987-1988
E) 2004.

I wonder why this is. Lord Wiki says that in the 1987 case, the state government sacked the council. I think that means they fired them, right? Why? Maybe I'll find out later.

Since she didn't get the chance to be Mayor, Moore decided to instead run for the Legislative Assembly. Okay. I had to look that up. I'm still very ignorant about all of this. The Legislative Assembly is Parliament. Thank you, Lord Wiki.

Moore ran as an independent and won.

Then some stuff happened in 2004.

Lucy Turnbull was Lord Mayor.

The Labor government then did something that I am struggling to understand; but I'm totally failing here. All I know is that it resulted in Turnbull getting a notice slipped under her door. I'm not sure what the notice said, but I have a feeling it wasn't happy news.

Lord Wiki says when all this stuff happened, the media interpreted it as the Labor Party's plan to get a Labor politician in as Mayor. Really? This seems very underhanded to me. Maybe I'm reading it wrong.

The guy they wanted as Mayor was Michael Lee. For awhile, he seemed like a sure win. But then Clover Moore stepped in and said she was going to enter the race.

She won.

When Clover Moore became Mayor, she put together a charity in which to donate the Mayor fees she receives. By March 2007, the fund had donated $400,000 to inner city charities. That's pretty impressive. Did she donate all her fees or just a portion? If it was all her fees, how is she making money for her own family? Maybe her architect husband makes enough money to live on? Oh, and she's still part of Parliament. Maybe that gives her enough money to live on.

Moore had a bill passed in Parliament. It forces the Government to disclose any contracts they have with the private sector. I think that's a pretty good thing. I don't like the government having secret contracts with anyone.

Lord Wiki has a list of some controversies Moore has been involved with.

In 2004, she was blamed for a lack of Christmas decorations. People thought she was being too politically correct. But it then ended up that a controversial quote attributed to her actually came from a shopkeeper. Oops.

Later she was criticized again for a contemporary version of The National Anthem being played during New Years Eve. It seems people want the classical version. I wonder how these people would feel about the Adam Hills version.

In October 2007, she wanted to ban the sale of cats, dogs, and other mammals in NSW pet stores. I'm totally behind her on that. I'm not completely against having pets, but I really think it's better to get them from an animal shelter. Our local pet stores don't sell cats or dogs. Thankfully. What they do is have a few shelter cats showcased. You can adopt them. Then on certain weekends, they have shelter dogs showcased as well. They do sell other mammals though such as rabbits, mice, rats, gerbils, etc.

The NSW purebred dog people were against the measure. I don't get why it's so important to have a purebred dog. I'm being intolerant right now. I know. It just seems to me that it would be better if we put more energy into adopting dogs in animal shelters rather than promoting the idealistic notion of a purebred dog. I guess it all depends on the reason someone wants a dog. Are they looking for a companion...someone to love? Or are they looking to enter something in a show? Although I must admit my parents have adopted purebred dogs and they don't enter them in shows. They have them for companionship. They get dogs from breeders because they want a specific type of dog that they've read about. My mom's a big fan of Standard Poodles.

What would happen if the selling of cats and dogs became completely illegal? What if the only pets people could obtain were animals from shelters? Would that be a bad thing? I don't think so. I would feel bad though for the NICE families who raise their own kittens and puppies. But maybe the rule there would be that they could give animals away, but they couldn't sell them. That way at least people wouldn't be making a profit from breeding animals. I think that might cut down on exploitation and abuse.

Oh! And this website says that you CAN find purebred pets at a shelter. So if someone has their heart set on a particular breed, there's still a chance they can get that by adopting.

What's really cool is that via the RSPCA in Australia, you can adopt all kinds of pets. In NSW, you can adopt a male cockatiel named Toby. You can get a chicken or a horse!

Here's my little dream baby.

Back to Clover Moore and the law against selling animals. The RSPCA doesn't say that they believe the practice should be completely outlawed. They do however encourage people to consider adopting a pet. They also say if you're not going to adopt, it's best to buy an animal from the place it was born. If you buy an animal from a pet store, how do you know it wasn't abused? I mean I guess an animal you buy directly from someone's house could be abused as well. But I think it would be harder to hide that.

Someone could argue that you also don't know if a shelter pet has been abused. That's true. Although I think if known, the shelters do usually expose that information. But the difference is when you adopt an abused animal, you're giving that poor little thing a better life. When you BUY an abused pet, you're giving more money to the abusers. This will enable them to breed more animals that they can abuse. So, there's a huge difference in my opinion.

The RSPCA says they believe that if animals are going to be bought/sold at pet stores, there should be required licensing and registration. Maybe this would lower the chances of animals being exploited and abused.

All right. I'm going to now look at Clover Moore's official website. She talks about the animal issues there. She says, My Animals (Regulation of Sale) Bill would ban the sale of animals in pet shops and markets to reduce impulse buying, which is responsible for many ill considered pet purchases. The Bill would promote purchases from more responsible sources such as registered breeders and animal shelters.

She also promotes the welfare of farm animals. I'm really liking this woman so far. I'm glad my favorite city in the world has a mayor I can stand behind. That's pretty awesome.

As for impulse buying. I agree that it's a huge problem--even for someone like me. Several weeks ago, I took Jack to the pet store with a prior warning. We will not be buying any animals. Don't you dare even ask me! Well, guess who ended up wanting a pet? Me! I wanted a rabbit. I wanted an Australian bird! I wanted to take something home so I could play with it. But then I remembered that animals cost money. At first, you just have to buy a few supplies, some toys, and food. But what about when they get older and need expensive medical treatment? What about when you go on holiday? Boarding? Pet-sitters?

When Jack was around three-years old, I bought him some Hermit crabs from the mall. They were at a little Kiosk. It was a total impulse thing. They had cute painted shells and looked incredibly easy to take care of. I did a quick glance at the information sheet and encountered absolutely no discouragement from the man selling the animals. We took them home. At that point, I did the research I should have done BEFORE buying the animals. I found out taking care of hermit crabs was not as easy as advertised. First of all, they grow and need bigger shells. This meant that the nice small cage I bought for them would soon need to be replaced with a larger cage. And they need knowledgeable care. I'm not saying it's incredibly hard to take care of Hermit Crabs. I'm just saying it's not the dream pet I stupidly believed them to be; a cute little animal that you stick in a small stage. When you're incredibly bored, you give them a quick glance. Once a day, you stick some food into the cage and replace their water. Easy! Fun!

But no....hermit crabs are not like that.

We ended up taking the animals to the pet store a few days later. We didn't take them back to the mall because I didn't agree to how the animals were being sold. I had hopes that the pet store would be a little more responsible. I might have been naive though. I hope not. Now in hindsight I'm thinking it might have been better to return them to the mall. I should have demanded my money back and complained, preferably in front of another prospective customer.

Clover Moore's website talks about other things besides animal rights. She has a page on the environment and what Sydney plans to do to slow climate change and other problems. She says the council plans to reduce carbon emissions by 100%. Wow! That's very impressive. The council plans to be the first carbon neutral council in Australia.

She also has a page on gay/lesbian issues. She has created a bill called the Significant Personal Relationship Bill. In this bill, there are two types of relationships. These are recognized relationships and domestic relationships. In a recognized relationship, two people want to declare that they are committed to each other, but they don't necessarily want to live together.

People would go to a clerk or court to declare themselves in a recognized relationship. There's no promise needed that they plan to commit to each other forever. But in order for the relationship to formally end, they have to go back to court.

The bill is somewhat confusing, but Moore summarizes it fairly well. She says, The Significant Personal Relationships Bill has three elements which stand it apart from other laws dealing with human relationships: it provides choice and flexibility in how our relationships are recognized; it provides a safety net in circumstances where people may need it; and it acknowledges the diversity with which we conduct our relationships and live our lives.

Under this law, a relationship can be recognized even if

a) the couple doesn't live together
b) they don't share finances
c) the relationship is not sexual.

Here's her parliament speech about the bill. This is from last May.

Moore says, The bill will equally provide for relationships that are heterosexual, homosexual or platonic. The way people choose to characterize their relationships is not the business of Parliament or this Act. As Pierre Trudeau, former Prime Minister of Canada, once said, the State has no business in the bedrooms of the nation.

I still do see some discrimination though. Who is not included here? How about people in a group relationship? I don't think it's fair that they're excluded. But how do you legally work out a relationship like that? I have no idea. Maybe people could have primary partners and secondary partners?

Why are any of these laws even needed? Can't we leave legal relationships to the heterosexuals? Gay people can still get together, right? We're not trying to stop them. But why do they need to get the law involved? If they want to be gay, that's their problem. They should just keep it private. We don't need to hear about it.

Moore addresses this in her speech. She says, Though personal relationships between individuals are largely private matters, there are times when the law needs to be involved to ensure fairness, to prevent injustice or to provide protection. Often these are times of real crisis in people's lives. Parliament has ensured that the law is available to people in heterosexual relationships. It should now do so for people in other kinds of close personal relationships, including gay and lesbian relationships.

It's really sad. People lose their partner that they were with for decades and the relationship is completely ignored and denied. How the hell would that feel? It's horrible enough to lose the love of your life, but to have your love discounted like that?

Anyway, I don't think the bill has been passed yet. I hope one day it will.

Moore also worked to amend the adoption bill, allowing same-sex couples to be able to adopt children. She says that all the other MPs vetoed it. Isn't MP Member of Parliament? Aren't there Green party people in there? Why would they vote against it? I'm confused.

Oh never mind. It was just the MPs who were present that voted against it. So, why didn't she make sure the vote happened when more supportive MPs were available?

Well, let's move onto the next Clever Moore issue.

She believes in preserving Sydney's building heritage. I wonder if this has been influenced by the fact that her husband is an architect. Anyway, I think it's very important. I do think cities need to change with the times, but at the same time it's sad if the past entirely disappears.

Moore wants to protect and improve green space around the city. Parks and playgrounds. I'm all for that.

She is not fully supportive of the state government's plans for Darling Harbour. They want to build up the East side of the harbour and rename it Barangaroo. Plans include retail, hotel, business, and residential opportunities. Moore worries that the proposed pedestrian and public transport access to the site will be inadequate to meet the increased working and residential population. Proposed building heights are also out of scale with the existing City skyline and should taper down toward the water. More work is also needed on how retail on the site will integrate with the surrounding area, supporting rather than undermining the CBD.

I think this Moore person is very wise. I really like her.

On this page of her site, she talks about how she donates her salary to charity. It says here that she does donate 100% of it. I think that's very generous of her. Yes, she does get a salary from Parliament. But some people in her situation might enjoy getting two salaries rather than donating one. Although I guess the question is how much money does someone make from being Mayor anyway? It might not be a significant amount of money.

Oh no! I think I made a huge mistake. Now things are becoming clearer to me. Clover Moore is not a member of Parliament as in the whole-wide-country-Canberra thing. She's a member of the LOCAL parliament. New South Wales. They meet in Sydney. So, this explains why there might not have been people available to support her same-sex adoption stuff. New South Wales Parliament might be more conservative than the Australian Parliament.

This is all my fault. I won't try to blame it on Lord Wiki. I just didn't read carefully enough.


Well, now I'm going to move onto Google News.

This article talks about how Clover Moore wants to bring more artists into Sydney. Her plan is to take unused space and turn it into art studios. Once these are done, the artists can apply to use the space. Applicants will then be chosen from a panel of art specialist people. I wonder if the artists will get the space for free, or will they have to pay some type of fee?

In this article, Moore defends the cost of this year's fireworks. Five million dollars. She said, We're facing the biggest crisis we've ever faced in global warming and this last year we've had the global economic crisis and I think Rhoda's theme of a new creation is something we really need because we all have to start to realize we have to do things in different ways.

I can't really see eye to eye with her viewpoint here. I'm personally not a big fan of fireworks. They just don't do anything for me. I respect the fact that some people love them. I just don't know if that love is worth five million dollars. I mean the whole thing is over within a few minutes. Maybe I'm just not in touch with all this stuff. Does watching the fireworks really improve people's moods? Does it give them more hope? Does it fix things in the world?

I'm not saying Sydney should get rid of the fireworks. I just don't know if I can buy the idea that Sydney NEEDS the fireworks, or that it will improve the world in some way.

This website has the negative aspects of fireworks. The chemicals used can be toxic to humans and they cause pollution. The good news (if we can believe it) is the woman in charge of the NYE fireworks, Rhoda Roberts, claimed that the 2008 Sydney fireworks were less environmentally damaging than past years. That's good to know.

For more of my Australian biography posts, click here.


  1. Unfortunately here in Melbourne we have an elected git called Robert Doyle who plans to boost traffic congestion using 1970's planning dogma of "more roads and then some". I'd expect Melbourne's CBD to deteriorate in terms of its amenity over this.

    There was a proposal to have an expanded light rail network in Sydney that was knocked back by the state government (who, by the way, are a hopeless case) after the road lobby had a tantrum. That would have actually made Sydney worth living in...though even in that case, I have reservations.

  2. The fireworks, do not get me started. 5 million dollars to go up in smoke over a few minutes. Anyone who has a pet within a 10km radius has to lock their poor beast up as the sound will send them nuts. After NYE, you will see fliers everywhere looking for lost pets that have freaked out because of the fireworks.

    I live in Sydney, I'm over them. They promised "the biggest ever" this year and it was all the same. Bang, crash, light up the bridge. Ho, hum. 5 million dollars could be doing a whole lot more for the growing homeless population of Sydney. That's my rant over.

    The pet adoption issue, *sigh* I've been very, very guilty of acquiring my furkids from breeders. Although, I have large dogs and I do like to know their breeding history and if there is any aggression in the bloodline. An aggressive rottweiler is not something you want to encounter.

    The RSPCA is excellent with surrendered or abandoned animals. Before an animal is placed, you have to go through quite a checklist and the animal has to pass a suitability test. If an animal has been too badly abused and would be unsuitable for adoption, then sadly it is not placed. Unfortunate, but necessary.

  3. She's definitely one of my favourite people :)

    They changed from being plain old mayors to Lord Mayors when King George something of UK granted a Royal Warrant upon the city in 1902 (Melb got it's own at the same time) to have a Coat of Arms and to claim the title "Lord" before the title of Mayor.

  4. RVB: It's unfortunate that the road fan people are having their way. That being said, Sydney is much better with public transportation than where I live. It's not just that we don't have a lot of trains and buses. Fort Worth isn't even good for walking. We have no sidewalks in my neighborhood. It's definitely a car town.

    Anja: I'm glad I'm not the only one who feels that way about fireworks. I didn't even think of the pet issue. My sister's dog freaks out at such things.

    I saw the early Sydney fireworks for 2008. My husband likes those things. It was a pain trying to figure out where we could watch them without getting stuck in a traffic jam.

    And now I couldn't tell you one thing about those fireworks. I just don't understand the thrill of it all.

    That's a good point about the breeders. With certain dogs, you probably want to know what you're getting. My parents and my sisters get their dogs from breeders. But I will say they do a LOT of research before picking out a dog. They take it very seriously. I still think getting from a shelter is the best choice. But I respect how they never take the decisions lightly. It's never an impulse buy for them.

    Jayne: Thanks for explaining the Lord Mayor thing!

  5. I have a couple of gay friends in Sydney and they have a lot of respect for Clover, something they seldom have for any other politician of any party.

  6. Andrew,

    I think she's easy to like--well, at least for people who share my political view.

    I think it's great that she's Sydney's mayor. I had no idea that Sydney has such a progressive mayor.

  7. Don't worry Dina, Robert Doyle will make sure Melbourne closely resembles Los Angeles Circa 1976.

  8. RVB,

    I think maybe I'll just avoid Melbourne then!

  9. Don't avoid Melbourne, Dina! It's a lovely city. But then I am biased.

  10. Stephen,

    At the very least...I know there'd be interesting people to visit!

  11. No come to Melbourne. We could do with some extra tourism. :)

  12. RVB,

    I'll happily donate some tourist dollars someday.

    But you better make sure Melbourne doesn't end up looking like Los Angeles.

    I'm counting on you!!!!

  13. Clover Moore has done amazing things for the City of Sydney. And, not just Inner Sydney, for places on the fringe like Erskineville, Alexandria, Newtown. These suburbs are the gems of Sydney.