Election was due in 2020 but postponed to 2021 because of the COVID pandemic.
A number of councillors are retiring, including Rochelle Porteous (Greens), so new faces expected. Labor likely to win 5 or 6 seats, Greens 5, with 4 or 5 Independents. Previous Liberal councillors Passas and Raciti are standing as Independents. Ex-Mayor Vera-Ann Hannaford and a bike supporter is standing again. She also was a Liberal but is now running as an Independent in Leichhardt ward. She might take Vittoria Raciti’s position. The Liberal party has not endorsed any candidates. Victor Macri (Independent) is standing again in Marrickville and is somewhat of a king maker when the Mayor is chosen.
Darcy Byrne ran foul of the Local Council watchdog over some remarks he made about Councillor Pauline Lockie (Independent) and was demoted from the Mayorality. He is hopeful of regaining it, but Greens and Independents might thwart him. Lockie is standing again, in Stanmmore-Damun ward, and may have a chance of getting back on Council. As a young progressive person with an active transport interest we wish her well.
For a discussion of the ins and outs of Inner West politics, see The Tallyroom.
Candidates or Groups who have expressed supportive bicycle views and policies up to this time (mid-November) and policies are The Greens, Labor, John Stamolis, Vera-Ann Hannaford, Jack Robertson, Pauline Lockie.
Responses to questions IWBC sent to candidates are posted on IWBC website.
Darcy Byrne is not a particular bicycle supporter and in 2013/14 cut the Leichhardt Council bike budget, but to give him and Labor credit the new Inner West Council did put around $10 m into the four year budget, as he promised in the 2017 election, and the current budget has much more in it than the days before 2014.
Inner West Council has continued funding and construction of the Greenway (with State Govt 50/50), and has constructed Regional Route 7 through Stanmore, along with a stretch of bike path on Livingstone Rd, but no new projects have been built or are in the pipe-line, except Lilyfield Rd, which has been designed and is due for construction in 2022, according to the budget papers, after long delays and controversy – from Leichhardt Council days. A new Bike Strategy is only now being prepared, after 5 years of Amalgamation. This slow process has caused the lack of new bicycle projects. More resources are need to develop projects and have them “shovel-ready” or “grant-ready” to catch matching State Govt funding. The State Govt has also been tardy and has not given out any money this year apparently. Purse strings may be loosened in 2022.