Tuesday, July 08, 2008


Burgmann rules out tainted donors

Sunanda Creagh Urban Affairs Reporter, smh

July 8, 2008

IN AN effort to distance herself from the Iemma Government, Labor's candidate for the Sydney lord mayoral election has vowed not to accept political donations from the party's Sussex Street headquarters.

Meredith Burgmann, who will run against Clover Moore in the local government elections in September, said Labor candidates face a tough battle in the council elections.

"I am sure if voters are cranky with either state or federal Labor, they will take it out on whoever is standing for election at the time, which will unfortunately be me," Dr Burgmann said yesterday.

"We certainly have the problem of perception, which is why we have taken the decision not to take any money from developers, the alcohol or pokies industry, or from head office."

The election analyst Antony Green said the Greens would pick up many former Labor voters in Marrickville, Randwick, Waverley and Leichhardt, as well as Newcastle, where electricity privatisation could sway voters.

"All the inner-city councils are serviced by public transport, where buses and trains are getting more crowded, and all of those seats will see strong campaigns against Labor over delivery of services," he said.

"Political donations will also be a huge issue, and that's where the Greens are strong because they are campaigning on that issue."

In the last council elections, Clover Moore's group got 35 per cent of the City of Sydney vote, Labor 25 per cent and the Greens 14 per cent. In Leichhardt, the Greens got 34.5 per cent and Labor 24.3 per cent.

"In Marrickville, the Greens got 29.2 per cent last time but it will continue to grow because they are seen as the real opposition to Labor," Mr Green said.

The Blacktown Mayor, Leo Kelly, a senior ALP figure in local government circles, said Labor candidates would suffer "guilt by association with one of the worst state governments in history".

He said Dr Burgmann would not have received much money from Sussex Street anyway.

The ALP general secretary, Karl Bitar, said party headquarters would fund candidates but would spend less on local government elections this year than last time.