Darcy Byrne re-elected as Inner West Mayor

Tuesday, 10 September 2019

Local Labor Councillor Darcy Byrne has tonight been re-elected as the Mayor of Inner West Council. Cr Byrne will now serve until the end of the first term of the Inner West Council in September 2020.

Darcy Byrne was elected as the inaugural Mayor in September 2017, having previously served as Mayor of Leichhardt Council, which along with Ashfield and Marrickville Councils make up the amalgamated entity.

Following the chaos of the amalgamation Byrne said the Council was now serving the community and delivering innovative policies and high quality infrastructure.

“When elected in 2017 I committed to making the new Inner West Council progressive and effective and that’s exactly what we have done,” Byrne said.

“Two years ago the State Government’s forced amalgamation had badly disrupted basic services, we have turned that around and the Council is now getting things done for the people of the Inner West.

“We have established the Inner West as national leader in renewable energy, the arts and culture and sport and recreation infrastructure. Now it’s time to accelerate our drive to make the Inner West the best local government in Australia.”

Please find on the following page a list of 40 progressive policies and projects the Council has delivered in two years.

Following his re-election Mayor Byrne will focus renewed effort on ground breaking arts and renewable energy projects.

“I am determined that we will find a way to legalise small scale arts - performance, rehearsal and exhibition, in industrial, retail and commercial premises.

“If a local musician or painter wants to perform or exhibit in a disused shopfront or former factory there should be no need for a development application.

“As the capital of independent arts and culture the Inner West is exactly the right place to pilot this.

“We also want to establish Council as a broker to see the large scale installation of solar on buildings and homes across the Inner West.

“There are thousands of rooftops, large and small, that should be generating renewable energy and making a return for the property owners and it’s time to break through bureaucratic hurdles to make that happen.

Two years of progressive policy achievements 

Since being elected in 2017 the Inner West Council has been getting results, including:

Environment and renewable energy

  • Now sourcing 25 per cent of Council’s electricity from the Moree Solar Farm.
  • Became the first Council in NSW to reach 100 per cent divestment from fossil fuels.
  • Launched Solar My School, where Council helps Inner West schools to install solar on their buildings with the aim of seeing every local school powered by solar.
  • Fast tracked a project to replace all residential street lighting with sustainable LED lights, with massive cost saving and emissions reductions.
  • Delivered a new reusable swap-and-go reusable coffee cup scheme across inner west cafes, to help cut down on the more than one billion disposable coffee cups dumped in landfill each year.
  • Established an alliance of Sydney councils to create a new metropolitan wide food recycling scheme
  • Progressing a new swim site in Callan Park as part of the push to make the Parramatta River swimmable.

Arts, music and night life

  • Established EDGE to showcase the artists living and working in the Inner West in a rolling series of cultural events to rival Vivid Sydney.
  • Established an expanded “Good Neighbour” policy to end vexatious noise complaints against pubs, clubs and small bars, requiring mitigation not litigation of complaints.
  •  Implemented live music infrastructure grants to assist venues to host more gigs.
  • Led the inception of a music festival to honour the great Australian conductor and music educator and inner west resident Richard Gill (coming in November).
  • Working to legalise small scale arts and live performance in shopfronts, office blocks and industrial buildings.

Economic development

  • Permanently turned off parking metres after 7:00pm – the first Council in NSW to do so.
  • Proposed and delivered a new category of liquor licence for inner west craft breweries making it easier for them to open, operate and grow.
  • Secured changes to allow local cafés and restaurants to automatically qualify for a small bar license and open after dark.
  • Initiated heritage protections for long-standing pubs to protect hotels from residential development and conversion into other business uses.

Massive investment in Community Infrastructure

  • Opened the new Marrickville Library, a stunning example of architectural excellence, housing 85,000 books, a public square, landscaped gardens, children’s playground and public art.
  • Completing construction of the new Ashfield Pool - a state-of-the-art facility opening in 2020.
  • Saved Dawn Fraser Pool with a $6 million heritage restoration to be completed in 2020.
  • Delivered the $2 million Sydenham Green Skate Park – one of Sydney’s best skating destinations.
  • Continued improvements to Leichhardt Oval attracting men’s and women’s international soccer, rugby union and rugby league as well as A-League and NRL matches.
  • Delivered a $2 million upgrade of Waterfront Drive sporting fields in Callan Park and a $1million upgrade of Petersham Oval.
  • Opened three new netball / basketball courts in Haberfield.
  • Delivered a $3.7 million upgrade of Camperdown Park.
  • Completing the $5 million Cooks River Parklands project.
  • Provided $2 million in funding for the synthetic sports surface construction at Tempe Reserve and Leichhardt Oval Number 2.

Indigenous recognition

  • Adopted joint Aboriginal names for Inner West Council wards.
  • Became the first government in Australia to fly the South Sea Islander Flag.
  • Conducting a pilot Aboriginal language program in Tempe with the intention of making it available to preschool children across the Inner West.
  • Established a Survival Memorial program to commemorate the survival of Indigenous people in the Sydney area.


  • Became the first Council in Australia to make town halls and community centres available for same sex marriages, free of charge, for 100 days following the passing of marriage equality legislation.
  • Employed a LGBTI officer to promote collaboration in the community.
  • Began work to establish a Pride Centre in the Inner West to provide wellbeing and health support programs and services.
  • Installed rainbow Pride Seats at high profile locations throughout the Inner West with dedications to activists and organisations who campaigned for civil rights.
  • Awarded Sarah Midgley, NSW Co-Convenor of Australian Marriage Equality, the Citizen of the Year Award.

Boosting the birthplace of Multiculturalism

  • Employed a new Multicultural Officer to lead initiatives from the Policy and support our multicultural communities.
  • Naming of the Little Portugal precinct, in the Petersham central business district.
  • Expanded the work of the Refugee Welcome Centre in Callan Park to include free swimming lessons, lifeguard training and school holiday programs for children from refugee backgrounds.

Protecting the Inner West

  • Won back community control of the Sydenham to Bankstown corridor from the NSW Government.
  • Defeated Mirvac’s plan for skyscrapers in Carrington Road Marrickville.
  • Saved local businesses from being turfed out at Lords Road in Leichhardt and the entire industrial space being rezoned for residential.

For media enquiries, please contact Kate Walsh on 0421 224 366.   

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Page last updated: 12 Sep 2019