City of Hobart has a new Lord Mayor with Alderman Sue Hickey

NEWLY elected Hobart Lord Mayor Sue Hickey says she is looking forward to bringing a renewed sense of optimism to the city.

“I feel lucky to have arrived at a time when people are ready for change,” she said.

“Now is the time to look into what we need to do to make this city function and the best place in the world to live.”

Alderman Hickey claimed 52.53 per cent of the primary vote for Lord Mayor in the Hobart City Council elections last month, defeating incumbent Damon Thomas with a margin of 892 votes after preferences.

She is Hobart’s second female Lord Mayor and one of nine women holding mayoral positions across Tasmania.

But despite the support of a close-knit team and running “what was probably a ‘textbook campaign’ where I left no stone unturned”, the Slick Promotions managing director said she was not confident at winning.

“Many people said to me that I wouldn’t be able to beat an incumbent with a high profile,” she said.

“I was also told by a few people to ‘wait my turn’, to run for Deputy Mayor first and then in four years’ time go for Lord Mayor.

“So the support of the Hobart community during this time has been really humbling.”

Ald Hickey said she was ready to take on the challenge of “courageous and constructive leadership.”

“It’s nice knowing that the city has another female Lord Mayor since the late Doone Kennedy, whose blessing I always felt I had throughout the campaign,” she said.

“And I’m also very excited because we have six strong, intelligent women on the new council.

“It is my duty to help guide them through the early days as much as I possibly can and to encourage a respectful, collaborative and productive work culture with less friction and point-scoring.”

Ald Hickey said her key priorities going forward included encouraging people to shop in the Hobart CBD.

She said she also wanted to see improvements in inner-city infrastructure to enhance community outcomes.

“People want to be able to enjoy the city but they need to be able to live in it,” she said.

“And that means having places to walk your dog, ride your bike, fly a kite with your children, go to sport or somewhere in the sun to sit and read during your lunchbreak.

“Importantly, we need to drive more traffic back into the city and this includes the Sandy Bay shopping precinct.

“To help our traders and small businesses we need to attract visitors to the city, but we can only do this by making Hobart a beautiful place to experience – and one that is tourist-friendly.”

Ald Hickey said she was also committed to providing better value for rates, reviewing cost-saving measures in the city and playing a role in council restructures.

“In four years’ time I really want local government to be a part of the debate about amalgamation,” she said.

Ald Hickey holds a Master of Business Administration and won the Tasmanian Businesswoman of the Year award in 2007.

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The Hobart Observer is your monthly community newspaper, reaching over 24,000 homes and businesses in and around the City of Hobart. It is the product of Nicolas Turner, Justine Brazil, Ben Hope, Simon Andrews, Tobias Hinds and guest contributors, with support from advertisers.

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