Greens ‘night mayor’ plan to make Wollongong’s after-dark dreams come true - Illawarra Greens

Greens ‘night mayor’ plan to make Wollongong’s after-dark dreams come true

 

As polling day gets closer, most political candidates would be keen to avoid suggesting that their election could saddle the city with something that sounds like a bad dream.

But the Greens mayoral contender Mithra Cox says she, if elected to lead the city, would seek to put a “Night Mayor” in charge of firing up Wollongong after dark.

Based on a concept started in Amsterdam – and used in London, Paris and Zurich – the Night Mayor would be a part time role to help speed up approvals for bars, galleries and restaurants.

 Read the article, by Kate McIlwain,  6 September 2017 (front page on print edition)

Greens ‘night mayor’ plan to make Wollongong’s after-dark dreams come true            

After-dark dreaming: Greens mayoral contender Mithra Cox says she, if elected to lead the city, would seek to put a “Night Mayor” in charge of firing up Wollongong after dark. Picture: Adam McLean.

After-dark dreaming: Greens mayoral contender Mithra Cox says she, if elected to lead the city, would seek to put a “Night Mayor” in charge of firing up Wollongong after dark. Picture: Adam McLean.

As polling day gets closer, most political candidates would be keen to avoid suggesting that their election could saddle the city with something that sounds like a bad dream.

But the Greens mayoral contender Mithra Cox says she, if elected to lead the city, would seek to put a “Night Mayor” in charge of firing up Wollongong after dark.

Based on a concept started in Amsterdam – and used in London, Paris and Zurich – the Night Mayor would be a part time role to help speed up approvals for bars, galleries and restaurants.

When someone wants to put in a DA for a music venue, or a bar, or retail that would open late, the Night Mayor would help them cut through the red tape. - Mithra Cox

“When someone wants to put in a DA for a music venue, or a bar, or retail that would open late, the Night Mayor would help them cut through the huge amount of forms and red tape, but also help to cluster those businesses together, so there are small lively areas with a buzz, that then makes people feel safe,” Mx Cox said.

Read more: Who should be our next Wollongong mayor?

“[This] makes people want to go out, which makes it viable for musicians, artists and businesses alike.”

She said the night mayor would cost $50,000 a year, and would be a permanent part-time job working with economic development and cultural services. 

She noted the numerous precedents for this type of position; just last week New York City voted to hire its own night mayor, to be known as the DON – or director of nightlife.

Detailing her plan, Ms Cox also took aim at one of the major election platforms for all Liberal candidates: to boost the council’s spending on CCTV cameras to make people feel safer at night.

Read more: Meet the Wollongong council candidates

“We challenge the Liberals notion that putting CCTV in town centres will make them feel safer - what a load of bollocks!” she said.

“What will make people feel safer is music spilling onto the streets, old men playing chess, shops being open, kids riding scooters and artists holding exhibitions, and people eating and drinking in different sorts of places.”

Tensions between the Greens and Liberals have simmered during the election campaign.

The former has preferenced Liberal mayoral hopeful John Dorahy last on their how-to-vote cards, while the Liberals labelled the Greens a danger to business.