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What Clover Moore is planning to do in her fifth term as Sydney's Lord Mayor

She's had the keys to the Harbour City for 17 years, and her reign has just been extended again — this is what Clover Moore has planned for her next four years in power.

She's had the keys to the Harbour City for 17 years, and her reign has just been extended again.

Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore is seemingly unbeatable and was yesterday comfortably elected for a fifth term.

By late Saturday night, the independent candidate had won an estimated 43 per cent of the vote — a sharp decrease from the 58 per cent she enjoyed in 2016.

She was expected to enjoy an easy return to power despite being up against five other female candidates with progressive platforms.

Many of them campaigned on the fact that Sydney needed a "refresh", but residents didn't agree.

Yvonne WeldonYvonne Weldon
Independent Lord Mayor candidate Yvonne Weldon.(Supplied)

Independent Yvonne Weldon, the city's first Indigenous candidate for Lord Mayor, may have been responsible for the early swing against Cr Moore.

Vote tallies on Saturday night put her at more than 16 per cent of the ballot, while Labor candidate Linda Scott also drew similar numbers.

Voters swung away from Liberal Party candidate Shauna Jarrett, but this year the Greens enjoyed a 4.4 per cent increase under first-time candidate Sylvie Ellsmore.

The Small Business Party's Angela Vithoulkas garnered 5.6 per cent of the ballot.

Ms Moore, 76, said she was feeling as energised as ever.

"We're really powering and I want more work to continue ... there's still so many opportunities and possibilities," she told the ABC.

She ran for another term for exactly the same reason she first put her hand up for politics in 1980: "I want to see changes implemented, not just talked about."

Clover Moore in 1997Clover Moore in 1997
Before becoming Lord Mayor Clover Moore was a state MP for 24 years.(Supplied: Clover Moore)

The straight-talking leader has continually enjoyed landslide victories at elections, which has made her the ire of many state governments.

In 2014 the Mike Baird government introduced a controversial rule which gave eligible businesses in Sydney two votes at elections — an unsuccessful attempt to weaken her grip on the city.

She admits she's often been known as the "bag lady" and in 2012 former prime minister Paul Keating called her the "Queen of Sydney grog" over the growing number of bars in Kings Cross.

But the criticisms haven't stuck.

In her fifth term, the Redfern local has pledged to fight harder for the environment and return the lockdown-affected CBD into the bustling global city it once was.

She hopes to encourage people back to the city with events, including free concerts, and more than 200 new outdoor dining spaces.

"That's civilised and I love it," she said.

Her top priority for the next four years though will be accelerating the city's work on climate change and bringing emissions down.

She wants to increase the tree canopy by 75 per cent by 2050 and encourage some services in the CBD to switch to recycled water.

Under her leadership, a recycled water pipe was laid down George Street when the CBD light rail was constructed and she now wants to make sure it is put to good use.

"We shouldn't be using precious drinking water to flush toilets and water gardens in Sydney," she said.

Outdoor dining in SydneyOutdoor dining in Sydney
Under Clover Moore's leadership the council launched a successful outdoor dining initiatve post-lockdown.(AAP: Bianca de Marchi)

The council has already promised to reach net zero emissions by 2035, although Ms Moore admits it won't be easy.

Ms Moore also wants to continue to prioritise cyclists.

Over her tenure she has created 25 kilometres of bike paths — something she wants to extend in the next four years.

Clover Moore cyclingClover Moore cycling
Clover Moore tests out one of Sydney's bike paths.(Supplied: Clover Moore)

Sydney remains an expensive place to live, with home ownership out of reach for many.

Despite housing being a state government responsibility, Ms Moore says she will pressure developers to include more social and affordable housing in their plans, to keep people living in the city.

The council wants 7.5 per cent of all properties in the City of Sydney to be affordable or social housing by 2030.

Ms Moore's critics, including fellow Sydney councillors, say this isn't good enough, and more money should be tipped into the city's affordable housing fund.

Public housing towers at Waterloo.Public housing towers at Waterloo.
Clover Moore pushed the state government to add more social housing into the redevelopment of the Waterloo estate.(ABC News: Peter Rothwell)

The City of Sydney is one of the wealthiest councils in Australia, and secured a surplus of about $200 million in the last financial year.

It's sparked criticism from Ms Moore's mayoral rivals, including Labor councillor Linda Scott, who say the cash should be spent, not hoarded.

But Ms Moore plays it safe with the city's money.

"The city was going bankrupt at the beginning of the 90s, and one of the things I said to to our staff right from day one, I want us to have a strong financial position," Ms Moore said.

woman with short hair at a press conferencewoman with short hair at a press conference
Clover Moore's media presence has made her one of Australia's most well known leaders.(ABC News: Kevin Nguyen)

She's one of the nation's most popular politicians and has a following most would envy but says her recipe for success hasn't been rocket science.

"It's just because we get on with it. We run the city without the interference of political parties, without any meddling," Ms Moore said.

She also hasn't ruled out running again in another four years.

"It's hard looking into a crystal ball but if I have the energy and motivation and people want me to continue then it's a consideration," she said.

"But if I decide not to I would ensure I had a succession plan."

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