Shauna Jarrett was recently announced as the Liberal candidate for the City of Sydney Lord Mayor. Urban Village writer Queenie Colquhoun talked with her about her goals and the her campaign’s agenda.

Studying an Arts Degree in Australian History then moving on to a Law Degree, Shauna Jarrett was always engaged in politics. Growing up in Canberra, she would listen to parliament whilst writing her essays.

“It really came about when I started getting involved in Young Lawyers, and the politics around people agitating for changes, that are changing the way things have been done,” says Jarrett.

During her time in Young Lawyers, Jarrett advocated for more women in the profession and better compensation for young lawyers.

Her vision is for City of Sydney to focus more on small business and Sydney’s nightlife. If elected Lord Mayor, Jarrett hopes to allow businesses to be innovative and flexible with ease, rather than experiencing red tape through the DA process.

“If you can keep the businesses and that’s how you want to run your business, then why do you need permission to open up for that length of time? We need to standardise and reduce the planning laws, the layers and layers of planning laws we have,” says Jarrett.

“We should have a lot smaller venues for artists of all sorts, musicians, pole dancers, whoever. We need some medium sized theatre spaces, not tiny ones and very, very big ones.”

Jarrett also hopes to improve affordable housing in the city: “It brings into the City of Sydney a whole range of people. Council can actually play a role in that, by renovating properties, providing affordable housing for people rather than just talking about it.”

Shauna Jarrett’s team also aims to make Council more open and transparent.

“I want to bring more openness about how decisions are made, and a lot of opportunity to really engage with the community and not just tell people what we think they should be doing,” she says.

“That’s the role of local government, supporting people in doing what they want to do… Local government support people with the amenities they need to be able to get on and live the life that they choose.”

The City of Sydney Local Government election will be held on Saturday 4 December 2021. The election will be held online.