Clover Moore told to pack her bags. We didn’t put Clover Moore on the Sydney power list because she’s ripped up Sydney sidewalks to install bike paths and opened the laneways for a new class of whiskey drinkers. While that was all certainly part of it, Moore took out the No. 4 spot because she makes big, bold decisions that change the face of the city.

Her latest move to wean Sydney off the electricity grid, via an agreement with the Origin owned Cogent to link the city to a low-carbon energy network, is no different. The long-term $500 million investment is the first of its kind in Australia and alleviates some, if not all, of the city’s reliance on continued investment in power stations and network upgrades, potentially saving up to $1.5 billion in the process.

Pity Moore is expected to shortly leave the NSW parliament, after laws passed the upper house last night that ban local councillors from serving as NSW MPs. Moore is believed to be the only one of the 30 local councillors forced to now choose between the two jobs, who has made the decision to stick with local government.

“Had I not held the balance of power in state parliament,” Moore recently told The Power Index, “Finger Wharf wouldn’t have been saved, Sydney Showgrounds would be covered in housing, gays and lesbians would still be vilified, same-s-x couples wouldn’t be able to adopt, there would have been no Police Royal Commission, and there would be no anti-corruption legislation.”

There’s a reason she’s fought 11 elections since 1982 and won them all.

Paul Howes’ house the giveaway. What made an unnamed Labor left union official realise that the house he was inspecting in Sydney’s inner-west was that of union boss Paul Howes?

According to Howes, said official is spreading rumours that he intends to mount a preselection challenge for Robert McClelland’s federal seat in Barton that are based purely on knowledge acquired by chance. “[The official] inspected the house, realised it was my house and the rumour spread from there,” Howes said.

Was it photographs that tipped off the union official? A collection of political biographies? Cuban paraphernalia? We may never know. According to the report in The Australian Financial Review — in which Howes denies the rumours — the AWU boss is reconsidering the sale of his family home.

Not happy Cambell! We know Campbell Newman’s been quick on the “can do” front a week since becoming Queensland premier, but yesterday’s decision to axe the Queensland Premier’s Literary Awards may have been taking his overwhelming mandate to do what he wants a little too far.

A number of writers have come out to condemn the decision that’ll save Newman’s office $250,000, while Queensland Writers Centre chief Kate Eltham said she looks forward to seeing how Newman plans to “reinvest” the money in writing. We do too.

Wield power, in space. NASA administrator Charles Bolden has touched down in Australia in the lead-up to the arrival of Mars rover “Curiosity” on the red planet in August.

Bolden, here to visit the Canberra Deep Space Communications Complex which will monitor Curiosity’s progress, spent some time yesterday philosophising with reporters on the future of American diplomacy. According to the former US marine and astronaut, the space organisation epitomises “soft power” and can provide a way to “extend a hand of diplomacy on behalf of the United States in a way that no one else can”.

Bolden also predicts that by the 2030s, humans will have experienced the Martian environment. With China preparing to launch its own Mars rover, we’re just not sure which humans will get there first.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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