They say time flies when you are having fun, and that is certainly true of my first two years as Mayor of Lake Macquarie City Council. The milestone came up last week and it provided a good opportunity to look at some of the achievements the current Council has made in the first half of its four-year term.
As Mayor, I have had the pleasure of cutting ribbons (metaphorically and literally) on some fantastic new facilities for our community, most recently the Pasterfield Sports Complex at Cameron Park, a sprawling all-in-one sports, fitness and recreational hub that, at eight hectares, is Council’s biggest single undertaking of this nature. There have been many openings of new playgrounds and skate parks, with many more still in the pipeline: the second part of this term will see Council working towards the delivery of new multi-function recreational precincts at Thomas H. Halton Park in Croudace Bay and Bernie Goodwin Park in Morisset, as well as new skate parks in both locations and at Windale.
One of my early duties was officiating at the opening of the first phase of the Lake Macquarie Transport Interchange at Glendale. We continue to work with the State Government to advance the development of this key area for regional economic growth. A strategic business case for the rest of the interchange project is underway. We have secured funding to build the Munibung Road extension connecting Boolaroo with Cardiff, and have developed a long-term vision for the growth of the North West Lake Macquarie precinct that we hope to see adopted as part of the Greater Newcastle Metropolitan Plan.
We have taken a lead regionally on waging a war against waste, with the opening of a state-of-the-art organics processing facility at Awaba that has paved the way for the introduction of our greener three-bin system, allowing residents to recycle their household food waste into compost instead of dumping it in landfill. We’ve also led the way in trialling the use of a recycled crushed glass product in place of sand in roads and other civil works projects.
We’ve advanced Lake Mac’s ‘Smart City’ credentials with the launch of a citywide LoRaWAN network and a host of other technology-driven projects, and we’ve maintained a strong focus on making our City more inclusive, with the installation of accessible pathways, platforms and water access at key locations such as Grannies Pool and the Blacksmiths Beach viewing platform at Maneela Street.
One of the most satisfying achievements of the past two years has been working with the community to produce good outcomes, notably on the Belmont Baths, where we were able to come up with a solution that met the community’s priorities for the timely delivery of a safe swimming enclosure.
Much has been done, but there is still much to do. I look forward to working with the community over the next two years to make Lake Macquarie and even better place to live, work, visit and do business.