Lord Mayor

Lord Mayor's Office
City Administration Centre,
12 Stewart Avenue, Newcastle West
PO Box 489, Newcastle NSW 2300
Contact the Lord Mayor

Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes is the 14th Lord Mayor of Newcastle and has served for nine years, returning for a third consecutive term as the Lord Mayor of Newcastle following a general election held on 4 December 2021.

The Lord Mayor previously served as a Councillor for six years from 2008.

Nuatali holds a Bachelor of Business with a double major in Industrial Relations/ Human Resource Management and Marketing from the University of Newcastle, and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and the Harvard Bloomberg Leadership Initiative. She worked in small business and recruitment before being elected to Council in 2008.

During her time as Councillor she also worked on community climate adaptions programs with the United Workers Union. Nuatali has continued to build on her first term success that delivered progressive financial sustainability while protecting local jobs and services, creating momentum for positive change through consistent hard work, stability and collaboration.

Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes has ensured that City of Newcastle has:

  • Shifted to 100% renewable energy from 1 January 2020 (reducing City of Newcastle’s carbon footprint by 77%).
  • Delivered a 15,000 panel, 5MW City owned solar farm at Summerhill Waste Management Centre, which is slashing our electricity bills, and saving ratepayers.
  • Avoided austerity, and secured our City’s financial sustainability without cutting local jobs and services.
  • Responded promptly to the COVID-19 global pandemic, with a targeted, locally led Community and Economic Resilience Package, and $116 Million record stimulus infrastructure program.
  • Leveraged the record development investment into our City to deliver positive outcomes for our all Novocastrians.
  • Committed Newcastle as a Welcome City, that embraces diversity in all its forms.
  • Saved Blackbutt and delivered a complete upgrade and Adventure Playground.
  • Created more apprenticeships and traineeships and invested in fit for purpose facilities for our staff.
  • Delivered more than $6.5 Million in playground upgrades.
  • Invested in Flood mitigation in Wallsend, including a commitment of more than $20 Million to rebuild vital infrastructure.
  • Developed a long-term strategy to combat decades of erosion at Stockton.
  • Delivered the first new library in over 14 years.
  • Committed the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
  • Built partnerships with our community, business and governments locally, nationally and internationally.

Since 2014, Nuatali has used the now strong financial position to ensure that City of Newcastle has invested in programs and projects that are important to the people of Newcastle, including:

  • $105 million into our local Buildings, Structures and Places
  • $65 million into improving our waste management services
  • $77 million into upgrading our stormwater network and on environmental initiatives like our Street and Park Tree Planting Program
  • $10 million into City Centre Revitalisation
  • $13 million into upgrading our Cycleways
  • $30 million on coastal revitalisation, including the delivery of our iconic Bathers Way shared path.

Nuatali represents Newcastle on ICLEI (Local Government for sustainability) Oceania Regional Executive Committee and their chair of the Global Covenant of Mayors Oceania committee. State wide, Nuatali was also elected as a Regional Director for Local Government NSW in December 2021. Regionally, Nuatali is Chair of the Hunter Joint Organisation Standing Committee for the Greater Newcastle Metropolitan Plan Implementation and is a Board Member for Newcastle Airport, Greater Newcastle Aerotropolis and associated Partnership Boards.

Nuatali is also chair of City of Newcastle’s Asset Advisory Committee and previously served on the Board of the Hunter Westpac Rescue Helicopter for four years as well as on the Board of Northern Settlement Services and the Hunter Writers Centre.

The Lord Mayor is only the second female Lord Mayor of Newcastle after popular 1970s-era mayor Joy Cummings, and she is the youngest Lord Mayor of Newcastle. Nuatali was raised and educated in Newcastle, is married with three children and has enjoyed a representative sporting career in basketball.

Publication of the Lord Mayor's Diary

City of Newcastle is committed to openness and transperency through its Open and Transparent Governance Strategy.

As part of this commitment, we will publish a summary of the Lord Mayor's diary on its website on a quarlerly basis, including:

  • Details of the organisation
  • Group or category of person(s) attending the meeting
  • The date and purpose of meetings.

The summary will not include:

  • Individuals names
  • Internal meetings with staff or Councillors
  • Meetings of a personal nature.

View the Lord Mayor's Diary