Returned Councillor Declan Clausen was elected Deputy Lord Mayor at the first ordinary meeting of City Of Newcastle's 2017-2020 term tonight.
Seven newly chosen and six returned city representatives began official duties for the new three-year term, which has been shortened 12 months to align with other NSW council terms following the protracted local government amalgamation process resolved earlier this year.
The Lord Mayor congratulated Councillor Clausen and said the city's infrastructure backlog and priority projects - coastal and city revitalisation, cycle ways and Blackbutt Reserve - would top council's agenda.
"It's an honour and a privilege to have been re-elected Lord Mayor," Councillor Nelmes said.
"I'd like to congratulate Councillor Clausen on his appointment as Deputy and all new and returning Councillors on being elected to represent their respective wards.
"Ratepayers have put their support behind the platform that I took to the election, and I will work hard to continue to deliver for the city.
"My priorities as Lord Mayor will be to ensure that the city's finances remain in sound shape, while we continue to invest in clearing the current $100 million infrastructure backlog and delivering our priority projects.
"It is a great honour to have the community put their trust in you to represent their interests.
"I look forward to a successful term where our Councillors work together on behalf of all of Newcastle."
The Bathers Way coastal pathway from Merewether to Nobbys is the centrepiece of Council's coastal revitalisation. Narrow, crumbling bitumen footpaths have been replaced by a four to six-metre wide concrete shared pathway, which when finished will top any coastal pathway in Australia by also accommodating bicycles.
City Centre Revitalisation
Council is working with the NSW Government and the private sector to revitalise Hunter Street and the City centre. Council is examining the role of Wickham adjacent to the city's future commercial core through a masterplan for the suburb. It envisages a diverse and dynamic mixed-use precinct, with proposals to increase building heights along the rail corridor to help promote employment opportunities.
Rolling out safe, separated cycleways as part of a connected transport network is a key part of council's efforts to improve lifestyles. Last year we spent $3.4 million on improving and creating cycleways and associated facilities and this financial year we'll spend another $2.7 million.
Council is upgrading Blackbutt, the green heart of Newcastle, to give visitors more chances to enjoy nature trails, wildlife exhibits and recreational facilities on the Richley side of the Reserve, where a new playground, shelters and pathways are under construction.
Council make up
Emma White (ALP)
John MacKenzie (Greens)
John Church (IND)
Carol Duncan (ALP)
Kath Elliot (IND)
Brad Luke (LIB)
Declan Clausen (ALP)
Andrea Rufo (IND)
Peta Winney-Baartz (ALP)
Jason Dunn (ALP)
Matthew Byrne (ALP)
Allan Robinson (IND)