As we head into the fortnight before Christmas, I am reflecting on what has been a busy, fun and productive year – my first full year as Mayor of Lake Macquarie.
There have been many highlights from a community perspective: a record public works budget of $111 million; opening the first stage of the Lake Macquarie Transport Interchange; starting work on an exciting $15 million sporting and recreational hub at Cameron Park; and, securing funding to build the Munibung Road ‘missing link’ between Boolaroo and Cardiff.
Our second Lake Mac Big Weekend was a huge success, as was the hosting of the NSW Surf Life Saving Championships -- which will be back at Blacksmiths early in the new year – and the inaugural Float Your Boat festival lit up a wintry Lake Macquarie with a flotilla of imaginatively illuminated craft.
We worked with the community to find solutions for the Pelican Boat Ramp, to decide on a design for the new Belmont Baths and to get input for a planned smart transformation of Charlestown’s Pearson Street Mall into a vibrant public space that will double as a digital playground and technology precinct.
Amid all of that, I have had the pleasure of meeting thousands of people in our community and learning more about the many local organisations and businesses that help make our community tick.