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   Dec 12

OpinionNo-mergers decision a win for city’s vision

Newcastle City will remain a stand-alone entity into the future, with renewed focus on our long-term vision for the city.
苏州桑拿会所

We welcome the news that the NSW Government will not proceed with regional mergers, including the proposal to merge Newcastle City Council with Port Stephens Council.

As one of ‘s oldest cities and the regional centre of the Hunter, it is so important that we have a local council that is focused on both our burgeoning economy while still celebrating our history.

We and our neighbouring councils are unique, we are facing different issues and have different priorities for our communities.

With the assurance of the stand-alone announcement, we can now get on with delivering our community’sNewcastle 2030 visionof becoming a smart, liveable and sustainable city.

Since the State Government first announced the proposed merger in late 2015, our staff have continued to provide outstanding services and facilities to the Newcastle community and they should be commended for their resilience in the face of such uncertainty.

We have returned three consecutive surpluses and are on track for a fourth as we expand our capital works program from $42 million in 2012-13 to an expected $82 million this financial year.

Moving forward, the council will continue leading Newcastle’s transition from a great regional city to an emerging global centre.

Our city is experiencing unprecedented growth and investment.

We have attracted funding for the Hunter Innovation Project, a new cruise terminal and, of course, the Revitalising Newcastle project, which includes the light rail project.

We are seeing cranes in the sky with whole city blocks currently being transformed, and this is not limited to the city centre.

The boom continues in our suburbs.

The value of approved development soared 70 per cent in Newcastle last year. Over the past five years, the total value of projects given the green light in the city has surpassed $3billion.

We are doing our bit too bystewarding revitalisation projects in the city, along the coast and across the suburbs and advocating on behalf of the community for great outcomes.

A record capital works program means there will be more improvements to local and neighbourhood centres, better roads and footpaths, upgrades to playgrounds and sporting facilities and investment in new facilities.

Our status as a United Nations city has put us on the international stage and we will stay there as our smart city project progresses and we attract more major events to Newcastle.

The Supercars Newcastle 500 is set to be a new highlight for the city.

Having a strong council is critical for the city and region to reach our potential and achieve ongoing economic growth.

We are keenly aware of this and will continue to make prudent financial decisions while prioritising service delivery to the Newcastle community.

I am so pleased we can now put the merger conversation to one side and focus on our fantastic city.

Newcastle is a great city and I am so proud to be able to represent and advocate on behalf of our passionate community.

Nuatali Nelmes,Lord Mayor of Newcastle

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