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Labor adds Wallsend mum to team ahead of September election

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With the Local Government elections fast approaching, Labor is taking the opportunity to embark on generational change.

The party has endorsed indigenous 31-year-old Wallsend mum-of-two Deahnna Richardson in the number 2 position in Ward 4, with incumbent councillor Matt Byrne replacing Cr Jason Dunn in the top spot.

Due to the COVID-19 global pandemic and changes in their family and work commitments, current sitting Labor councillors Jason Dunn and Emma White have decided to not seek re-election on 4 September.

Replacing Cr White in the number 1 position in Ward 1 is current Deputy Lord Mayor Declan Clausen, which also allows for Cr Peta Winney-Baartz to move into a lead standing in Ward 3. 

Councillor Carol Duncan remains in position one in Ward 2, while Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes was endorsed as Labor’s candidate for Lord Mayor in September 2019. 

The Newcastle Labor Caucus extends their sincere appreciation to Cr Dunn and Cr White for their work with City of Newcastle.

During his almost decade on council, after being elected in 2012, Cr Dunn has served as Deputy Lord Mayor and been instrumental in ensuring funding for Wallsend flood mitigation works, including the delivery of Tyrrell Street Bridge and a commitment of more than $20 million to continue to upgrade infrastructure in the Wallsend Town Centre. 

“I have stood firmly against the privatisation of Beresfield Pool, and have always ensured that the cost to get into the pool remains as one of the lowest in the region,” he said.

“One of my proudest achievements is the delivery of Tyrrell Street Bridge in Wallsend.

“Many people told me that the City would never deliver a new bridge in Wallsend to address flooding during my lifetime, so showing what can be achieved through hard work and dedication at the local level has been personally very satisfying.

“While I was pre-selected to recontest Ward 4 for Labor, my work and family circumstances have changed.

“I wish my Labor colleagues the very best for the upcoming election; and know that Cr Byrne and new candidate Deahnna Richardson from Wallsend will continue to deliver for our western suburbs.”

Ms Richardson has joined the Ward 4 campaign for council. 

“As a mum-of-two with a baby and a toddler living in Wallsend, I understand the issues facing families in our western suburbs,” she said.

“If I have the honour of being elected to council, I will continue to work on initiatives to improve local infrastructure, like our playgrounds, parks and sporting facilities, while strongly supporting City of Newcastle’s decisive action to address climate change at a local level.

“As a Wallsend local, and like many young families in the area, I’ve been thrilled with council’s Playground Replacement Program, which has seen brand new playgrounds at Brickworks Park, Carrington Street Reserve, Wallsend Park, and Cressington Way Reserve, Wallsend, as well as the $1 million commitment to build the Wallsend Active Hub.

“I’m so proud to join a team that is committed to sustainability and local action on climate change.

“With Ward 4 the home of the 5MW solar farm and the City’s first public electric vehicle fast-charging station, I will work hard to continue to deliver the actions outlined in Council’s Climate Action Plan.

“I’m also keen to help develop an action plan, with all levels of government, to address the communities concerns about traffic congestion and public transport accessibility for our western suburbs, particularly as our area continues to grow.” 

In Ward 1, Cr White has made the tough decision to step down from the number 1 position on the ticket, following her election to a prominent role within the trade union movement, and added responsibilities professionally. 

“I’m so proud of my time spent as a Ward 1 councillor and the initiatives that we have delivered since I was elected in 2017,” she said.

“As a trade unionist, taking the lead on the introduction of the City of Newcastle’s Apprentice and Trainee Program, which has resulted in more than 40 positions for young Novocastrians in the local government sector has been an absolute highlight for me.

“I’ve dedicated my time on council to quietly achieving improvements for community infrastructure across Ward 1, with new and improved playgrounds delivered in Mayfield East and West, Tighes Hill, Islington, Carrington and the Active Hub in Stockton.

“Extending footpaths and providing significant pedestrian accessibility upgrades throughout Mayfield is something I’ve been passionate about as well as finally resolving Mayfield Coles eyesore.

“Delivering a new masterplan for Wickham, playing a part in the transformation of the Newcastle CBD, and developing a clear action plan to restore a sandy beach at Stockton, which is currently awaiting approval by the Deputy Premier, are all key highlights from my time as Labor’s Ward 1 Councillor.

“I look forward to actively supporting my Labor colleagues throughout the upcoming election campaign.”

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