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Lake Macquarie Mayor Kay Fraser to call it a day

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Lake Macquarie City mayor Kay Fraser has decided to call time on her 20-year career.

Ironically, the much-loved councillor made the announcement on International Women’s Day 2024 (8 March).

In a statement sent to local media, Cr Fraser said she would not be running for re-election at the 2024 Local Government election.

Lake Macquarie Mayor Kaye Fraser December 2023

“Today I am announcing I will be stepping down as mayor and councillor at the next election on 14 September 2024, bringing my Local Government career to a close after a remarkable 20 years with Lake Macquarie City Council,” she stated.

“I am making the announcement that I will not run for mayor at the next election – a position I’ve held for eight years, after previously being an east ward councillor for 12 years – as NSW Labor pre-selection opened for Lake Macquarie City Council Mayoral and Councillor candidates this week.

“Serving on council and being involved in the strategic planning of our community over 20 years has been a most rewarding experience… and I thank the community for placing their trust in me.

“It has been an honour and privilege to have represented the city in this key leadership role and to be part of an amazing journey watching Lake Macquarie City transition from a population of about 190,000 in 2004 to surpassing 217,000 today,

“The warmth, passion and dedication that people have for our community is extraordinary and humbling.

“Thank you to every single community member for always being engaged and open with your concerns and ideas.

“I have chosen to step away from council at a time that I have judged as being right. Once this term of council ends in September, I will be taking a break to spend time with family and friends, and I’m very much looking forward to travelling Australia with my husband Carey, before I ponder what opportunities could possibly be next.

Lake Macquarie Mayor Kaye Fraser has added her council’s commitment to appropriate language surrounding mental health by signing the National Communications Charter – Feb 2023

“As mayor I leave an extensive legacy in Local Government, witnessing the transformation of a city that is growing as a destination for families looking for a better quality of life, businesses needing the space to grow and visitors seeking fun and exciting experiences.

“Five years ago, council managed one public art gallery and a library service with 50,000 members.

“Today, the city has a vibrant theatre and live music scene, creative festivals, urban and public art, and heritage with more than 920,000 people attending an event, exhibition, live theatre or music annually.

“October 2021 saw the opening of the Multi-Arts Pavilion, mima, the first Australian state-of-the-art space for live theatre and music, multi-media projections, installations and audio commissions.

“This was followed by the opening of the Sugar Valley Library Museum, kirantakamyari, only the second facility of its type in NSW and the first professional museum in Lake Macquarie.

“Similarly, it was a watershed moment for the city when stage one of the Lake Macquarie Transport Interchange opened in 2017, followed by the Munibung Road extension at Cardiff in 2020 and most recently the opening of The Weir Bridge at Barnsley in July 2022.

“Over the past two decades, council has redefined our City as an active, growing destination in which to live, work and play.

“Following the successful completion of a new practice and warm up track in February 2023, the Hunter Sports Centre, kaiyu nungkiliko expansion is well under way.

“Jointly funded by the Australian Government, the NSW Government and council, the facility will be completed in late 2024, and becoming a state-of-the-art, elite and community sports centre to nurture the talents of athletes from regional Australia, empowering them to compete in national and international events.

“I have also spearheaded the advocacy to have the $20 million investment, jointly funded by Council and NSW Government, for the landmark Fernleigh Awabakal Shared Track (FAST), which will create a 27km continuous active transport route from Adamstown to Murrays Beach, the longest in the Hunter Region.

“During my time, I have been keenly focused on good governance, true community engagement, sound financial management, sensible strategic decision-making and planning to ensure the sustainability of our City long into the future.

“I remain passionate about these things and believe they are essential element of an effective Council.

“I whole-heartedly endorse Adam Shultz as the NSW Labor Mayoral candidate for Lake Macquarie City Council.”

Mr Shultz has been an East Ward Councillor since being elected in 2016.

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