Nine women have been confirmed as elected to Newcastle City Council, a first in the City’s 220-year history.
The NSW Electoral Commission has finalised the count for the local government election held on 4 December 2021, with Cr Nuatali Nelmes re-elected as lord mayor for a third consecutive term.
Seven new councillors and five returning councillors will join her to form the new 13 person council.
Of the 13 elected representatives, a majority of seven will represent Newcastle Labor, three Liberals, two Greens, and one Independent.
Returning councillors include Declan Clausen (Ward 1 Labor), Carol Duncan (Ward 2 Labor), John Church (Ward 1 Independent), Dr John Mackenzie (Ward 1 Green), and Peta Winney-Baartz (Ward 3 Labor).
They will be joined by new councillors Dr Elizabeth Adamczyk (Ward 4 Labor), Jenny Barrie (Ward 2 Liberal), Charlotte McCabe (Ward 2 Green), Callum Pull (Ward 4 Liberal), Deahnna Richardson (Ward 4 Labor), Katrina Wark (Ward 3 Liberal) and Margaret Wood (Ward 3 Labor).
Lord mayor Nuatali Nelmes thanked the community for their support in re-electing her for a third term as lord mayor.
“I’m honoured to be officially re-elected to serve Newcastle for another term as lord mayor,” Cr Nelmes said.
“I’d like to thank the community for voting to support our transformational and progressive vision for Newcastle. Together with my Labor colleagues we have worked hard to deliver financial sustainability while protecting services and jobs to ensure social justice, equality and our unique environment is preserved in Newcastle.
“I’m also proud that Novocastrians have voted for gender diversity, not just parity, with a majority and historic female voice represented on Newcastle Council in this new term.”
Lord mayor Nelmes’ immediate priority will be to respond to the impact of the current Omicron strain on Newcastle and effects on the community.
“This city has had a tough two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic and continues to face challenges with the new Omicron strain,” Cr Nelmes said.
“Now more than ever, our community in Newcastle needs the support of a strong local government with a track record of delivering stable and consistent leadership that has innovated to provide solutions to support jobs and protect our community as we look to 2022 and beyond.”
Councillor Carol Duncan, returning for her second term, said she was excited to see greater female representation on Newcastle Council this term.
“Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes has been a trailblazer for us all, breaking through an often harsh glass ceiling in Newcastle. Her leadership by example has paved the way for both the younger generation and women to follow. It’s not an easy path for a young woman but it has been transformational for Newcastle,” Cr Duncan said.
“Once we have a generation of kids growing up thinking it’s normal to have a female majority council, state or federal government, we’ll know things are improving.
“I’m enormously proud to be a member of Newcastle’s first female-majority council and I note that it’s one of the strategic priorities of the United Nations (UN) that, ‘women lead, participate in and benefit equally from governance systems’.”
Newly elected Liberal councillor Jenny Barrie added that council is a great platform to inspire women of all ages into politics.
“I’m excited to work with Nuatali and join a hardworking and dedicated team to represent ratepayers and residents across the City of Newcastle,” Cr Barrie said.
The first meeting of the new council term will be held on Tuesday 18 January, 2022.
The new Newcastle councillors, in order of election:
Cr Nuatali Nelmes (Labor)
Cr Declan Clausen (Labor)
Cr John Church (Independent)
Cr Dr John Mackenzie (Green)
Cr Carol Duncan (Labor)
Cr Jenny Barrie (Liberal)
Cr Charlotte McCabe (Green)
Cr Peta Winney-Baartz (Labor)
Cr Margaret Wood (Labor)
Cr Katrina Wark (Liberal)
Cr Deahnna Richardson (Labor)
Cr Dr Elizabeth Adamczyk (Labor)
Cr Callum Pull (Liberal)