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New Mayor Lisa Matthews, right, with Deputy Mayor Jane Smith. New Mayor Lisa Matthews, right, with Deputy Mayor Jane Smith. Featured
06 October 2019 Posted by 


New Mayor vows community focus
NEWLY elected Central Coast Mayor Lisa Matthews has vowed to ramp up community consultation and agitate for more State and Federal funding to help realise Council’s plans going into the future.

Cr Matthew was elected to the role on September 23, beating Liberal candidate, Cr Chris Burke, to the top job by one vote.

Former Mayor Jane Smith did not nominate for a second term in the top job, but was elected Deputy Mayor over Cr Burke and Independent Cr Chris Holstein.

Although elected to Council on a Labor ticket, and a self-proclaimed proud member of the party, Cr Matthews said she was determined to keep politics out of Council chambers.

“We certainly don’t deal on party lines,” she said. “We deal with what’s come in to Council and we make decisions on what’s come in, what’s happened and what information we get from staff and we make our decisions on that.

“Party lines don’t happen in Council and shouldn’t happen in Council. One of the huge challenges for us is to get some money on the table, some real money for some real opportunities to go along with some of our plans.”

Cr Matthews said she was big on community engagement.

“My style is I’m an engager,” she said. “I believe in taking the community with me, so I am looking at working with all community, I’m looking at engaging all the councillors. It’s just the way I operate.”

Cr Matthews comes to the position with a wealth of experience.

She was a Councillor on the former Wyong Council, elected in 2008, and appointed Deputy Mayor in 2011.

Community worker

Prior to becoming a Councillor, she worked for Council as a community development worker.

She has been the chair of the Status of Women Advisory Group for eight years and is a member of the traffic committee, consultative committee, sports committee and grants committee.

She works as a community liaison officer with the Department of Education where she provides programs that promote lifelong learning and tools to empower young people.

Cr Matthews said she intended to “run a steady ship”.

“Becoming Mayor isn’t about me, it’s about the opportunity to be the leader of the team,” she said.

She said although the new Council started on “shaky ground” following amalgamation, she felt it had come together well and achieved some positives under the leadership of former Mayor Smith.

Cr Matthews said Council had a robust operational plan in place for the next 12 months and her goal was to keep working towards delivering that.

“Priority areas residents have told us should be our focus include improving our water and sewer networks, roads, the environment, community facilities and open space and recreation, and these areas will feature heavily in our plans as we strive to create a sustainable and connected Central Coast community that we can all be proud of,” she said.


Michael Walls
P: 0407 783 413
E: Michael@accessnews.com.au

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