COUNTING in the Lake Macquarie City Council election has been finalised, with popular councillor Wendy Harrison topping the polls in the West Ward.
Cr Harrison (Independent Lake Alliance), Jason Pauling (Liberal), David Belcher (Labor) and Luke Cubis (Lake Mac Independents) were elected in the West Ward.
The ward extents from Wyee around the western side of the lake up to Speers Point.
Cr Harrison, now in her 13th year on council, said she was grateful to be returned by voters after what proved to be a tough campaign.
“Obviously the Lake Mac Independents have had a big impact on our (Independent Lake Alliance) outcome this time. They’ve split the independent vote,” she said.
“It’s very lucky that I had such a strong position in West Ward that I’m back in.”
The Independent Lake Alliance did not have councillors elected in North Ward or East Ward.
Cr Harrison said experience had taught her that residents appreciated her “truly independent” approach to council matters, her preparedness to meet with them, to act on their concerns, and get answers to their questions.
“I sometimes don’t get the outcome that they want, but I’m always prepared to follow up with council staff on any issue. I think that goes a long way,” she said.
Cr Harrison said council was in the midst of a 10-year planning cycle which was reviewed every 12 months, and she expected community consultation to be a priority for the new councillors.
“I think it’s really important that council sets the agenda, together with citizens of Lake Macquarie.”
Labor secured 33.88 per cent of the overall vote in West Ward, followed by the Liberals with 22.55 per cent, the Independent Lake Alliance with 22.34 per cent, and Lake Mac Independents with 14.15 per cent.
“Hopefully we can all work together for the best outcomes for citizens of Lake Macquarie because it’s not about us (councillors) it’s about them (citizens),” Cr Harrison said.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.