$105m Capital Works Spend Helps Lake Mac Tackle COVID-19 Impacts

Despite a challenging year with Covid-19, Lake Macquarie Council checked off 90% of its to-do list according to financial reports tabled at Monday night’s meeting.

Almost 300 planned initiatives, big and small, were completed in the 2020-21 financial year including 40 fast-tracked community infrastructure projects .

Lake Macquarie Mayor Kay Fraser said capital works projects boost the local economy and employment market.

“Council has an important role to play to keep the economy moving, support our community and keep people in jobs,” Cr Fraser said.

The projects cost $105m but Council still managed to wrap up the year with a $2.3m surplus.

It was a better than expected turn around thanks to tight budgeting and regular budget reviews.

“This has been a challenging 12 months in so many ways, but we have adapted quickly to ensure continued productivity, investment and community wellbeing,” Cr Fraser said.

It wasn’t just good business though, with the community set to make use of newly installed bus shelters and the Multi Arts Pavilion at Speers Point Park which is hoped will open its doors this Spring.

The fast-tracked projects, which ranged from playground replacements to new shared pathways, were identified in consultation with the Hunter chapters of the Property Council of Australia and the Urban Development Institute of Australia, and saw the playground at Riawena Park in Whitebridge upgraded in March this year.

New Riawena Park playground brings big smiles to the littlest locals

Work also kicked off on the Fernleigh Awabakal Shared Track.

Council CEO Morven Cameron congratulated Council’s workforce for delivering the new public infrastructure in what was a truly tough year for so many locals.

“Like so many people in our community, our crews have been operating under challenging conditions, often with adjustments to their normal workdays to ensure safety and compliance with health guidelines,” Ms Cameron said.

“Despite this, we’ve delivered a strong result for the city, and continued to make a significant contribution to our community and the city’s economy.”