LISA Lake, elected Mayor of Cumberland last night, looks forward to “taking the community” with her during her 20-month term leading a burgeoning, ethnically-diverse area.
The Labor councillor was elected Mayor on January 12 with Kun Huang, also Labor, elected deputy.
“As Labor Mayor, you can expect my priorities to be very practical – to ensure that this Council is outwardly focussed and delivering on the ground to meet the needs of our rapidly expanding population,” Cr Lake said in her speech after elected.
“We’re expecting 300,000 people to be living in Cumberland by 2036. We all know what is needed:
- Sportsgrounds that can meet conflicting demand.
- Dynamic libraries that are large enough for noisy pre-schoolers and quiet senior students to both have a place,
- Pools that have space for both serious training and lessons and also casual fun, parks and playgrounds that cater for various ages and abilities,
- Inviting and affordable community centres, halls and meeting rooms of different sizes for community interaction.
- Cultural events that celebrate our multiculturalism,
- High quality children’s services spread equitably across the LGA.
- A diversity of housing including social and affordable housing.
- A vibrant arts and cultural sector.
- a strong economy with town centres that are inviting and thriving, and supportive of small business and jobs growth.
- Protection and replenishment of our natural environment,
- The reduction and recycling of our waste, and
- Increased employment opportunities, particularly for our young people.
“Initially in its first term, this Council worked really hard to develop a number of key strategies and plans to achieve this vision.
“But unless these priority actions are implemented, we will go nowhere.
“And so, as Mayor, I consider it my obligation on behalf of the Cumberland community, to lead a council of substance that will work to deliver on these stated goals.
“There are 14 other elected officials to this council who share this responsibility with me and we are supported by a unified executive team and a hardworking staff that is committed to progress.
“In undertaking this work you can expect two things from us:
“Firstly, that we will be actively encouraging community participation in our decision-making through open meetings, public forums, advisory committees and workshops.
“And secondly, that council’s budget priorities, whilst fiscally responsible, will also recognise and respond to challenges that beset our community.
Public health emergency
“We are currently in the midst of a terrible public health emergency which is constantly testing the effectiveness of our responses and straining our resolve. As a council we will continue to work with you, our community, in a focussed and flexible way to eventually overcome this scourge.
“Despite our current troubling circumstances, I do feel quite optimistic about the period that lies ahead. So now, let’s just get on with it.”
Eddie Sarkis, from Our Local Community, was the other candidate for mayor and Independent (and former Liberal) Joseph Rahme for deputy but, with Labor’s domination of the new council that was elected on December 4, the outcome was certain.
Cr Lake, who has served on Cumberland and the former Holroyd Council, has lived in Wentworthville for more than 30 years.
A solicitor, Cr Lake has had a high profile in the community, leading the fight to save Wentworthville Pool and to not privatise childcare services.
Kun Huang, who was on the previous council, is from Regents Park Ward.
At the December election, Labor scored eight councillors in Cumberland, as well as five women councillors.
As in Parramatta that elected eight women, it was a first for Cumberland. So, both Parramatta and Cumberland are led by women, with men as deputies.
Labor’s victory was helped, by how much is hard to ascertain, by the Liberal Party not endorsing candidates for Parramatta and Cumberland Councils due to branch in-fighting.
The new Cumberland councillors are:
Steve Christou OLC
Ola Hamad ALP
Joseph Rahme Ind
Diane Colman ALP
Greg Cumming Ind
Eddy Sarkis OLC
Kun Huang ALP
Sabrin Farooque ALP
Helen Hughes OLC
Glenn Elmore ALP
Mohamed Hussein ALP
Paul Garrard OLC
Suman Saha ALP
Lisa Lake ALP
Michael Zaiter Ind
Image: Mayor Lisa Lake pictured with her election running mates.