Councillor Leah Anderson announces candidacy for Mayor role

Port Stephens councillor and Deputy Mayor Leah Anderson has aspirations to be Port Stephens Mayor. Photo: Marian Sampson.

DEPUTY Mayor Leah Anderson has announced she will run again for the role of Mayor in September’s local government elections.

Cr Anderson ran a close race with incumbent Mayor Ryan Palmer in the 2021 Council elections, missing out on the top job by 567 votes.

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It was a strong showing of community support for a candidate who had yet to serve as a councillor.

Having fully immersed herself in the councillor role since being elected, Cr Anderson believes she is the right candidate to take Council forward over the next three years.

While she admits there are “a lot of areas that Council needs to deliver on”, she says roads remain a top priority.

Housing is another topic sure to play out in the election lead up.

“Housing is contentious because we as a Council have got a limited opportunity and limited desire to be cutting down trees and destroying habitat but we still need to provide housing for our community.”

Cr Anderson said Council is keen for developers to deliver affordable housing in the West Ward and around the Raymond Terrace area.

She is also eager to see green field housing developments where there is no wholesale loss of forests required.

Frustrated by some decisions of Council during the current term, Cr Anderson has been influential in the creation of additional community stakeholder reference groups to provide local advice to Council staff and councillors.

These groups cover topics including communications, heritage and environment.

“The Communications and Engagement Advisory Group is one that I brought to council because I felt that Council needed to improve its community engagement process,” she said.

Moving forward, Cr Anderson wants to see a better representation of the community on Council.

“I think it is really important that we should have more women elected to Council.

“I am hoping and encouraging more women to stand for Council at this year’s council election.

“It’s fair to say that women bring a different perspective to the table – there’s that different element from a woman’s perspective,” she said.

Cr Anderson said she is committed to listening, caring and delivering for the community now and into the future.


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