Central Coast the Cinderella Coast
It has seemingly been forever thus. The Central Coast, an hour north of Sydney with a current population of 340,000 which the NSW Planning Department has decreed will grow by another 70,000 in the next 20 years, is always left on the sidelines when it comes to sharing in the state's budgets.
Always neglected except at election times when premiers, prime ministers and sundry ministers punch the coordinates into their GPS gadgets and find their way to our region.
Like the three wise men they come bearing gifts then disappear into the ether after Election Day and conveniently forget all that they promised.
But take a step back. In 2000 the Carr Government created the position of Minister for the Central Coast. That lasted until 2015 when the Baird Government downgraded it to Parliamentary Secretary for the Central Coast and add the Hunter massive area for one person so the Central Coast came off second best.
When the Government was re-elected in March the Premier decided that the regional minister and parliamentary secretary idea was too much so she abolished it all except in some areas like western NSW and Western Sydney.
From the time of the first Minister for the Central Coast there was always a support office in Gosford and a Regional Coordinator. A couple of years ago that position was abolished and folded into a Hunter and Central Coast office based in Newcastle. While there is an office if Gosford it is all controlled out of Newcastle.
We all recall that in January 2017 Anthony Roberts was appointed Minister for Planning and for the next two years the Central Coast and Gosford enjoyed a window that it had never known before.
The Minister appointed Lee Shearer Coordinator General for the Central Coast and Greg Sullivan Director of the Central Coast office of the Department of Planning.
Things happened, not the least being the Gosford City SEPP and funding for Gosford announced that would take the city forward.
While nothing can stop Gosford now, thanks to Minister Roberts, the wheels started falling off the day the government was elected.
Minister Roberts who was the only person ever to back the Central Coast and Gosford in particular got the chop as Planning Minister and a week later Ms Shearer got the sack.
Now we hear Greg Sullivan has been sacked and worse the Central Coast office of the Department of Planning will be moved to Newcastle.
For the Central Coast the State Budget has been very disappointing but then what would you expect from a government whose sole focus is in Sydney and Western Sydney.
In the mind of the Premier and this government the Central Coast as a stand-alone region doesn't exist.
Having said that perhaps its time we, the people of the Central Coast took a good look at ourselves and ask, "why is it state and federal governments look askance at our region?"
My guess is that there is no community leadership with a vision for the region.
Newcastle overflows with leaders willing to put the Hunter first. Western Sydney is the same. Look at what they are achieving.
Meanwhile on the Central Coast there is always someone who wants to pull down any good idea or project that will benefit out region.
Meanwhile may we congratulate the Wallarah 2 Coal Project partners for their perseverance in getting their mine project approved. On this occasion the State Government saw reason.
It is major projects like this that will benefit our economy.
This company went through more hoops than a basketball team. That's the unfortunate cost of trying to do business on the Central Coast.
Finally, as we are about to go to press we hear that our greenie Central Coast Mayor (the one with more Mayoral Minutes than any mayor in history) will be moving to kill off the Central Coast Consolidated LEP (see Page 11).
It defies belief that anyone would be so reckless as to even contemplate such a move.
In September there will be a Mayoral Election. When the Central Coast Council was first elected in September 2017 the Labor / Green councillors voted Councillor Smith to be Mayor for two years.
The former CEO of the Community Environment Network, a local green group that opposes everything, took the job on with relish.
This Mayor is leading what is now proving to be the worst of any Gosford or Wyong Council in history.
Playing political games as the Labor councillors are is a disgrace. These people are totally committed to keeping our region held back.
Is it any wonder the Berejiklian Government has abandoned us.
|Tags: Editorial July 2019|