Site for Gosford university campus up to the Premier
You may not have noticed but the last eight years have been significant for Gosford.
It started with the election of the Liberal State Government in 2011 and the election of a new and enlightened Gosford Council in 2012. Coincidentally it also aligns with the election of Lucy Wicks in 2013 as Federal Member for Robertson and the Abbott Liberal Government.
It was more than a change of Council at Gosford. With a new CEO, Paul Anderson, Gosford CBD would be transformed as developers were encouraged to invest as incentives, along with a change in culture, made it feasible to develop. Soon the cranes were springing up everywhere.
Read our feature on John Singleton's investment in the Bonython Tower in Gosford. That is a real indicator.
The new State Government jumped in and sold the old Gosford Primary School Site to developers. We now have a Tax Office thanks to our Federal Member Lucy Wicks and the State Government has relocated the Financial Services Department, all on the one site.
Meanwhile the State Government announced a new Gosford Hospital would be built at a cost of $348 million plus a $35.5 million car park. That was five years ago.
By 2016 Mrs Wicks had negotiated a deal with the State Government (which had saved $20 million on the hospital redevelopment), the University of Newcastle and the Federal Government tipping in $32.5 million for a Central Coast Medical School and Central Coast Medical Research Institute with 800 jobs, to be built on top of the car park.
Meanwhile, also in 2016 then Minister for Planning, Rob Stokes announced the far reaching Central Coast Growth Plan 2036 with an added population of 70,000 and 25,000 new jobs.
A year later and a new Premier and Planning Minister come along and the Central Coast Growth Plan gets a real push. Minister Roberts appoints a Coordinator General for the Central Coast. Lee Shearer, with the brief to get the Growth Plan moving. But firstly, "fix Gosford CBD".
Ms Shearer has certainly done that! By late last year Minister Roberts announced the Revitalisation of Gosford, introduced a Gosford City SEPP to ensure that the crazy Central Coast Council couldn't sabotage Gosford's future and committed $52 million for infrastructure and parkland in the GBD.
To make it all happen Minister Roberts put the Hunter Central Coast Development Corporation in charge.
While all this was going on the University of Newcastle, in November 2018, appointed a new Vice Chancellor, Professor Alex Zelinsky and negotiations began, with the help of our Federal Member Lucy Wicks, for a Gosford Campus to be established in Gosford.
So why the history lesson?
As you will see from the two articles on Pages 6 and 7, Gosford uni campus now up to the State Government and Vice Chancellor's plan for $250 million world-class university in Gosford, it really is up to the State Government to kick the can just one more time.
All that is needed is the land component and the ideal spot is the former Mitre 10 store at 305 Mann Street, Gosford which the government acquired in 2008 for less than $5 million.
Mrs Wicks has got the Feds to put in $18 million as a starting point and the University has agreed to $55 million.
The State Government has done a fantastic job of lifting Gosford out of the past.
Worldwide there are studies that show the economic impact that universities have on regional cities. The same thing will happen in Gosford.
So the message is: Dear Premier, please include funding for the land component for a university campus in Gosford in the 2019-20 State Budget.
|Tags: May 2019 Editorial|