Increase the rate base
One of the fundamentals in running a business is to increase turnover by finding new customers. Not putting up the price.
If you try that stunt, and many do, you will soon find that your customers are deserting you.
It’s not easy. Sometimes you are in a market sector that is mature or is geographically constrained. But there is always a way to increase the pie, you just have to think outside the box.
Of course government, all levels, don’t see it that way. Instead of growing the economy it is much easier to increase taxes.
And so it is with our Central Coast Council. Forget about increasing the amount of rateable land, just increase our rates.
One caveat, both Gosford and Wyong Council rates were out of kilter so had to be levelled (harmonised – in government parlance). This has been very painful and the first Administrator dodged it.
Even so Central Coast Council is seeking a rate increase for ten years. This is predicated, it would seem, on the basis that there will be no more land opened up for development for the next ten years and if greenies have their say, forever.
The fact that there is a large commuter population that would prefer to work where they live as well as one of the highest unemployment rates in the state seems to be of no consequence to this Council.
While people, politicians and public servants, prattle on about creating more jobs vast swathes of land here on the Central Coast, mostly in the north remain undeveloped even though they have been zoned as either residential or employment lands.
Spurious claims of protection for ‘threatened species’ are just that. One good long standing example is at Somersby Industrial Park where many blocks are vacant as the Somersby Mint Bush – a so-called ‘threatened species’ is found there.
If the Somersby Mint Bush is so precious why have we not cloned it, as Premier Bob Carr did with the Wollombi Pine when it was first discovered.
No, this is just a ruse to stop anyone from building a factory that will employ people.
There are many others like the bush orchid that flowers every five years (we think) at Warnervale and dead trees on vacant land everywhere that could be a home to some clucky parrot who wants to nest there for a month or two.
When the Warnervale Industrial Area was developed some years ago it was delayed because the developer had to provide for a squirrel glider to move from tree to tree without having to get across Sparkes Road and get killed.
A lot of the gum trees you see around that place is there just to accommodate a handful of squirrel gliders.
The absurdities of this just go on and on.
There is also another issue of DA’s. – another hot topic.
Central Coast Council has inherited all the
incompetencies in their Planning Department that pervaded both Gosford and Wyong Councils for over thirty years.
Or is it a wilful policy to stop most forms of development?
In one of the most diabolical cases of council maladministration, firstly at Wyong Council and now at the amalgamated Central Coast Council a group of East Wadalba property owners who have been hung out to dry by council staff over the past twelve years as they seek to get their land rezoned and sub-divided, while staff prevaricate, obfuscate and it appears deliberately obstruct a residential development of 1,200 homesites costing council millions in lost rates and the property owners millions in unnecessary costs.
This residential development could have been signed off years ago would have generated hundreds of construction jobs apart from loss of rates.
The opening up of new residential land is essential if we are to accommodate the new residents that the State Government has said we need to do, and in doing so increase the size of the economic pie.
It is a similar case with high rise residential developments. When former CEO of Gosford Council was appointed he quickly saw the need to increase the rate base. Within months he had ripped through Council’s planning staff and approved developments that saw more cranes in the sky for a couple of years than anywhere.
Over twenty high rise projects that had been in limbo, some for over ten years, were developed creating a huge number of jobs and increasing council’s rate base.
Presently, real estate agents are reporting a huge number of enquiries coming out of Sydney from businesses, some quite large, looking to relocate on the Central Coast.
This has come about following the opening of the NorthConnex Motorway connecting the Central Coast with Western Sydney.
The opportunity to increase our rate base and expand the economic pie in our region is huge.
Trouble is will Council’s Administrator and CEO get the message?
Approving rezonings and development applications is all it will take. It just needs them to cut through the red tape and intransigence of staff in the Planning and Environment Department at Central Coast Council.