Tough start to year but ....
Its been a tough start to the year. It started with fires that threatened the Central Coast but in the end we dodged a bullet as they were stopped before they did any real damage.
Then it was the storm that caused havoc and resulted in extensive damaging flooding around Tuggerah Lake.
Its times like these that the community looks to leadership for guidance that sees it through the hard times and at a local level that would be the Mayor.
Mayors have a special place in the community because they do have powers to get things done and to give people the confidence to get through those difficult times.
But here on the Central Coast we have a Mayor who had no idea what to do except post a ridiculous Facebook rant about her own predicament.
Meanwhile it took the local community to take things into their own hands and open the lake and let the water out. One resident bought in his own digger and for his trouble got arrested. How crazy is that?
Following all this, Council's meeting of the 24th February was a disgrace with calls for the Mayor to resign and because of the crowded and, understandably, cranky public gallery in the Wyong Council Chambers, Councillors took fright and decided that all future council meetings would be held in Wyong!! Gosford is too dangerous.
What this proves beyond all doubt is that this Council is a Wyong Council.
These councillors do not have the intelligence to understand that while they were elected to represent a particular Ward, in the end they are required to administer the whole Central Coast LGA.
Here we have 15 councilors and most just want to play political games.
September 2020 can't come quick enough!
Meanwhile, it is not all bad news at Council.
The staff are doing what they can to get things done.
Council's CEO has put together an economic development unit which has been named Innovation and Futures.
The Executive Manager is Ricardo Martello, a very forward-thinking person who had a similar position at Logan City Council.
Another person who is certainly a visionary and has runs on the board is Peter Auhl who is Chief Information Officer.
He joined Council at the start of 2019 after five years as CIO at Adelaide City Council Australia's first 10Gigabit City that has turned Adelaide around (see story Page 8).
He wants to do the same thing here on the Central Coast.
Right now there is a lot of interest in the Central Coast from all manner of businesses medium and large. These people can see the opportunities and are keen to invest.
Meanwhile, the Central Coast has a very solid food manufacturing industry anchored by companies like Mars Food, Sanitarium, Cordina, Life Health Foods and Agrana.
Food manufacturing in 2018/19 was worth $1.25 billion to the Central Coast, it leaves all other sectors for dead.
Last month the CEOs of these companies got together to discuss potential collaboration opportunities that would benefit the industry overall.
This is a great initiative by Central Coast Industry Connect group
This bodes well for the future of our region. Read about it on Page 11.
Finally, the State Government has pulled the rug out from under Central Coast Council's feet when it comes to getting Development Applications through.
From now on if you have a DA worth over $3 million you can go straight to the Central Coast Planning Panel in Sydney. At the same time any DA that gets more than 10 objections will go to the Panel