This month our cover story features Central Coast Co-ordinator General, Lee Shearer APM who was appointed in April by the Minister for Planning Anthony Roberts to oversee the implementation of the Central Coast Growth Strategy 2036. The story is about the implementation of the Growth Strategy and how Ms Shearer is approaching her job, the challenges and how she intends to cut-through and resolve the “silo issues” where nobody wants to talk to each other. She has the authority of the Minister who we know is over all the talk that has pervaded the region’s growth issues for the past thirty years and more. Ms Shearer will be CCBR’s guest at our Christmas Cocktail Evening for subscribers and advertisers in late November where she will expand on her role which in my opinion is pivotal to the economic future of the Central Coast region. Ms Shearer has a massive task ahead of her if we are to find a place for the extra 75,500 people which the Growth Plan is aiming for by 2036 as well as the 27,000 new jobs. Right now we simply don’t have the residentially zoned or industrially zoned land available. It could be, but between council and state government planning and environmental issues this is a big ask. Thus the reason for understanding where our Central Coast Co-ordinator General is coming from and how she can make it happen.
Meanwhile, following on from my Editorial last month Will the Central Coast survive a green Mayor? Already the new Council has embarked on a process of stopping or at least interfering with the processes of the former councils and the Central Coast Council under Administration. It is looking increasingly likely that the “swift parrot” and the “white breasted eagle” will get a big leg up the extinction ladder with the greenies in council supported by the political hatred between Liberal and Labor in council – all to the detriment of our region.
As predicted our green Mayor, supported by other interested councillors, have wasted no time in getting the Warnervale Airport debate onto the front pages of the mass media. We can expect that employment creating projects like Warnervale Airport to be high on the “kill” list. Fortunately the die is cast on the Kangy Angy Facility and Council is irrelevant as the project has all the necessary approvals to go ahead. But with Warnervale Airport that is another matter and this new Council has the capacity to destroy it. Right now we have a company that is committed to build an aircraft manufacturing facility at the airport but that is contingent on the Warnervale Airport Masterplan being approved by Council. And, CCBR knows that a number of other companies have submitted Expressions of Interest to locate aircraft related businesses on the site, all generating real jobs. Let’s get real, Warnervale Airport will never ever be a passenger airport. Newcastle took that when the Anti Warnervale protagonists won their fight 25 years ago. So let’s move on and make this airport a top standard General Aviation Airport. Fortunately the previous Wyong Council went well down the path in this respect and it continued under the Administrator. For this new Central Coast Council, or the State Government for that matter, to do anything that will impede or worse still kill of this airport then we will have it confirmed that they are there to wind back all the positive momentum that has been built up over the last five years with respect to development and investment in our region. In fact it would amount to economic vandalism.