Ettalong Channel a rather important issue

Last month we reported on the urgent need for the Ettalong Channel to be dredged and asked the question who is responsible?

Well of course you won’t get an answer on this from the State Government or Central Coast Council but at least common sense seems to have prevailed over politics as Council goes to government for funds to dredge Ettalong Channel.

The issue of dredging this Channel is not going to go away so its time that it was solved so that boats can safely use Brisbane Water and a marine economy with a long term future can be established.

CCBR has carried out a survey of jetties, swing moorings and marinas around Brisbane Water. It found that there are approximately 600 jetties and 900 swing moorings plus five marinas. In addition there are more than 2,000 registered boats that use the Brisbane Water from tinnies to cruisers and yachts. On the basis of the annual fees charged by the RMS and the Lands Department we found that the government collects at least $3 million annually which would appear to go straight to consolidated revenue and lost.

So it is perfectly logical that the State Government should take ownership for safe navigation of Brisbane Water and that means constant dredging of the Channel.

In this month’s property section we report on the sale of Lisarow Plaza. The most interesting aspect of this sale is really the history of the land on which it is located. CCBR has a copy of the 1975 Gosford Wyong Structure Plan. This Plan sets down the site for a Regional Shopping Centre for the Central Coast at Lisarow, right on the train line and on the highway and close to the Expressway.

And, land was rezoned allowing for such a regional shopping centre. However, a few years later, after the Wran Labor Government was elected to power in 1975 things changed.

Out of the blue a great strip of rural land which would have become residential under the Structure Plan was suddenly rezoned for a regional shopping centre – Erina Fair which subsequently opened in 1987.

While other aspects of the Structure Plan were kept, like Gosford being nominated as a District Centre for the region and Warnervale being developed for residential, the retail zonings were forgotten about.

Thus we have a regional shopping centre with no logical road or transport access at Erina and Westfield Shopping Centre at Tuggerah which is in a logical location.

Subsequently the Lisarow land was rezoned and we now have a village shopping centre.

More to this than meets the eye but just shows how governments play with our region and we let them get away with it.

Central Coast Council elections When you receive your June issue of CCBR it will be just three months before the first election for councillors to take over Central Coast Council. The scary point about this is that both the Liberal and Labor Parties have done nothing official about nominating their candidates although CCBR hears that Labor is likely to resurrect their old crew while the Liberals are looking at new faces.

We also hear that some of the Wyong Independents will stand again in Wards where they are still recognised.

Former Wyong Mayor, Doug Eaton has said that he will be standing as will Greg Best and Lloyd Taylor.

In the Wards that make up the former Gosford LGA we need new blood. About that there is absolutely no doubt.

We understand that Andrew Church who owns the Central Coast Interactive War Exhibit and is a management consultant is running and we certainly support him. In the meantime the cost of running for election is significant and you won’t see any property developers and anyone remotely related to them putting their hands in their pockets this time around.

So it is going to be very difficult, almost impossible, for independents to get elected this time around.

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