It would appear that since being elected the new Central Coast Council is putting up a “Closed for Business” sign on the Central Coast having already voted against the Kangy Angy Train Maintenance Facility, with 200 jobs, knowing full well that the State Government had made the decision to go ahead after considering other sites at Warnervale. Then, worse, voted against a public exhibition of the Concept Plan for an Aviation Hub at Warnervale which has the potential to employ 700 jobs.
And, then in early January have set out to stop all future development by lowering the number of objections to a DA from 50 to only 15. Bear in mind that the former Wyong Council’s threshold was 100.
This Council promises to be the most obstructionist council we have ever seen. Well, almost! Past Gosford Councils did a pretty good job. Take one look at the Gosford CBD.
As part of this obvious campaign to stop economic growth in the region, Council at its last meeting for 2017 took the highly unusual action of refusing to put the Central Coast Aviation Hub Concept Plan on Public Exhibition – even though it was included in the Council Papers and therefore was available to the public via the Agenda Papers for the 27th November on Council’s website.
CCBR had already gone to print with the December issue so we published it on our Facebook page and on our Website. In addition, Councillor Bruce McLachlan also put this out on his Facebook page as he said that the airport belongs to the people of the Central Coast and therefore they should be given the opportunity to comment.
They will have apoplexy next meeting when they learn that the Wallarah 2 coal mine has been approved – even though it is nothing to do with them.
Meanwhile the State Government is moving ahead with the Central Coast Growth Plan 2036.
So committed is this government, and the Minister for Planning in particular, that having appointed a Coordinator General in mid-2017 to oversee the implementation of this Plan by Christmas they had opened a shopfront in the main street of Gosford (see Page 9) to serve as an information centre for members of the public to learn about the Growth Plan.
So here we have a Government that for the first time ever is pumping serious money into our region (think – Gosford Hospital, Medical Research Foundation, Kangy Angy Train Maintenance Facility, roads) and backing it up with a Growth Plan and putting in place people with the authority and capacity to make it happen.
Investor confidence in the Central Coast has never been higher.
Until now that is.
All the effort of the past five years could go down the drain due entirely to what is turning out to be a highly dysfunctional backward looking Central Coast Council.
It doesn’t have to be that way though.
In early August last year, before the council elections, the Minister for Planning, Anthony Roberts introduced a new planning initiative for all Sydney councils and Wollongong that is now mandatory for these councils to guard against corruption and lead to better local planning decisions. (See Page 21)
Now, Independent Hearing and Assessment Panels (IHAPs) will set a clear criteria for which development applications (DAs) are to go to these Panels.
This means that almost all DAs will have to be assessed by these Panels.
For some reason the Minister did not include the Central Coast. Perhaps he thought we would elect a group of people who had the future of our region at heart. And as it has turned out nothing could be further removed.
We now need to lobby the Minister to get him to include the Central Coast in the IHAPs legislation.
To avoid further damage by this council the business community needs to treat this as a matter of urgency.
Write directly to the Minister for Planning requesting that he include the Central Coast in this legislation.
Otherwise we will be back to where we were 20 years ago.