Jane Smith - Group C New Independents
Running with Mitchell Lawler and Susan Chidgey
Q. What do you consider to be the most important issue facing the Ward you would be elected to represent?
A. Gosford East ward covers a lot of coastal and nearby areas that are under pressure from population growth and development.
It is critical that we plan for population growth without destroying the things that residents and communities value.
Residents are feeling that their voices are not being heard.
Future planning should keep the mix of residential, rural and environmental areas.
We need better planning for transport and providing recreation and community facilities.
Q. What do you consider to be the most important issue facing the Central Coast Local Government Area?
A. We need better governance and decision making that is open, transparent and accountable.
Too many decisions are being made behind closed doors. We have seen the wastage of ratepayer funds on projects that were not in the interests of residents and decision makers having forums with developers whilst getting rid of community Advisory Committees.
Over the next few years, Council will be preparing a new Comprehensive LEP (the key planning rules for the Central Coast) and this needs to have a high level of community involvement to make sure that we get it right.
We need a plan for the future that protects the things that we value and that make the Central Coast unique.
We need sustainable development that returns planning to the people - rather than Councils allowing developers to determine how our local neighbourhoods change.
Planning needs to ensure that infrastructure, including roads and drainage, are provided before development proceeds.
It needs to protect our drinking water catchment and agricultural lands, our scenic bushland, open space, lagoons and waterways.
Q. How would you, if elected to Council, set about addressing that issue for (a) your Ward, (b) the region?
A. I want to see Council support local community associations and resident groups including working with these groups to bring their communities together to identify priorities for now and a future vision for their area.
It is a priority for me to make sure that Council has better governance and is more open, transparent and accountable.
I would ensure that there is a high level of community involvement in developing the new planning rules for the Central Coast, restore Council Advisory Committees that include community representatives with skills, knowledge and expertise, invest in technology that models our transport infrastructure including traffic flows.
That way, when new development is proposed, we can truly assess the cumulative impact of increased traffic, parking and public transport needs
I would carry out a review of recreation facilities and usage, including sporting fields, to see how we meet growing demand.
Lobby for stronger protection of our drinking water catchment and agricultural lands and encourage the growth of this industry for a sustainable future,
Statement, 31 Aug 2017
Jane Smith, New Independents