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Collapse Issue 428 - 18 Sep 2017Issue 428 - 18 Sep 2017
Collapse  NEWS NEWS
Oyster Festival absorbed into larger Wyong festival
Wagstaffe store parking may be resolved
Asbestos exposure raised in parliament
McEvoy oval amenities are officially opened
Commitment to put railway crossing on council agenda
Mehrtens was only one to gain quota on first preference
Marquart likely to be elected
Labor, Liberal and Holstein look set for council
Risk to natural reserves and national parks
Changes to crossing and parking at Umina school
Rotary club to hold book fair
Guided walk to Wondabyne
Arboretum's 41 years is celebrated
Mingaletta forms agreement with engineering company
Proposal to build four dwellings
Energy presentation at Hardys Bay
Beekeeper speaks at Rotary
Day to publicise local support services
Police join for memorial sports day
Collapse  FORUM FORUM
Excuse needed for pre-poll voting
Authors congratulated for thought-provoking plan
What's happening to the weather?
My mother has died
Don't forget the Peninsula
The politicians we deserve
Collapse  HEALTH HEALTH
Day of craft and food for mental health
Hat Day parties for mental health
Memory Lane program recognised
Collapse  ARTS ARTS
Art fair to be held at Pearl Beach
Artisans' trail to be held in Patonga
Four local artists received Bouddi Foundation grants
Jazz to be played in the arboretum
Wine fair to be held at Memorial Hall
Collapse  EDUCATION EDUCATION
Wins in regional spelling bee final
Shoe boxes wanted
Children's mass to be held in Woy Woy
Debating team makes it to the top
Money for landscaping
Kindergarten students visit reptile park
Collapse  SPORT SPORT
Junior Bunnies snare three premierships
Mixed results in junior rugby union
Wombats hold registration days
Locals win zone singles bowls titles
Club bowls finals held at Woy Woy
Spring pair champions

Authors congratulated for thought-provoking plan

May I congratulate Peninsula News on its sponsorship and publication of the Central Coast Community Plan.

It is a thought-provoking document, and the authors are to be commended for their initiative and energy in putting together such an exercise in public-policy formulation.

If only we could feel some confidence that the future operations of the Central Coast Council would be guided by the principles set out in the Plan, but one wonders whether any of the current crop of candidates has made a serious study of the contents.

When one reads the lists of items considered to be the "most important issue" in their respective policy statements, it doesn't sound as though many have more than a very myopic view of the Council's role in shaping our future.

Of course, there are many points of detail over which one may quibble.

I find the division into the 18 topics rather arbitrary, with great variation in importance and scope between the elements.

The ordering is also a little perplexing: is Youth really more important than Housing and does Social Cohesion and Democracy really only rank 15th in our minds?

I'd have preferred a more compact structure for the Plan - say, Governance (items one and two), Social Structure (items 15, 5, 6, 4, 7, 12, 16 and 17), Built Environment (items 13, 9 and 18), Natural Environment (item 3), Economic Structure (items 14 and 11) and Support Elements (items 8 and 10).

At present, Governance seems to be over-focussed on corruption, and there is no mention of the fundamental need for coordination between the various agencies of government (our famous Coordinator-General doesn't even get a mention).

I think, also, that drainage, sewerage and waste management deserve a separate item under Built Environment: at the moment, they are very short-changed, compared to Transport.

In addition, it is possible that Natural Resources (land, water, vegetation, minerals etc.) need separate treatment, given the wide range of issues related to them and the many conflicts within the region arising in connection with them.

However, broadly speaking, there are many good points in the presentation, and, no doubt, it can be fleshed out with more detail.

On one point, I am in complete disagreement with the Plan, and this relates to the elusive Performing Arts Centre which, the Plan recommends, should be on the Gosford waterfront.

I have argued, on many occasions, that this is a bad location, with poor access for most of the Central Coast population, parking difficulties and uncertain structural problems.

It is a little inconsistent that the Plan argues, in one place, that Council should "maintain or increase the amount of open space", while, in another, suggesting that part of Gosford's scarce, existing, waterfront recreation area should be built on.

The proper place for a PAC is near the population centre of gravity which is somewhere east of Tuggerah.

In this location, it could be integrated with a new regional capital.

Finally, I am totally baffled to imagine what is meant by a "Housing: Projected Demand and Salt and Pepper Supply" report.

In 40 years of planning practice, I never encountered such a term.

Is it somehow related to a "Stick and Carrot" or "Honey and Vinegar" or "Meat and Veg." concept: I only use salt and pepper in the kitchen.

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