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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

Mehrtens was only one to gain quota on first preference

Labor's Mr Richard Mehrtens was the only candidate to make it across the line on first preference votes in the Gosford West ward of Central Coast Council.

Mr Merhtens lives in Gosford and works for the Member for Gosford Mr Liesl Tesch.

Both the Labor and Liberal Party were criticised for preselecting staff members to run as local government candidates.

"I think I can wear both hats," Mr Mehrtens said.

"I am in politics because I see it as a really good opportunity to do work for my community.

"I work for the local Member because I see that as another opportunity to work for my community," he said.

Mr Mehrtens works in Ms Tesch's electorate office located in Blackwall Rd, Woy Woy.

"We see local government issues coming through the electorate office every day," he said.

"We are very accessible people and our workplace has been very public through this campaign so when community members are looking for local government representation they know where to find us," he said.

Mr Mehrtens said the fact that each councillor would be required to represent around 22,000 people was a major challenge, along with protecting the identity and interests of unique communities like the Woy Woy Peninsula.

"I think that is going to be a real challenge and something I am very conscious of and I will be focused on assuring the loss of those communities' identities doesn't happen.

"The proof will be in the doing.

"Once we receive briefings and find out what the lay of the land is, I will be fighting every day to make sure every person who speaks with me has their voice heard."

The Labor Party enjoyed an overall swing of 6.7 per cent in the Central Coast Council election, not nearly as strong as the swing to Ms Tesch in the recent by-election.

"The major parties always do worse in local government than in state or federal elections," he said.

"What made the difference this time was the Labor Party had a strong campaign.

"We knocked on 6000 doors in Gosford West and called 3000 people," he said.

Mr Mehrtens acknowledged the Labor Party's preselection process had been marred and delayed by internal party disputes.

Candidates were registered with the NSW Electoral Commission on the morning of the cut-off for registrations resulting in a short campaign.

"I think longer campaigns give you more chance to talk to more people and I think that is always a beneficial thing," he said.

Mr Mehrtens said he considered roads to be the biggest issue for the Peninsula.

"A lot of the population has promise fatigue in that regard.

"I think at every election major parties promise to improve roads.

"We need to be prioritising basic roads infrastructure," he said.

Mr Mehrtens said the "blame game" over the maintenance of the Ettalong channel also needed to be resolved.

"For as long as the NSW and local governments push it back and forward nothing is going to be done.

"The $150,000 spent by the State Government was a stop gap measure to get it out of the media.

"The North Coast of NSW has been given $2.5 million for dredging while the Central Coast gets nothing.

"This is a major commuter and tourist opening and both sides need to come to the table."

Another key issues for Mr Mehrtens in his new role as Gosford West Ward councillor will be "transparency and consultation in DAs".

"A lot of people on the Peninsula have felt let down by developments going ahead when individual people sell off their homes and the land is turned into larger developments.

"Council needs to do better and have genuine consultation with community about developments," he said.

"We have received welcome letters from [Council CEO] Mr Rob Noble to let us know the meeting on September 27 will be a very large meeting in terms of the agenda, so I hope we can look forward to briefings before then.

"The dying days of both Gosford and Wyong Councils were something people don't want to return to.

"This is such a good opportunity, whatever people's views on amalgamation are, this is an opportunity to rebuild, with proper consultation, and make a real investment in proper transparency."

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