Constructing a Swiss cheese plan with holes of neglect?
Both Mr Bruce Hyland's continued encouragement and his critique of the Community Plan Central Coast is welcome.
In his forum contribution (Peninsula News, January 29) Mr Hyland argues that the Plan should "limit its concerns to the main issues that galvanise local attention".
I understand the frustration that residents such as Mr Hyland have with council's [in]capacity to deal with more than pot-holes, kerbing and guttering, garbage and dead dogs in the waterways.
But if we limit the council's role to housing, transportation, environment and infrastructure then we will be culpable of constructing a Swiss cheese plan with holes of neglect.
Pensioners will be amongst these since 32 per cent of Central Coast's population are pensioners currently living at 10 per cent below the poverty line.
Youth will be another.
They already suffer from 17 per cent unemployment, a diminishing TAFE, no Central Coast university, and no apparent adult interest in linking their future job prospects to a futuristic economy will also suffer.
Those in need of care such as victims of domestic violence, ADF veterans, persons with a disability, the undiagnosed mentally ill, and the homeless will not rate a mention either.
Some workers and their families will also be absent.
As we know widely from anecdotal evidence, workers are not always employed by companies who like to pay legal award wages, or pay for all hours worked, or give women a harassment-free run at promotion.
Health and hospitals would be absent from the plan, especially the availability of GP's, affordability and availability of specialists, aged care provision at different levels and properly funded public, yes, public hospitals too.
Don't forget education, especially the screaming need for a Central Coast university and re-invigorated TAFE system that directly links the education and training of our youth to the new jobs and new industries of our future technologically advanced economy.
The Central Coast's cultural well-being, and the local and dynamic development of cultural expression and even small business which need rent-friendly, IT-friendly, cashed-up pensioners and workers for good business and jobs growth will also fall victim to this lazy approach to local issues.
A Swiss cheese approach to local government planning is exactly what we've had.
You've heard it many times: "We can't do that because that is NSW Government responsibility", or a Federal responsibility and this argument has, until now, held sway.
As a consequence, we have had Swiss cheese plans with gaping holes, the responsibility of other governments who do not take their responsibilities seriously, maybe because of selfish, partisan, corrupt and self-serving politics, but more likely because there hasn't been an overall big picture plan for the Coast to which our various NSW and federal politicians can be held accountable.
Contrary to Mr Hyland's call, we need a big picture plan, drawn from the will of the people.
We need a people's plan with no holes and we need to only elect the politicians who support the plan.
Instead of having a plethora of ad hoc plans dealing with crises (those that galvanise local attention) and our loved but scrambling politicians competing to tell us who will deal with each crisis better, we could have politicians competing to convince us who of them most strongly supports a big picture plan which represents the community's preferred future', and how they will best represent the section of the plan for which their parliament has responsibility.
Instead of us supporting a particular political party, we have the political parties competing to support us and our Community Plan.
In this way, the people turn politics on its head.
We, the people of the Central Coast, construct a cohesive, integrated big picture plan.
We, the people of the Central Coast, hold meetings and events and invite all politicians to come to tell us how strongly they, the politicians, support our big picture plan, and just how they, the politicians, propose to press their level of government to provide the legislation and/or funds for the sections of the plan for which they are responsible.
Every election, NSW, Federal, local will all become part of a contest which includes public support for the Central Coast's Community Plan.
If the politicians don't support the plan or if they only support parts of it, then they don't get my vote.
Finally, it is worth remembering that without a local big picture plan, there will not be a big picture plan.
No federal or NSW election will ever be fought over a plan that the Central Coast people have determined.
Only local elections for local government can shape a big picture plan for the Central Coast.
This is an important political concept to grasp, because much flows from it.
Only the Central Coast can produce a plan which represents the aspirations of the people of the Coast.
In the absence of such a plan, others will dominate and suppress.
The Central Coast Regional Plan 2036 is a good case in point.
It is written by the NSW Government, oversighted and flogged by the NSW Government.
It contains much to satisfy the privatisers and poor planning ideologues in Sydney, including adding another 100,000 people to the population of the Coast resulting from Federal too-high and mismanaged immigration policies and NSW Government's royal mess-up of Sydney.
Email, 5 Feb 2018
Van Davy, Pearl Beach