Tourism officer signs up as open space champion
Ettalong Diggers Visitor Centre officer Ms Kim Cole is one of 120 Coastal Open Space System Champions who have signed up to help protect the conservation lands, answering the call of Central Coast mayor Cr Jane Smith.
Ms Cole said the bushwalks in Rumbalara Reserve behind Gosford were some of the Coast's hidden treasures
"COSS Champions" agree to at least go on a bushwalk, donate to the Protection of the Environment Trust or write to the State Planning Minister Rob Stokes asking for increased protection for council-owned coastal open space.
The former Gosford Council lobbied the State Government for a new zoning to protect land with high conservation values such as coastal open space and the Mayor said this was agreed to in March 2012 but has yet to be delivered.
"I believe this zoning is needed to ensure the long-term protection of our COSS lands," Cr Smith said in June.
"If you stand in most places in the former Gosford Local Government Area - the southern part of the LGA - and look up to the ridges of the hills, you see vegetation,'' Mayor Smith said.
"That is unique. And more importantly that is COSS. No other local government area in NSW has a reserve system like it."
She said the Coastal Open Space System was established by the former Gosford City Council in 1984 as a network of reserves supporting native vegetation and managed by council for a number of environmental and community values.
"The primary purpose is to maintain areas of native vegetation and habitat for native animals on public land, so is essential for biodiversity.
"At the 27 May 2019 ordinary meeting, council reaffirmed its commitment to the COSS and the objective of protecting and improving biodiversity and environmental values of COSS lands and other land with the Central Coast Local Government Area."
The first champions signed up at the inaugural Strom Talk held on World Environment Day in June.
Media Statement, 27 Aug 2019
Jane Smith, Central Coast Council
Media Statement, 28 Aug 2019
Kim Cole, Ettalong Diggers