Amalgamation money redirected, Tesch claims
Member for Gosford Ms Liesl Tesch has claimed money to support Central Coast Council with the costs of amalgamation has instead been redirected to councils in Coalition-held electorates which didn't undergo amalgamation.
Ms Tesch said extra funding could have helped with projects such as a bike path connecting Gosford and Point Clare, kerb and guttering and the education precinct in the Gosford town centre.
"We deserve more, and we don't want to see pork barrelling and delivery in other electorates," she said.
Shadow Minister for Central Coast, Mr David Harris, said it was totally unacceptable that more than $100M of the $250M Stronger Communities Fund Tied Grants program had been redirected.
"Central Coast Council has missed out on funding which could have fast-tracked infrastructure and better supported the amalgamation of the Gosford and Wyong councils which was forced on ratepayers in a completely undemocratic way," he said.
He was speaking at a press conference on July 13, where he was joined by Member for Gosford Ms Liesl Tesch and Member for The Entrance Mr David Mehan.
Parliamentary Secretary for the Central Coast, Mr Adam Crouch, said the Government committed $10M for infrastructure and $10M for amalgamation costs to the newly-merged Central Coast Council in 2016.
"Every single dollar has been delivered to Council," he said.
"In 2018, the NSW Government committed a further $5.5M for Central Coast Council to deliver park upgrades, surf clubs, renovations, roadworks, upgraded sporting and recreation facilities and improved youth facilities.
"All funding allocations have followed established guidelines.
"In the past two years alone, Central Coast Council has received $104M in grant funding from the NSW Government.
"This is more than almost any other council in NSW."
Mr Harris claims some of that money came from different grant funding programs, other than the Stronger Communities Fund Tied program in question.
Press Conference, 13 Jul 2020
Central Coast Labor MPs
Media statement, 13 Jul 2020
Adam Crouch, Parliamentary Secretary for the Central Coast