Call for council to reconsider carpark sale
A group of Peninsula community representatives have called on Central Coast Council to reconsider its decision to sell the Woy Woy commuter carpark.
The group includes Member for Gosford Ms Liesl Tesch, former Member for Gosford Ms Marie Andrews, the Peninsula Chamber of Commerce and the Peninsula Residents Association.
Central Coast Council resolved on Tuesday night to begin the negotiations to sell off the Woy Woy Commuter carpark and its rights to expansion.
The resolution allowed Council chief executive Mr David Farmer to negotiate the sale of the 700 space car park at 93 Blackwall Rd with Queensland developer Raptis.
He will also negotiate the sale of Council's $1 option for an additional 220 car spots in December 2032.
Ms Tesch said the decision was made with no consultation with local residents, community groups, the Peninsula Chamber of Business or herself.
"This decision is bad for commuters, shoppers and our community. It is short-sighted to hand a hugely valuable publicly-owned asset and our rights to its expansion over to a private developer for a short-term revenue hit", said Ms Tesch.
"Our community stands united in opposition to this decision by Council and we call upon Council Administrator Rik Hart to reconsider this short-term decision about this long-term community asset.
"We know that putting a public asset into the hands of one private provider has had disastrous consequences for electricity and toll roads, so why would car parks be any different?
"This developer will only pay once but our community will be paying forever."
Ms Andrews said that in her last term the then-Labor Government committed $19.8 million to upgrade the carpark, increasing its capacity by 300.
"As the former Member, I am outraged about the suggestion that this car park is sold off," said Ms Andrews.
"This was a big investment by a former State Labor Government of nearly $20 million to create more publicly owned parking spaces, not only for commuters but for shoppers as well.
"It's a shame on Council for thinking of selling it and I urge all local residents to get behind this campaign to save it from privatisation."
Chamber of Commerce president Mr Matthew Wales said: "There was no warning that Council was going to sell off the commuter car park.
"There was no dialogue.
"The problem is the lack of community consultation.
"This is all about Council's balance sheet and dumping a depreciating asset to improve their financial position.
"They were not concerned about how our community local businesses would feel about this.
"We need to know what the sale price is, whether commuters and shoppers are protected in the future and if Raptis would charge for parking in the future.
"There has been no transparency whatsoever.
"This is all subject to confidentiality, so we don't know how that value is being determined and that is of great concern.
"For such a valuable community asset, we need to ensure the ratepayer gets good value for their dollar."
Speaking on behalf of the Peninsula Residents Association, Mr Michael Wilder said he would not be happy if the carpark was sold.
"Our community wants to know what's going on."
In a statement issued by the association vice-president Mr Julian Bowker said: "This decision seems to have been made in a rush, without any community consultation.
"There was only four days notice of this proposal created by Council staff.
"This was subsequently supported by the Administrator in spite of public objection delivered on the night of the Council decision via the only available channel - a three-minute address."
Media release, 2 Mar 2023
Liesl Tesch, Member for Gosford