The Central Coast Community Council (CCCC) has declared that the 2017 Federal Budget had not gone far enough on local issues.
The CCCC is an organisation that works to meet the needs of community groups and other regional organisations for resourcing and representation to enable them to improve and maintain the quality of life for the residents of the Central Coast.
Regional Development Officer for the CCCC, Mr Brad Wilson, said housing, homelessness, employment, education and training, health, regional development and families were all addressed, but not enough.
In terms of housing and homelessness Mr Wilson said: “Plans in the budget to boost housing supply and supporting infrastructure are great, but the implementation should trickle down through Federal Departments, State Government, State Departments and finally into the hands of Council.
“So, to the extent that it can activate critical local projects, we can only hope that these policies will be the catalyst that finally gets us over the line,” Mr Wilson said.
Statistics from the December 2016 quarter showed the Central Coast had an unemployment rate of 5.19 per cent, which Mr Wilson said was due to “unrealistic jobseeker obligations” which “continue to push the burden on to local small businesses.
“There are simply not enough jobs for the number of genuinely unemployed people, so employers receive a frustratingly overwhelming number of unsuitable applications from job-seekers forced to apply for anything,” Mr Wilson said.
He said, in regards to health on the Coast and the current burden on hospitals, the solution was in providing “funding for palliative care services in the home, which will go a small way to easing the burden on our local hospital system,” Mr Wilson said.
Following on from health, Mr Wilson outlined figures that showed the Central Coast as the second out of 140 Local Government Areas in New South Wales for Domestic Violence-related assault.
“We fully expect that our region will be selected for piloting some of the proposed crisis-support programs,” Mr Wilson said.
Of regional development in the area, Mr Wilson said the Regional Growth Fund and Building Better Regions Fund are perfectly suited to innovative and regionally significant social enterprise projects.
“But State and Local Government still have a role to play in paving the way for these projects to come to fruition,” Mr Wilson said.
Interview, May 12
Brad Wilson, CCCC
Jarrod Melmeth, Journalist