Wyong and Gosford Council representatives held meetings in Canberra throughout the week of Monday, June 16, with Minister for Education, Christopher Pyne, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Communication Paul Fletcher and with representatives for the Treasurer Joe Hockey and Minister for Infrastructure Warren Truss
Wyong Shire mayor Cr Doug Eaton said the meetings had left the two councils feeling positive about the future of the region. “So far our meetings have been really positive,” mayor Cr Eaton said. “I think we’ve all come away with actions to progress some of the pressing issues facing the Central Coast. “Minister Pyne was genuinely interested in our plans for improving education on the Central Coast and renewed his commitment to election promises on education and agreed to provide technical support to both councils to assist in our University proposals.
“The Minister also provided some welcome advice on these projects to ensure we get the best out of our proposals.” Gosford Council’s CEO Mr Paul Anderson said the meeting with Paul Fletcher had provided the councils with options to progress solutions to the Central Coast’s mobile phone black spots and the need for better broadband services. “We’ll pull together an analysis of mobile coverage across our local government areas so that the councils can submit a regional coverage map highlighting the black spots on the Central Coast,” he said.
“Along with Wyong, we will investigate what Council owned infrastructure can be used, particularly in those rural areas that suffer the most, to deliver mobile and internet services. “This is a great example of how Federal and local government can work together to deliver better services for the Coast.” The councils have also gained good support from the National General Assembly of Local Government, with two of Wyong Shire Council’s items supported.
This will see the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) call on the Commonwealth Government to establish a Regional Australia Tourism program to support and fund regional and rural councils’ tourism efforts. The ALGA will also call for a review of the structure, operation and funding arrangements for Regional Development Australia to ensure they align with the strategic directions of Local Government.
The Councils are continuing to use the visit as an opportunity to meet with relevant Ministers and government representatives to seek support for a range of specific economic development initiatives. Wyong mayor Cr Eaton and Gosford Cr Jeff Strickson met with Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss’ Chief of Staff on Wednesday, June 18, to discuss plans for a Central Coast Regional Airport.
“The Central Coast is the ninth largest region in Australia but the only one not to have a regional airport to support the local population and economy,” said mayor Cr Eaton. “The Federal Government’s support is essential to getting it built and operational by 2020 and today we got a strong message that this will occur, which is fantastic.
” Wyong Council will now formally write to the Minister to start the process requesting assistance. The Councils would like to thank the local Federal members Karen McNamara (Dobell) and Lucy Wicks(Robertson) for organising these essential meetings which also included a meeting with Assistant Minister for Infrastructure Jamie Briggs.
Media release, 19 Jun 2014
Wyong Councils media