Reclassification considered

The 2015 NSW Local Government Conference has been asked to consider reclassifying Gosford as a metropolitan/ urban council and not a rural/regional council.

According to a Mayoral Minute considered by Gosford Council at its ordinary meeting on Tuesday, May 26, the Office of Local Government currently classifies Gosford Council as an ‘Urban Fringe Very Large’ council.

“This reflects the current relationship of the Central Coast with Sydney and is consistent with previous NSW Government plans,” the mayoral minute said.

“However, with over 95% of the population living in urban settlements, the overall character of Gosford is as an urban council,” it said.

“For Gosford Council to be reclassified from a rural/regional council to a metropolitan/urban council, Local Government NSW would need to change its rules which would require a motion to be passed at the annual conference on Monday, September 14.

As an association of employers, Local Government NSW would then have to apply to the Fair Work Commission to amend its rules.

According to Gosford mayor, Cr Lawrie McKinna, the reclassification would clarify where Gosford sits when applying for different types of funding.

“What happens is when we are going for funding sometimes we are classed are regional and sometimes metropolitan and we just want clarification of what we are,” Cr McKinna said.

As the NSW Government moves to privatise the state’s electrical polls and wires, Gosford’s classification could determine whether it is entitled to any of the $16 billion funding promised to be distributed to regional areas.

At the ordinary meeting on May 26, Cr Gabby Bowles asked CEO Mr Paul Anderson to respond to local rumours that Gosford Council was pushing to “urbanise” the local government area.

Mr Anderson assured councillors that was not the case.

Cr McKinna said that the Council is conducting an indepth “urban edge” study as part of regularly reviewing its Local Environment Plan.

“That could be land that is designated for development that should not be,” Cr McKinna said.

“Although we have a lot of land and a lot of parks, we are not looking to expand the townships but more looking at what the land is that we have available, what it is zoned as and what it can be used for,” he said.

Cr McKinna said that to get the LEP through the State Government approval process, all land under the Council’s control had to be zoned in one block.

“The urban fringe process that the Council is now undertaking is a complete re-examination of the zoning of all its assets”, he said.

“We are doing it to all council land and buildings and it is a process that will take months”.

Gosford Council meeting
agenda, 26 May 2015
Mayoral Minute MM.6
Meeting notes,
26 May 2015
Interview notes,
27 May 2015
Lawrie McKinna, mayor,
Gosford Council