Ratepayer fears over the future of funding for much-needed sporting infrastructure have been allayed by Gosford Council even though it has changed the way such expenditure will be accounted for.
A specific levy for sporting field expenditure will no longer be shown on Gosford rate notices and money from the levy will now be shown as a line item in the council’s overall budget.
“People were worried that money for the sports grounds … was going to disappear,” said Gosford mayor, Cr Lawrie McKinna
“But more money is being spent on sports fields than has ever been spent,” he said.
Sporting infrastructure that has been built on old landfill sites is specifically funded by a special waste levy and, legally, Gosford Council is unable to change the basis of that funding.
Gosford ratepayers have, however, expressed concern about how grounds and facilities not built on waste sites will be paid for in the future.
Gosford Council CEO, Mr Paul Anderson said the $800,000 per year that has been allocated for sporting facilities on former landfill sites means general funds don’t have to be spent on those facilities and can be put into the rehabilitation of non-landfill sporting facilities.
“We have taken non-restricted cash out of those areas and doubled the money put into non-landfill sites.
“This allowed $600,000 to be allocated for the upgrade to Duffy’s Reserve.
“That’s what the community doesn’t see,” Mr Anderson said.
“The work we’ve done at Frost Reserve means it has been used all of this year, when it was closed many weekends in years past.
“It is now, and if you talk to Central Coast Football they will tell you, one of the best fields across the region,” he said.
According to Mr Anderson, Gosford Council is now slowly working through a priority listing with all the sporting codes through their principal representative organisations to identify the fields and facilities that should take highest priority.
“Our goal is to increase the size and capacity of our sporting facilities across the city to lift them all up in standard,” he said.
26 May 2015
Gosford Council ordinary
Paul Anderson, CEO,
Interview notes, Lawrie
Journalist, Jackie Pearson.