‘Gosford is Where the Heart is’ rally held

Locks were symbolically placed on the gates of the old Gosford Public School site on Valentines Day

Gosford residents are planning to continue their efforts to protect the waterfront and former Gosford Public School site from becoming an office precinct.

“One hundred fearless Central Coast residents stood firmly on the Gosford Waterfront for the ‘Gosford is where the Heart is Rally’ held on Valentine’s Day,” said deputy president of the Multi Arts Confederation, Ms Victoria (Fi) Hopkins.

“The searing 40 degree heat on the day didn’t deter the feeling of love that the people of Gosford have for the former Gosford Public School site,” Ms Hopkins said. She said the desire to have a waterfront performing arts precinct remained strong “in spite of a complex political bureaucracy trying to short-change a community with high expectations and determination.

Performances by local artists were led by the internationally-renowned composer, Ms Yantra De Vilder, with an ensemble by Jess Graham, Michaele L Archer and Lisa Stanford. Capturing the mood, Kevin Gavi Duncan opened Ceremony with a stirring Welcome to Country acknowledging the traditional owners of the land.

The spirit of the gathering was articulated by Greg Van Borssum who led the call to utilise the land for public artistic and cultural purposes. “All gathered sent a clear, unflinching message to government to bring the cultural heart back to Gosford on the former Gosford Public School site.

Ms Hopkins spoke to those gathered about the importance of culture to community and specifically the incredible opportunity to create a cultural precinct on the waterfront. “To leave a legacy for generations to come is before us right now” she said.

A series of padlocks were symbolically placed on the gates to the old Public School site. Community members were encouraged to add their signatures to the 3,000 already gathered on a petition with CommunityRun.org to support the development of a waterfront cultural precinct.

Ms Hopkins urged the community to express their dissatisfaction with the concept of turning over Gosford waterfront to a private developer to be leased to a federal government agency. Development Application closing information was not advertised in this newspaper.

Media release, Feb 23, 2016 Victoria ‘Fi’ Hopkins, Multi Arts Confederation