The great unwashed dubious about waterfront proposal

Letter to the editor ForumLetter to the editor Forum

I refer to the Billion Dollar Waterfront Proposal, (Coast Community News, February 23) when I say that the Lazarus-like, ill-fated Landing scheme, has been resurrected from its well-deserved grave and transformed into the enhanced Cellate project for the Gosford Waterfront.
Our jaded eyes are dazzled by visions of waterfront retail and public space, hotel and conference facilities, mixed-use residential, commercial and retail buildings, a high-speed ferry (of course, no project should be without one), a Centre of Engineering Excellence, and Australian Maritime College, an Opal Museum and trading exchange, a rowing club, a “state-of-the-art” (naturally) Aquatic and Leisure Centre and much, much more.
This transformation will stretch from Gosford to Point Clare and take in such outliers as Ettalong as well.
The whole thing will be designed by “the best architects and engineers Australia has to offer”, and the only thing that seems to have been overlooked is the fast train.
One wonders how this was omitted.
Of course, there are some niggling doubts.
The fast ferry service will include six boats “similar to those that currently run between Japan and South Korea”.
One assumes that this refers to the Fukuoka-Busan hydrofoil service, but there is a slight difference between the two situations.
While Fukuoka is not dissimilar to Sydney, Busan has a population of 3.5 million, compared to Central Coast’s 300.000 odd, and Busan is the gateway to the whole of Korea and has international connections, whereas Gosford is the gateway to nowhere.
The notion that Gosford “is perfectly positioned to be our gateway” to markets in the Philippines and Indonesia must have been generated in an opium haze.
It is also possible to picture navigational difficulties with a high-speed hydrofoil crossing the bar at Half Tide Rocks and racing through the Brisbane Water channel to Gosford.
Of course, we have not been made privy to the details of this grandiose plan which is being treated as “commercial in confidence” by Central Coast Council, in its usual secretive way.
One can picture that the immense competition that there must be for a role in this spectacular opportunity makes it essential to keep it under wraps until it can be revealed to the great unwashed (us).
Given the outcomes of similar schemes in the past and of such exercises as the Forbidden City complex, it is probably just as well that we not be exposed to any more PR flackery than is absolutely essential.
Perhaps, when the exercise has achieved some semblance of reality beyond newspaper headlines, it will be time for the community to have a say in what sounds like a dubious proposition at best.

Feb 27, 2017
Bruce Hyland, Woy Woy

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