A group of around 100 Central Coast residents have been working, since November 2016, to put together a Community Plan for Central Coast (CPCC).
The group has included community members from every corner of the Coast and from a diversity of political persuasions, all with the aim of providing the community with a non-party-political blueprint for the future of the Central Coast.
The plan, published in its entirety from page 17 to 24 in this edition of the Wyong Regional Chronicle, is intended to offer the community an alternative to the NSW Government’s Central Coast Regional Plan 2036, which is fundamentally a document about land use in the region.
The two foundation members of the CPCC, Dr Van Davy of Pearl Beach, and Ms Marcelle Hoff of Ettalong, have both experienced life in the independent political space.
Ms Hoff was an independent Councillor on the City of Sydney Council and has run successful grass roots community campaigns.
Dr Davy ran as an independent for the Federal Seat of Robertson in the 2016 national election.
Community Plan Central Coast has been supported by candidates and candidate groups who are running for election to the Central Coast Council on September 9.
Ms Julie Watson, who is running as an independent in the Budgewoi Ward, and Mr Doug Vincent, who is Labor’s lead candidate in the Budgewoi Ward, both helped in the formulation of Community Plan Central Coast.
CPCC then held a meeting in Ourimbah and decided to support several groups of candidates.
The New Independents in Wyong Ward, led by Ms Louise Greenaway, have the support of CPCC.
CPCC, having heard a “pitch” from interested candidates, has also given its support to The Greens tickets in Wyong, The Entrance and Budgewoi Wards, and to each Labor Party ticket in those three wards.
Having held two meetings in late 2016 to study and analyse the NSW Government’s Central Coast Regional Plan 2036, CPCC then held public meetings in January to discuss whether there should be an alternative plan, and if so, what its scope should be.
“The idea was born that we have a preferred future big picture for the Central Coast,” said Dr Davy.
“We are told that you cannot have a Central Coast Local Government Plan that incorporates NSW and Federal Government responsibilities, but when you go to a Federal election, you do not have a local plan,” he said.
“All you are looking at is issues like defence, border protection etc.
“In a NSW election, no one is running an idea about what our locale should look like.
“It is only when you get to local government that local issues are considered, so it is absolutely crucial someone somewhere has a plan that can feed in to other jurisdictions.
“The Central Coast is now the biggest council in the country, so it can feed into State and Federal jurisdictions, and especially across some of the biggest swing seats in both the State and nation.”
Dr Davy said he believed CPCC was new for Australia and “turns politics on its head”.
The Plan was recently presented to some senior staff within Central Coast Council and they greeted it with enthusiasm, Dr Davy said.
“If you vote for the candidates who support CPCC, you will be voting for a clean person who will be working on your behalf.
“You will be voting for a future, for an entire idea of what your Central Coast should be.
“No matter what the result of the election, we are a public grouping of people with no leader and no political affiliation.
“We will hold a meeting on the Tuesday following the election.
“We will review the results, and if we don’t get the eight candidates needed to elect the mayor, we will be discussing our priorities for defence.
“In the event that we do get the eight elected, it will be a meeting about a range of management matters, which parts of the plan will go first, and what discussions will need to be had with council officers, because a lot of this is research based.
“The nature of that meeting will depend on the outcomes of the election, but it will be a meeting of the Community Plan’s supporters,” he said.
Interview, Aug 24
Van Davy, Community Plan Central Coast
Jackie Pearson, journalist