Former Sydney councillor Ms Marcelle Hoff, of Ettalong, believes fresh faces are needed in the new, mega Central Coast Council who will make a commitment to listen to, and deliver, what the community really wants.
One of the forces behind Community Plan Central Coast, Ms Hoff said she hoped her fellow Peninsula residents would take the opportunity to read the plan prior to the election and then seek out candidates who have been willing to make a public commitment to its principles and goals. “The Community Plan was put together by over 100 interested residents and rate payers who were concerned about issues they believed were not receiving enough attention from Council,” Ms Hoff said.
“Now we need to share that work with the broader community so they can make wise decisions about who they choose to represent them in the Council election,” Ms Hoff said. The plan covers 18 categories that the group believed were of signifi cant importance to the community. Ms Hoff said she believed that if the community elected councillors who were committed to the plan it would free the new Council from the strictures of the old “parties” and give local government a fresh, community-led perspective. “The plan addresses issues that I know are of particular concern to Peninsula residents such as housing affordability, homelessness and the needs of the aging population,” Ms Hoff said. “Voting along old party lines will only ensure that issues such as over-development get worse,” she said.
“A council dominated by either Labor or Liberal would open the way for the full implementation of the NSW Government’s Central Coast Regional Plan 2036 which would result in major population growth on the Peninsula without any spending on infrastructure or services for the community. “That approach won’t resolve any of the issues identifi ed by Community Plan Central Coast. “And if an issue raised in the plan is not within the immediate power of our local government then at least you can vote for councillors who will be prepared to lobby State and Federal Government on our behalf,” she said. “This amalgamation has created an unwieldly local government area so voters need to fi nd out whether candidates are willing to genuinely consider what the community wants.
“When I was elected to City of Sydney, we called it a city of villages and we attempted to treat each area as an entity and be aware of its specifi c needs but the Central Coast Council does not appear to be doing that. “At least voting for candidates who are prepared to make a commitment to Community Plan Central Coast, residents and rate payers will know where they stand on issues like socio-economic disadvantage, climate change, sea level rise; all the big issues currently facing the Peninsula community,” she said. Ms Hoff said Community Plan Central Coast would be announcing the candidates it considered committed to the plan shortly after the NSW Electoral Commission closes candidate registration on August 9. The plan can be viewed at http://centralcoast.communityplan. com.au.
SOURCE; Interview, 3 Aug 2017 Marcelle Hoff, Community Plan Central Coast Reporter: Jackie Pearson