Gosford West ward covers the Peninsula

The nine lead candidates for Gosford Ward - that includes the PeninsulaThe nine lead candidates for Gosford Ward - that includes the Peninsula

Gosford West ward includes the suburbs and localities of Blackwall, Booker Bay, Ettalong Beach, Horsfield Bay, Koolewong, Little Wobby, Patonga, Pearl Beach, Phegans Bay, Umina, Wondabyne, Woy Woy and Woy Woy Bay.

This ward has a population listing of 66,814, with a population density of 0.84 persons per hectare and a land area of 79,150 hectares, according to the 2016 Census data. There are 25 candidates registered, broken up into seven groups, with two ungrouped. Polling places are open from 8am to 6pm on Saturday, September 9. Polling places for Gosford West are located at: Booker Bay Pre-School, Brisbane Water Secondary College-Umina and Woy Woy Campuses, Empire Bay Public School, Ettalong Public School, Pearl Beach Community Centre, South Woy Woy Progress Association Hall, Umina Beach Public School, Umina Community Hall, Umina Uniting Church and Woy Woy South Public School.

SOURCE: Website, 1 Sep 2017 NSW Electoral Commission –  For comprehensive coverage go to our election section.

All the candidates covered below, arranged in alphabetical order.

Gary Chestnut – Kate da Costa – Gabby Greyem – Chris Hotstein – Christine Keen – Tony Marquart – Richard Mehrtens – Carl Veugen – Skyla Wagstaff 

Gary Chestnut – Group A New Independents

Garry Chestnut

Running with: Ferran Thornycroft, Lisa Wriley and Jean MacLeod

Q. What do you consider to be the most important issue facing the Ward you would be elected to represent? A. The lack of local jobs. The previous Councillors gave incentives to developers to build high rise in Gosford. The only outcome was developers made bigger profi ts. I would redirect and implement incentives to existing small business and start-up companies.

Q. What do you consider to be the most important issue facing the Central Coast Local Government Area? A. The ongoing saga with Mangrove Mountain Landfill. I would be able to inform the elected Councillors on matters that I am not able to discuss publically. I believe the Council can then make an informed decision on the best way forward. The only way forward is for the Council to support a Commission of Inquiry. A Commission of Inquiry will enable any backroom deals or confidential information to be made public. Recommendations can be presented on what needs to happen to clean up the site and ensure mistakes that have happened in the past are not repeated in the future.

Q. How would you set about addressing that issue for (a) your ward, (b) the region? A. You need to set aside party politics and egos and work with whoever is elected for the benefit of all residents. You need to listen to different viewpoints, probe and find out the facts. The newly-elected Councillors need to build trust amongst themselves but more importantly trust with the Community. Decisions need to be made in open Council for the benefit of all residents.

SOURCE: Statement, 31 Aug 2017 Gary Chestnut, New Independents

Kate da Costa – Group C The Greens

Kate da Costa

Running with: Ruth Herman and Wendy Rix

Q. What do you consider to be the most important issue facing the Ward you would be elected to represent? A. Managing such a huge area with very different needs, from Mangrove Mountain and the Hawkesbury villages to the increasingly dense residential area of the Peninsula, and the CBD of Gosford, without letting Gosford City eclipse the rest of the ward.

Q. What do you consider to be the most important issue facing the Central Coast Local Government Area? A. Achieving truly sustainable development in the face of climate change and growing population pressures.

Q. How would you, if elected to Council, set about addressing that issue for (a) your Ward, (b) the region? A. The solution to balancing the needs of the residents, businesses and nature across the Coast is no different to the solution for Gosford West Ward and cannot be done Ward by Ward, in isolation. We need to acknowledge the true cost and value of clean water, clean air and a healthy natural environment, and ensure that our planning controls in the new integrated LEP reflect those costs and values. We will ensure that environmental impacts, particularly on water sources, are genuinely measured and transparently discussed. We need to recognise that healthy communities need infrastructure in place, before housing and industrial estates are rolled out. This includes planning for public transport, commuter parking, cycle ways and pedestrians access. We need to make sure that ordinary residents, and the natural environment, have as much say in planning the future of our region as business and developers, through mechanisms like precinct committees that are integrated into decision making. We need to have plans, and stick to them, not change them at the whim of a new Councillor or business interest. We need to change the culture of Council to one of genuine consultation and financial transparency.

SOURCE: Statement, 29 Aug 2017 Kate da Costa, The Greens

Gabby Greyem – Group E Independent

Gabby Greyem

Running with: Helen Macnair and Sarah Rimmer

Q. What do you consider to be the most important issue facing the Ward you would be elected to represent? A. I’ve been a resident, a local business woman, a mother and a community member in Gosford West Ward since 1999. I have a deep love for our spectacular natural environment, from our beaches, to our national parks, our farm lands, to our fisheries, oyster farms and our heritage coastal seaside townships. I’m a passionate and active local resident, a volunteer and coffee shop owner, currently employing 17 staff including three adult apprentices. I’m an active local resident and small business operator with a strong connection to the community in Gosford West Ward.

Q. What do you consider to be the most important issue facing the Central Coast Local Government Area? I believe in building our local economy, providing real and meaningful long-term local jobs, preserving and enhancing our local natural beauty and tourist attractions, long-term planning for infrastructure, including better public transport, better education and an international quality university on the Central Coast. Just this year to assist struggling young kids, I have given 96 kids free cooking classes. I have also given over 10 teenagers free barista training, to help them find jobs in the hospitality industry.

Q. How would you, if elected to Council, set about addressing that issue for (a) your Ward, (b) the region? I promise to bring to my role as an independent councillor, open ears, an open mind and heart, professionalism, transparency, dedication and fi rst and foremost the best interests for our community and the future of our region. I will ensure Central Coast Council is a customer service oriented, accountable, professional and transparent organisation, serving its residents and using our resources for the best long term outcomes for our community. I’m hard working, diligent, honest and approachable. I will be a true representative for your needs and I will strive to ensure Central Coast Council works for our community’s best interests now and in the planning for the future.

Source: Statement, 29 Aug 2017 Gabby Grayem, Independent

Chris Holstein – Group B Independent

Running with: Lorraine Wilson and Bob Puffett

Q. What do you consider to be the most important issue facing the Ward you would be elected to represent? A. The issues are many, from Woy Woy rail underpass, channel access to Brisbane Water, Brisbane Water drive upgrade, cycle ways, development in general, to name a few, but down to the very localise issues of Spencer wharf for example. If I am to define that in one issue it will be delivering the community link to council in that elected representation to listen, liaise and act on all those matters and more.

Q. What do you consider to be the most important issue facing the Central Coast Local Government Area? A. For the region it will be for those elected in the five different wards finding common ground, acting as one to deliver for the Central Coast as a whole.

Q. How would you, if elected to Council, set about addressing that issue for (a) your Ward, (b) the region? A. If elected I will work with all the other councillors to highlight the needs in the West Ward, and to understand their respective Wards’ needs. To fi nd common ground with other councillors beyond individual ideologies or political interests to move the Central Coast forward. To commit that in my role as a councillor to be available to listen to all citizens and use the 25 years’ experience in civic life to base my decisions on common sense and a full understanding of the facts.

SOURCE: Statement, 28 Aug 2017 Chris Holstein, independent

Christine Keene – Independent

Christine Keen

Ungrouped (below the line)

Q. What do you consider to be the most important issue facing the Ward you would be elected to represent? A. The most important issue facing Gosford West Ward, which includes Gosford City, is jobs. People live on the Central Coast because it offers a relaxing lifestyle in a beautiful location yet they spend hours a day commuting to work, often to Sydney. The unemployment level is very high and crime and drug use are rising. We must provide local employment opportunities for all ages.

Q. What do you consider to be the most important issue facing the Central Coast Local Government Area? A. Local jobs should be the main focus for the entire Central Coast. We must provide all residents the opportunity to work locally and contribute directly to the Central Coast community. We need to achieve a dramatic increase in the number of businesses operating on the Central Coast, commitment from these businesses to provide work experience programs for school leavers and all youth, police to work with businesses to understand their needs in providing a safe environment for their workers and correctional facilities to discuss with businesses opportunities they can provide for deserving individuals.

Q. How would you, if elected to Council, set about addressing that issue for (a) your Ward, (b) the region? A. Take stock of all available commercial and retail space. Council to work with owners to dust it off and make it presentable for renting to major businesses. List the space through local and Sydney-based agents. Council to directly approach major business brands in Sydney. Council to offer incentives to businesses that relocate or establish branch offices on the Central Coast. Council to maintain strong relationships with businesses so they feel part of the community.

SOURCE: Statement, 25 Aug 2017 Christine Keene, Independent

Troy Marquart – Group D Liberal Party

Tony Marquart

Running with: Sue Dengate and Jack Wilson

Q. What do you consider to be the most important issue facing the Ward you would be elected to represent? A. As a staunch Coastie, I am appalled that Labor and the Greens have publically noted their desire to tamper with Australia Day from a council level, even before the election has been held. This attack on Australia Day is an attack on our Australian values and gives local voters a snap shot of what to expect from Labor and the Greens in Council.

Q. What do you consider to be the most important issue facing the Central Coast Local Government Area? A. Over the past 15 years, with my wife Kylie, we have built a successful local business, Shoreline Sports Floors. It was born from hard work and dedication, positive attributes the Liberal Team is looking to bring to Council Chambers. Using this as inspiration, my passion and goal is to ensure every dollar of the Council budget is spent to benefi t Central Coast locals.

Q. How would you, if elected to Council, set about addressing that issue for (a) your Ward, (b) the region? A. I can pledge that our united team will protect the institution that is Australia Day and keep policy discussion on topic. Local roads, local infrastructure and local issues need to be debated by the new Council. A vote for our Liberal team will be a vote for Common Sense Council. We must understand the community needs, and will work with all levels of Government to fight for our fair share of funding on the Central Coast. Only a strong Liberal Council will protect and grow our $9.6 billion in assets, and ensure the $204 million Capital Works budget is spent in our Central Coast region.

SOURCE: Statement, 25 Aug 2017 Troy Marquart, Liberal

Richard Mehrtens – Group G Labor Party

Richard Mehrtens

Running with: Vicki Scott and Brad Ernst

Q. What do you consider to be the most important issue facing the Ward you would be elected to represent? A. As a local that lives and works in Gosford West Ward, I see the issues that our community faces every day. The last 12 months without an elected Council, and in the dying days of Gosford Council, we know how vital it is that the community has a strong voice in local government to stand up for proper services, transparency in decision making, and genuine consultation with the community. As a Labor Councillor, I will fight to bring accountability and transparency back to Council by changing procedures to ensure that we start off on the right foot and truly represent the community. More Council meetings need to be open to the community, fewer held behind closed doors and with active outreach and consultation with residents where they live about the issues that affect them.

Q. What do you consider to be the most important issue facing the Central Coast Local Government Area? A. We need to make the amalgamation work for the community and for the region. We need to unite and work together so we get our fair share. Whatever people’s opinion of the amalgamation, we have the opportunity to build a strong and hardworking Council that will make the Coast an even better place to live, work, and raise a family. We have everything we need right here on the Coast to make that happen.

Q. How would you, if elected to Council, set about addressing that issue for (a) your Ward, (b) the region? As one of the biggest employers and purchasers on the Coast, Central Coast Council should be looking here fi rst when hiring and buying. We have locals who want to work, and businesses that want to grow. That’s why I will be fighting for a Local Preference Policy that will mean that local workers and businesses get the first look at tenders and jobs.

SOURCE: Statement, 31 Aug 2017 Richard Mehrtens, Labor

Carl Veugen – Group F Save Tuggerah Lakes

Carl Veugen

Running with: Daniel Johnson and John Caska

Q. What do you consider to be the most important issue facing the Ward you would be elected to represent? A. Firstly there are the problems with the Mangrove Mountain Landfi ll and the illegal waste dumping at Spencer. Both of these issues need independent investigations, also there is the problem with the dangerously choked channel entrance to the Brisbane Water which needs to be fi xed before lives are lost. Our roads need to be fi xed: no more patch ups.

Q. What do you consider to be the most important issue facing the Central Coast Local Government Area? A. To bring the whole community together to try to remove the us and them mentality which has existed within the whole of the Central Coast for years due to having two councils. The entire Central Coast is now one region and we all need to work together to make the region the best it can be.

Q. How would you, if elected to Council, set about addressing that issue for (a) your Ward, (b) the region? A. Once elected, the fi rst thing is to see the makeup of the new council and to establish a good working relationship with the other councillors. Then I will fi ght for my ward to get its fair share of the budget spending to address the issues the community feel are of most signifi cance and require urgent attention. Gosford West The region as a whole requires all the elected representatives to put their personal agenda’s aside and focus on the region not just their wards to make it the best place it can be.

Source: Statement, 29 Aug 2017 Carl Veugen, Save Tuggerah Lakes

Skyla Wagstaff – Animal Justice Party

Skyla Wagstaff

Ungrouped

Q. What do you consider to be the most important issue facing the Ward you would be elected to represent? A. No real representation of our peoples’ genuine concerns with having so many unethical decisions made by some Government decision makers. Our community are left to pay grave consequences due to their failures. Our Coast is under ongoing serious threats to non sustainable development.

Q. What do you consider to be the most important issue facing the Central Coast Local Government Area? A. The lack of community consultation and long term planning to protect our resources and build on our assets for our community that tis based sustainable prosperous growth. There is a current failure to listen and advocate on the concerns of community members about developments and the threats to devaluing residents’ homes, lack of action in environment and animal protection.

Q. How would you, if elected to Council, set about addressing that issue for (a) your Ward, (b) the region? A. I will ensure Council progresses to a forward thinking, transparent and inclusive community that benefits animals, our environment and all in our community. One based on transparent and ethical procedures through introducing measurable performance reviews where councillors are accountable in all planning and management of the community, for the community. All developments only proceed with full community consultation, thorough assessment of biodiversity impacts to species’ habitat, animal welfare and human health and well-being. This includes our Koala populations, all threatened species and habitats be protected. Propose and consult on policy to ban animal circuses from council land. Promote and support an independent review of any prior and current developments that the community believes were unjust. I am determined our Community Centre is finally underway offering prosperous opportunities and culture enrichment. Building greater recognition in our people and cultures that both respects the traditional owners and indigenous places and history. I am committed in gaining better resources for our growing numbers of families, people all ages and abilities that strengthens employment, health, education and equality. I will advocate for regulated companion animal breeding, affordable desexing and banning animal circuses in the Coast, the majority of our community have shown ongoing objections to for years.

SOURCE: Statement, 31 Aug 2017 Skyla Wagstaff, Animal Justice Party

 

For comprehensive coverage go to our election section.

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