Newly-elected Central Coast councillors were invited to attend a Gosford West Ward community meeting, held at Umina oval on Sunday, November 12.
The meeting at Jasmine Greens Kiosk was organised by kiosk operator Ms Gabby Greyem, who was an independent candidate for Gosford West in the September council election.
“It was a privilege to spend the six weeks of the election campaign meeting with local residents, attending community forums and learning about the many issues and challenges facing our precious region,” Ms Greyem told the councillors in a letter inviting them to the community meeting.
Ms Greyem said she wanted to pursue some of the issues raised with her by local residents.
She said she had been told: “Woy Woy is definitely in a state of disrepair and could do with re-invigorating….but we must balance development with maintaining the coastal village feel… I think the most important part is establishing that plan of what we want Woy Woy to grow into (and Ettalong, and Umina, etc).”
More shade on the Peninsula and at the Peninsula Recreation Precinct, more bins on the beach at Umina, preferably smart bins on the beach with recycling lids and recycling options were some of the suggestions made by residents.
Beach erosion and the stagnation and pollution of South Umina Creek were other issues locals wanted addressed.
“Central Coast Council has a huge responsibility to actively and strategically engage our community in conversations around economic development for our region,” Ms Greyem said.
She said she wanted to see Council develop sustainable and growth strategies for primary producers including fishers and oyster farmers, to stay in business, earn good incomes and maintain their fisheries in sustainable and long term food production.
She said she would also push for real and immediate solutions to activating dead economic zones such as the Woy Woy town centre.
Other topics to be discussed at the community meeting were how to work with local hospitality businesses to develop a robust and successful tourism strategy, providing youth counselling and careers services to assist struggling students to finish their education and go on to tertiary education and /or assist teenagers into a local and meaningful career paths.
The lack of adequate drainage, footpaths and bike paths on the Peninsula was identified as another major topic of concern for local residents.
Footpaths and drainage solutions are of massive importance to the residents of the Peninsula, Ms Greyem said.
Public transport was also on the agenda.
“Our bus services are too few and far between and often the trips are too long and slow,” Ms Greyem said.
“For example, for a resident living in Patonga, it takes an hour to get to the shops in Umina, a drive that takes only 15 minutes.
“For most suburbs on the Peninsula, public transport is slow, inefficient and unattractive.
“Peninsula-based commuters have also raised the urgent need for a better commuter access solutions for cars driving between the Peninsula and Kariong.
“They want to see improved ferry services to and from Palm Beach and actual coordination of bus, ferry and train timetables to allow for smooth and time efficient commuting.”
Media release, 7 Nov 2017
Gabby Greyem, Jasmine Greens