Snowy Hydro Scheme sale could deliver $400m to Central Coast

Food innovation at Ourimbah CampusFood innovation at Ourimbah Campus

An estimated $400m in Snowy Hydro Scheme funding is expected to be made available to Central Coast Council from the NSW Government’s sale of its share of the Snowy Hydro Scheme to the Federal Government.

The NSW Snowy Hydro Scheme Legacy Fund has a $4.1b commitment for projects in regional NSW. It is understood that nine projects were discussed in a confidential session of Central Coast Council, held on Monday, September 24, to come up with a top three priority list. The nine potential projects have been earmarked by Central Coast’s Regional Leadership Executive Group, which consists of representatives from all the major NSW Government departments including: Planning; Office of Environment and Heritage; Regional Development Australia, Central Coast; Coordinator General; Lee Shearer; Parliamentary Secretary for the Central Coast, Scot MacDonald; along with Central Coast Council Chief Executive Office, Gary Murphy.

The list of nine projects included: the Tuggerah Smart Transit Oriented Development employment, residential and sporting precinct; the Central Coast Food Innovation Precinct; Warnervale Employment Precinct (WEZ); and, Central Coast Aviation Hub, as well as projects in the former Gosford LGA. Council is currently working collaboratively with the Central Coast Regional Leadership Executive Group and regional stakeholders to develop preliminary business cases for the top three projects.

Whilst there are currently no funding guidelines, it is understood that the region will be able to request funding for scoping studies to inform a detailed business case for each of the short listed projects. Any application for scoping studies is expected to include provision for project management, to reduce the financial impact on Council. This funding opportunity has the potential to provide signifi cant funds for the region to deliver essential infrastructure to target economic development in growth areas and major centres.

According to the confidential business paper item that was inadvertently published on Council’s website for six days and then unpublished, the total cost of the Tuggerah TOD and food innovation precinct would be $260m and could create over 3,000 jobs. The timeframe is unknown, but the project is at “investigation stage”. The Warnervale Employment Zone (WEZ) is listed as “on hold as the aviation precinct is a key component”.

Source: Agenda item 8.1, Sep 24 Central Coast Council ordinary meeting Jackie Pearson, journalist