Civic facilities needed for socially-aware community

Letters forum

[Forum] Rod Fountain asks (“Common sense and beer budget should prevail”, Peninsula News edition 456) why we need a performing arts centre, a stadium and other civic facilities when basic services are still lacking.

The answer is that we need them because they are the hallmarks of a civilizing society. The fact that there is a growing demand for these facilities shows that we have emerged from the cave and are creating a vision of a socially-aware community. That the realisation of this vision is in the hands of incompetent nincompoops is unfortunate but something that we have to live with. He is quite right that we need to see a business plan for a performing arts centre before we commit to one. I have asked Council for information on such a plan and on any studies related to the location of such a centre, with no response forthcoming.

He is also quite right that the ugly, badly located and practically deserted Gosford Stadium was a blunder. Tinkering with the present stadium is trying to make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear, and I hope one day to see a well-designed stadium in conjunction with the regional sports centre at Tuggerah where it should have been put in the fi rst place. Part of the problem that is faced in developing an integrated community is the obsession with Gosford as the regional capital when it is obvious that it is too badly located, too topographically difficult and too constrained by obsolete existing development patterns ever to be a satisfactory city centre.

While Gosford is an ideal location for a concentration of high-density, high-rise residential buildings, fantasies of reviving it as a vibrant (heaven help us) commercial hub are just diverting attention from the real needs of the city. Yes, we do have a beer budget, as he said, but we lack the common sense that he calls for to make best use of our budget. Where is the Council’s longterm capital plan to optimize our resources?

Where is the infrastructure program to support the growing population? Where is the transportation engineering skill to maintain mobility within the city? The Central Coast can’t be run like some frontier town. It requires city management capabilities notably lacking in our present set of political representatives. They say you get the government you deserve, but did we deserve this?

Email, 23 Oct 2018 Bruce Hyland, Woy Woy