A former Mayor of Gosford will be paid $8,200 to write the history of the COSS – the Coastal Open Space System as long as he gets the balance of the funding for “The Book Of COSS” from elsewhere.
Robert Bell will partner with a local group such as the historical society to write the book and If the project doesn’t reach conclusion, all material accrued is to be provided to Central Coast Council.
The COSS was initiated by the then Gosford Council in 1984 to conserve the visual and environmental quality of the natural scenery of Gosford City including the vegetated ridgelines.
Bell was a councillor from 1980 and was Mayor of Gosford Council in 1992, 1993, 2002 and 2003.
The COSS provides habitat for native flora and fauna, and vegetated connections between ridgelines and wetlands to allow movement of wildlife and the plant gene pool.
It allows for passive recreation and natural areas with water catchments to remain undeveloped thus not causing deterioration in water quality.
COSS buys land for public ownership.
The money for the history is being paid from the Protection of the Environment Trust after Central Coast Council agreed to the payment.
Cr Troy Marquart at the May 11 council meeting argued the money would be better spent on local jobs.
“Please please, guys, let’s think about the situation we’re in,” he said, referring to the Covid-19 crisis which “our grandkids will be paying off”.
Cr Chris Burke asked staff what credentials Bell had to write the book and when staff couldn’t answer the question, Cr Smith said that just highlighted why the book needed to be written.
Central Coast Council meeting May 11.