Have your say on Central Coast Strategy

Premier Gladys Berejiklian visiting the Central Coast earlier this year

A university campus and expanded health services in Gosford as well as light industrial and commercial retail development in the Mt Penang area at Kariong are among key points already emerging from discussions around the Greater Sydney Commission (GSC)’s Central Coast Strategy.

In October Premier Gladys Berejiklian tasked the GSC to develop and deliver a Strategy that creates new job and business opportunities.

It is a collaboration between the GSC, led by Chief Commissioner, Geoff Roberts; Parliamentary Secretary for Central Coast, Adam Crouch; Minister for Jobs and Investment, Stuart Ayres; state and federal agencies, Central Coast Council and private sector partners.

Six areas of interest already identified include: locating a university campus in Gosford city centre to bring greater learning opportunities to the region, stimulate the economy and create local jobs; expanding health services in Gosford to support the Central Coast’s growing population and to generate local jobs; facilitating faster transport connections to and from regional centres to foster economic growth and new jobs on the Coast; increasing the amount of serviced industrial lands to support and expand industries such as food technology and advanced manufacturing; streamlining planning processes to help remove barriers, such as uncertainty and wait times, for businesses looking to locate on the Central Coast; and establishing a high-speed internet network to attract new, diverse businesses and remove any existing barriers for growth related to digital connectivity.

Shadow Minister for Central Coast and Wyong MP, David Harris, and The Entrance MP, David Mehan, in a briefing with the GSC on December 11, said they supported those propositions and welcomed the opportunity to add their suggestions.

Mehan suggested the Berkeley Vale area, where Masterfoods and Sanitarium are located, could grow into a manufacturing food hub by enticing complementary industries to the area.

Harris said with Central Coast Council’s recent endorsement of its Tuggerah to Wyong Economic Strategy, he was looking to the State Government to support progress of those projects.

“Also, we are keen to put a focus on the Mt Penang area at Kariong where it’s been designated for light industrial and commercial retail which will be very good for jobs,” Harris said.

“They took on board our thoughts about adding in some other industrial land around Berkeley Vale and Tuggerah and seemed keen to progress things and cut through the red tape, so we have to be happy about that.

“The impetus is on jobs and we need to see progress, because if we keep building houses we need to have local jobs for the residents.

“There needs to be a mix of housing and in Gosford there’s potential to redevelop sites.

“The key areas are Kariong, Gosford, Tuggerah, Berkeley Vale and Warnervale.

“The GSC has worked well in Sydney and delivered some great projects and in 2015 I made a speech (in Parliament) when they announced the GSC I said at the time that I wished Central Coast was included; well it took five years, but it got there.”

The NSW Government wants to hear from the community about the proposed Central Coast Strategy through a seven-week public consultation period.

Feedback via an online survey at haveyoursay.nsw.gov.au/central-coast-survey will be accepted until 8am on Monday, January 25, 2021.

The public consultation period will also include meetings and briefings with industry and government stakeholders.

Feedback will be evaluated and incorporated into the final version of the Central Coast Strategy, which will be presented to the Premier in early 2021.

Sue Murray