Persson applauded for retaining nuclear free policy

Residents meet Dick Persson after the meeting

The Central Coast will continue to have the Nuclear Free Policy that the former Gosford City Council had in place.

Administrator, Dick Persson, rejected a Council staff report which wanted to revoke the policy amid applause from the public gallery at the Council meeting on February 8.

Only about a dozen members of the public attended the meeting, but at least two of them carried homemade anti-nuclear signs.

Another two people spoke at the public forum in favour of keeping the policy in place.

Mannering Park resident and The Greens member Sue Wynn, a former Wyong councillor, spoke as well as Australian Conservation Foundation Central Coast President, Mark Ellis.

To the surprise of the gallery, when the speakers concluded, Persson said he agreed with everything they had said and the gallery burst into applause.

Persson suggested that someone had been working through a list of policies that needed removing and that at the last meeting he had dealt with some.

This week the only policy on the list was the anti-nuclear policy and it stood out “like the proverbial”, he said.

The staff recommended it be revoked due to the handling and mining of radioactive materials being highly regulated by Federal and State laws.

Persson said there was a lot of debate and interest in the community about nuclear power and he agreed with resident concerns about revoking the policy.

“I am very comfortable in saying no to revoking the policy and that Council will continue to have a Nuclear Free Policy,” he said.

It was introduced to the former Gosford council area in 1984.

The former Wyong area had a similar policy which was revoked in 2014.

Various nuclear related activities are prohibited on the Coast except those in direct association with hospital, medical facilities and in any measuring device.

In the report to the Administrator, the staff had recommended that public consultation on the issue was costly and unnecessary.

“Any public concern regarding nuclear related activities is best dealt at the State and Federal level,’’ the report said.

Persson called it a silly proposal.

And he won over the public gallery.

Merilyn Vale