Mark Ellis’s contention that Council meetings should be held in Ourimbah, rather than in Gosford or Wyong (CCN 283) is right in principle but wrong in detail.
He is certainly correct that Gosford is probably the worst possible location for our administrative centre, despite its designation as the “regional capital” – a meaningless name tag attached to it in the Regional Plan for no supportable reason.
As I have pointed out previously, the location is far off-centre in the city, with poor road access, bad topography and an existing development pattern that would make it almost impossible to upgrade the centre to reflect current needs.
Why the Council persists with the idea of a white-elephant regional library in Gosford – a bad location for a bad idea – is incomprehensible.
Wyong is a somewhat better choice but a rather makeshift one, and the long-term solution should be to establish the administrative centre at the real regional capital in its proper location which is at Tuggerah.
Largely unhampered by all the bad planning decisions of previous councils, a new administrative centre could be set up there, in a position with good road and rail access and close to the centre of gravity of the city’s population.
Admittedly, as more and more business is transacted on line, direct physical access to the council offices becomes less important, but it will still be a long time before face-to-face communication on many matters becomes unnecessary, and the designation of all the new development areas north of Wyong will make Gosford even more unsuitable, as time goes by.
Obviously, in the present financial crisis, it would be difficult to justify the kind of capital outlay involved in providing a new municipal building.
My contention originally was that selling off the two existing buildings would go some considerable distance towards raising the funds for a new building, but we are now in a position where many buildings will have to go just to cover our debts, so ambitious capital projects will have to go onto the back burner.
This doesn’t mean that the Council cannot make a decision, in principle, to designate Tuggerah as the regional centre and foreshadow the relocation of municipal functions to this location in the future.
In the meantime, Wyong will obviously serve adequately, so the sooner the Gosford building is auctioned off the better.
Email, Mar 14
Bruce Hyland, Woy Woy